- Food and Cooking
Delicious Crockpot Recipes - Cook While You're At Work
Convenient Time Saving Crockpot Cooking
It's a hectic life working at a job, doing house and yard work, taking care of family, and then at the end of the day coming home to face having to cook dinner when you are just plain worn out.
Every busy cook deserves a break once in a while, but eating out is expensive and not so very healthy when we whiz through the drive up window at the local fast food joint.
Simplify your life by letting one simple and inexpensive kitchen appliance do the work for you. Enjoy a delicious home cooked meal that can be on the table in minutes without you having to do much of anything.
Here is my lens dedicated solely to the best crock pot recipes. I hope the information I've included here gives you ideas for saving both time and money getting dinner on the table fast so you can enjoy more of your valuable time.
Selecting a Crock Pot
Which Crock Pots are Best?
I've owned many different crock pots in my life. Even today I have more than one because I use them for so many different things.
I have one large crock pot that I use for main dish meals and larger portion sizes. I have a medium sized crock pot I use for side dishes and smaller portion items. I also have small size crock pots that I use for dips and for serving appetizers at parties and get togethers.
There is one particular feature I look for in every crock pot I purchase, and that is that the "crock" (the part that holds the food) is removable from the appliance so it can be easily washed. There are some models in which the crock is attached to the appliance, and it makes for difficult clean up and it also limits being able to serve from the crock when it is detached from the heating unit.
Other than that, multiple heat settings are nice but not absolutely necessary. Some units are also programmable which is nice extra feature to have.
I'm not too particular about brand; there are some that are considered cheaply made as far as handles coming off, but I've had good luck with the ones I've purchased. Rival is a popular brand as is Hamilton Beach; others include West Bend, Cuisinart, and Proctor Silex.
All it really involves is an electric cord and a heating unit. I've purchased all kinds of different crock pot brands and luckily (knock on wood) have never had a problem. It is such a simple appliance without a lot of complicated parts.
A Few Crock Pots to Choose From
Transporting Meals is a Cinch
With A Crock Pot!
Crock pots are a great way to transport food to family reunions, holiday get togethers, parties, and picnics.
Some models even have "locking" lids to avoid food from spilling while in transport.
I leave the crock pot plugged up with the food cooked and the setting on warm until I am ready to leave. Then I place it in a cardboard box and surround the pot sides and top with kitchen towels to hold in the heat, and I make sure the lid is firmly in place.
When you arrive at your destination, you can plug it back up and set on warm. If at a picnic where there is no power, just leave it in the box with the towels in place holding in the heat until ready to serve.
I do this with corn on the cob, appetizers, macaroni and cheese, and many other dishes.
Traveling and Cooking on the Road
Have Crock Pot Will Travel
My husband's job years ago required him to travel a great deal, and I most always went along with him. When I packed for us to go on the road, I always included the crock pot, and I also packed a box with my common cooking utensils and spices to take with us. This saved us a great deal of money.
Many nights rather than use his per diem money to eat out, I simply cooked in the room and we pocketed what was left of the per diem meal allowance after the grocery expenses and saved it for other purposes.
It is very easy to make crock pot meals in the hotel room. I often made chili, loaded potato soup with bacon bits, soups, stews, spaghetti, and even cheesesteak hoagies.
I would visit a local grocery and purchase only what was needed, and this often included a fresh loaf of bread and salad ingredients. We ate quite well for very little money.
Depending on how much room you have when you travel, you can take along a hot plate, a skillet, a saucepan, and even a small sized compact microwave if the hotel room you'll be occupying does not have one. This increases your options for cooking additions to your recipes, such as pasta and cooked ground beef.
Much of the ability to cook in the hotel room has to do with where you are staying, but I never ran into a problem.
Hot Plates for Travelers - Great for Boiling Water for Pasta and Corn On the Road
These are great if you need to boil some water to cook pasta or corn for adding to a crock pot dish. You can also use it to cook ground beef or chicken for adding to other recipes. It is also great for sizzling up some onions and bell peppers for Crock Pot Cheese Steak Hoagies.
For dorm rooms, be sure to check with the school policies to make sure a hot plate is allowed in the room. Some schools are very strict about the use of hot plates in dorm rooms.
Dorm Rooms - Cooking at College
The Crock Pot Goes to School
When I was in college, I had a very small crock pot in my dorm room. It was great for warming up soups and heating canned goods like ravioli, beefaroni, spaghetti, canned chili, canned stew, and chicken and dumplings. During late night studies, we'd often get hungry when the cafeteria had long been closed.
You can make hot dogs in the crock pot too. See the recipe in this lens for an easy Hot Dog and Chili Coney Dinner.
This was a great and inexpensive way to ease the hunger and get back to studying quickly.
For this purpose, I recommended a fast heating small crock pot. Some of these come with a high and a low setting, so it can accommodate whatever the cooking needs are.
