9 Tasty Reasons to Get Your Slow-Cooker out This Summer
When I think “slow cooker,” I think “rich, filling winter stews.” (Which is why I’m not sure where my slow cooker is hiding at the moment.) But believe it or not, a slow cooker is one of your best friends in hot weather. You can throw a few ingredients into it and and take off for the beach — or the office — secure in the knowledge that when you get home, dinner will be waiting and your kitchen will be nice and cool. Unlike ovens and stovetops, slow cookers throw off almost no heat.
And who says they’re only for hearty food? Not every recipe has to be served in a ski lodge. Pretty much anything cook-able can be prepared in a slow cooker — including fresh-tasting dishes with seasonal ingredients.
In fact, I’m going to go hunt down my slow cooker this very minute.
Slow-cooked recipes don’t demand to be served hot. You can make them ahead and chill them before serving. (Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?) Let this colorful soup be your introduction to a revolutionary concept.
Sliced on the diagonal, these fajitas make a great appetizer, but no one will arrest you for serving them whole. Or, in my case, for eating a whole fajita’s worth of “bites.”
Here’s another Tex-Mex appetizer that works great for summer parties (when, sadly, most guests still expect to be fed no matter how sweltering your kitchen may be). Cuisine from hot-weather regions is often your best bet for — well — hot weather. And the last time I checked, both Texas and Mexico were definitely on the warm side.
While we’re on the wrap/tortilla topic: pork is exceptionally well suited to slow cooking. Lots of the pork available in supermarkets is way too lean to be flavorful, but even boring old pork tenderloins will stay juicy when simmered at a low temperature.
The Accuracy Police will notice that this shrimp isn’t exactly stir-fried. But since today’s lesson is that you can slow-cook almost everything, I’m sending the Accuracy Police to the principal’s office.
Plums are in season! Pork (as noted above) is a perfect meat for slow cooking! Therefore, this exceptional slow-cooked plum-glazed pork loin.
It’s a sad fact of life that many families demand spaghetti year-round. Here’s a marinara sauce that doesn’t require you to stand at the hot stove stirring, stirring, stirring. (We also have a recipe for a one-pot spaghetti whose sauce and pasta can be done together in a slow cooker.)
The pastel palette of white chili seems perfect for warm weather. This easy chili-inspired stew will taste even better if you make it a day ahead.
Okay, dessert’s covered for the rest of the summer …
Take it slow and easy — explore all our slow-cooker recipes!