Slow Cooker Saves

Slow cookers are handy kitchen appliances that you can fill with a pile of great ingredients, cover, let run all day, and you'll come home to a hot, delicious meal. That seems like a great reason to have one (or more) on hand. But their usefulness doesn't stop there. You can use these versatile kitchen workhorses to make everything from granola to baked potatoes to specially dyed yarn for your next knitting project!

We've covered quite a few delicious ideas for slow cookers that don't focus on tough cuts of meat and making stews. For instance, you can make your own spiced nuts in about the same time it takes to do them in the oven without using as much electricity. If you've ever tried to make granola in the oven, you'll love how burn-proof (the granola and you!) making your own custom granola can be when you use your slow cooker. And your next party deserves creative meatballs on the buffet line. You only need to put in a couple of minutes of prep time and let your slow cooker do the rest!

But we're certainly not the only ones to recognize how helpful slow cookers can be. When it comes to kitchen duty, there's a lot they can do. If you are wanting to host a fondue party without worrying about an open flame, grab your trusty slow cooker. If you are wanting something savory for the breakfast table, try making a big batch of bacon jam and enjoying it for months. And dessert is a snap when you use this clever appliance to make a decadent peach cobbler.

But even when you are looking beyond cuisine, don't count your slow cooker as being out of the game. When you decide your next knitting project needs a special hue, check out the instructions for how to custom dye yarn using your slow cooker. And gift-giving can be homemade and useful if you use your slow cooker to help make specialty candles.

And, of course, instead of turning to your oven to make baked potatoes, let your slow cooker handle it and turn your attention to steaks or other delicious foods to have alongside them. They turn out perfectly cooked and lightly seasoned every time. I don't even turn my oven on for baked potatoes any more!

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

  • Baking Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Aluminum Foil

Wash the potatoes well and let them dry. Rub each potato with oil, salt, and pepper; wrap each potato in a piece of foil. Place the foil-wrapped potatoes in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

  • Yields: Depends on how many potatoes you use — most 6 quart slow cookers can easily fit 12, but you can make fewer
  • Preparation Time: 6-8 hours

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