Crock pots have been around forever. They have been easily forgotten in the age of pressure cookers and the like, but it may be time you get it out and dust it off. If by chance you don’t have one, you may want to think about making a purchase in your future. There are some really great reasons to cook in a crock pot. Let’s explore a few of them.
Save on your meal budget
One of the best things about crock pots and slow cooking is that the recipes are most often designed to offer maximum flavors with minimal ingredients. You can typically choose cheaper cuts of meat that become super succulent after cooking slowly for several hours. Throwing in meat on the bone works because after a long cook, the meat will just slide right off. Soups, stews, chilis, and more are favorite crock pot recipes.
More than than that, you can cook things like main meat entrees like flavorful chicken in the crock pot as well. You may be surprised to learn how to cook country-style pork ribs in a crock pot as well.
Get those veggies & eat healthier
Cooking meals in a crock pot can be a healthier choice. Getting vegetables cooked to perfection while being flavored with a delicious protein is a great combination. There’s no need to add additional fats when slow cooking. Beef or chicken stock is enough to cook and tenderize meats and veggies to the perfect consistency.
Many recipes take a ton of time in prep, multiple pots and oven watching before serving. At the end of the meal, you’re left with lots of pans to wash and dishes to clean. The beauty of a crock pot meal is that most of the time, you simply toss all ingredients into the pot, put the lid on, set the temp and timer and let it cook. There is no better feeling than getting home from work and smelling the aroma of the meal you’re about to eat. Knowing it’s basically ready to serve without much else to prepare is even better.
At the end of the meal, you basically only have to spoon up leftovers into a sealable container and throw the crock pot bowl into the dishwasher. That’s convenience you can get behind!
Great for party dips
Crock pots aren’t just for entrees like soups and stews. They are great for preparing great party dips as well. A great buffalo chicken dips starts with cooking the chicken in the crock pot then shredding it once it’s done. Next add some cream cheese, buffalo sauce, ranch dressings, and some cheddar cheese and mix it all together. Set your crock pot to low and let it cook for a couple of hours until it’s all melted and gooey. You can serve with crackers or chips. And the beauty is, you can set the crock pot to “warm” and the dip will continue have great consistency and flavor throughout the evening.
There’s are literally hundreds of crock pot dip recipes you can explore.
Cooking with a crock pot isn’t 100% fool proof but it’s close. You just need to be careful to set your temperature to the correct setting for how long you need your food to cook. For instance, don’t set it to high and leave for work for 7 hours. You’ll have a burnt meal to clean up when you get home. It’s also a good idea to keep your crock pot on a trivet or hot pad so it can’t damage your counter tops. It can get to pretty high temperatures so protect the surface when you use it.
Looking for a few more ideas about how to make your crock pot work a little bit harder for you? Check this: Dust off the Crockpot – Under a Texas Sky.