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If you could only have one kitchen essential, what would it be?
Mine would obviously be my crockpot.
Crockpots are so versatile, simple, and require literally zero effort. I can go to work or class all day and come home to dinner already finished.
What’s better than that? The answer is clearly nothing.
I’m always blown away when people tell me their kitchen essential is something like a blender or a coffee maker.
Sure, these are great, but they can’t even hold a candle to the crockpot.
I think that crockpots are just misunderstood.
My boyfriend once asked me “are you allowed to leave that on when you leave?” like I was leaving the stove on or something.
This literally is the biggest beauty of the crockpot. You put a bunch of stuff into it, turn it on, and leave.
What else could you really ask for?
The top 5 reasons you need a crockpot in your life
- You can set it and forget it
- Life is busy in your twenties! A huge benefit of slow cooker meals is how simple and easy they are. You can even assemble all of your ingredients the night before and then just turn it on in the morning! You can leave your slow cooker on while you go to work, and have dinner ready once you get home! How convenient is that?
- Clean up is simplified
- I don’t know about you, but I hate doing dishes. Most crockpot meals only require one dish – the actual crockpot itself! This saves a ton of time with cleanup and my crockpot is dishwasher safe, so I really end up with no dishes at all.
- Saves money
- Crock pot dishes are often comprised of ingredients that are on the cheaper end. They usually incorporate cuts of meat that are really tough and that most people wouldn’t normally buy to cook up on the stove. However, cooking them all day makes them super tender and delicious! So, these cheap cuts and “lesser” ingredients are perfect for your crockpot.
- Hard to mess up
- Many people in their twenties are intimidated by cooking. They’re worried about messing up, that the recipe is too complicated, etc. Crockpot meals are about as simple as you can get. I’m not kidding. I seriously think cooking an egg is more difficult than cooking a meal in the crockpot. 90% of meals you just have to combine the ingredients and turn it on.
- Makes good leftovers
- Many of the most popular meals to make in a crockpot end up being really good as leftovers! I don’t have an explanation for this, but it’s just true. This is coming from a girl who hates leftovers.
Some good crockpot options for beginners:
Smallest size with smart timer (4 quarts – serves about 4 people)
My very own crockpot! (4.5 quarts – serves about 4 people)
Largest size (8 quarts – serves about 9 people)
Some of my favorite crockpot recipes to get you started:
Crockpot Sausage and Peppers by Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats (This recipe is a little bit more complicated because it involves some prep work, so if you’re not super comfortable in the kitchen yet then I recommend starting with the other recipes first!)
Summing it all up…..
Whether you’ve never even turned on your stove or you’re the resident chef in your home, a crockpot is guaranteed to make your life easier. It is versatile enough that chefs of any level can find recipes that fit their needs!
It truly is almost impossible to mess up a crockpot meal because so many of them are just dump and go.
Pro tip: most of the time even if a recipe says to brown the meat before you put it in the crockpot, I just skip this step. The only exception is the sausage and pepper recipe I listed above because I think sausage would be gross if it wasn’t browned first (maybe that’s just me).
So get out there and get cooking! Let me know in the comments below what your favorite crockpot recipe is.