Summer Slow-Cooking: How-To & Recipes

Who doesn’t love coming home to the aromas of a slow cooker filled with bubbling chili, steaming chicken and dumplings, or hearty beef stew on a cold day? The slow cooker is a staple for the busy person’s winter menu rotation. But come Memorial Day, many of us tuck the slow cooker away in the garage on top of a carton of wool mittens and mothballs, not to be seen before the first chill of Halloween.

I want to change that, one household at a time. I’d like to make the case for slow-cooking in summer. In fact, I think it is the most-underused companion to your summer outdoor barbecue.

In this three-part series on Food Network’s FN Dish blog, I’ll highlight the major slow-cooker benefits to the outdoor grill master. Each week, I’ll give you a starter recipe that exemplifies that week’s benefit. My hope is that you’ll try out my recipes to prove to yourself that barbecues and slow cookers are indeed (unlikely) BFFs, and then using my tips, you’ll start using your slow cooker regularly when you fire up that grill.

Part 1: How to bake without heating up the house.

Learn the strategy to baking in your slow cooker + get my simple Summer Slow-Cooker Cobbler recipe.

Part 2: Slow Cooker + Outdoor Grill = True Love.

Learn how and why to precook bone-in or tougher meats for better (and easier!) grilling results + get my perfect Baby Back Ribs recipe.

 Part 3: How to Up Your Grill Game with Your Slow Cooker.

Learn how to use your slow cooker to easily cook larger quantities of accompaniments that go well with whatever you have on the grill (think garlic mushrooms for a burger party or onions and peppers to top grilled sausages or fajitas) + get my recipe for Slow-Cooker Peppers and Onions for Fajitas. And, some final slow cooker tips to wrap up this three-part series.