Summer Slow Cooker Recipes
Cool and convenient, the slow cooker is perfect for preparing warm-weather meals.
Is your slow cooker gathering dust this summer? While many slow cooker
recipes – soups, stews, and so forth – seem more appropriate for cold weather,
the slow cooker is actually a great choice for summer meals. Not only do they
save money and time, slow cookers save energy. They don't give off much heat
beyond the actual pot, thus helping to keep your kitchen (and you) cool.
Armed with some summer-friendly slow cooker recipes, you can enjoy
convenient slow cooker meals all season long. Here are four reasons to use your
slow cooker this summer:
You Name It, It Cooks It. Slow cookers don’t just cook up
entrees; you can make appetizers, side dishes, and desserts with surprising
success. You’ll find a variety of recipes below to add to your slow cooker
It Turns Lean Meat Tender. The slow cooker cooks food slowly at a
low temperature -- generally between 170 and 280 degrees Fahrenheit, according
to Donna Falconnier, MS, RD, with the University of Illinois Extension. Because
of this, leaner cuts of meat become more tender -- and shrink less.
It's Great for Parties. It’s so convenient to bring your dish right
in the slow cooker to parties and barbecues. The slow cooker keeps the food at
the right temperature, and you can serve it straight from the pot. Just plug it
in, and your dish is ready to serve when everyone is ready to eat.
It's Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient. The slow cooker is a small
but mighty appliance. "Cooking with a small appliance, such as a Crock-Pot
slow cooker, saves energy without compromising taste," says Merideth
McNally, spokesperson for the Crock-Pot brand of slow cookers. According to
2006 data from the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, using a slow cooker
at 200 degrees for 7 hours costs about 9 cents, while using an electric oven at
350 degrees for 1 hour costs some 25 cents and a convection oven at 325-degrees
for 45 minutes costs at least 18 cents.
Healthy Summer Slow Cooker Recipes
Ready to try some summer slow cooking? Here are five slow cooker recipes to
get you started.