The First Recipes That Should Hit Your Slow Cooker

If you haven't dusted off your slow cooker just yet, there's no time like the present. Get these hands-off meals in your slow cooker now that summer is over.
Related To:

Pulled Pork Sandwich, as seen on Food Network's Trisha's Southern Kitchen.

©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

If you haven't dusted off your slow cooker just yet, there's no time like the present. With the colder temps setting in, this most-trusty kitchen device should be back in your arsenal for the coming months, for slow-cooked, pull-apart meats, as well as hands-off dinners and all other takes on low-maintenance meal prep. These are the meals that should hit your slow cooker first now that summer is over.

Just because barbecue season is ending doesn't mean you can't enjoy the tender, smoky goodness year round. Rely on Trisha Yearwood's  Slow-Cooker Georgia Pulled Pork Barbecue in the coming months by topping bone-in pork roast with homemade barbecue sauce. Just cook it low and slow until dinnertime.

Savor a soup that gives canned soup a run for its money when it comes to ease.  Slow-Cooker Spicy Fajita Soup requires only 15 minutes prep time and just simmers in the slow cooker. At the very end, cover the soup bowls with cheese and broil in the oven until blistering and bubbly.

The traditionally long-simmered sauce, Sunday gravy, may take hours of on-your-feet time on the stove to prepare, but this  Slow-Cooker Sunday Gravy involves a more hands-off approach. With hot sausage links and three kinds of tomatoes, it's a hearty, meaty sauce best served over al dente pasta.

FOODNETWORK_20081002_250.tif

FOODNETWORK_20081002_250.tif

Cook boneless pork shoulder for hours on end for pull-apart meat to stuff inside charred tortilla shells. Food Network Magazine's top-rated  Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos are flavored with cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, plus whole ancho and pasilla chiles, and the flavors of each settle in the longer it cooks.

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Even your dessert is better in the slow cooker. This easy-to-make  Gooey Brownie Cake is gooey on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. The fact that it's hands-off is pretty cool too.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Best 5 Slow-Cooker Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five slow-cooker recipes to find both sweet and savory dishes that are easy enough to make on hectic weekdays

18 Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes

Cozy meat and poultry dishes aren’t the only foods perfect for slow cookers. How about desserts, soups, and vegetarian fare too? The possibilities are endless!

Six Tips for Adapting a Recipe for a Slow Cooker

Love the plug-it-in-and-walk-away convenience of a slow cooker? Modifying a favorite recipe to work in this mechanical marvel can take a little trial and error, but the payoff of coming home to a piping-hot meal makes it worth the effort.

Slow-Cooker Showstoppers

For a taste of the slow-cooked life, try Food Network's easy recipes below that can be quickly prepped in the morning and enjoyed at night.

How to Successfully Slow-Cook

The slow cooker is our friend in the test kitchen, and we’ve discovered some helpful tips to create the perfect dish every time. Get Food Network's tips.

14 Tips for Slow-Cooker Meals

A few simple rules are the key to creating a rich, satisfying slow-cooked meal. Follow these tips for easy, flavorful recipes all year long.

Your Favorite Slow-Cooked Dishes

Fall is a great time to bust out the slow cooker. Get Food Network's favorite slow-cooked recipes.