Do you have a crockpot? When is the last time you used it? I think most people have one but not everyone is good about using it and recognizing the amount of time and money they can save you! Here are some great reasons to dust off the old crockpot or pick one up on sale if you don't already own one! Most of this is common knowledge but it might serve as a reminder of why you bought that crockpot in the first place and why the heck is it gathering dust?
- Time Saver
First and foremost a Crockpot is a huge time saver. For a minimal amount of prep work in the morning your dinner will be cooking away and be ready for you & your family when you get home from work. To save even more time you can pre-cut the veggies the night before and have your ingredients lined up and ready to go. This will make your morning a little less hectic!
Most crockpots now have removable liners. For easy clean-up just pop them right into the dishwasher. They even sell liners now which can be tossed out after use, if you have the type of crock without the removable liner this might be the way to go!
- Saves Energy
It does not take a genius to figure out that a crockpot uses less energy then your oven and does not heat up your kitchen on a hot summer day, thus saving your money. A slow cooker uses about 100 watts of electricity, using it once a week for eight hours at a time will only cost you twenty cents a month in electricity!
- Money Saver
By buying cheaper cuts of meat and cooking them "long and slow" you are able to whip up a tasty, tender meal for alot less. Often these cheaper cuts of meat can be tough and chewy. However, during the long cooking periods at lower temperatures the connective tissue breaks down making tougher meat tender and succulunt. Same thing with a smoker but that's a topic for another day!
It also lessens the chance you'll swing by drive thru on the way home because of a time crunch, again saving you money (and calories). Things come up, schedules change at a moments notice, we've all been there, stopping by drive-thru and skipping the dinner you were going to prepare due to unforeseen events....that does not happen if you have dinner already being prepared for you!
- Great Tasting
Crockpots and the recipes concocted for them have come along way since the hey day of the crockpot back in the 70's. By following recipes carefully, in other words layering the food as directed you will be rewarded with a very tasty meal.
- Great Feature
If you are often not going to be home when your crockpot meal is being cooked, perhaps because you have a full time job. Consider investing in a crockput that automatically turns to warm after a certain number of hours or after it reaches a certain temperature. That way if you end up having to work late or no one will be home for some reason to turn off that crockpot you will not have an overcooked meal on your hands!
- Cook Once Eat Twice
Think abou investing in a larger crockpot and double the recipe. This will make for a couple of days of leftovers or freeze half for another night!