8 Reasons I’m Keeping My Crock-Pot
With the current Instant Pot craze, it's worth taking a step back. There are some foods where faster isn't necessarily better. When does it pay off to slow things down?
The Instant Pot might be many home cooks’ latest obsession, but the slow cooker really defines convenience for me. Simply dump in your ingredients, set it and forget it! While I love the speed of the Instant Pot from time to time, I’m definitely keeping things slow with my slow cooker for these eight foods.
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Shredded Chicken and Pork
The Instant Pot can cook frozen meats, making it a godsend if you forgot to thaw your chicken or pork, but it just doesn’t taste as good as shredded meat made in a slow cooker. There’s nothing better than pulled pork sandwiches or tangy chicken tacos made in the slow cooker.
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Caramelizing onions on the stovetop is a chore: It can take over 20 minutes of constant stirring and babysitting. The slow cooker won’t speed things up, but they’ll be the perfect color and consistency after 10 hours on low. Take things one step further and turn those onions into your new favorite French onion soup.
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Mac and Cheese
Without a doubt, the slow cooker makes the cheesiest, creamiest, easiest mac and cheese you’ve ever had. There’s something about that low-and-slow heat that transforms shredded cheese and milk into a perfectly ooey, gooey sauce.
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There’s nothing better than a slow-cooked, fall-apart-tender roast. Whether you’re using boneless or a bone-in chuck roast, the slow cooker is the perfect hands-off method to transform that tough meat into a tender, melt-in-your-mouth dinner.
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It’s completely possible to get the flavor of an all-day-simmered pasta sauce without putting in the time to cook it. When it comes to spaghetti sauce, my slow cooker is definitely the unsung hero of dinner.
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The slow cooker is great for making soups and stews because it slowly brings all the flavors together. I especially like using the slow cooker for thick and rich chili. I’ve made everything from traditional spicy chili to healthy white bean chicken chili with great success.
There’s no better feeling than waking up to a ready-to-eat hot breakfast—with no effort at all! Simply combine your favorite oatmeal ingredients in the bowl the night before and set the cooker on low. In the morning, your grab-and-go breakfast will be ready and waiting for you.
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Keeping Your Food Warm
The slow cooker has one major leg up on the Instant Pot and that’s its “warm” setting. Nothing works better than a slow cooker to keep your potluck buffalo wing dip at the perfect temperature. It won’t reduce, it won’t burn, and it won’t get cold. Perfect for potlucks!