10 Reasons to Break Out the Slow Cooker

Recipes from The Kitchn

This is the best time of year to take your slow cooker down from the shelf and put it to work. Our days are as busy as ever, and the slow cooker offers a hot, fragrant meal that's ready when we walk in the door, meals like tacos with tender barbacoa beef, a bowl of curried vegetable stew, or even beef shanks in red wine for a slow-cooked date night.

If you don't have your own slow cooker, no worries — you can still enjoy these slow-cooked meals! Every single one of these recipes can also be made in a Dutch oven or even a soup pot with a sturdy lid. Instead of cooking in the slow cooker, put the lid on your pot and cook the dish in a 300°F oven for a few hours. The total cooking time will be shorter, so you'll usually want to start checking your dish after about two hours. It's done when the meat is fall-apart tender and the vegetables are cooked through. Or when it starts tasting delicious, whichever comes first.

Found any new favorite slow cooker recipes lately?

(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)

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