Some Mini Version Crock Pots and a Mini Crock Pot Recipe Book - Great for Traveling and College Dorm Rooms!
Teaching Kids to Cook
Crock Pots Are Great for Young Cooks
I began to teach my daughter how to cook when she was very young, supervised of course. She knew how to make a lot of different dishes when she was in her early elementary school years including cheese eggs, french toast, chili, grilled cheese, and cakes and brownies.
She actually won a First Place Blue Ribbon in the 4-H Club Beef Cook-Off, and she was the youngest entrant in the competition.
Kids love to help in the kitchen, and teaching them how to cook is something they can use all through life.
One of the early recipes she learned to make was Hot Dog and Chili Crock Pot Coney Delight
Crock Pot Recipe Books
This is a great recipe for teaching kids how to cook. It is simple, fast, and they are so proud when you gobble up their creation and ask for more. As your kids grow older, this will be a recipe they can use for their lunches and dinners when mom and dad are busy and the kids need a quick meal.
- All Beef Hot Dogs
- Hot Dog Buns
- 2 Cans Chili (Hormel Chili With or Without Beans or Texas Pete Hot Dog Chili Sauce)
- Green onions (optional)
- Bagged Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or other shredded blend)
- Mustard and Ketchup
- 1. Place 2 cans of chili in medium sized crock pot.
- 2. Add all beef hot dogs into chili mix and stir carefully to mix without tearing up hot dogs (wooden spoon works well).
- 3. Replace lid and heat on medium or high until warmed and hot dogs have cooked through.
- 4. Place buns on plate and place hot dog on bun.
- 5. Add mustard and ketchup to wiener.
- 6. Top with chili.
- 7. If desired, top with shredded cheese and sliced green onions.
- **NOTE 1** Serve with chips, coleslaw, and Southern Style Baked Beans.
Hot Dog Chili Sauce - Great for the Hot Dog and Chili Crock Pot Coney Delight Recipe!
A Programmable Feature Filled Crock Pot - A Good Value for the Money
Why I Think This is a Neat Crock Pot
* It is affordable considering the features it offers
* It can be used manually or pre-programmed
* It is a full 5 quarts
* It has a locking glass lid so contents don't spill when transporting
* Includes a temperature probe for large cuts of meat
* Automatically shifts to warm so food is not overcooked
Best Crock Pot Recipes - Crock Pot Corn - Not the best choice for travel unless you have a hot plate, too!
This is a big hit when I take it to family reunions, and it is incredibly easy. This is not a good one to adapt on the road unless you have a hot plate and a pot because the corn has to be cooked first.
- Bird's Eye or Green Giant Corn on the Cob (nibblers or larger)
- Salted Butter
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 1. Boil corn according to directions. Do not overcook.
- 2. Place 3 tablespoons of butter in warm crock pot.
- 3. Place drained cooked ears of corn into crock pot.
- 4. You can layer the corn as deeply as you need to.
- 5. For traveling, you can always take along some butter in a sealed plastic container to apply to top of corn so it will drain down through and cover all ears before serving.
- 6. When adding corn to pot, add a layer, lightly salt and pepper, rub on some butter, add next layer, light salt and pepper, rub on some butter, and so on until crock pot is full or amount desired has been added.
- 7. Place lid on pot and keep warm. Serve when ready. If traveling, visit this section on traveling with a crock pot.
I Love the Fix It and Forget It Cookbook
You will never run out of ideas for things to make in your crock pot with this recipe book!
Some Like It Hot! - Hot Sauce for those who like to turn up the heat!
I've tried A LOT of hot sauces in my lifetime. I use hot sauce for many different things.
I'm including these for use in the Simple Homemade Chili Recipe.
When I eat raw oysters on the half shell, I place an oyster on a saltine, and then I add hot sauce and some homemade cocktail sauce (made with lots of horseradish which also heats things up).
Not all hot sauces are acceptable, and after years of testing, I have some favorites!
Some Other Hot Sauces You Might Like to Try... - These are Good Too!
There are hot sauces that are pretty standard like those listed above, they are the standard red hot sauce typical of what falls in the category of "Louisiana Hot Sauce."
There are some more specialized sauces that offer a variety of different flavors and tastes. If you ever want to explore the world of hot sauces, take a visit to a Firehouse Subs Restaurant; they have just about every kind of hot sauce imaginable, and I've even purchased some from them direct when I found one I liked and could not find it available in the grocery or online.
One of my personal favorites is "Rhino Sauce" and I prefer the mild or medium; the hot is pretty hot depending on your taste buds and resiliency. Some people have a higher tolerance than others for hot sauce and peppers.
Best Crock Pot Recipes - Simple Homemade Chili - Adaptable for On the Road and in Dorm Rooms!
If you are adapting this one for one the road, you can still use meat or you can cook meatless chili instead. If you do decide to go meatless, you might add another can of beans.
You should cook the meat early in the day on high because it will a lot longer to cook through in a crock pot than in a skillet, then remove it, drain it on paper towels, wipe out all the grease, then return it to the crock pot.
