Fall is here, meaning it's time to break out the crockpot. Fall brings an abundance of produce, from squash to apples, which can be used in your favorite recipes. Fall also means a change in weather-windy days and chilly nights-which makes cooking indoors more appealing than ever before.
There are many reasons why fall is my favorite season for crockpot cooking: the changing colors outside, pumpkin spice everything, and not having to turn on your oven!
If you have a hectic schedule, your slow cooker is your best friend! With just a little time in the morning or evening, you can come home to a healthy meal that doesn't require any preparation.
Slow cookers are great for busy families-anything, from soups and stews to casseroles and desserts. Check out these 25 fall slow cooker recipes that are perfect for those chilly days and nights!
Before we start, let's talk about slow cookers and tips and tricks.
What is a Crockpot
A crockpot, or slow cooker, is an electric appliance that heats food at a low temperature over many hours. It's often used to cook stews, soups, and other dishes that require long cooking times.
Crockpots can also be used to bake cakes and bread or roast meats. The American inventor of the crockpot was Irving Nachumsohn, who patented the design in 1970. Similar devices had been around for decades before that.
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Benefits of Slow Cooking
There are many benefits of slow cooking are many. The slow cooker allows you to prep in advance, which can help if you cook for someone with allergies or a sensitive stomach.
Slow cookers are also energy efficient-they use less energy than an oven because they operate at a lower temperature. Because of this, slow cookers have been shown to reduce your running costs over time!
Tips and Tricks for Slow Cookers
Below are tips and tricks for slow cookers you might not know about.
- Use a generous amount of liquid. A dry slow cooker is a disaster waiting to happen! Always start with enough juice to fill the bottom of your pot, and then add more if needed.
- Invest in a slow cooker liner! It might seem like an unnecessary purchase, but they'll save you from scrubbing the crockpot clean every time you use it.
- Don't be afraid to experiment with different cuts of meat. For example, you can make delicious dishes with chicken thighs, pork chops, or beef roast. Just season them well and keep an eye on the cooking time!
- “Brown” ground meat in a skillet before placing it in the slow cooker. It'll add more flavor!
- Go the extra mile and make your spice blends! There's no reason to buy prepackaged spices when there are so many others that you can easily make at home. In addition, you'll spend less money and know exactly what's going into your food with fresh spices.
- Make sure the lid is firmly on your slow cooker. If it isn't, you may have a mess in your kitchen.
- Check the progress of your meal every 4 hours or so to make sure it's not burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot. This cannot be easy if you're at work all day, but setting a timer will help!
- Use the right size of the slow cooker for what you're making. Different dishes will require different amounts of liquid.
- Never lift the lid of your slow cooker during cooking unless necessary, and then make sure you're using oven mitts!
- Use fresh ingredients every time. The better your ingredients are, the better your food will come out.
- Don't be afraid to add more seasoning! You may think you need a lot, but slow-cooked meats can take a lot of salt and other seasonings before they get too salty.
What cannot be cooked in a slow cooker?
You can cook just about anything in a slow cooker, as it is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances. It can transform humble ingredients into hearty meals with just a few hours of simmering.
In addition to main dishes, the slow cooker can also make soups, stews, and chili in addition to main dishes. And because it cooks food slowly over a long period, the flavors have a chance to develop and blend more fully.
As a result, dishes cooked in the slow cooker often have a deeper and more complex flavor than those cooked quickly. So if you're looking for a way to add more flavor to your dishes, the slow cooker is a great option.
Can you cook pasta in a slow cooker?
If you're looking for an effortless way to cook pasta, then cooking it in a slow cooker is the way to go. Put the pasta in the slow cooker with some water, set it to the desired cooking time and temperature, and let it do its thing.
However, one thing to remember is that you should not leave it sitting in the slow cooker for an extended time as it will result in mushy and soggy pasta.
For best results, boil the pasta separately until the slow cooker is ready, and then combine it with the pasta. This will ensure that your pasta is perfectly cooked and not at all mushy.
Another critical factor is that not all pasta will cook the same in a slow cooker. For example, smaller pasta shapes like shells, elbows, and orzo will cook faster than larger shapes like lasagna noodles.
Therefore, checking the pasta frequently during cooking is essential to ensure that it is cooked to your liking.
So next time you're looking for an easy way to cook up some delicious pasta, remember to do it in the slow cooker. Just be sure not to mix the pasta into the sauce and leave it sitting too long.
How do you cook rice in a slow cooker?
Cooking rice in a slow cooker is very similar to cooking pasta. Add the rice and water to the slow cooker, set it to the desired cooking time and temperature, and let it do its thing.
As with pasta, it's important not to leave the rice sitting in the slow cooker for an extended period, as this will result in mushy and soggy rice.
For best results, cook the rice separately until the slow cooker is ready, then combine it with the rice. This will ensure that your rice is perfectly cooked and not at all mushy.
What can I cook on a hot fall day?
When the weather starts to cool down, we love to make this Slow Cooker Beef Stew. It's a hearty and filling meal that will warm you up on a cold day.
What is best to cook in a slow cooker?
You can cook beef, chicken, pork, or seafood in a slow cooker. You can also cook vegetables, grains, and beans. The possibilities are endless!
Can you put raw meat in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can put raw meat in a slow cooker. Add the raw meat and any desired seasonings or vegetables to the slow cooker, set it to the expected cooking time and temperature, and let it do its thing.
How to Clean Your Slow Cooker After Use
Slow cookers provide a perfect opportunity to clean them as you use them. After the appliance cools, empty the contents and wash the crockpot's inner pot with dishwashing soap and water. If there is leftover food, scrape out the food with a spatula before placing it in the dishwasher.
For any cooked-on stains, scrub them with a sponge before washing them. The following substances should not be used for cleaning: steel wool pads, oven cleaners, or scouring powders because they will scratch the inside of your slow cooker's ceramic coating.
25 Delicious Fall Slow Cook Recipes
Below are fall slow cooker recipe ideas for you. To get access to the recipe, click the button below.