Roast pork with buckwheat. A dish in a slow cooker. Top view.

Part 1 of 3: How to Use Your Slow Cooker | Meal Planning

Ah, the slow cooker. The unsung hero of the kitchen. With its ability to transform tough cuts of meat into tender, flavorful meals with minimal effort, it's no wonder that slow cookers have become a staple in many households. But before you start tossing ingredients into your slow cooker willy-nilly, let's talk about meal planning.

First things first, let's talk about the importance of prep work. One of the great things about slow cookers is that they're incredibly forgiving. You can throw a bunch of ingredients into the pot, turn it on, and come back several hours later to a delicious meal. But if you want to take your slow cooker game to the next level, some basic prep work can make all the difference.

Start by taking a look at the recipes you want to make and making a list of ingredients. Then, take some time to chop vegetables, trim meat, and measure out spices ahead of time. This will save you time and stress later on, and it'll also help ensure that all your ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the slow cooker.

Next, consider using your slow cooker as a tool for meal planning. Slow cookers are great for batch cooking, which means you can make a big batch of something and portion it out for meals throughout the week. This is especially helpful if you're short on time during the week or want to avoid eating out too often.

To make the most of your slow cooker for meal planning, consider making meals that freeze well, like stews, soups, and chili. Portion out the leftovers into ZipBag® reusable silicone storage bags and freeze them for later. When you're ready to eat, simply thaw the bag in the fridge overnight and reheat it in the microwave using your Duo Cover® silicone microwave splatter guard mat.

Speaking of the Duo Cover®, it's a great tool to use when reheating leftovers in the microwave. Not only does it help prevent splatters and spills, but it also keeps your food moist and delicious. And since it's dishwasher safe, cleanup is a breeze.

When it comes to meal planning with your slow cooker, the possibilities are endless. Whether you're cooking up a big pot of chili, a batch of pulled pork, or a hearty stew, a little bit of prep work and planning can go a long way. And with the help of the ZipBag® reusable silicone storage bags, Duo Cover® silicone microwave splatter guard mat, and UniLid® universal lid, you can make meal planning and cleanup a breeze.

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