I am a big fan of slow cookers. Even in my college apartment days, my roommate and I would often use a slow cooker for meals. It was easy to throw everything in before class and then come home to a hot tasty meal at the end of the day. We ate our share of ramen noodles and canned soup, but even as college students we were able to cook and eat “real food” thanks to shortcuts like the slow cooker.
So there’s lots to love about my favorite small appliance. However, I did not love clean-up. While it was slow-cooking my food, it was slow-caking residue that required soaking, scrubbing, scraping, more soaking, etc to remove. People say that spraying the pot with non-stick spray helps, but that never worked for me.
Then my life was changed. My mother-in-law blessed me with the introduction of Slow Cooker Liners. They rock my world. I plan slow-cooked meals several times a month, and I have also started cooking dried beans (in the slow cooker) instead of using cans. My average monthly slow-cooker usage probably comes between 25 and 30 hours. That’s a lot of time that stuff could be crusting onto my slow cooker pot. Instead, it looks almost brand new thanks to these handy plastic bags (BPA-free, btw).
These are a disposable, one-time-use item, and while I am trying to make changes to “go green” around here, I also take convenience into consideration. I also considered all the water I was using trying to wash off baked-on food. Given these factors, I decided that liners are the way to go. I wish they’d sell them at Costco in giant boxes.
And – yay! – if you go to their website, they’ll give you a coupon for $1 off a box. That’s over 50% off for me at HEB. If you think slow cookers are just for winter stews and pot roasts, here are a few of my more summery favorites to keep you going: