Keep the kitchen cool with these easy slow cooker recipes. You'll also find budget-friendly tips from our Test Kitchen on how to best use your slow cooker.
Spicy Lemon Chicken
"I took a favorite recipe and modified it to work in our slow cooker," writes Nancy Rambo of Riverside, California. "We enjoy this tender lemony chicken with rice or buttered noodles."
"I usually serve this with homemade bread or rolls to soak up the tasty gravy," says Vicki Tormaschy of Dickinson, North Dakota.
"This recipe came with my slow cooker," says Sandra Allen from Austin, Texas. She fills green peppers with a flavorful combination of cooked rice, kidney beans, corn and onions.
Hot Chili Dip
"I first made this zippy dip for my husband's birthday party," recalls Nikki Rosati of Franksville, Wisconsin. "So many people asked for the recipe that I photocopied it to pass out."
Apple Granola Dessert
"Besides using my slow cooker to prepare our evening meal, I often make desserts in it, including these tender apples that get a tasty treatment from granola cereal," says Janis Lawrence of Childress, Texas.
Slow Cooker Tips
- One of the advantages of using a slow cooker is that it uses very little electricity because of its low wattage. We contacted our local utility company and found that it would cost just 21 cents to operate a slow cooker for a total of 10 hours. For instance, if you roast a pork roast for 2 hours in the oven instead of using the slow cooker for 10 hours, you would spend $2.51 to operate an electric oven or $1.49 to operate a gas oven. Multiply the low cooking costs for a slow cooker over an entire year, and you will experience real savings.
- Choose the correct size slow cooker for your recipe. A slow cooker should be from half to three-quarters full.
- Unless the recipe instructs you to stir in or add ingredients, refrain from lifting the lid while the slow cooker is cooking. The loss of steam can mean an additional 15 to 30 minutes of cooking each time you lift the lid.
- Be sure the lid is sealed properly-not tilted or askew. The steam creates a seal.
- Remove food from the slow cooker within 1 hour after it's finished cooking. Promptly refrigerate leftovers.