In fact, a variety of foods can be made low and slow in your favorite kitchen appliance. Everything from candy to cakes to buffalo wings — slow-cookers can do it all. Granted, it's not a fast process, but using a slow-cooker is nearly foolproof, and it keeps your hands free to do whatever else you need to do.
The slow-cooker is especially handy during the holiday season; it makes it easy to serve a group of people, and it frees up oven and stovetop space for other cooking and baking needs. Another plus is that electricity is cheaper that gas — so using a slow-cooker is a bonafide win all around.
If you're not convinced yet, scroll through the following collection of recipes, guaranteed to inspire you to break out your slow-cooker more often.
Apple butter is a concentrated caramelized apple sauce with a spreadable richness. Making this in your slow-cooker may take a little time (almost 12 hours) but it is well worth the wait. P.S. the technique works well for pumpkin butter, too! Find the Slow-Cooker Apple Butter recipe here.
This ooey-gooey cinnamon-baked apple crisp is covered in a sweet oat crumble. Cook it in your slow-cooker on high for two hours and then on low for four. Then turn off the heat and leave it partially covered for up to an hour to let the sauce thicken. Don’t forget a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! Find the Apple Crisp recipe here.
Taste Of Home
Use your slow-cooker to make super tender, never-dry chicken wings. Just place the wings in your slow-cooker and cover with your favorite sauce. Once they are cooked and tantalizingly tender, put the wings in an oven heated to 400 degrees F or place them under the broiler to give them a crispy exterior. Click here for the recipe.
Keller and Keller
Although designed for the oven, this cake can be made fully in your slow-cooker. Keep an eye on it, and when a cake tester or toothpick comes out nearly clean, turn off the heat. Just be aware that the ambient heat from the slow-cooker will continue to cook the cake even after you turn the cooker. Check out the Carrot Cake recipe here.
Taste of Home
Chocolate-lovers rejoice: Everyone who tries this dessert falls in love with it. Plus, if you use a liner in your slow-cooker, cleanup is a breeze. Find the Chocolate Lava Cake recipe here.
The gentle heat from the slow-cooker is ideal for melting chocolate. Not only will the dry heat ensure that the chocolate won’t seize, it will also make it impossible to burn the chocolate morsels as they melt. Once the chocolate is melted (and this does take some time) and you're ready to use it, temper the chocolate and then ladle it into small candy/cupcake liners and allow it to harden.
Rise and Shine Cookbook
Prep everything the night before and plug the slow-cooker in just before you turn in for the night. In the morning you’ll be awakened with a deliciously sweet aroma of a French toast breakfast ready to eat. Click here for the recipe.
Don’t have a cast-iron skillet? No worries! Brush butter along the inside of the slow-cooker and then pour in the batter — it’s that simple. Check out the recipe here.
With the slow-cooker method, you can make a large batch of luxurious and simple dulce de leche without ever fussing or worrying about burning it. This low and slow method might take longer, but it is absolutely foolproof. Banoffee Pie anyone?
Start by using the slow-cooker to deeply caramelized onions. This intense rich flavor tops a homemade yogurt sauce with a zesty tang that balances the sweetness of the onions. For this recipe, click here.
Taste of Home
Everyone loves spinach dip, and this version is as easy as it is delicious. Just mix the ingredients together in the slow-cooker for a savory and creamy appetizer. Click here to see the Crock-Pot Jalapeño Spinach Dip recipe.
Mac and cheese is the homiest, most delicious comfort food you can treat yourself to. Just imagine coming home from a tiring day at work and being welcomed with a steaming pot of cheesy noodle casserole. You’ll be in heaven, we promise! Click here for the recipe.
Use your slow-cooker to make a delicious party mix perfect for that holiday party around the corner. You can make it while you check other items off your party list. For this recipe for Slow-Cooker Chex Mix, click here.
Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. When these two ingredients are combined in the slow-cooker, they melt to form the perfect base for creamy and luscious fudge that’s super simple to make. Click here for the Peanut Butter Fudge recipe.
Cooking cheesecake in the slow-cooker produces wonderful, creamy, and surprising results (seriously, cheesecake in a slow-cooker? Absolutely!). Check out the recipe here.
Traditionally, risotto requires constant attention and stirring to activate the starches in the rice. Yet by using your slow-cooker, you can free up your hands and cut back on the labor required for this classic Italian dish. This technique calls for all the stock to be added at once, and the gentle heat of the slow-cooker cooks the rice to a perfectly rich and creamy al dente. Check out the recipe here.
You can create the same roasted pepper taste and tender texture in your slow-cooker that you get when you actually roast red peppers over a flame. Just rub the inside of your slow-cooker with olive oil. Halve and seed your bell peppers, and place them in the oiled base. Simply cook on high for three hours, and then remove the lid and allow the peppers to cool. The skins should easily peel right off.