Wintertime means cold, and cold means comfort food. We crank up our Crock-Pots at this time of year to make all kinds of hearty fare that will keep us warm and well-fed throughout the season. Here are the top five reasons we can’t get enough of our slow cookers.
You can cook just about anything in a Crock-Pot, from French dip and pulled pork sandwiches, to turkey breasts, to soups and stews. The slow cooker knows no bounds, leaving you free to explore and invent new recipes as you go.
Operating a Crock-Pot on low heat over a prolonged period of time produces tender meat that hasn’t dried out in a blazing hot oven. You can cook large cuts of meat all day in slow cookers, using the higher setting only when you need to speed things up. The result: easily shreddable chicken breasts or short ribs so tender that the meat falls of the bone.
By and large, using a Crock-Pot is quite the laissez-faire endeavor. Popular with moms the world over, it allows you to play a spectator role in the cooking process, simply requiring a stir here or a basting there. So turn it on and go about your day — you won’t be spending it in the kitchen.
Cooking dishes for six or eight hours melds flavors together in a way that just doesn’t happen if you’re rushing through the cooking process. This is especially true of dishes like chili, which often taste better on the second day.
Crock-Pot cooking usually involves, well, throwing all of the ingredients into a giant Crock-Pot. No need for sauté pans or soup pots cluttering up the stove. And as every home cook knows, the one-pot method is a godsend when it comes to cleaning up.