The recipes in our series “Homemade Gourmet” take the thought and time out of cooking without sacrificing their flavor or gourmet appeal. Slow cooker recipes allow us to spend less time in the kitchen while still preparing delicious dishes.

Oh, slow cooker, how we love you.

First, you’re a time saver. Minimal preparation of ingredients before they go into your one-pot ceramic insert, along with a “set it and forget it” mantra, means that we can carry on with the hustle of work, family, and entertaining without being bound to the oven.

Second, you’re like a second oven, year round! Whether it’s occupied with the main course roast or a sheet pan of sides, or we just don’t want to heat the kitchen in the sweltering summer months, we turn to you, our queen of braises, comforting soups, chili, and stews — and, yes, even desserts!

And, finally, your low temperature and extended cook time mean that you create an environment for infusing deep flavor and palate-pleasing textures, such as creamy beans, moist cakes, and tender, shredded meat.

And speaking of meat, you’re the best at making inexpensive cuts of chicken, pork, and beef shine, allowing us to stretch out our weekly food budget. We could go on, but we’ll let our nine favorite slow cooker recipes further sing your praises.


Harry & David Fine Meats
Author

Theresa Gambacorta is a food writer and 25-year veteran of New York City's restaurant industry. Her writing has appeared in such titles as La Cucina Italiana, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, and Centennial's special interest publications. She is the co-author of chef Joey Campanaro's Big Love Cooking (Chronicle) and is currently working on a cookbook about Persian cuisine to be published by Knopf.

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