Slow Cooker Hacks

It’s easy to get stuck in your cooking routine. We are all guilty of it, making the same dishes week after week and season after season. While most of us cook chili, soup, or pot roast in our slow cooker, there is a whole world of recipes out there that are also great for slow cookers. Everything from fondue to party mix can be cooked – and even sometimes served – in the crock. We’ve compiled some of our favorite slow cooker hacks that will hopefully get you experimenting in the kitchen and experiencing the versatility of your favorite kitchen appliance. 

Slow Cooker as a Fondue Pot
Chocolate Fondue

If you don’t have a fancy fondue set, you can still enjoy this decadent dessert using a small slow cooker. Dip your fruit or pound cake right into the slow cooker or scoop the chocolate mixture into a bowl and surround it with assorted dippers like strawberries, pineapple, banana, angel food or pound cake, pretzels, marshmallows or cookies. Try our decadent  Chocolate Fondue.

Slow Cooker for SnacksSlow Cooker Chex Mix® Party Mix | @hamiltonbeach

You can also use your slow cooker to make snacks.  Our Slow Cooker Cereal Party Mix is the perfect example. Find your favorite corn, rice, or wheat square cereal and put them into the slow cooker with pretzels, nuts, and cheesy crackers. Stir and cover the mixture with melted butter and various spices and cook. Let the mixture cool on parchment paper and serve in a huge bowl for the perfect game-day snack or separate into smaller portions and bag for the kid’s school lunches.

Slow Cooker for Baking 

Slow Cooker Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

There’s no need to turn on the stove and heat up the house in order to bake. Let your slow cooker help. These overnight slow cooker cinnamon rolls are prepared the night before. The dough rises in the refrigerator overnight and makes for a sweet, fluffy, pull-apart breakfast.

Slow Cooker as a Punch Bowl
Hot Buttered Rum

While most people think of cooking food in their slow cookers, they also function as a great serving vessel for hot drinks. Not only will your house smell amazing while the drink stays warm, you don’t have to worry about making multiple batches so everyone gets a hot drink. The concoction will stay warm throughout the night and your guests can serve themselves right out of the crock. Serve our Hot Buttered Rum at a party this holiday season.

Slow Cooker for CaramelizingSlow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Did you know you could caramelize food in your slow cooker? We caramelized onions for our delectable French Onion Soup. Caramelizing onions in the slow cooker creates the chemical reaction similar to stovetop caramelization, but without having to babysit the onions as they cook down. You simply slice the onions, either by hand or by a MUCH easier, quicker method – with a food processor, and place in the slow cooker crock.  You can even add a little sugar if you want a sweeter caramelization. Use the onions for soup right away, or divide into smaller portions and freeze to use in recipes later.

Slow Cooker for Warming Candy Melts

Halloween Marshmallow Pops

Add crafting to the list of things slow cookers can make a little easier in your household. We made spooky Halloween marshmallow pops with the help of a small slow cooker. You can either warm candy melts on the stovetop and transfer them to the slow cooker to keep warm, or melt them in the slow cooker. The slow cooker provides for easy dipping and the entire family can get in the Halloween spirit decorating these festive pops.

Slow Cooker for Purees and ButtersApple Butter

We know canned purees and butters are easy to use and taste fine, but in our eyes, nothing beats homemade. Puree is actually quite easy to make at home, especially in a slow cooker. Try our Slow Cooker Pumpkin Puree for a great addition to soups, breads and pies. Making Apple-Pumpkin Butter takes a little longer, but we promise it is well worth the effort.  It is done over two days, first making applesauce in the slow cooker then cooking pumpkin puree down until it turns into a rich, concentrated butter.

