Clever Cooking – 5 Surprising Uses for Your Slow Cooker

Food & Drink
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Few kitchen appliances are as useful as the trusty slow cooker. After all, any device that allows you to load up your ingredients before work in the morning and come home to a perfectly cooked meal is worthy of the ultimate praise! Slow cookers are also one of the most versatile appliances you can have in your culinary arsenal and are capable of much more than stews and soups. So, if you’re looking for some new ways to get creative in the kitchen, put away your cookware, get your crockpot out and try some of these exciting ideas:

Mulled Wine

As the weather cools down, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm glass of mulled wine. Whipping up a batch is as simple as putting some red wine, brandy, spices, orange peel, and sugar into your slow cooker and letting it heat for an hour. You can even add in some cinnamon sticks, star anise pods or fruity liqueurs for a bit of extra flavor. As well as tasting delicious, the wine will perfume your whole house with the wintery aroma of cloves and cinnamon while it cooks – yum!

Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are a total crowd favorite when it comes to dinner. With the help of your slow cooker, prepping them just got a whole lot easier. All you need to do is wash your potatoes, pierce them with a fork a couple of times, coat them in a bit of oil and salt, wrap them in foil and put them in your slow cooker on low heat for six to eight hours. When you come back, you’ll have delicious crispy-skinned potatoes that are soft on the inside. The hardest part will be deciding what toppings you’re having with them!

Bread

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a slice or two from a scrumptious homemade loaf with dinner, although for many people this isn’t a possibility since baking bread can be pretty time-consuming. Prepare to have your life changed: making bread in your slow cooker is as easy as mixing your ingredients, dumping them in and letting your loaf bake. The best part? You don’t need to wait for the dough to rise before shaping and baking it since the slow heat of your crockpot will take care of that for you.

Desserts

Oh yes, slow cooker desserts are totally a thing. Cakes, brownies, cobblers, and puddings are just a few of the possibilities in which you can indulge. Preparing dessert in your slow cooker is a fantastic choice for when your oven is already in use, or when you’re just looking for an easy set-and-forget option for your favorite treats. Plus, a major advantage of using your slow cooker for sweets is that its mellow, gradual heat makes it very hard to overcook or burn your dish and allows the flavors to develop.

Pizza

Slow cooker pizza is an absolute game changer. Cooking the dough low and slow gives your pizza crust an irresistible soft texture on the inside while retaining that satisfying crispness on the outside. Prepping your pizza is as easy as lining your crockpot with parchment paper, placing the dough on it and loading it up with your favorite toppings. Cook for four to six hours on low and enjoy your delicious deep-dish pizza!

Slow cookers are one of the handiest devices you can have in your kitchen. From baked potatoes and desserts through to pizza, there are few things this workhorse can’t do. Now, get your apron on and try some of these recipes out!

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