Being the ‘original’ slow cooker, the Crock Pot was designed with convenience and cost-efficiency in mind – not only can it transform an otherwise tough piece of meat into a tender masterpiece, it can also save you money because time is quite literally money.
The original premise was being able to prep your ingredients, head off to work, and come home to a hearty meal. Apparently the inventor, Irving Naxon, applied for a food-heating device, something that would cook long, slow and evenly, in 1936.
He was inspired by his mother’s traditional bean stew, which would take hours to make over the Sabbath, a traditional day of rest. Consequently, he called his device the Naxon Beanery, but the name was sold to Crock Pot when he sold it to a manufacturer in the 1970s.
He could not have imagined how his slow cooker would change kitchens the world over. From stews to roasts, bread and dessert, there is nothing that a few ingredients, the Pot and a little bit of imagination cannot achieve. We’ve rounded up a variety of not only the tastiest recipes, but the easiest ones you’re likely to try – and return to – again and again.
1. Chicken Alfredo
A soothing, creamy pasta is perfect nearly any time of day, any day – so how great a thing of culinary beauty is it when in 2,5 hours you can serve up an appetizing Chicken Alfredo having done almost nothing since prepping the ingredients and adding them to the pot?
You’ll need 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts, 4 tablespoons butter, softened; 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup chicken broth, salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic cloves (to taste), 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 pound rigatoni, 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley as a garnish.
Add the chicken, butter, heavy cream and chicken broth to the pot, seasoned with the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Leave to cook for 2 hours on high, until the chicken is cooked through. Shred the chicken and add it back to the pot. Stir in the cheese and pasta, and leave on the same setting until the pasta is al dente. Serve immediately.