Easy Crockpot Tips and Recipes



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Easy Crockpot Tips and Recipes

Easy Crockpot Tips and Recipes

Using your crockpot can save you a lot of money, slash the amount of time you have to spend preparing meals, allow you to prepare more wholesome meals for your family and reduce your overall stress. Cooking with a crockpot can also save a lot of energy, because you don’t have to heat up the house in the summer when you’re trying to keep it cooler. Here are a few crockpot tips and recipes from our Easy Crockpot Recipes and Menus e-book to help you with your crockpot cooking.

 

Crockpot Tips

  • Unless the recipe states otherwise, always cook with the lid on your crockpot. It is best not to open the lid while cooking.
  • Many recipes that you cook in the oven or on top of the stove can be adapted to the crockpot. If it takes 2-4 hours to cook in the oven or on the stove top then it will take about 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low in the crockpot.
  • If you need to reduce the liquid, take the lid off for the last half hour of cooking. You could also make a mix of 2 teaspoons cornstarch with some of the liquid from the dish and stir it into the rest. Then allow it to cook and thicken.


  • If you find yourself going out to eat a lot because you hate the clean up, then try using crockpot liners. It is much less expensive to use them than to eat out. Liners are especially good to use when you have company and during the holidays.
  • To make crockpot dishes even easier and faster keep a supply of ingredients like cooked hamburger, sausage, bacon or ham in the freezer. Then you won’t have to dirty a skillet or take the time to cook things like hamburger before you toss them into the crockpot.
  • Normally you should fill your crockpot about 3/4 full, especially if you are cooking soups and stews. Add the ingredients and then add liquid to fill it to 3/4 full.
  • If you have a large crockpot and a smaller recipe, simply put the recipe ingredients in an oven proof dish (like Pyrex) and set it down inside your crockpot. Then cover and cook.


 

Barbecue Chicken Crockpot Recipe

4-6 pieces chicken
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Place chicken in a crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cook on low in the crockpot about 4-6 hours.

 

Brown Rice and Chicken

1-2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine all ingredients but almonds in a crockpot. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on low 4 to 5 hours. Serve with almonds.

 

Quick And Easy Menus on A Dime

Eating out is expensive! You can make wholesome meals at home in minutes for the entire family for less than the cost of one person eating out! For more easy crockpot tips and recipes, check out our brand new Easy Crockpot Recipes and Menus e-book today!

 

Comments

  1. Kris says

    These are great ideas! I got myself into a bind a couple of years ago–many of the newer crockpots are for 5 or 6 quarts. I have 2 older style crockpots that are 3-4 quart sizes. I was in the middle of a recipe before I realized it was intended for a 6 quart crockpot. Fortunately I was able to divide it up into 2 crockpots, but now I check the recipe sizes much more thoroughly! :)

  2. LizA says

    I use my Automatic Bread Machine to make a batch of dough, then bake it in the 3-4qt Slow Cooker. Here’s today’s favorite:

    1c + 2TBSP Water (or more if necessary)
    1/4 c Sugar, Honey or Sweetener of Choice
    1-1/2 tsp Salt
    2 TBSP Butter
    1/2 c Shelled Sunflower Seeds, Roasted & Salted
    1 c Rolled Oats
    2 TBSP Non-fat Dry Milk Powder (optional)
    2-1/2 c Bread Flour
    2-1/2 tsp Instant Yeast

    Place ingredients in pan according to ABM instructions. Run on Dough Cycle. Place a piece of Parchment Paper in the bottom and slightly up the sides of your Slow Cooker. When the dough cycle is complete, shape into a large ball and place on the paper. Place a single layer dish towel across the top of the cooker (above the dough) to absorb excess moisture,then top with the lid. Cook on HIGH at least 1 hour, then check for doneness.

    I’m at 6300 ft above Sea Level, and a loaf this size takes at 1 hour, 15 minutes. The top will be pale and may shrink back a small bit after cooked. At the end of cooking, turn off but leave in the cooker 15 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. The crust closest to the heating element will be darker and thicker — changing in color and thickness the further from it. Something for everyone!

  3. Laurie says

    I love crockpot cooking almost anytime. When it’s so hot here in Ohio, I put my crockpot (or crockpots) in the garage for the day so even that much heat is kept out of the house. It really does help keep the AC from working as hard.

  4. Ginny says

    I have trouble with sauces sliding off my chicken and thinning out on my meats unless I braise them before putting them into my crockpot. Is there a better way to stop this ???

    • says

      Boy Ginny I’m not sure I know the answer to that. Maybe one of our readers who uses their crock pots all the time can help.

