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8 Reasons Why I Love My Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Recipes & Meals

By Casey Slide

Easy, flexible, convenient, delicious crock-pot mealsIf you could only have one small kitchen appliance, which one would you choose? Perhaps it would be the toaster oven, an electric can opener, or maybe a microwave? There are probably some appliances you could live without.

What about a Crock-Pot? I don’t know what I’d do without mine. Honestly, some days I feel as though my family wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for the Crock-Pot. It’s truly a lifesaver.

If you own and use a Crock-Pot, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you own one and don’t use it because you think your house might burn down, trust me when I say that it’s perfectly safe. And if you think a Crock-Pot produces only gross, boring food (my husband used to call it the crap-pot when he was growing up), you’d be surprised.

Here are 8 reasons why you should give your Crock-Pot a second chance.

1. It Makes The House Smell Good
I love walking in the door to a house full of the delicious aroma of a home-cooked meal. Even if you have an awful day, that smell will bring a smile to your face. A Crock-Pot helps to ensure your home is warm and inviting, even when you’re busy. With only a small amount of foresight and preparation, you can find comfort after a long day when you know that dinner is ready and waiting when you get home.

2. Flexibility
A Crock-Pot is an excellent tool for those of us who are busy, or need more flexibility when it comes to dinner preparation or cook time. You can chop vegetables and assemble the meal at night, and let it cook on low during the next day. Also, since most Crock-Pots have high and low settings, these can be used for greater flexibility when it comes to timing your meal.

I’m often very busy in the evening and can’t prepare a meal at that time. I’m a stay-at-home mom so I prefer to prepare meals during the day while my baby naps, and I have some downtime. Depending upon when he naps, I can set my food to low or high and make sure it’s ready in time for dinner.

3. Easy Cleanup
Yep, that’s right: easy cleanup. If you have not discovered Crock-Pot liners, let me be the first one to tell you about them. You can now buy liners for your Crock-Pot so that you no longer have to soak and scrub them. Put the liner in before you add your ingredients and then trash it when you’re done.

Before I found these liners, I spent about 20 minutes trying to clean out my Crock-Pot after every use. This defeated the whole purpose of the convenient cooking appliance!

You can find disposable liners in your grocery store near the plastic sandwich bags. Even though I am all about recycling and reusing household items, this is one disposable item that I believe is worth it!

4. It Makes A Lot Of Food
Crock-Pots are great if you need to feed a lot of people. I threw my husband a birthday party last summer, and there were about thirty people there. I was able to feed everyone by using three Crock-Pots: two for pulled pork and one for macaroni and cheese. If, like me, you have a smaller family, Crock-Pots are ideal for delicious leftovers (and reducing food waste). When I use the Crock-Pot, I usually have enough food for another dinner or two, plus lunch. This is a great way to save time and money.

5. You Can Create Your Own Recipes
I have a favorite recipe that I use at least once a month. It’s something I came up with myself, and I call it Fiesta Soup. I make it a little differently each month because this keeps it interesting. And each month, it still tastes good. You really can’t mess up a Crock-Pot recipe. In fact, the recipe possibilities are endless because you can easily invent something like I did. You can create your own soups, dips, chili, main courses, and desserts. I have even made a lasagna in the Crock-Pot.

Tip: If you would like to make Fiesta Soup: Combine 2 cans nacho cheese soup, 2 cans milk, 1 can black beans, a bag of cooked yellow rice, a jar of salsa, and a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cook for a few hours on low and enjoy.

6. It’s An Easy Meal To Make For Someone
If you know someone who needs a meal, perhaps because they are sick or extra busy, a Crock-Pot meal will save the day. If your friend or family member owns a Crock-Pot, combine all the ingredients in a bowl at home, and then transfer the contents of the bowl to his or her Crock-Pot when you visit.

My friends did this for me when I had a baby. It worked out great for them because it was easy to put together, and I appreciated the food, the company, and the easy cleanup.

7. A Healthy Alternative
Generally, Crock-Pot meals are healthy because they include nutritious foods such as beans and vegetables. The food is not fried or prepared in some other unnecessary way with fattening oils and butter. Crock-Pots provide a way to cook foods simply.

8. The Meals Are Affordable
As previously mentioned, Crock-Pot meals make a lot of food. The ingredients are simple, and you don’t need a lot of them to make your meal taste good. I can make a meal for 4 to 6 people for only about $10 to $15 when using my Crock-Pot. For example, a homemade chili recipe is affordable, easy, and healthy. You can save money by using coupons for grocery shopping as well.

Do you enjoy using a Crock-Pot? What is your favorite recipe?

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

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Comments

  • http://www.twentysomethingmoney.com twentysomethingmoney

    One of my goals for 2011 was to eat at home more often — I’m almost thinking I should buy a crock pot. Would probably help me a fair bit.

    • Casey Slide

      Buying a crock-pot would be a wise investment! :) Good luck to you!

  • Ed Yancey

    Casey, my wife and I have been cooking beef roast of every kind with Coca Cola for about 41 years now. We use 1 can of cream of mushroom or cream of celery and then fill and rinse the can with Coke. Beat this until well mixed and season with salt and pepper to taste and on chopped onion (about med. size) . Cook either in crock pot or in oven with tight cover on about 250 degrees until well done. Usually the meat will melt in your mouth and the gravy is awesome. IF you want a thicker gravy just brown some flour in skillet and add as much of the broth as you want stiring until well mixed. This has not failed us yet. A meal of crock pot cooked chicken and rice the next evening and then the broth left over and the meat make a wonderful base for some good homemade soup or stew.

  • Casey Slide

    Sounds delicious, Ed! Thanks for sharing! I’ll definitely be trying that!

  • Sdutta84

    Thanks Casey for stating all the reasons for getting a crock pot.

    • Casey Slide

      You’re welcome, Sdutta84. Do you have a crock-pot? Have any reasons to add?

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