If your slow cooker has been gathering dust over the summer, we've got some exciting slow cooker recipes to bring it out of retirement.
Summer is definitely the off-season for our slow cookers. We turn our backs on hearty stews and casseroles in favour of lighter options, and a BBQ when the weather allows. But as a chill returns to the air and the kids head back to school, we've got some delicious slow cooker recipes to tempt you. Here are seven ideas for family favourites you can whip up in your slow cooker this autumn.
You could make it in a pan or the microwave, but your slow cooker allows you to have as many portions of porridge as you need ready to go when you wake up. Place a large ceramic bowl inside of your slow cooker and add one cup of jumbo oats and four cups of your choice of milk (this will serve four people). Give it a good stir and set the slow cooker to its lowest setting overnight. In the morning, stir again and add a little more milk if desired. Add sugar, honey, maple syrup, fresh fruit, or even chocolate for the ultimate quick breakfast.
Yes, really! Bread made in your slow cooker won't necessarily have the magnificent crust of its oven-baked cousins, but it's still spongey and light. A one-pound loaf will take about two hours to cook in your slow cooker, perfect for if you're nipping out to run errands. There are plenty of recipes online but we think that this one from BBC Good Food is an excellent starting point.
Pulled pork is the perfect slow cooker recipe. It's quite forgiving with cooking times, can be flavoured with your favourite spices and condiments, and can feed a large crowd with ease. We like to rub a trimmed shoulder of pork with our smoky Chilli Rub for Chicken before cooking it on low overnight. By this time the whole house smells fantastic and the meat is falling apart. Enjoy your pulled pork piled high on soft white baps with your favourite salads and sauces.
A piece of gammon benefits from long, slow cooking, making it ideal for the slow cooker. The choice of cooking liquid is up to you. We know that Nigella Lawson favours full-sugar Coca Cola, but you could try lemonade, ginger beer, apple juice, cider or even Irn Bru! We like to whack ours in the oven afterwards with our Roast Ham Glaze for a sweet and spicy finish.
Your favourite curry
The temptation to order a takeaway melts away when you have a fresh homemade curry simmering away in your slow cooker. There are numerous curry kits you can buy specially designed for slow cooking, and we love using the fragrant tandoori spice of Veggie Rub No. 1 to give ours an extra kick.
Sticky toffee pudding
Finding out that we can come home after a busy day to a caramel-scented house and a perfectly cooked sticky toffee pudding is changing our lives (and waistlines). This recipe from BBC Good Food isn't the simplest slow cooker recipe we've ever tackled, but the gorgeous results are worth it.