Practical cooking has never tasted so delicious.
We know what you’re thinking: While it’s inarguably practical, there’s nothing remotely sexy about a slow cooker. Think again. That bulky contraption you only break out for Chili Night is one of the most powerful and versatile tools in your kitchen. Because of its supergentle, supereven heat, it makes stews, braises and beans more flavorful than the stove or oven ever could. Chefs love them: Grant Achatz employs a fleet of slow cookers at Next, and Christina Tosi bakes buttermilk cakes in hers. Now it’s your turn to plug in and expand your repertoire beyond pulled pork and beef stew. With these recipes, we’re upping your slow cooker game with a few smart tricks. Your weeknights just got way more exciting.
1. From the Top
Give farro-and-sausage stew (above) the Parmigiano treatment: Add mozzarella and broil until bubbly.
Get the full recipe for Farro-and-Sausage Parmigiano.
2. Slow & Low
Poach chicken in seasoned olive oil to make it rich and tender, then use the oil for a delicious aioli.
Get the full recipe for Perfect Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts.
3. Layer It On
Instead of adding harissa all at once, stir it in at the beginning to build a base, then at the end for a bright pop of heat.
Get the full recipe for Harissa White Bean Stew with Turmeric Yogurt.