Too Hot to Grill? Try the Slow Cooker

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 3.43.23 PMWhen I told a friend that I was working on an article about slow-cooker recipes for summer, she gave me a concerned look and asked if I was in full possession of my faculties. I may not be, but I do know this: In addition to being nearly foolproof, slow cookers don’t heat up your kitchen. They don’t even require you to be in your kitchen — or your house, for that matter — while they do their thing. I’m not saying, “Stop grilling.” But I am saying that when the temperature starts to climb, you might break out the crockpot.

While slow cookers are best known for their meat-braising prowess, they also work wonders on dried beans, rendering them almost impossibly creamy inside while leaving them completely intact. Throw some liquid, seasonings and meat in the bottom, vegetables on top, and you’ll wind up with slow-cooked stews that take advantage of summer ingredients.

Read the rest of this article, here.

Posted in Recipes, Slow Food

12 Comments

  1. Chris said...

    Used chickpeas I’d had for a least a year and a can of enchilada sauce, onions carrots and baby kale. Yum!

  2. Dona Munker said...

    I love fresh beans, and after reading your article I was so inspired by a vision of being able to just drop dried beans into a slow cooker and forget about them that I rushed out and got a slow cooker to try out the basic principle.

    However, the instructions for my (admittedly very simple) Rival crockpot, the most basic, say that “beans must be softened completely before combining with sugar and/or acidic foods” and that “dried beans, especially kidney beans, should be boiled before adding to a recipe.” It sounds as if as much preparation for cooking dried beans in a crock pot is required as would be true for any other kind of cooking method. Should I reluctantly send back my new crock pot?

  3. Dave Bokmiller said...

    I plan to apply slow-cooker meals to my newly started VB6 eating plan. So far working well but my schedule occasionally would benefit from slow-cooker meals.

  4. jeri said...

    Made the slow cooker vegetable recipe from this past NY Times. Cooks quicker than stated. No temp. or serving amounts given. it makes a lot.
    Smells and tastes great. Will serve this evening. Thanks!

    Used gabanzo beans.

  5. katherine snelson said...

    Interesting article. I don’t own a slow cooker but the beauty part could be, if you lived in a house, that you could put it outdoors for the hours or in the garage, basement. Like the grill, it would keep the heat out of the kitchen.

  6. Kathy said...

    Great simple read. I never thought to use my slow cooker to cook dry beans! I’m going to try this recipe with a latin twist. Hope you consider posting other slow cooker recipes in the future.

  7. Susan said...

    I follow Bittman with great enthusiasm, and frequently am inspired to head to the kitchen with his latest ‘flex’ idea. I am at this moment, however, trying to deal with the disaster unfolding in my slow-cooker. I followed the suggested quantities and used Goya’s 16-bean mixture with a pork chop. Also threw in potatoes and herbs. The result is both mushy and dry! It’s been on ‘high’ for 4 hours but I feel I must pull the plug. Bittman, where did I go wrong?

    Susan in NYC

  8. Sylvie Romanowski said...

    Could you please specify which size of slow cooker this recipe needs for the quantities you’ve indicated?
    Thank you.
    SR

    • Alex said...

      Looks like Bittman is using about 6qt slow cooker

  9. Jim Grey said...

    Tried this twice and it is great. A simple, no nonsense slow cooker recipe.

  10. Roni said...

    Do the veggies have to be be fresh? Can they be frozen? I would like to try this ASAP :)

  11. Jill K said...

    I love the idea of a slow cooker but most have lead in the ceramic insert. Any ideas to get around that?

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