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Summer Crock-Pot Recipes - Modern Alternative KitchenModern Alternative Kitchen

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The crock-pot is one of my favorite appliances. I like that I can leave it on while I’m out of the house, and if I’m an hour late getting home, it’s no big deal. I love using my crock-pot on Sundays! I start the crock-pot Saturday night, then Sunday morning before we head to church I turn it on low. Then if we end up staying later than planned, lunch won’t be overdone and it’s ready as soon as we get home, just set the table and eat. I also like that I can make a large amount of food and invite friends for lunch if I’m feeling hospitable. If not, well then we have leftovers for the week. It’s that simple!

Stress Free Dinner Time On Those Busy Summer Days

This time of year, it is especially handy to have dinner simmering in the crock-pot while you’re out and about or spending the day at the pool or park. Perhaps you think about soup and stew recipes when you think about using your crock-pot, but the crock-pot is actually a great choice for summer meals. They save money, time, and energy. Plus they don’t give off much heat, thus helping to keep your kitchen cool.

So, here are four reasons to dust off your crock-pot this summer:

  1. It Can Cook Anything. Not only can you cook the main dish in a crock-pot but also appetizers, side dishes, and desserts with surprising success. You’ll find a variety of recipes below to add to your crock-pot  recipe collection.
  2. It Turns Any Meat Tender. The crock-pot cooks food slowly at a low temperature, generally between 170 and 280 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, tougher cuts of meat become more tender and shrink less. These include brisket, pork butt, or an entire chicken. These are traditionally less expensive meats. So, if you are trying to budget for meals, this is a great way to help with that, or if you are trying to budget for organic ingredients, this is where you can upgrade to organic or natural cuts of meat. When cooked for so many hours, these tougher meats taste great and fall off the bone easily. And, you get the added benefit of pulling nutrients from the bone!
  3. It’s Great for Parties. It’s so convenient to bring your dish right in the crock-pot to parties and barbecues. The crock-pot keeps the food at the right temperature, and you can serve it straight from the pot. Just plug it in, and your dish is ready to serve when everyone is ready to eat.
  4. It’s Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient. The crock-pot is a small but mighty appliance. According to the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, using a crock-pot at 200 degrees for 7 hours costs about 6 cents, while using an electric oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour costs some 16 cents and a convection oven at 325-degrees for 45 minutes costs at least 11 cents.

Fast Prep & Slow Cooking

In general, I am someone who likes to get food on the table fast. I don’t always do well with things that are slow. However, the amount of time it takes to prepare ingredients for the crock-pot is fast and I like that you don’t have to think about it again until it’s time to eat.

Crock-Pot No-No’s

Like I said earlier, a crock-pot will cook anything, but here are a few things to avoid to ensure the perfect crock-pot meal:

  1. Never use canned vegetables in a crock-pot. They are already overcooked when they are put in the can and will turn to mush in your crock-pot. Plus, avoiding all canned food is a good way to eliminate chemicals in your food. Potatoes, carrot, onions, and other firm veggies do well in a crock-pot. Using canned tomatoes is fine if they are for a sauce.
  2. Under seasoning. There needs to be a few levels of flavor since the food will cook for a long time.
    • Saute onions or garlic in extra virgin olive oil first before you put them in the crock-pot. The flavors seep into the oil better if you take this extra step.
    • Add fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon or lime at the very end to give the dish a fresh flavor.
    • Add ingredients that are high in flavor. For example fire roasted tomatoes, fire-roasted chilies, or bacon.

Ready to try some summer slow cooking? Here’s a crock-pot recipe to get you started.

[amd-zlrecipe- recipe:78]

Want to try more crock-pot recipes? Check out these great recipes from our contributors!

Crockpot Beef Curry from Back to the Source

Sunday Morning Slow Cooker Bread Pudding, Corned Beef Tongue and Horseradish Cream Sauce & Slow Cooker Refried Beans from Nourishing Joy

Do You Use Your Crock-Pot In The Summer? What Is Your Favorite Crock-Pot Recipe Or Seasoning?

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1 Comment

  1. […] Click here to read about the four reasons to dust off your crock-pot this summer. […]

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