Owing to their extremely hectic lifestyles, many people are on the go and unable to prepare meals for their family. This lack of time, in turn, causes many families to turn to calorie-ridden fast food or take-outs. Between work, school, and executing daily household activities, daily routines can become overwhelming on any individual. Therefore, people are always looking for ideas that can simplify their work and daily routine. This is where slow cookers come in handy; they can save a homeowner a lot of time and money in addition to boosting their overall health by allowing them to consume nutritious meals. These devices were first introduced in 1970 by one Rival and ever since they have become a must-have appliance for every household. Here are six compelling reasons for using this dependable and handy appliance and a few great crock pot recipes to go along with it.
Using a Slow Cooker is Pocket-Friendly
Purchasing and operating the best slow cooker is very economical. Not only are these devices affordable but they can also cut a person’s grocery expenses significantly. This is because they allow one to buy cheaply cut meat after which they can tenderize them over low heat albeit over a long period. One can also use a crock pot to soak and prepare dried beans, which saves them around 60% on the cost when compared to the price of buying canned beans. Besides, preparing meals on a slow cooker is relatively fuel efficient in comparison to running an oven as it consumes very little energy.
It is Healthy
Slow cooker recipes, such as homemade stews, soups oatmeal and other slow-cooked dishes are naturally very healthy, especially when compared to fast food. This is because crock pot recipes rarely call for added fats or oils as they use steam to cook. The most pronounced benefit of cooking with a slow cooker is the consumption of low-fat meals, which is especially possible when a person trims excess fat from their meat. Slow cooking dishes also improves the flavor of the meals significantly. Stews and sauces will have a much richer and more deep taste, especially when they are complemented with spices and herbs, among other flavors.
It Saves Precious Time
Apart from saving the user a great deal of money, crock pots can also save time, as you don’t have to constantly watch, stir, or add ingredients to the crock pot while your recipe is cooking. Once you have prepared the ingredients, you can place them in the slow cooker, set the cooking time and do other activities while you wait for the meal to finish cooking. This is unlike using a stove where the meal can burn, boil over, or start a grease fire. Even without stirring and watching over the meal, it will turn out to be delicious and healthy. What more can a busy person ask for than a cooking gadget that saves time, energy, and money, while also providing their family with an incredibly healthy meal?
No Smell, No Noise, No Sweat
During the summer season, most people find it uncomfortable to prepare meals in the kitchen because running the stove or oven heats up the already hot room. However, there’s no need to panic as this problem can be solved using a slow cooker. This cooking device will not heat the room plus the person preparing the meal doesn’t have to stay in the kitchen. Additionally, a slow cooker can make the perfect cooking companion on your next camping trip or vacation. Moreover, the modern day crock pot hardly creates any sound, making it a great option for mothers who want to cook a delicious meal for their family without disturbing a sleeping child. Lastly, since the slow cooker is tightly sealed, the usually repugnant smell of ingredients such as onions doesn’t spread to the other rooms.
Clean up is Easy
Another great aspect of a slow cooker is that it allows users to prepare an entire family meal in just one dish. This means that they don’t have to spend hours scrubbing multiple pots and pans. They will only need to clean the slow cooker and perhaps a couple of utensils. People, therefore, can direct more of their energy and time to other important matters involving their family, rather than fussing over dirty dishes.
Meals are Easily Prepared
Finally, and most importantly, preparing meals using a crock pot is incredibly easy. All a person needs are, at most, ten minutes in the morning to prepare the ingredients, put them in the crock pot, and set the temperature level and cook time just before leaving for work. When they get back home in the evening, their dinner will be ready to serve and eat. One can also prepare the ingredients at night, place the pot on the slow cooker and leave the meal to cook overnight. The slow cooker is also perfect for both cooking or reheating frozen food to room temperature. Since meal prep for a crock pot meal is incredibly simple, you can find the time to make incredibly delicious and nutritious meals that the whole family will love. Which leads us to our next section of the article:
Crock Pot Recipes
So, after reading a few of the perks of buying and using a slow cooker, you are probably wondering about some great slow cooker recipes for you to prepare for your family. Each of the following recipes detail how to make delicious, wholesome, and nutritious meals with minimal preparation time with a crockpot. If you are running out of ideas for recipes, you can always search for “crock pot chicken” or simply “chicken recipes”. Most of the recipes
Chicken with Wild Rice
This is a timeless and classic example of great chicken recipes that can be prepared effortlessly any day of the week with a slow cooker.
- One full chicken weighing 3-4 pounds
- A cup of water, two cans of mushroom soup
- Two cups of wild rice
- A can of chopped mushrooms
Preparing this meal simply entails placing the mushroom soup, mushrooms, water, and wild rice in the slow cooker and waiting for the mixture to blend smoothly. Subsequently, the chicken should be unpacked and placed inside the crock pot on top of the rice mix.
If someone is preparing the meal in the morning and leaving it to cook throughout the day, they need to set the temperatures low. Conversely, the meal can be cooked at a high temperature for approximately 3-4 hours if you do not want to keep the crock pot on all day. When the slow cooker chicken and rice is finished cooking, you should season the dish to taste and serve.
Kraut with Ring Bologna and Potatoes
This recipe is for those who want a break from slow cooker chicken meals, but still want a wholesome meal. If you, or your family, love the flavor combination of sour kraut and bologna, then this recipe is for you.
- One large kraut jar
- One ring bologna
- 12 chopped baby red potatoes
Like crock pot chicken and all other slow cooker recipes, you merely need to place the ingredients in the slow cooker and allow the mixture to cook on low for approximately eight hours. Also, like other crock pot meals, you can shorten the cook time of your meal by setting the temperature on high and allowing it to cook for about four hours.
Easy to use and incredibly economical, crock pots are designed to prepare healthy and budget-friendly family meals. Between the tight schedule and the many chores one is supposed to juggle each day, these devices are increasingly proving to be a lifesaver. One can always prepare a healthy, tasty and affordable meal without much hassle. A slow cooker is truly an essential tool for all cooks out there.