Slow Cooker for Quick, Easy BreakfastOvernight Oatmeal from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach

Most people leave their slow cookers on the kitchen counter during the day while they wait for their delicious meal to be done just in time for dinner. What most people don’t realize is slow cookers can be a great appliance for quick breakfasts. Our Overnight Cranberry Apple Steel-Cut Oatmeal cooks in the slow cooker while you sleep, so all you have to do in the morning is scoop it out, serve and enjoy. Premixing ingredients for a breakfast casserole in your slow cooker crock and chilling overnight makes for easy prep in the morning and serving from the slow cooker make for even easier cleanup. Try our Slow Cooker Breakfast Sausage Casserole the next time you have overnight guests.

Slow Cooker for Desserts 

Slow Cooker Triple Chocolate Cake

Say goodbye to dry, crumbly cake. While slow cookers are generally used for chili, soups and stews, they also are a great option for making desserts. Our triple chocolate cake and chocolate cherry pineapple dump cake are both made in the slow cooker. You won’t believe how moist the final product is.


Slow Cooker as a Slow RoasterSlow Cooker Herb Turkey Breast | @hamiltonbeach

If we have a big protein like a whole turkey or a pork roast on the menu, generally we immediately think to put it in the oven. However, slow cookers are great for cooking meat and poultry. Using the slow cooker locks in the juices, giving you a tender, moist results. Try our Slow Cooker Herb Turkey Breast. It delivers big on taste but is perfect for small gatherings.

Slow Cooker for Cooking Pasta

Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells with Spinach

No need to wait for water to boil. We started with raw pasta shells and made slow cooker stuffed shells with spinach from start to finish in the slow cooker. Our classic and south of the border lasagnas are also cooked in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker as a Gift Basket  Slow Cooker Gift Basket

Slow cookers don’t only have to be used for cooking – they also make a great gift basket. Fill the slow cooker with ingredients, dish towels, and cooking utensils and give the lucky recipient all the tools they need to make a great meal in their new slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker for Browning and Searing

Family Style Pot Roast with Egg Noodles

Some of our slow cookers are equipped with stove top-safe cookware. If a recipe calls for searing or browning before cooking, you can simply remove the crock and put it directly onto the stovetop before placing it back in the slow cooker base to finish cooking. The roast for our family-style pot roast with egg noodles was seared first. You can sear and cook using the same vessel, limiting the amount of cleanup.

Slow Cooker Hacks Pinterest Graphic

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  1. Avatar

    I can’t think of any other hacks!

  2. Avatar

    Mulled wines or beverages would be kept warm in a slow cooker
    SO many great hacks and uses for a slow cooker.

    Thanks for the chance

  3. Avatar

    would love to win one

  4. Avatar

    I don’t know any hacks. Thank you for the giveaway!

  5. Avatar

    I would try it, easy to make!

  6. Avatar
    Rachael Forsythe

    Wow never realized you could do deserts .Amazing.My favorite is roast beef .Yumm

  7. Avatar
    Brandy Williams

    No there isn’t I love making crockpot meals and other treats!

  8. Avatar

    This is one of my favorite slow cooker hacks. Pure genius!

  9. Avatar

    Love slow cooker meals. Easy and fast of you prepare the whole week in one day that way school lunches are ready to go.

  10. Avatar

    I like to use to help the kitchen smell great-sliced oranges and cinnamon sticks.
    Also moisten 3 towels and set on low for 1 hour, use 1 towel for sore shoulders or other aching joints; put slow cooker on warm and get new towel out when needed. Do not leave on for more than 6 hours.

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    Patricia Biggar

    I never thought about using a slow cooker for puree’s…great idea!

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    penny moore

    Thank you so much, I will be trying them

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    Mary Beth Elderton

    These are great ideas! I’ve used the slow cooker to bake bread—very easy. I make chicken broth almost weekly—cook for about 24 hours.

  14. Avatar

    Awesome ideas! Thank you :)

  15. Avatar
    hazell perez

    ‏I don’t have any but have learned from all the ones mentioned. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity. Very generous :)

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    Stephanie Beaver

    I’m not a very good cook. I would buy a cookbook for this and teach myself how to slow cook whole meals together to make my life easier.

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