From the Comments: Slow Cooker Innovation

When B. Benson wrote about the money he has spent in an attempt to save money this year, many of us were most struck by his mention of two little words: “slow cooker.” It seems that if there’s anything that gets you guys talking, it’s kitchen appliances (and this is why you are all the best).

There were many helpful tips, tricks, disavowals, and stew recipes, but there was one comment in particular I haven’t been able to shake. It comes from Billfolder Derbel McDillet, and it kills me in the best way possible:

I will admit leaving my slow cooker on in the bathroom when I’m at work because I also have a fear of my dog pulling it down onto himself. It does seem weird to have my bathroom smell like BBQ for a few days, but it’s worth the peace of mind.

I support this wholeheartedly, though I do have a few questions. Primarily: does your hair smell like meat, and where in the bathroom do you put the slow cooker — the floor? the edge of the sink? Ooh, maybe out of the way in the bathtub?

At any rate, the more I think about this, the more genius it becomes. Let us never live in fear of pets coexisting with slow cookers again! Or else let us put doors on our kitchens! Or live in places with big closets! Where all of our coats smell like vegan chili but we will have saved so much money not going to Chipotle! Hooray.

Photo: cookipediachef


13 Comments / Post A Comment

ceereelyo (#3,552)

Totally misread that and thought commenter was so afraid that her dog was going to pull down her slow cooker at home while at work she brought her slow cooker TO HER WORK BATHROOM to prevent this from happening. And i was thinking that was pretty extreme, but imagined this happening at my work because there are some crazies here.

We upgraded to a programmable, larger slow cooker through our wedding registry and I am so happy – our small one (the standard $20 one you can buy at Target or Walmart) would be filled with the brim with food and I was always afraid the lid would fall off and all our food wouldn’t cook and we’d get salmonella. The larger slow cooker though kind of forces me to make more food/larger portions but usually it will keep us for 2-3 dinners and lunches. The programmable feature is key – my husband has an irregular schedule and my commute is an hour each way so sometimes it’s hard to schedule when to turn the thing on since we both don’t get home on ‘time’, but at least this way it doesn’t overcook the food and we can actually use it more often.

Meaghano (#529)

@ceereelyo Ha, I forgot to mention that I totally misread it that way too and at first was like, This so beats the people who brushed their teeth at work!!

Derbel McDillet (#1,241)

This totally made my day! My bathroom counter is pretty long, and I don’t have a lot of “bathroom accessories”, so it’s also pretty bare. My hair doesn’t smell like meat (at least I don’t think it does?), though I don’t necessarily think that would be a bad thing, because my carne asada kills.

Meaghano (#529)

@Derbel McDillet Respect.

samburger (#5,489)

It didn’t occur to me to worry about my cats + slow cooker BUT NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT, bathroom cooking it is.

RiffRandell (#4,774)

@samburger I have to say my family’s cat is a little monster (thought we had mice in the kitchen breaking into bread and cookies, turned out to be her) and she has never once messed with the slow cooker. That being said, if I ever have my own slow cooker and cat, they will live very separate lives.

Adam (#5,554)

BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme had an excellent episode recently all about the slow cooker revolution. You can listen to it online, even in the Us!

ATF (#4,229)

This is so timely. I just got a slow cooker! Just got as in it was delivered from Amazon *yesterday*.

Anyone have any great recipes to share?? Or blogs??

Allison (#4,509)

@ATF I’m a big fan of Budget Bytes in general, and lots of slow cooker type recipes there. I’ve made the chicken & dumpling soup a few times and it’s great. (Note: she never uses enough garlic for anyone I know)

I also use my slow cooker to cook chicken for enchiladas. I toss a bunch of spices in a big ziplock bag, toss in the boneless/skinless chicken and shake, have it hang out over night in the fridge and then toss them in the next morning to get to an easy shred state.

Maladydee (#909)

@ATF seconding the rec for Budget Bytes, especially the vegan red lentil stew ( I am not vegan so I use chicken stock because that is what I have on hand). The recipe says to cook it on the stove but I throw all the ingredients in the crock pit and it works just as well and is easier.

IDK why my Twitter will no longer work here to comment but oh well. Anyway. I didn’t have time to comment on that article the other day, I’ll have to go back and see what people recommend. But here are some great recipes I’ve made in my slow cooker.

This is very tasty and I am eating it for my lunches this week in fact!

I modify it. I use 3/4 lb of chicken and add a second can of black beans. There’s still chicken in every bite. (Definitely use boneless chicken, you do not want to be fishing tiny chicken bones out of this when the thighs fall apart as you try to get them out to shred. Trust me.) The addition of more beans makes it more chili-like, which I enjoy. You could add more stock for true soupiness. I use a can of diced tomatoes instead of the fresh ones, and skip the heavy cream. And just to make it even easier, I toss everything directly into the slow cooker. Overall in my slow cooking experience, I find there is not a big enough difference in taste to warrant the additional time/mess of doing stovetop prep for most recipes (YMMV if you are doing lots of beef stuff that needs to be browned first).

As I recall this was also good:

And this was totally delicious but not really a cheap eats – the liquid smoke was a little expensive and unless it’s on sale, the pork will set you back. (Last year at my grocery store pork shoulders were on sale around the Superbowl, just sayin’)

I also do this in my slowcooker. It makes a TON as written. Great cheap dish for a big party (put out taco bar type fixings) and it freezes beautifully, so typically half of it goes directly into my freezer.

I also have a tiny one that I make a week’s worth of steel cut oatmeal in.

halloliebchen (#5,373)

I feel like, do I really need a slow cooker if I just cook things on the weekend on low in a pot? I’m back to the vitamix blender issue with this one …

At our last place our slow cooker lived in the corner of the bathroom because a) the bathroom was bigger than the kitchen and b) there was a handy power point there. It felt totally weird but it worked and it’s not really unsanitary (or is it)?

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