12 Great Reasons to Plug In Your Slow Cooker This Summer

Quick, what comes to mind when we say “slow cooker”? Soup? Braised short ribs? True, cold weather is the perfect time to let something comforting simmer away in the crock pot, but so is warm weather. Summer, arguably, is even more appropriate for slow cooking than winter, since in summer, you want to be able to plug in an appliance and get the heck out of the kitchen. Here, to keep you cool and well fed all summer long, are 12 recipes.

1. Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

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Brisket's need for long, slow cooking perfectly suits the crockpot, just like this recipe perfectly suits summer's need for delicious, fall-apart BBQ sandwiches. Get our Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket recipe.

2. Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

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Filipino adobo is a perfect summer party dish. Set it out in a big platter to let guests help themselves—it’s equally good hot, warm, or even cold. This recipe is so easy—the crockpot does all the work, while you go do something else. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo recipe.

3. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

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Rub the pork shoulder with dark brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon, then cook it on a bed of garlic and onions in the crock pot. When you come back six to ten hours later, you’ll have juicy pork you can shred and serve in a sandwich with your favorite BBQ sauce. Get our Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe.

4. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Enchiladas

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Pork, dried chiles, and tomatoes slowly turn luscious over as many as 10 hours in the slow cooker, then get turned into a memorable filling, rolled into sauce-dipped tortillas and baked under a blanket of cheese. Serve these at a chill backyard party. Get our Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Enchiladas recipe.

5. Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili

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Your chili game should be strong this summer—make a whole delicious crock of this chicken and smoked-chile recipe, then set it out on the warm setting for your guests to help themselves, after an afternoon of swimming. Get our Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili recipe.

6. Slow Cooker Bourbon Ribs

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For these easy, tasty ribs, you make a bacon-bourbon barbecue sauce for marinating and simmering the ribs. After 4 or 5 hours, when the ribs are tender, you brush them with more sauce and give them a quick turn in the broiler. Get our Slow Cooker Bourbon Ribs recipe.

7. Slow Cooker Asian-Style Chicken Thighs

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The versatile combo of soy sauce, fresh ginger, orange zest, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon, and sherry forms both a cooking and flavoring medium for chicken thighs on the bone in this super-easy recipe. Get our Slow Cooker Asian-Style Chicken Thighs recipe.

8. Slow Cooker Chicken with Olives and Fennel

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The Provençal combination of olives and fennel is ideal for summer. Here, it flavors moist, slow-cooked chicken thighs. Open a bottle of rosé, slice some good bread, and tossa salad: a nearly effortless dinner is done. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken with Olives and Fennel recipe.

9. Easy Slow Cooker Baked Beans

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We figure if the original Boston settlers had had crockpots (instead of analog bean pots and wood-burning ovens) they would have made baked beans this way. Combine the ingredients and let them simmer for 6 hours. Get our Easy Slow Cooker Baked Beans recipe.

10. Slow Cooker Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

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Chill the rosé, a six-pack of Franziskaner, or maybe even a cucumber salad. This is a perfect base for a lazy summer day lounging at home. Depending on when you want to eat, you could start cooking right before going to bed, or prep and refrigerate the ingredients the night before, then pour the mixture into the crockpot in the morning. Get our Slow Cooker Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole recipe.

11. Slow Cooker Party Mix

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Poolside snacking table, cooler full of beverages, and a bowl of this crunchy, salty, slightly spicy, and reviving munch. Everybody wash your hands before returning to the pool, now. Get our Slow Cooker Party Mix recipe.

12. Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

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Even making a cake should be a breeze in summer. This may be the ultimate dump cake—you actually cook the cake right in the mixing bowl. Get our Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake recipe.

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