Crock pot meals made with these budget recipes are easy and tasty! Less expensive, tougher cuts of meat come out melt-in-your-mouth tender after a day in the slow cooker. The benefits of making these low cost meals are numerous. Chances are, you have one stored away somewhere! Dig it out and give it a try - you will be glad you did!
Making crock pot meals saves electricity. A slow cooker uses just 100 watts of electricity: using it once a week for eight hours at a time will only cost you twenty cents a month in electricity!
Slow cooker meals save time. It is easy to toss the ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and come home from work to a delicious home cooked crock pot meal!
Most crock pots come with a recipe booklet - if you no longer have it or just want some new ideas, I am including some crock pot recipes. You can find many more for free by searching for them online.
Roast Beef Brown a beef roast (I like to use chuck roast) in a large pan on the stove
just until nice and brown on both sides, then put it in the crock pot and season it to taste (I only use
salt and pepper). Turn the crock pot on low and cook until the roast is done to your liking. (How long will
depend on the size of the roast and how done you want it - I like it super tender to the point of falling
apart, so I usually cook it for 5 - 8 hours.) To get a more concrete idea of how long to cook a roast, ask
the butcher when you buy the roast, use a meat thermometer
or see the guidelines in your crock pot instruction guide.
Pork Roast I cook a pork roast the same way I cook a beef roast, except I do not brown it before putting it in the crock pot - just put it in, season and go! My favorite is a butt roast, which falls apart and makes wonderful barbeque sandwiches!
Roast Chicken To roast a whole chicken in the crock pot, simply put the chicken in (after washing it, if you do that), salt and pepper and cook for several hours. I have learned not to overcook chicken - you want it to be done and tender, but not overcooked, or it will not have any flavor left. Use a meat thermometer or check the thickest part of the breast to make sure the meat is no longer pink. After you take the chicken out of the pot, remove the broth and save it - it is wonderful-tasting chicken broth - puts the canned stuff to shame! Strain it and put it in the refrigerator so that the fat will collect at the top and become solid, then you can easily remove it. If you have no use for the broth right away, you can freeze it.
All of these great budget recipes are quick and easy to make and cost less than $2. per serving!