14 Reasons to Love Crockpots & Recipes to Get You Excited

The Crockpot, or slow cooker, is a versatile and convenient kitchen appliance that offers numerous benefits, from time-saving meal prep to enhanced flavors and energy efficiency. It’s perfect for a variety of dishes, encourages healthy eating, and is budget-friendly. This recipes includes a few of our favorite crook pot recipes!

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The story of my first crockpot meal

My first crockpot was a wedding present, some 13 years ago now.

The day we opened it up, weeks after the wedding, I ran right down to our neighborhood market (we were living in Germany at the time) and bought some chicken to cook up.

That barbecue chicken was the first and one of the last dishes I made in the crockpot for the first several years that we were married.

Preparing dinner in the morning just did not seem necessary when it was only the two of us. We could eat at 8 pm if we wanted. Heck, we could skip dinner altogether if we wanted.

Once kids entered the picture, life changed.

So did the love that I felt towards my crockpot!

Once my kids were no longer babies, it became clear that eating dinner at 8 pm—an hour after their bedtime—simply would not do. It also became clear that they would require dinner every single day.

As a household with two working adults, we needed to become more strategic about our dinner planning or risk having cereal for dinner yet again.

Why I love the Crockpot-- and You Should Too! 

The Crockpot -- sometimes called a slow cooker (ever wonder WHY it has two different names? The answer is at the end of this article!) --is a favorite kitchen appliance for many reasons. 

If yours has been collecting dust, here are several reasons to love the Crockpot. Scroll to the bottom of this article for a few favorite recipes!

1. Time-Saving Convenience
One of the biggest advantages of using a Crockpot is the convenience it offers. You can dump all your ingredients in in the morning, set the Crockpot, and come home to a fully cooked meal. While your meal cooks slowly throughout the day, you do whatever else you need to do. Check dinner off your to do list! 

2. Enhanced Flavor
Slow cooking allows flavors to meld and develop more fully. This can results in rich, deep flavors. Meats become tender, and spices have time to infuse into every bite, making your dishes more flavorful than quick-cooking methods. I've found chilis and stews to be particularly amazing in the slow cooker! 

3. Versatility
The Crockpot is incredibly versatile. It can be used to make a huge variety of dishes, including soups, stews, roasts, casseroles, breakfasts, and even desserts. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty chili or a creamy rice pudding, the Crockpot can handle it. Take that, oven! 

4. Healthy Cooking
We love this reason. Using a Crockpot can encourage healthier eating habits. Cooking at home is an easy way to control the ingredients that go in your food. Using a slow cooker makes home cooked meals feel totally doable. Also, slow cooking often requires less fat and oil compared to frying or sautéing. The low, slow cooking process helps retain more nutrients in your food, too.  

5. Year-Round Use
Do you think the crockpot is just for winter? Think again! The slow cooker can be used year-round for a variety of dishes. In the summer, it prevents your kitchen from overheating compared to using an oven! Make oatmeal, desserts, or meats to layer on top of crisp salads. In the fall and winter, it’s perfect for making warm, cozy meals like soup.

6. Energy Efficiency
Ready to give a nod to the environment? Crockpots use less energy compared to conventional ovens or stovetops. They are designed to cook at a low temperature over an extended period, which can be more energy-efficient. This means that its more cost-effective for you.

7. Budget-Friendly
Slow cookers are great for making budget-friendly meals. You can use cheaper cuts of meat that become tender and delicious after slow cooking. Also, we love leftovers for saving money AND time. Making large batches of food means you can have leftovers for several days, reducing the need for daily cooking. (For more budget friendly tips, see this article.) 

8. Stress-Free Entertaining
When hosting a gathering, a Crockpot can be really helpful. Do the preparing up front, and you can spend more time with your guests. Chilis and barbeque chicken are great crowd-pleasers. The slow cooker also keeps food warm and ready to serve throughout the event. Things meatballs and dips can stay at a perfect temperature for the entire party.

