8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Put Away Your Slow Cooker in the Summer

There are plenty of reasons to slow-cook your way through June, July and August.

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Close up of a slow cooker working on kitchen shelf
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We tend to think of the slow cooker as a winter appliance because it rocks at cozy comfort foods, but there are many perks to using it in the summer. Some would argue it’s even more useful in the hot season. Keep reading to learn why and to find slow cooker recipes you’ll actually use this summer.

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digital thermostat with finger pressing button

It Won’t Heat Up Your House

During the dog days of summer, we’d rather make no-cook recipes than turn on the oven. But don’t forget your trusty slow cooker. This appliance won’t warm up your kitchen while preparing a home-cooked meal. Here’s a barbecued pork chop supper to get your started.

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Slow Cooker Creamed Corn with Bacon
Taste of Home

It’s Easy to Transport to Potlucks

When you get invited to your neighbor’s backyard barbecue party, you’ll need to think of a potluck-ready summer slow cooker recipe (we have more than a few!). These dishes are easy to take with you and they won’t need to be heated up in the oven at your host’s house.

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Leftover containers of food in a refrigerator for use with many food inferences
Joe Belanger/Shutterstock

Slow Cook Once, and Eat All Week

Slow cookers make big batches of food that you can eat all week. Make a slow cooker Sunday dinner to enjoy over the next few days or cook a whole chicken to use in lunches throughout the week. Spending less time making dinner means you’ll have more time to spend in the evening sunshine.

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Paperwork including various form and graphs for calculating taxes
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It Will Lower Your Energy Bill

There are two reasons why using a slow cooker will lower your energy bill. The first is that this small appliance doesn’t use as much energy as your oven or stove. Woohoo! The second is that because it won’t heat up your house like an oven would, there’s no need to crank up the air conditioning when you’re making dinner. Give this recipe a whirl on the hottest of days.

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Holiday concept with sandcastle on the seaside
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Dinner Will Cook While You’re at the Beach

Sunny days = beach days. Don’t worry about dinner while you’re frolicking on the sand and getting your feet wet, because it’s been slow-cooking all day—waiting to be devoured when you walk in the door. We recommend coming home to these peachy baby back ribs.

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Woman washing dishes in the kitchen.
Shutterstock / Wojciech Skora

There Will Be Fewer Dishes to Wash

There are many slow cooker recipes that ONLY require a slow cooker. Aka: one-pot meals. Fewer dishes to clean mean you’ll have more time to enjoy the evening sunlight. So take an after-dinner walk through the neighborhood with your family or pour yourself a glass of wine and relax on the deck. You have the time!

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Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Taste of Home

It Makes Classic Summer Foods

The slow cooker is known for making tender meat, which is why we love to make pulled pork in it all summer long. We recommend our root beer pulled pork sandwiches. There are also plenty of summery side dish options, like smoky baked beans and cheesy creamed corn.

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Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler
Taste of Home

It Can Take Care of Dessert

Classic summer desserts like cobblers, crumbles and grunts turn out beautifully in the slow cooker. Try our slow cooker berry cobbler for your next family reunion or block party. Just remember to add a scoop of ice cream after it’s scooped out of the slow cooker.

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.