As someone fairly new to the science of cooking on a regular basis, I’m not ashamed to admit my culinary skills hover somewhere between apprentice and proficient. Sometimes I burn things. Sometimes things don’t turn out just right. Sometimes I surprise myself and dinner tastes much better than I expected to. And while I am my own greatest cheerleader in the kitchen, I’m also always looking for recipes or tools that make the task easier and better my odds at plating something edible.

My newest best friend in the kitchen? The slow cooker.

I uncovered my grandmother’s Crock-Pot in the basement of my parents’ house, dusted it off and found a home for it in my new home. Since it moved in, the slow cooker has saved me from dinner disasters so many times I’m looking into the prerequisites for knighthood. I can mess up a lot of things, but delicious ingredients simmering on low heat all day while I’m at work and ready to eat when I walk in the door? Yes, now you’re seeing the reasoning behind the best friend status.

These slow cooker secrets offer tips and suggestions to even further simplify this simple cooking method. Hungry yet? Here are some of our favorite slow cooker recipes:

White Bean Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Double Chocolate Nut Clusters


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