How does anyone live without a slow cooker? If you’re one of the few that doesn’t think they need a slow cooker in their life, then get ready to have your mind changed right now.
1. Get rid of the white film in a slow cooker with baking soda and dish soap.
Have a stubborn white film that won’t come off in a regular washing? Here’s a solution: add about three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap to your pot and fill it up with water. Turn your slow cooker on low for a few hours. Then, pour out the water and use a non-abrasive sponge and a bit more baking soda to scrub away the film. Rinse and your slow cooker should look like new!
2. Create a divider with foil to use one Crock-Pot for two dips.
Slow cooker dips are the best! Why limit yourself to one at a time? Use heavy-duty foil to create a divider across your slow cooker. Then use a slow cooker liner to keep two different dips separated.
3. Convert any recipe to an easy slow cooker recipe.
You may have to adjust the amount of liquid called for in the recipe (like adding 1/2 cup water or broth if no liquid is called for), but otherwise, converting a conventional-cooking recipe to an easy slow cooker recipe is simple.
Just use the guide above. Also, if you’re making a stew or soup, just be sure to add the veggies in first and place the meat on top. You’ll never wonder how to use a slow cooker for a normal recipe again!
4. Brown meats before placing them in a Crock-Pot for more flavor.
Although you can cook meat fully in a slow cooker, searing meats first will give your dish a richer flavor. The seared pieces help hold in juices, and any extra fatty parts crisp up nicely.
Need more easy slow cooker recipes? Check out some of these to-die-for summer recipes!
5. Melt and keep chocolate melted for dipping and baking.
Fill mason jars with chocolate chips and other candy melts. Then, fill your slow cooker halfway with hot water and set to high.
After about 30 minutes (uncovered), give the chocolate a stir. If the chocolate is fully melted, then set your slow-cooker to low, and the chocolate should stay melted for a couple of hours.
Just make sure not to cover your slow cooker — any water or moisture that gets into the chocolate will cause it to seize.
Chocolate slow cooker dips are always a hit!
6. Cook the main dish and sides at the same time by wrapping individual foods in foil.
Ever wondered how to use a slow cooker for multiple things at once? Making a roast, and want potatoes not soaked in the juices as a side? Wrap the seasoned roast and potatoes individually, and the flavors will stay separate.
7. Make your own yogurt.
Homemade, healthy yogurt starts in…your slow cooker! This recipe is simple (you only need two cheap ingredients) and yields enough to freeze for smoothies!
It also makes a great slow cooker dip for fruits! Just let the yogurt cool first.
8. Use your slow cooker to keep food (like mashed potatoes) warm on Thanksgiving.
Free up your burners with this easy tip, and remember to stir your potatoes at least once every half hour.
And if you’re in charge of holiday cooking this year, then you need to check out these other weird but brilliant Thanksgiving hacks.
9. Melt down wax and add wicks to make your own candles.
Via Bonza Aphrodite
Ever wondered how to use a slow cooker for gift giving? These candles are so easy to create and make the perfect gifts! Just melt down some wax, add color and your favorite essential oils, stick in a wick, and let cool.
10. Warm your tortillas on top of your slow cooker.
Instead of a lid, place a glass baking tray on top of your slow cooker — preferably one that’s filled with some chili con carne or another tortilla-ready dish. Put your tortillas inside the glass dish a few minutes before serving and they’ll be ready along with your slow-cooker meal!
11. Use broken pieces of crayons to create slow cooker crayons.
Via TP Craft
Melt down all those broken crayon bits in a slow cooker and have kids reuse them, or give them away as gifts. Use little Dixie cups, fun silicone baking shapes or even empty toilet paper tubes as molds!
If you don’t happen to have a million broken crayons like I do, then check out these deals and coupons for them!
12. Catch unwanted condensation with a towel placed under your slow cooker lid.
Via The Breeze
This works especially well for Crock-Pot bread recipes.
13. Use a slow cooker as a makeshift humidifier.
Fill your slow cooker about three-quarters of the way up with water, cover and turn the setting on high. After about an hour, let the moisture escape into the air. Make sure to refill the pot with room-temperature water as needed — and don’t let the pot run when there’s nothing in it!
Using multiple slow cookers as humidifiers throughout the house works like a charm when you’re feeling under the weather!
If you need to buy an actual humidifier, then check out our humidifier page!
14. Make your home smell good by using your slow cooker as a potpourri warmer.
Via Serenity Cove
THIS is how to use a slow cooker during the holidays! Boil cinnamon sticks, apple peels, orange rinds, whole cloves, cranberries and other delicious-smelling ingredients in water.
15. Keep the lid on your slow cooker while it’s in use.
Did you know that every time you take off the lid to stir or sniff what’s inside your slow cooker that the temp drops dramatically? It can take up to half an hour to get the temp up again! Only open if you absolutely must!
16. Avoid overcooking with a Christmas light timer.
A heavy-duty appliance timer costs about $13 on Amazon and can assist you with your slow-cooking adventures if your Crock-Pot doesn’t already have a built-in timer.
17. Line your slow cooker in foil for easy cleanup and even cooking.
There are a lot of easy slow cooker recipes for bread out there, but if you find that the food you cook in your slow cooker tends to be more crisp on the edges than you’d like, try lining the inside with foil. The foil will help distribute heat evenly and make cleanup a breeze.
18. Clean the liner of your slow cooker with ammonia.
Despite our best efforts, the slow cooker itself can get pretty gross. It’s also not dishwasher safe and a pain to wash in the sink. Solution? Fill a small baking dish with ammonia and set it in the liner of your slow cooker. Then simply pop the lid on and leave it overnight. You don’t even need to turn your slow cooker on! The ammonia fumes will loosen the gross stuff, and you can simply wipe it up in the morning.
Here are all those tips and links we mentioned:
- Slow Cooker deals & coupons
- Reynolds deals & coupons
- Crock-Pot Recipes Your Kids Are Gonna Love
- To-Die-For Summer Slow Cooker Recipes
- Easy Desserts You Can Make in a Freaking Mug
- Save Money by Making Your Own Yogurt in a Slow Cooker!
- Make-Ahead Freezer Dinners for Busy Moms
- Weird but Brilliant Thanksgiving Dinner Hacks
- Crayon deals & coupons
- Humidifier deals