Adventures in Eating

Crock Pot Meals (That Are Not Soup)

Basic Crock Pot Theory dictates that crock pots are for making soup.

And I love soup. I would eat soup at every meal (assuming cereal as a kind of cold soup). But my husband needs a biscuit to consider soup a meal, and my kid, if she senses a biscuit, won’t eat anything else without MUCH DISSENT so I’m looking for other ways to use my crock pot.

Like for:

Braising things. Crock pots were MADE for braising, which is shorthand for ‘cooking a thing in a liquid at a low heat, for a long time, while you hang around the house because your oven is on.’ EXCEPT FOR THE PART ABOUT HANGING AROUND THE HOUSE because crock pot.

Bacon Cheese Potatoes in the crock potThese potatoes allegedly. I mean, they look too good to be true, but they’re on the internet, so…

Pulled pork, or shredded chicken, or beef dip, or any other animal you want to make into tender, saucy bits of meat.

crock pot poached pears in caramel sauce

Poaching things. I mean, it’s probably not *technically* poaching, but one time I made these Poached Pears in Caramel Sauce and they just hung around in the crock pot, being ready and warm and glamorous until dinner was over.

BBQ ribs. You have to finish them under the broiler, but your crock pot can’t do EVERYTHING for you.

Apple cider, or any other mulled beverage.

crock pot steel cut oats apple cinnamon

Steel-cut oats, saving yourselves a good 45 minutes on the stove top. Ain’t nobody got 45 spare minutes in the morning.

Chicken stock. Or, I guess, ANY stock, really. (And then later, you make soup from that stock! But we’re deliberately not talking about soup right now.)

How about you? What do you use your crock pot for? (Don’t say ‘brownies’ or ‘cake’ or any of that nonsense, because I will not believe your lies.)



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About Raych Krueger

Raych reads books and raises babies, hobbies for which her BAs in Literature and Early Childhood Education come in handy. Follow her on Twitter: @raychraych.

  • Rita Meade

    I usually use my crockpot for chili and stews – use really simple ingredients, just throw everything in there, and BOOM, dinner.

  • Ashly Bee

    After extensive research, I finally bought a slow cooker this past fall. I had to convince myself I could use it often with a partner that won’t eat soups (besides chili) or pasta/bread things. I’ll second Rita and say chili is go-to here. I serve it as Frito Pie (over Fritos, top with cheese and whatever) because I’m from Texas. I’ve also had success with carne guisada adapted from this recipe: Admittedly, that one is a bit of a hassle because I sauté the garlic/peppers and brown the meat, but probably I could skip that part. Also, I know that says stew, but I’ve always eating carne guisada in tortillas. I’ve also had success with making pulled pork with little seasoning and then using it in both BBQ meals and as pulled meat in tacos. See the Mexican food theme?

    I’ve also had success with ribs before following this Budget Bytes recipe: She has a lot of great slow cooker meals. But I’m going to try the ribs from this article tomorrow: There’s some cakes there, despite your protest. Also this for dessert:
    The one thing I do get concerned about is that some of these recipes don’t call for liquid in the crock pot, which my crock pot manual swears will end the world if I do it. Yeah, I know it’s a little weird to read manuals, but it’s got me pretty convinced. Anyway, like I said, it took me a while to buy in but I’ve been able to use it in a lot of different non-soup ways. In fact, aside from chili and wherever you stand on carne guisada, I’ve not made a soup in it in 6 months.

  • Insatiable Booksluts

    I cheated when I bought my slow-cooker and bought a multi-cooker instead. So I use mine to deep fry shit and it is awesome.