If you’re a big time outdoor (or indoor) griller, making meals is pretty easy. You’ve got a few recipes you know by heart, you have the right kind of grill accessories, you automatically stock up on the spices, sauces and meats that are good on the grill, you know what sides to put with a grilled dish and you know what to get at the grocery store.
You can enjoy the same kind of ease with the slow cooker, by just setting yourself up:
- Find a few recipes that work for you, your family, your budget and your health needs.
- Then get the right ingredients at the store and stock the pantry for slow cooking with things like dried beans, broths, onions, potatoes and stew meats.
- Finally, plan a specific night each week or two for experimenting with a slow cooker dish, bearing in mind that it may take a couple tries to adapt a recipe for your tastes. Be sure to note on the recipe any changes you did or would like to make.
No doubt about it: a specialized appliance can make cooking a lot easier, save a lot of time and produce really delicious meals—but only if you first invest a little time getting ready to use it.
Most of us buy an appliance, stick it in a cupboard and then wonder why it’s never seen again. So whether you just got a pressure cooker, panini press, rice cooker or vegetable steamer, here’s the secret to reaping its benefits: Take a few minutes to figure out how to use it, then make at least a semi-concerted effort to start using the darn thing on a somewhat regular basis. That’s how it becomes second nature, like the aforementioned grill.
Tomorrow’s post will talk about the most important investment of all: finding those few good recipes. . . .