< The Slow Cooking Pot - The Best of Easy Slow Cooking Ideas and Recipes - The Slow Cooking Pot

Bread maker and crock potIn winter my slow cooker has a partner. They are always out together. They go together like bread and butter and by saying that it’s almost correct because it is my BREAD MAKER. They are both such time savers and really if I didn’t have the bread maker then I wouldn’t try and make it myself. You can make bread in the slow cooker too but as I have the bread maker I can do the whole meal at once.

I love to make soups in winter and fresh hot bread is just the ultimate accompaniment. I can set and forget both of them, but I must admit the bread doesn’t take as long to cook unless I set the Programmable Crock Pot for the time the bread will be ready. I then have both cooked at the same time and ready to serve. The smells coming out of that kitchen are just hard to explain, especially when its a week day and I return home to a house smelling like heaven.

It takes me back to the days when I was young and I would walk in the front door from school to a warm house and the comforting aromas of home cooking. I have to thank my mother for that as she was always a good cook. She cooked for 8 people for many years so home cooking was the most economical way to go, and there was not much take away at that time either. I think I have just admitted I’m old here though….oops.

The bread machine and the crock pot/slow cooker are two great appliances I wouldn’t be without especially in winter so, if you have that bread maker stored away, get it out or if you don’t have one you can buy one at Amazon at a reasonable price right now.

Take your Slow Cooker to Pot Luck Parties

I love to go to Pot Luck Parties and family gatherings where I take along a dish to share and I love this idea to make a contribution to the meal. The slow cookers that have a lock down lid and handles make it easy to move the meal to your destination. Slow Cooker Liners are good too as you can tie the contents up and then replace the lid so you wont spill any of the contents.Slow cooker with lid and handles

You can also buy a Slow Cooker Crock Pot Travel Bag and this helps with transporting the hot crock pot as well. There are two sizes so check that your crock pot will fit before buying. Have you ever dropped a dish while trying to carry it? I did, and it was one of my favorites that couldn’t be replaced so don’t let his happen to you.

I love being with family and friends and the crock pot or slow cooker is a great boon for when I am asked to ‘take a plate’. No fuss cooking, a great slow cooked meal and no fuss carrying as well. Making and taking your meal also helps the hostess/host with one less dish to heat in the oven. I know my oven would not take more than 4 casserole size dishes.

Slow cooked meals make good choices for pot luck parties or whenever you need to supply a meal so take your crock pot slow cooker with you and keep it safe and heated in a handy travel bag.

Baking in your Slow Cooker

deep cake panThere has been many a time when I wanted to bake a cake but I already had the main meal cooking in the oven. The solution was to use the slow cooker and cook the cake in that so that’s what I did. It is really a mini oven and bakes most cakes very well. Fruit cakes and self topped/iced cakes cook very well in the crock pot. I am amazed at how well the cakes rise in the slow cooker.

You can use a deep round cake tin or an ordinary cake pan or even the slow cooker base itself to cook the cake. The pan you use will depend on the shape of your cooker. You can also get an oval shape cake pan so look around for one that fits. I know people who use empty coffee or soup cans. These are good for fruit cakes and rolls. I Oval cake panhaven’t had a bad experience yet so I am either lucky or the slow cooker likes baking.

Here are 10 tips for slow cooker baking:

  1. Preheat the slow cooker on high for 10 -1 5 minutes if you are using an ordinary pan.
  2. Use several sheets of paper towel on the top of the cake pan and cover with the lid.
  3. Cook your cakes on the high setting.
  4. Don’t lift the lid during cooking, only at the end as you let the heat out.
  5. Use a rack if you have one in the bottom of the base and if you haven’t one you can use 2 or 3 egg rings as a substitute. This helps the heat to circulate around the pan for more even cooking.
  6. Grease and line the cake pan to prevent the cake from sticking.
  7. Only half fill the cake pan or cut the liner at least an inch above the top of the sides.
  8. Use your oval based slow cooker for cakes that can be decorated as faces, clocks, footballs etc.
  9. Test the cake with a skewer and if cooked let it cook a few minutes before getting turning out.
  10. Use prepared cake mixes in the slow cooker for an improved taste over conventional cooking.

Enjoy baking in your slow cooker or crock pot especially during the holidays coming up. This will also save your oven space for other cooking.

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