9. Easy Cleanup
Another reason we LOVE! Many Crockpot models come with removable, dishwasher-safe inserts, making cleanup a breeze. This means: fewer dishes to wash! If I never have to wash another dish, I will be happy. If you feel the same way, get a crockpot that is easy to clean in the dishwasher, like this one

10. Perfect for Meal Prep
For those who like to meal prep, the Crockpot is an ideal tool. You can prepare large batches of food, portion them out, and have ready-made meals for the week. This is especially helpful for busy individuals and families.

11. Great for Batch Cooking
If you enjoy batch cooking and freezing meals for later, the Crockpot is invaluable. You can prepare large quantities of food at once, portion it out, and freeze it for future use. This is perfect for busy weeks or when you don’t feel like cooking.

12. Set It and Forget It
The Crockpot offers the ultimate convenience of "set it and forget it." Once you've added your ingredients and set the timer, you don't have to worry about stirring, flipping, or adjusting temperatures. It's a reliable, worry-free way to cook.

13. Consistent Results
Are you new (or newer) to cooking? This reason is for you! Crockpots provide consistent, reliable results. Because they cook at a steady, low temperature, there’s less risk of burning or overcooking your food. This makes it easier to achieve perfect results every time.

14. Kid-Friendly
Many slow-cooker recipes are simple and kid-friendly, making it easier to prepare meals that the whole family will enjoy. You can even involve older kids in the preparation process, teaching them valuable cooking skills.

Crockpot Recipes We Love 

Crockpot Savory Italian Chicken

Apple Pie Oatmeal 

Taco Tuesday with Zing

Tortilla Soup in the Crockpot 

Pear Applesauce in the Crockpot

More Recipes!


The Crockpot we Recommend

6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker with 2 in 1 Silicone Liners, Food Warmer with Auto Warm Setting and Digital Timer, 3 Cooking Settings, Dishwasher Safe Ceramic Pot & Glass Lid, Silver

Why we love it: 

Innovative Silicone Liner! This programmable slow cooker comes with a 2-in-1 silicone liner, allowing you to cook 2 dishes simultaneously!. The reusable silicone liner is made of food-grade material, dishwasher safe, and free of BPA. 

Easy to Clean! The detachable ceramic pot, silicone liner, and glass lid are all dishwasher-safe, making cleaning a breeze. 

Why do we love the crockpot for kids’ meals?

When our kids were little, the crockpot became our saving grace. The crockpot is so convenient for families with kids because it guarantees that dinner will be available and ready on time.

For families with toddlers or young kids, the hour around dinnertime can be tough.

Being able to focus on the kids and their needs during this time, rather than on cooking dinner, can help the evening go more smoothly. It also allows working parents to spend their time in the evening on being together as a family, rather than on cooking dinner.

Families who have older kids with busy evening schedules might love a crockpot meal because everyone can grab food as they come and go (although we recommend sitting down to eat as a family whenever possible).

Why is the Same Appliance Called a Crockpot and a Slow Cooker?

The term "Crockpot" is actually a brand name. It was introduced by the Rival Company in the 1970s and became very popular. Because of its widespread use, "Crockpot" is often used generically to refer to any slow cooker. (The is similar to the way that "Kleenex" which is a brand name can now be used to refer to any tissue.) 
"Slow cooker" is actually the generic term for the appliance. It describes any device that cooks food slowly over several hours at a low temperature.

There isn't a clear-cut regional distinction where one term is used exclusively over the other. Both terms are widely understood and used across the United States, often interchangeably.

There is some evidence that the term "crockpot" might be used slightly more in the Midwest and South. This is because of the crockpot brand's historical popularity and the prevalence of slow-cooked comfort foods in the midwest and south.

I grew up in Georgia-- and I say Crockpot! 

Can I Use a Crockpot in Summer?

Yes, not only CAN you, we encourage you too! While soups and stews are generally too heavy for summertime, you can cook many other things in your slow cooker. Oatmeal, desserts, and meals to put atop salads are perfect. 

Cooking in a crock pot does not heat up your kitchen the same way an oven does. We love to make a big vat of barbeque chicken and throw it on salads all week long. We also do a lot of oatmeal this way! 


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