Can cooking get any easier? No hovering over the stove or monitoring the oven. Just load up your slow cooker, turn it on and walk away—dinner will be ready in a few hours. Not only are slow cookers great for meat, but you can use them to make side dishes and desserts too. Here are 8 ways to get the most from it.
Slow cooking is just like braising, but an appliance does all the work. It’s especially good for tougher cuts of meat like brisket or pork shoulder where they can simmer until fork-tender. But it’s also perfect for sandwich meats, soups, stews and other all-in-one dishes.
What is braising? It’s a technique that slowly simmers poultry and vegetables in liquid on the stove or in the oven, until tender.
Slow cook beef short ribs or pot roast with onions, carrots, canned tomatoes, chickpeas and Swanson® Beef stock spiced with cinnamon, ground ginger, a touch of cumin and a bit of honey.
Simmer chunks of pork shoulder with onion, garlic, ginger, celery, carrots, pineapple juice and soy sauce until the pork is tender. Thicken the sauce with a bit of cornstarch blended with Swanson® Chicken stock or broth, then finish with chunks of red bell pepper and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving over steamed rice.
Start with lamb stew meat, onion, garlic and ginger. Add 1 or 2 tbsp. of curry powder, canned tomatoes, Swanson® Beef or Chicken stock and a touch of apricot jam for sweetness, then simmer until the meat is fork-tender. Stir in a handful of fresh spinach leaves just before serving with cooked rice or toasted pita bread.
Use chicken thighs if lamb isn’t available.
Simmer bratwurst in dark beer and Swanson® Chicken or Beef stock or broth with thinly sliced onion, cubed tart apple, a 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds, a dollop of Dijon mustard and drained sauerkraut. Simmer until the sausages are cooked through, then serve on Pepperidge Farm® buns or rolls.
Serve spinach dip, fondue or queso warm by making them in a slow cooker on your buffet. Unless you’re planning on a large number of guests and have a lot of dip, to keep the dip from scorching, use a small slow cooker – 1 or 2 cups max – on the lowest possible setting.
Entertain often? Buy a slow cooker with separate small or divided crocks made for keeping foods warm.
It’s a simple way to free up valuable oven and stovetop space during busy holiday dinners and gives the cook a chance to concentrate on other parts of the menu. Slow cookers are also great for keeping mashed potatoes warm. Prepare the potatoes as instructed, then transfer to a slow cooker coated with nonstick cooking spray and program the lowest setting. Drizzle a few tablespoons of Swanson® Chicken broth over the top to help keep the potatoes moist while they stand. Before serving, stir in additional broth or milk until smooth and creamy.
Just combine the ingredients and simmer for a few hours – with most recipes that’s all it takes.
It’s a great way to use up seasonal produce like apples or pears.
Cobblers and cakes are a breeze to make in your slow cooker.
Nothing is worse than a hot summer day, and a hotter kitchen. Avoid heating up the oven in the summer months and make your slow cooker do the work instead.
Try Campbell's® Slow Cooker Sauces for delicious flavor without any work.