      • Rosemary says

        Shop for the liners online. The difference in price from the grocery store is quite a lot. Don’t necessarily look for the Reynold’s brand just search “crock pot or slow cooker” liners.

  5. Rachel says

    Does anyone know where I can find crockpot liners & about how much they cost? Any help would be appreciated..thanks! :)

    • says

      Wal Mart and our grocery store carries them. They are usually in with the foil, plastic wrap and plastic bags. You may have to look good for them too because usually they are on the top or very bottom shelf. I’m not sure on the price and the price will very from place to place.

  6. donnab says

    I love the liners, but you can use them sparingly. for example, if I make something like soup or stew that doesn’t stick a lot, I don’t mind cleaning the crockpot. if I’m making a crockpot lasagna, though, I definitely use one. they are such time savers if you are in a hurry or just don’t want to stand there scrubbing!

    • says

      I agree you don’t need to use the liners all the time. I would just reserve them for really sticky things and like you said if you have company or something and don’t want to spend a bunch of time scrubbing.

      • donnab says

        I love crockpot liners but I also have been known to soak a crockpot for 3 days if necessary! LOL!

          • Jill says

            If you use dryer sheets, save the used ones and put one or two in the dirty crock pot filled with water. Soak overnight. The next morning the sticky mess just washes off easily.

  7. JamieKellogg says

    How much liquid is needed when cooking a roast or pork roast in crock pot? Does it need to completely cover the meat?

    • says

      You only need about 1/2 a cup of liquid because the water doesn’t evaporate in a crock pot. You can add water, broth or like to add leftover coffee. It gives the roast a rich (not coffee) flavor and makes the gravy more brown.

  8. Amanda says

    I have a 7 quart crock pot. To clean , I just soak the pot in warm water and baking soda for 15 to 30 minutes (Of course I do wait for enamel to cool a bit before putting it in the sink to avoid cracking). It usually makes scrubbing much easier. I also do this for my other pots, casserole dishes, etc. I never use liners even if I’m cooking with really sticky food. :)

  9. Miranda says

    Crazy, but if you are out of liners or don’t want to use them, put a dryer sheet in the bottom of the messy crock then add hot water. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes(long enough to wipe down the table and counters) :) then simply wipe the crock. Makes clean-up a lot easier. Hope it works for you, too.

  10. Dawn Fratzke says

    You can use the cooking liners (that you put in the oven) also for the crock pot liners in a pinch — I use the large roaster size for my 7 qt. crockpot. It really helps not having to scrub the sides of the heavy clinging goo (such as from crockpot potatoes).

  11. dale goodloe says

    I have no idea what size my crock pot is. It doesn’t say on it. Any suggestions to find out the size?

    • says

      Take a quart pitcher, jar or use a measuring cup – fill it with water and pour into your crock pot. If using a 1 quart jar and your crock pot holds about 3 jars full it is a 3 quart one if it holds 6 it is a 6 quart one. For a measuring cup a 3 qt. will take a total of 12 cups.
      This is an easy method to find the measurement for any thing.

      I tell people to measure their drinking glasses this way too. Most do not realize they and especially their children are drinking way more then 8 oz. of things and that is part of the reason there is so much problem with obesity now.Not so much what they are eating but how much.

  12. says

    omg!!! I am surely going to try this recipe. I can’t wait to try this with the family. Thanks a ton for posting this and many of your recipes. Keep up the good work!!

  13. says

    Thanks for posting these recipes. I just started using my crockpot again. I love trying new recipes. Plus the family loves having new and surprising meals during dinner time.

  14. Mary Jane says

    Just a tip. If your crockpot has a removable stone or ceramic liner, save it, if the electrical part burns out. These liners with their original lids, or even covered in aluminum foil make awesome oven proof dishes to use in your regular oven. Save glass lids, and if yours is missing a lid, check thrift shops, yard sales or second hand stores for something suitable. I have had enormous success with replacing the clear glass lids on crockpots, and often the lids will fit a few of my conventional pots as well. If you are without a lid for your crockpot, try using a saucer, luncheon plate or even a ceramic type cereal bowl turned up side down as a cover. In a pinch, regular old aluminum foil slightly tented and crimped around the edges of a crockpot will work fine as a lid. Just be careful of the steam when you take it off, and as always, don’t peek too often.

  15. Sheri says

    You can start frozen meat at night and have it ready by afternoon. In winter it keeps the house warm. In the summer plug it in outside on the porch or carport. Keep your house cool.

    My favorite and simple meat is three pounds of chicken, beef or pork with one cup salsa, barbecue sauce or simmering sauce. If you start at night with frozen meat, it takes fifteen hours on low to shread itself. Or thawed/raw it takes 8 hours on low or four hours on high with my crockpots.

    Pinto beans can be started with only water for over night, then add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper when the beans are soft.

    Crock pots are great for mulled cider or keeping hot chocolate ready.

    I’m not done, I’m just getting started!

    Use your imagination,!

    • says

      Great tips Sheri. If anyone needs more recipes, tips or info on how to use your crock pot be sure to check out our Easy Crockpot Recipes we mentioned in the post. It really has quite a bit of info in it like over 60 full menus and 187 other recipes plua many things like what Sheri and our other readers have mentioned. Also we tell you how to use your crock pot for other things like deserts, side dishes, beverages and how to use it for things like keeping mashed potatoes warm or using it for beverages like hot chocolate which is especially good if you are serving a crowd. You can make baked apples in it, or just wash off your potatoes and bake them in it. You may find it you have to keep it sitting on your counter because you will be using it so often.

  16. Brneda says

    I LOVE my crockpots and use them all of the time. I own 4 in various sizes, and often use 2 or more at a time. Right now in good ‘ol Missouri we’re having low to mid 80′s with humidity to make it feel like I should be living in the swamps of Florida or Louisiana! That crockpot is a life saver to not have to heat up the kitchen. In the winter I forever have a hearty soup or stew in a big pot and hot cocoa going in a small one.

    Someone mentioned earlier in the post about their sauce sliding off their meat unless they brown it. I have this happen to me too and have found a sometimes fix for when I don’t have time or am too lazy to brown my meat, I pat the meat as dry as I can before I add it to the crock. Sometimes I dust my meat in flour or corn starch (depending on what it is). This helps sometimes, but not always. Crockpots are definitely moist cooking containers and sometimes it’s a challenge to make a sauce just so.

    Well I’m off to start some cheesy potatoes (6 – 8 potatoes washed & cut into bite size pieces, a onion cut up in small bites, salt & pepper, 1 can evaporated milk. Plus cheddar cheese…sorry, I never measure how much cheese I throw in, just eyeball it. Turn on low for 4 or 5 hours until tender. I add my cheese during the last half-hour of cooking to let it get good and gooey, a light stir and you have easy cheesy potatoes) to go with my BBQ pork ribs that I started this morning. I’ll add a nice wilted lettuce leaf salad and supper is served!

    • says

      Oh Yum Brenda sounds good. I am here in Kansas so I should be able to make it to your house in time for supper if I leave right now. : ) I love cheesy potatoes, love BBQ pork ribs too. I just hung up the phone from talking to my mom in Colorado and she was saying what a nice day it was there and all I could say was “It is miserable muggy here.” Then I read your post on what it is feeling like in Missouri so I am feeling you pain. It feels like I am breathing in a fish bowl here. : ) Thanks for your crock pot tips.

      • says

        Not sure which recipe you are talking about Janice but in most recipes it is a 12 oz. can that is used and usually if the smaller can is used the recipe specifies that.

  17. Ruth Birnbaum says

    I absolutely depend on my crock pot during the summers here. We were 107 today here in AZ and summer hasn’t even arrived.
    I don’t know what I’d do without it.
    We haven’t turned the air on yet (cost to much) and there is no way I’m adding more heat from a stove or oven.
    Thanks for all the great tips

  18. Jan says

    I made the crock pot bbq chicken, then a few days later I tried the same thing with turkey thighs. It was fabulous!

  19. Alice says

    The cornstarch needs to be dissolved in cold water before adding to the pot, or it will be lumpy. For a typical crock pot, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1/2 cup of cold water. I do mine in a Mason jar, screw a lid on, shake it until the cornstarch is dissolved, and pour into the liquid. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly, and let it cook for about a minute or until the liquid is thick.

  20. Johnnie Hall says

    Using a lid that does not fit your slow cooker properly can be dangerous. Properly fitting lids keep in the steam and heat but ill-fitting lids allow the food to sit hours at dangerously low temps. My friend made beans and sausage in a slow cooker with a lid that did not fit properly and the family got so sick after eating, they had to go to the ER.

  21. Kathleen Wagner says

    Before I start to use my crock pots. I will put a little olive oil in the bottom of the crock pot. Then I wipe the entire inside of the crock pot with the olive oil. This helps with the clean up. Put hot soapy water in the crock pot and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wash it out. No scrubbing

  22. Rachel says

    I also use my crockpot for keeping items warm during a large meal. For example, at Thanksgiving I make my mashed potatoes early before everyone arrives, then I transfer them to my crock pot and set it on Warm. When it comes time to serve I may add alittle more butter and serve directly from the crock pot buffet style. It saves me the stress of the last minute rush.

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