Beat the Summer Heat with Crock Pot Cooking

First let me start by saying that one should never ever write about food or food related things when one is hungry. It will not help in anyway……(yes, I am currently STARVING whilst about to commence to tell you all about delicious crockpot foods. Self sabotaging much? Yes, but I am doing it all for you my lovely readers. You are welcome 🙂

Now to my real introduction…

When the weather outside warms up, the kitchen can be a miserable place to be. There are many things you can do though, when it comes to cooking a nice home made meal that doesn’t require traditional stove top or oven cooking. Learning to master some of the lesser heat producing equipment in your kitchen, such as the crock pot, in order to truly beat the summer heat and keep your cool while preparing a nice hot meal for friends and family.

So, how does crock pot cooking really help beat the heat? Simply put, the crock pot (or slow cooker as it is also known) in and of itself puts off far less heat when cooking than an oven or stove top. This is the first and possibly the best reason to utilize the crock pot in your summer meal planning. You should also consider the fact that by not heating the house by using your stove top or oven you are also preventing your air conditioning (or other cooling methods) from working overtime in order to compensate for the additional heat that other cooking methods introduce.

This makes crock pot cooking a win-win situation as the costs involved in operating a crock pot are far less than the costs involved in operating a stove or oven in general. Whether electric or gas, your stove and oven are often serious energy hogs. Add to that the fact that you are not raising the temperature in your home by traditional means of cooking and you are using even less electricity. In obvious language, if you want to avoid a high summertime light bill, ditch the stove and say hello to the crockpot. Got it?

Unfortunately for most, the general consensus has been that crock pots were meant for comfort foods and hearty winter meals. The truth is that the crock pot should be one of your best loved and most often utilized cooking methods if you can manage it. When it comes to cooking with a crock pot, the options are almost limitless. Almost anything that can be baked can be made in the crock pot and many, many more wonderful and enticing meals and treats as well. You can wow your family with all kinds of main dishes, sides and desserts all from the slow cooker.

Benefits of Crock Pot Cooking

In addition to the cost benefits mentioned above when it comes to crock pot cooking there are many other benefits that are well worth mentioning. First of all, the bulk of the work involved in crock pot cooking takes place early in the day when you are refreshed rather than at the end of a hectic work or play day.  Can you say a big HELLO to walking in the kitchen after work to already done or (almost) meal. It’s almost like having someone to cook for you…like having an assistant of sorts.

Second, many great crock pot recipes include the vegetables that insure we are getting the nutrients we need. So often, when preparing a meal at the last minute, vegetables and other side dishes are left out in favor of expedience. Crock pot cooking in many instances is a meal in one dish.

Another great reason to use a crock pot for your summertime cooking is the ease of clean up. Unlike pots and pans, most crock pot meals are made in one dish. This means that there will not be mountains of dishes to be either hand washed or loaded into the dishwasher (or if you are like me—both) afterwards. You can even buy those cool disposable crockpot inserts that make clean up lightening fast.You can spend less time cleaning just as you spent less time slaving over a hot stove. Oh wait! Make that no time slaving over a hot stove. Once clean up is complete you can get back to enjoying the sun set, chasing the lightening bugs with your little ones, or waiting for the first star.

While there will never be a one size fits all best cooking method, crock pot cooking comes very close. If you have a crock pot collecting dust somewhere in the back of your pantry it is time to get it out, dust if off, and dig up some great summertime crock pot cooking recipes. You will thank us later!

 

Author: Tiffany Cratic