As an author of slow-cooker cookbooks, I often get reader questions about ingredient substitutions. I’ll hear comments groaning that certain family members “don’t like beans” or other common ingredients in slow-cooker recipes — and that’s okay! My very favorite thing about slow cooking is how customizable the recipes can be to fit your food needs and preferences.
I’m such a sucker for vintage slow cookers. I love picking them up at thrift stores or garage sales for a few dollars; I currently have 14 different models ready to go in the kitchen. I also have a few more in the garden and in the garage that I keep purely for aesthetic reasons — this is because these lovely relics are no longer safe for cooking food.
I have been cooking meals in my slow cooker regularly for the past 18 years (and writing about it for the past seven!). It’s accurate to say that I love my slow cooker. Err, slow cookers; I currently have 14 in the house, and try to use a slow cooker for our main meal four to five times a week. I get emails every week with questions about slow-cooker cooking, and many of them are about using slow cookers safely. You have questions? I have answers!