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slow cooker favorites?

It's time to start thinking about pulling out the slow cooker again!

I've never had much success with things I've tried in that machine, but really would love to be good at it.

Please post your favorite recipes/links so I can start trying. Also, whatever tips you have about using it because I leave the house around 5:30am and get home from work around 4pm and want to make sure i don't have 1) mush or 2) something rotten by dinner time. I'm also very OK with getting home from work and putting stuff in the machine on high.

bonus points for veggie/chicken dishes or stuff that uses winter squash - my favorite.

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  1. This may not be quite what your looking for, but what i use my big 6 qrt slow cooker the most is for making chicken stock. Its the best easiest stock i have ever made, and i set it for over nite. about 8 pm i load it up, chicken backs, bones, carcuss, whatever, a carrot, a celery stock, a few pepper corns and water, turn it on low, next morning, viola, some of the best, clearest stock. I just drain it through a colinder, to get out the big stuff, then thru a fine seive or cheese cloth if i want it perfectly clear. Chicken stock without skimming or baby sitting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lidiab

      what a good idea - I don't make stock often b/c of the babysitting factor (I have a preschooler - don't need more of that!) . . . thanks, I'm going to try this!

      1. re: lidiab

        lidiab, I just did this a few nights ago (on your rec), being the recent recipient of a 5 qt. slow cooker. Marvelous. My house didn't burn down (I know, I was a little nervous about it) and I had a wonderful stock in the morning. I did use other pots in making the rest of the intended soup, but having the stock and slip-off-the-bones chicken ready was a wonderful timesaver.

        Hmm...do they make a 12 qt slow cooker? :-)

      2. I'd love a good pulled pork slow cooker recipe, please?

        2 Replies
        1. re: mainsqueeze

          http://www.recipezaar.com/116173
          this recipe for pulled pork was delicious! the only change i made was to not chop the onions into the meat. also added coleslaw on top of the sandwiches...mmm!

          1. re: mainsqueeze

            I did a simple pulled pork using bottled bbq sauce (gasp) lots of garlic, some fresh grated ginger, and a jar of guava jelly (apricot would probably work) for the sweetness. Added some salt, pepper, a little bit of red chili flakes and that was it. Put it on high around 7, then switched to low for 8 hours before I went to bed. Kept it on warm all the next day before serving it that evening. Most everybody went back for seconds - often skipping the buns.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. just pulled out the slow cooker the other day and made a milk-braised pork shoulder. it's really easy, i just get a 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast (preferably tied). if you have time you can liberally salt and pepper the roast, wrap, and let it sit overnight in the fridge. otherwise, just s&p and put in the slow cooker. add about 4 cups of milk so that the roast is at least halfway, or 2/3 way covered. i have used a combination of milk/white wine/chicken broth or whatever's lying around the fridge...lowfat, whole milk are fine. add 8-10 peeled cloves of garlic, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 sprigs fresh oregano, and/or marjoram, thyme, again whatever's around. then turn on the slow cooker, probably to low if you're gone 10 hours. you should take out the pork once a wooden skewer goes into the meat easily. You can serve it like that, spooning the liquid over the pork (be forewarned that the milk will have separated into curds and whey). or i you want to be "fancy" you can cool the pork in the fridge. strain the cooking liquid to remove the solids and curds and also refrigerate until you can scoop off the fat. reduce the liquid down to a sauce over the stove. when you're ready to serve, slice the pork into 1/2" thick slices (letting it cool makes it much easier to slice...also trim off any excess fat), brown both sides in olive oil, and serve with sauce drizzled over. this works great for dinner parties since you can do all the cooking ahead of time, except for the last bit of browning on the stove which is really just reheating.

              1. My family makes cholent in our slow cooker, which is a mixture of barley, ebans, potatoes, and meat. It can be made all sorts of different ways but it's sooo good.