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