The crock pot is a cook’s best friend for many reasons. For the purposes of this post, a huge bonus to crock pot cooking is not having to use your oven in the heat of the summer!! This is especially important for me in Arizona as it already costs an arm and a leg to keep the house cool without the added heat of the oven. That’s enough to sell me on a crock pot meal.
Before I get to some of our favorite crock pot dishes I just wanted to share a few general crock pot cooking tips:
Use the right size pot: The ingredients should fill between ½ and ⅔ of the pot.
Go Cheap: In this case inexpensive cuts of meat are often high in fat and connective tissue which will result in moist tender fall of the bone meat.
Plan ahead: make sure you have all your ingredients prepped the night before so that you have to do is toss it in.
Never use frozen meat in a crock pot.
Preheating your crock pot for about 20 minutes while you prep your ingredients helps get things cooking faster.
Brown your meat in a sauté pan first. You’ll end up with a richer flavor that can’t be achieved by slow-cooking alone
Keep a lid on it! Every time the lid is opened heat escapes slowing the cooking process. It takes 20-30 minutes for the pot to return to the right temp.
Use a crock pot liner for easy clean up, or coat the inside with cooking spray.
On many pots the High temp is 280°F and the low temp is 170°F. Cooking on high for 1 hour is about the same as cooking on low for 2 hours.
Add fresh herbs at the end to keep their flavors bright and fresh.
Crock Pot Main Dishes
Here are some of our favorite dinner ideas (all made in the slow cooker) that we especially love to make in the summer time.
Main CourseHow to Cook Hot Dogs in Crock Pot
The easiest way to make hot dogs for a crowd! Cook hot dogs in the crock pot for all of your summer potluck needs.
These Simple and delicious Slow Cooker Pork Chops are sure to become a family favorite. They are so tender and juicy and are topped with an amazing gravy that we love to serve over the chops and mashed potatoes!
This Easy Beef Stroganoff recipe is simple and flavorful. Served with egg noodles, this creamy stroganoff made in the slow cooker is a classic Sunday dinner recipe and is perfect to enjoy any night of the week.
Can’t forget the sides too! Cook up some of these easy, delicious sides in the slow cooker to go with any of your favorite meals.
Side DishCrockpot Mashed Potatoes Recipe
These cheesy garlic Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to any meal, and so incredibly easy to make. They're creamy, smooth and savory, and the cheese adds so much delicious flavor.
Main Course, Side DishCrock Pot Baked Potatoes Recipe
The crock pot takes all the guess work out of baked potatoes. Simply prep and wrap your potatoes, throw them in the crock pot, and they come out perfectly ready to be topped with all your favorite fixings!
Everyone loves a good slow cooker recipe, and this Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is so simple, cheesy and delicious. With loads of cheese, butter, and sour cream it's hard not to love this creamy macaroni and cheese recipe.
My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!