I’ve often thought that the ability to make meals at home is one of the great things about working at home. It’s not always convenient to make dinner in the evening, however. That’s especially true for my family right now, with soccer in season and practices many evenings. Cooking with the slow cooker/crockpot means I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to get a meal on the table at a decent hour.
One of the things I like about slow cookers is that you don’t have an exact cooking time for most meals. If you start cooking early, you put it on low; if you don’t get to it until early afternoon, set it to high. There’s a wide window for when you need to start cooking, so you can make it convenient to your work schedule.
There are, of course, disadvantages to the slow cooker. Meats can be too dry, vegetables overcooked, flavors lost. You have to know which recipes go well in the slow cooker.
Still, there’s nothing like finishing up your work day or bringing the kids home from practice and knowing you don’t have to hurry up and make dinner. It’s pretty much ready, right there on the counter. You can even use foil to separate certain ingredients so you don’t have just one flavor through the whole thing. Just look for crockpot layered meals for ideas, or just wrap things up on your own.
Don’t remove the crockpot lid more than necessary while cooking. The steam it holds in is a part of the cooking process. However, if you don’t want to overcook your vegetables, sometimes it’s necessary to open things up for a moment.
Here are a few of our favorite slow cooker recipes: