15 Slow Cooker Hacks You Probably Didn’t Know About
Get rid of the white film in a slow cooker with baking soda and dish soap.
Have a stubborn white film that won’t come off in a regular washing? Here’s a solution: add about three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap to your pot, and fill it up with water. Turn your slow cooker on low for a few hours. Then, pour out the water and use a non-abrasive sponge and a bit more baking soda to scrub away the film. Rinse and your slow cooker should look like new!
Create a barrier with foil to use one Crock-Pot for two dips.
Use heavy duty foil to create a snug barrier that cuts across your slow cooker. Then use a slow cooker liner to keep two different dips separated.
Convert any recipe to a slow cooker recipe.
You may have to adjust the amount of liquid called for in the recipe (like adding 1/2 cup water or broth if no liquid is called for), but otherwise, converting a conventional-cooking recipe to a Crock-Pot one is easy. Just use the guide above. Also, if you’re making a stew or soup, just be sure to add the veggies in first and place the meat on top.
Brown meats before placing them in a Crock-Pot for more flavor.
Although you can cook meat fully in a slow cooker, searing meats first will give your dish a richer flavor. The seared pieces help hold in juices, and any extra fatty parts crisp up nicely.
Melt and keep chocolate melted for dipping and baking.
Fill mason jars with chocolate chips and other candy melts. Then, fill your slow cooker halfway with hot water and turn the cooker on high. After about 30 minutes (uncovered), give the chocolate a stir. If the chocolate is fully melted, then set your Crock-Pot to low, and the chocolate should stay melted for a couple of hours. Just make sure not to cover your slow cooker—any water or moisture that gets into the chocolate will cause it to seize.
Cook the main dish and sides at the same time by wrapping individual foods in foil.
Making a roast, and want potatoes not soaked in the juices as a side? Wrap the seasoned roast and potatoes individually, and the flavors will stay separate.
Make your own yogurt.
Homemade, healthy yogurt starts in…your Crock-Pot! This recipe is simple (you only need two cheap ingredients) and yields enough to freeze for smoothies!
Use your slow cooker to keep food (like mashed potatoes) warm on Thanksgiving.
Free up your burners with this easy tip, and remember to stir your potatoes at least once every half hour.
Melt down wax and add wicks to make your own candles.
These are so easy to create and make the perfect gifts! Just melt down some wax, add color and your favorite essential oils, stick in a wick, and let cool.
Use broken pieces of crayons to create Crock-Pot crayons.
Melt down all those broken crayon bits in a Crock-Pot and have kids reuse them, or give them away as gifts. Use little Dixie cups, fun silicone baking shapes, or even empty toilet paper rolls as molds!
Catch unwanted condensation with a towel placed under your Crock-Pot lid.
This works especially well for Crock-Pot bread recipes.
Use a slow cooker as a makeshift humidifier.
Fill your Crock-Pot about three-quarters of the way up with water, cover, and turn the setting on high. After about an hour, let the moisture escape into the air. Make sure to refill the pot with room-temperature water as needed—and don’t let the pot run when there’s nothing in it! Using multiple Crock-Pots as humidifiers throughout the house works like a charm when you’re feeling under the weather!
Make your home smell good by using your Crock-Pot as a potpourri warmer.
Boil cinnamon sticks, apple peels, orange rinds, whole cloves, cranberries, and other delicious-smelling ingredients in water.
Avoid overcooking with a Christmas light timer.
A heavy-duty appliance timer costs about $10 on Amazon and can assist you with your slow-cooking adventures if your Crock-Pot doesn’t already have a built-in timer.
Line your slow cooker in foil for easy cleanup and even cooking.
If you find that the food you cook in your Crock-Pot tends to be more crisp on the edges than you’d like, try lining the inside with foil. The foil will help distribute heat evenly and make cleanup a breeze.