5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make in Your Slow Cooker

SLOWCOOKER SPICED NUTS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Maple Syrup, Unsalted Butter, Cinnamon, Orange Zest, Kosher Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pecans, Cashews

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

SLOWCOOKER SPICED NUTS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Maple Syrup, Unsalted Butter, Cinnamon, Orange Zest, Kosher Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pecans, Cashews

You know all about the perks of setting it and forgetting it, but are you aware of your slow cooker’s secret powers? Beyond the game-changing greatness of slow-cooked meaty chilis, beef stews and more, this most trusty appliance has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. In addition to its ability to cook dinner while you’re away at work, check out a few surprising things you can make using the slow cooker’s gentle heat.

Instead of standing over the stove or turning to the microwave for your early morning oatmeal fix, go for Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal. Before you turn in for the night, combine steel cut oats, dried cranberries, dried figs and some liquid in the slow cooker and, come morning, you’ll have a bowl of perfectly cooked oatmeal waiting for you.

If you thought your slow cooker was capable of cooking only real meals low and slow, think again. With the help of your slow cooker, Slow-Cooker Spiced Nuts soak up all the goodness of cinnamon, maple syrup, orange peel and a little cayenne pepper for hours on end. The end result is a nutty snack that’s oh so addictive.

FNK_SLOW_COOKER_MUSHROOM_BARLEY_RISOTTO_H.jpg

FNK_SLOW_COOKER_MUSHROOM_BARLEY_RISOTTO_H.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

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

Traditional risotto is known for being a labor of love, with all the stirring and stirring and stirring, but Slow-Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto is anything but high maintenance. Instead of constantly hovering over a pot until the rice reaches its notoriously creamy consistency, throw barley and veggies into a slow cooker for a dish that has similar vibes. It’s creamy, savory and completely vegetarian.

When you’ve got your slow cooker at the ready, it couldn’t be easier to transform fresh apples into Slow-Cooker Apple Butter. After cooking sliced Granny Smith apples with spices, applesauce and sugar for a few hours, store the fruity, silky butter in sterilized jars and slather it over hot biscuits, toast or scones.

Food Network Slow Cooker Chocolate Fondue

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012,Television Food Network,G.P.

Marshall Troy , FOOD NETWORK : 2012,Television Food Network,G.P.

Food Network Slow Cooker Chocolate Fondue

Especially if your slow cooker is on the smaller side, it’s perfect for a hot, melted and dippable favorite: fondue. Make a sweet version, Slow-Cooker Chocolate Fondue, and dip pretzels, cookies, fruit and more. When you use a slow cooker to make this treat, there’s no need to worry that the bottom of the chocolate will burn, and it won’t go cold when feeding a crowd.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Slow Cooker 101

When firing up the slow cooker, it's important to know which cuts of meat will cook best. We've got some top meat picks for a perfect slow-cooker dish.

Slow Cooker Hacks

Your trusty slow cooker is brilliant for so much more than just soups and stews. Here are some favorite tricks from the crew at The Kitchen.

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.

Everything You Can Make in a Slow Cooker

Here are the recipes you might not realize you can make in your favorite appliance.

Slow Cooker Dinners 5 Ways

Don’t you love walking in the door after a long day and dinner is waiting? It’s that easy when you put your slow cooker to work. Whip out this underappreciated kitchen appliance and try these 5 mouth-watering dishes.

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

10 Unexpected Things to Make in Your Slow Cooker


The slow cooker's ability to cook dinner while you're away at work is only one of its many merits. Breakfast, lunch, dessert, party food and even holiday gifts are made infinitely easier when left to the gentle heat of a slow cooker. 

Your Favorite Slow-Cooked Dishes

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

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.