Slow Cookers/Crock Pots

Slow cookers are a must for every home cook!  With a few preparations ahead of time, you can create a great meal with very little work on your part.  A busy working mom/dad or stay-at-home mom/dad can easily have dinner on the table when they get home, while helping their kids with homework, having family time or time for yourself.  Not only does the slow cooker do most of the work they for great for creating a meal all in one pot.

Slow cookers generally produce a very moist “fall of the bone” meat because they have been cooking low and slow all day.  They are best for most types of beef and pork roasts, poultry, stews, chili, soups and casseroles.  But think outside of the box as well.  Most dishes that you would normally simmer on the stove for an hour or longer or put in the oven for an hour or longer can be placed in a slow cooker.  Some of the dishes you may have to start on the stove and then transfer to the slow cooker such as Coq au Vin or Boeuf Bourguignon, but what a great meal to come home to!  Also any of my drummette and my baby back pork ribs can be made in a slow cooker instead of in the oven.

Impress your guests by throwing a dinner party on a weeknight when they know you have been working during the day!  Here is the game plan: Make the Crème Brûlée the night before or do as the French do and pick up a dessert at a great pastry shop, prep the Boeuf Bourguignon on the stove in the morning and transfer to your slow cooker (create the one pot meal version), pick up some wine, cheeses and a baguette on the way home, assemble and violà an easy and delicious dinner party sure to impress!

There are several sizes of slow cookers and temperatures settings.  There are also ones that are very fancy that are programmable and that are versatile in that they can be used as a deep fat fryer.  I am displaying one smaller version and one larger version that I have.  They have been great tools for family gatherings where I can put the main entrée in the large one and the side dish in the smaller one, which allows me to do most of the work ahead of time so I can spend time with my family.

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