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Cut Your Thanksgiving Prep Time in Half With These Slow Cooker Tricks

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As a young child sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner spread of pies and sauces, mashed potatoes, casseroles and an entire roasted turkey, you probably gave little thought to all of the effort it took to put the meal together. As you got older, you may have helped out with some of the set up or even assisted in the cooking and baking. Now, while the responsibility of putting together the entire dinner for the big day can be exciting, it's also a lot to manage. Luckily, there are several tips for cutting your preparation time in half, giving you more time to enjoy with family.

Stick to Your Plan
The best advice to save time this Turkey Day is to make a plan and stick to it. For less stress and more fun, start your preparations early. Get the majority of your shopping done in early November to beat the crowds and the lines. Anything that you can order ahead of time will also make your life easier come the big day. The night before, set your dining room table and make a cooking schedule for the next day. By the time your guests arrive on Thanksgiving, you'll be more than halfway done with the preparations and cooking.

Use Your Slow Cooker
The best Thanksgiving hack of all time is the slow cooker. From mashed potatoes to green bean casseroles, there are a number of dishes you can make in this device. Cut your prep time in half by preparing the slow cooker with all of the ingredients the night before the big day. When the time comes to start cooking that cranberry sauce or vegetable dish in your slow cooker, all you have to do is press a button.

And when it comes to slow cookers, perhaps the most essential product to have in your kitchen this Thanksgiving is the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo . With the free WeMo App, you can control the temperature, settings and cook-time from anywhere. You won't even have to miss out on the annual turkey trot in your neighborhood this year - simply bring your smart device along with you and start your cooking all the way from the local park!

If hosting just a few people this year, use your slow cooker for making your turkey.If hosting just a few people this year, use your slow cooker for making your turkey.

Skip the Oven
If you're only hosting a small Thanksgiving crowd this year, you're in luck. If your guest list is under six people, you can skip the oven all together and roast your turkey in your slow cooker. Using your slow cooker to make this year's centerpiece will be so convenient, you'll never go back to the oven again. Here's the recipe for a delicious, slow-cooked roast:


  • 1 turkey breast, 5-6 pounds
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • Salt.

Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed and removed from the package. Place it in your slow cooker and rub the onion soup mix all over it. Then add in the orange juice and cranberry sauce. Cover your slow cooker and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours. Be sure that the internal temperature of the turkey is at least 180 degrees. Remove your turkey from the slow cooker, carve and enjoy with your loved ones!

Due to the slow ramp up, and even heating of a slow cooker, recipes featured on this site can be cooked in a range of slow cooker sizes. Recipes can be increased or decreased by one quart size per the cooking instructions. For smaller sauces and dips that calls for 3 quarts or less, it is not recommended to alter the unit size. Crock-Pot® is a registered trademark and should not be used generically when referring to a 'slow cooker' within the recipes.
Sunbeam Products, Inc. d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions has not tested these recipes and is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe. You may not achieve the results desired due to variations in ingredients, cooking temperatures, cooking times, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. Please always use your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken or fish.


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