Thursday, August 17, 2017

Time Saving Gadgets: Slow Cookers

Slow cookers are a great way to minimize your cooking time and maximize your family time. While I feel like people like using their slow cookers for winter dishes, I especially love using my slow cooker in the summer because it keeps my house a lot cooler than my oven. Although slow cooker dishes take some time to cook, preparation for these meals can be prepared within minutes and consistently come out perfectly cooked.

Barbecue beef ready for the slow cooker!
 Summer is winding down and back-to-school season is upon us. As a teacher this means saying goodbye to cooking during nap time and instead, preparing meals in advance so that I can focus on my own little ones after a full day of school. One of the best ways I have found to reduce my time in the kitchen is by using my slow cooker. I mix the ingredients together at night and pop them in the slow cooker in the morning before I leave for work. Then when I come home, I have a perfectly cooked meal for my family! I like this slow cooker because the programmable feature allows you to set exactly how long you want your food to cook for, and then the device switches to "keep warm".

If you don't own a slow cooker or are in the market for a new one, this is the one you should get!

You can make virtually anything in a slow cooker including soups, stews, beets, baked potatoes, oatmeal, desserts, and even bread and pizza (though I have yet to try making the last two).

Did you know you could make beets in the slow cooker?

One of my favorite dishes to prepare in the slow cooker is pulled meat. Depending on my budget, I do this with either chuck roast or boneless skinless chicken thighs. After the dish is done, I serve the meat on a toasted bun with red onion and pickles. I like to accompany this dish with a refreshing garden salad. This meal is a huge hit for everyone in our household!

All you need plus the meat, so easy!

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef



2.5 lb chuck roast, pat dry and seasoned with salt and pepper
12 oz bottle of beer
3 cubes dorot frozen garlic or 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
2 cups barbecue sauce
1/2 tablespoon paprika
Place the roast in the slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the beer, garlic, liquid smoke, barbecue sauce, and paprika. Pour over the roast and cover. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2.5-3 hours. Remove the roast from the pan and shred on a cutting board using two forks. Put beef back in the slow cooker for 10-15 minutes to soak up some of the juices. Serve meat on a toasted bun with red onion and pickles.
Prep time: 5 minutesCook time:6 hoursTotal time: 6 hours 5 minutesYield: 6-8 Servings 

What's your favorite thing to make in the slow cooker?

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