10 Slow Cooker Appetizers You Need To Try

The slow cooker is one of the most misunderstood, under-explored, and underused appliances in the kitchen, especially when it comes to dishing up appetizers. Crock-pots have gone in and out of fashion, but they're making a comeback for those of us with particularly busy schedules. It's time to realize the potential and power of the slow cooking pot. Don't let it collect dust just because you don't know what to do with it.

Click here for the 10 Slow Cooker Appetizers You Need to Try (Slideshow)

Dump in your ingredients, whether it is for a soup, a pudding, or a roast — the possibilities are endless. Then just set it and forget it. That means your dinner can be cooking and canapés heating without constant attention. Set low enough, super moms can be elsewhere and dutiful dads needn't worry.

With a plethora of recipes ranging from old-school pot roasts to avant-garde custards, your trusty slow cooker will be there for you. It could be more than just a time saver; it could even be a life saver.

Crock-pots can also serve as an extra hand. A busy host can't be everywhere at once, and more often than not there is not enough space in the oven to keep tasty treats heating for the gathering. That's when the slow cooker can be handy to keep things warm or to cook up quick-prep recipes.

Who knew that hors d'oeuvres could be prepared in these slow cookers, not just Sunday roasts? Crock-pots' slow cooking is ideal for making succulent pulled pork appetizers; ditto for dips and meatballs. Slow cookers are also the perfect vessels for warming up and cooking those delicious pre-meal bites for your next party or barbecue.

Carnitas Tacos
Carnitas Tacos

Why reserve tacos only for Tuesdays? Carnitas tacos are super easy in the slow cooker and make the perfect summertime appetizer any day of the week. The zesty spices and slow-cooked flavors will truly put guests over the top. To make the carnitas tacos bite-sized, use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut tortillas into mini portions.

Pulled Pork

pulled pork

Throwing that pork butt into the crock-pot with other tasty ingredients makes for effortless appetizers. Slow-cooked pulled pork can top rice cakes with a garnish of cilantro and white onions or a drizzle of BBQ sauce or can fill phyllo cups to dress it up. Pulled pork can be the life of your party in other ways, too — sliders might just be the epitome of snack food. Pulled pork sliders are a wonderful addition to your hors d'oeuvres roster, as pulled pork is super quick and hassle-free with a slow cooker. Just plop the ingredients your crock-pot and let it do its thing. 

Click here for more slow-cooked party ideas!