What started in the 1970’s as a simple bean cooker is now a celebrated device in many kitchens. Whether you call it by it’s trademarked name “Crock-Pot” or simply know it as a slow cooker, this culinary tool means one thing: an easy, one-pot meal that cooks slowly over the course of several hours, without supervision.
For the uninitiated: slow cookers are round or oval and have ceramic or porcelain pots, which are encased in a larger metal pot that has a heating element. Typically available in only a few settings (warm, low, and high), these countertop devices let you slow braise, roast, and simmer for 8 to 10 hours, until meat is fall-apart tender and soups and stews warm and cooked. From appetizers to dips to entrees to desserts, these magical machines let you cook a whole meal without fuss and very little clean up.
Fall is a great time to create hearty meals with a slow cooker. While a lot of cook time is required, the prep work is usually short and the reward is great – a meal that looks, smells, and tastes delicious. Here, a collection of slow cooker recipes, including Cuban Pork and Black Beans, a Torta de Tamal, and the classic Brisket Tacos.