Another option is to use a hot plate and skillet to brown the ground beef along with some green and/or hot peppers and onions before draining and adding to the crock pot.
Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 bell pepper chopped (optional)
- 1 -3 jalapeno peppers (optional)
- 1 onion (optional)
- 1 -1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (I use HOT)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 16 -ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 can Conagra Ranch Style Beans
- 1 can chili beans
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 medium size can crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 bag shredded Mexican style cheese
- Saltine crackers or fresh bread slices
- Louisiana Style Hot Sauce (optional)
- 1. Brown ground beef in skillet. (If you are on the road, see notes above regarding adapting for travel cooking methods).
- 2. Drain beef, return to pan. Add diced peppers and onions if using. Cook until soft, and add to crock pot.
- 3. Stir in remaining ingredients (except cheese, hot sauce, crackers, and bread) and blend completely.
- 4. Cover crock pot, and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 7 hours.
- 5. Serve in bowls and top with hot sauce and cheese along with crackers and/or bread slices.
- **NOTE 1** I love Cincinnati Style Chili, and many times I'll cook thin spaghetti noodles and place them in the bowls and then add the chili on top. Chili can also be served over cooked rice.
- **NOTE 2** Add a green salad, and top off with a brownie for dessert; top warmed brownie with caramel sauce and top with vanilla ice cream.
Chili Powder - Some Like It Hot! - Whether you like your chili mild or hot, it does need to be flavored with chili powder.
Traveling With a Compact Microwave Adds Options - Compact Microwaves Are Great for Cooking on the Road!
Taking a crock pot along on your travels if you have room increases your crock pot cooking options, allowing you to cook pasta, ground beef, and other items for adding to your recipes.
The crock pot recipe options for on the road greatly increase when you have a compact microwave with you and/or a hot plate. But if space is limited, the crock pot alone still offers plenty of possibilities for eating when traveling.
Best Crock Pot Recipes - Southern Style Baked Beans - If you have two crock pots, these are great alongside the Hot Dog Crock Pot Recipe!
These are good with ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled steak.
- 2 Large (the TALL) Cans Van Camps or other good quality Pork and Beans
- 4 Slices Bacon
- Brown Sugar
- Prepared Yellow Mustard
- 1 Green Bell Pepper (optional)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (yellow is okay too) AND (optional)
- 1/2 to 1 pound cooked and drained lean ground beef
- 1. Place the beans into the crock pot.
- 2. Take scissors and cut bacon into small pieces. Add to beans.
- 3. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar.
- 4. Drizzle molasses into the mix.
- 5. Add 1-2 teaspoons yellow mustard.
- 6. Julienne the green and/or red bell pepper, and add to crock pot mixture.
- 7. If using ground beef, stir into crock pot after beef is cooked and drained.
- 8. Place lid on crock pot, and let mixture cook (stirring occasionally) for 4-6 hours on low heat.
Best Crock Pot Recipes - Delicious Simple Crock Post Beef Roast - This goes GREAT with my Yorkshire Pudding Recipe!
This is a great roast beef crock pot recipe because you can place the meat in the crock pot frozen or thawed. So if you forgot to thaw out your roast the night before, No Worries! It goes great with some horseradish on the side along with Yorkshire Pudding.
This particular recipe is simple without much in the way of ingredients. There are other roast beef variations that use carrots, potatoes, Lipton Onion Soup Mix, but this recipe is very basic, but also incredibly delicious.
I cook this one simple like this because I use the drippings in Yorkshire Pudding, and other ingredients would interfere with the outcome of that recipe.
- Beef Roast - Standing Rib is Excellent But Cheaper Cuts Will Do
- Trust Me -That's It Do Not Add any salt or seasonings - Keep It Simple
- 1. Place frozen or thawed roast in the crock pot early in the day, fat side up so it will baste the meat.
- 2. DO NOT add water. This is especially important if you are planning on making the Yorkshire Pudding.
- 3. Place lid on tightly, and turn to low.
- 4. Later when roast is done, remove meat to platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
- 5. You will need some of the drippings in the crock pot for the Yorkshire Pudding. Refer to that recipe for details. (will post today in a separate lens).
- 6. Any remaining drippings can be used to make a gravy or used as an Au Jus for the meat. If you make gravy, you might consider adding some Homemade Mashed Potatoes and using gravy on top of them, or making warm rolls and dipping them into gravy. Lots of possibilities.
- 7. Slice meat and serve with desired side dishes; we love Yorkshire Pudding, so it is always an accompaniment to our roast beef. If you like things spicy, add some horseradish to the side of your plate and dip roast beef in it. Yum!
- 8. Refrigerate leftovers. They are great for Skillet Beef Hash or Roast Beef Sandwiches.
My Lens Was Blessed by Angels!
Thank you Squid Angels!
You'll meet more angels on a winding path than on a straight one. ~Terri Guillemets