What Can You Accomplish While Your Meal is Slow Cooking?
The best thing about preparing a meal in your slow cooker is the amount of time in a day that you gain back. With the ability to create a delicious, flavorful meal without even being present in the kitchen, you'll have so many more hours to spend doing things that you want to be doing. Even with dishes like chicken tikka masala that require the shortest cooking time, you still gain three hours of freedom.
Slow Cooking by the Numbers
The majority of slow cooker recipes require very little preparation. Cooking time varies from dish to dish ranging from three hours to as long as 16 hours. Since you do not have to be present during that cook time, you can take back your life and fill those hours with a number of activities.
One hour of cook time is long enough for you to make a trip to the grocery store, do a load of laundry or exercise with a walk or run. Two hours allows for the opportunity to watch your child's soccer game or attend a dance recital. With meals that take four hours to cook, such as seafood dishes or dips, you have enough time to play a full game of tennis or go shopping at the mall.
Once you get into the beef stew and roast beef meals, you gain 6 to 8 hours of free time - enough to build several pieces of IKEA furniture, watch an entire television season or even get a full night's sleep! Dishes that take this long are great because you can cook them overnight and have them ready to go the next morning. Twelve hours of cook time is an ample window for reading a classic novel or taking a road trip to New York City and back from Pittsburgh. And for dishes like pork carnitas that take the longest time of all, up to 16 hours, you'd have enough time for a non-stop flight from Chicago to Tokyo!