Slow cookers are commonly used for making stews, soups and roasts but there are other uses that may surprise you. Baking breads, chicken and even potatoes in your slow cooker is possible and can save precious oven space when cooking for a crowd. Baking in a slow cooker can be a money saver as it uses less electricity than a conventional oven. Do the preparations in the morning and your food is ready by dinner.
Defrost one loaf of frozen bread dough or use your favorite recipe for making bread dough. If making your own dough, make enough for one loaf.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray or grease the loaf pan well with shortening. Place the dough into the coated loaf pan.
Place the loaf pan in the slow cooker, cover and turn the slow cooker on low. Watch for the dough to begin to rise, this usually takes about 30 minutes. Then turn the slow cooker on high to bake.
Bake the bread for three to four hours, until the bread has browned. Remove it from slow cooker and let the bread sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove freshly baked bread from the loaf pan and slice for use.
Take three one-foot sheets of aluminum foil and scrunch them into loose balls. Place the balls into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Clean the chicken inside and out under cold water. Dry it with paper towels and tie the drumsticks together with cooking string.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle on the paprika. Place the chicken on the aluminum foil balls in the slow cooker.
Cook on high in the slow cooker for one hour then turn to low. Continue cooking all day (8 to 10 hours) until the juices from the chicken run clear. Remove it from cooker and place on platter for carving.
Wash and dry 4 to 8 medium to large sized potatoes. Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil.
Place cleaned and wrapped potatoes into the slow cooker in layers. Leave spaces in between the potatoes.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for about 3-4 hours. Remove the potatoes from the slow cooker with tongs as they will be hot.
Try not to open the lid of the slow cooker when cooking. As per Susan Mills-Gray, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, says, every time you lift the lid you increase the cooking time by 20 minutes.