Once the temperature heats up, our slow cookers tend to become a little neglected—after all, no one
wants heavy soups and stews when it’s 90 degrees outside! Crockpots are an obvious cold-weather
essential, but I’m here to tell you it’s time to dust yours off and take this appliance for a spin during the
warmer months too. If you’re accustomed to putting your slow cooker away from March to September,
you may want to reconsider; using this handy appliance during the summer will not only spare you from
turning the oven on and turning your kitchen into a sauna, but it will allow your dinner to slowly cook
itself all day while you head off to work, drive summer camp carpool, or hopefully play outside in the
warm, sunny weather. The best part is dinner’s all ready to go when you finally decide it’s time to eat!
Using a slow cooker in the summer is ideal for developing awesome flavors, feeding a crowd, and frankly
won’t leave you stranded over the stove for hours. Forget traditional slow cooked stews and cozy
casseroles, and try your hand at Crockpot fajitas, corn on the cob, pulled pork, or vegetarian lasagna
instead. Better yet how about a slow cooked summer dessert like fruit cobbler or s’mores bars! Armed
with a few summer-friendly slow cooker recipes, you can enjoy convenient slow cooked family meals to
get you through the second half of summer. Thanks to the Crockpot, cooking meals this summer just got
a whole lot cooler.
Here are four great reasons to dust off your slow cooker this summer:
It Makes Meat Tender.
A slow cooker cooks food slowly at a low temperature — generally between 170 and 280 degrees
Fahrenheit. Because of this, leaner and less-expensive, fibrous cuts of meat become more tender — and
It’s Great for Entertaining.
It’s so convenient to bring your dish right in the slow cooker to parties and barbecues. The slow cooker
keeps the food at the right temperature, and you can serve it straight from the pot. Just plug it in, and
your dish is ready to serve when everyone is ready to eat.
It’s Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient.
Cooking with a slow cooker, saves energy without compromising taste. According to the Southern
Maryland Electric Cooperative, using a slow cooker at 200 degrees for 7 hours costs about 9 cents, while
using an electric oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour costs about 25 cents.
You Name It, It Cooks It.
Slow cookers don’t just cook up entrees; you can also make appetizers, side dishes, and even desserts
with surprising success. There are a variety of recipes in print and online to add to your summer slow
cooker recipe collection; including this favorite for Cajun Pork Sliders…
Slow Cooker Cajun Pork Sliders with Avocado Crème
and Pepper & Corn Slaw
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 8 ½ hours
INGREDIENTS: *available seasonally at the Farmers’ Market
Cajun Pulled Pork:
1 ½ cups beer (like Argyle Brewing’s IPA)*
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp Creole seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 – 3 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder (or butt)*
1 avocado; finely mashed
1/2 lemon; juiced
16 slider rolls; sliced + toasted (like Rock Hill Bakehouse’s Pane Bello rolls)*
Pepper & Corn Slaw:
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 red bell pepper; sliced thin*
1 orange bell pepper; sliced thin*
1 poblano pepper; sliced thin*
1 cup fresh sweet corn; kernels*
4 green onions; chopped*
Whisk the beer, vinegar, ketchup, 1/4 cup of the spicy brown mustard, molasses and 1 Tbsp brown sugar
in a Slow Cooker.
Combine the remaining 1 Tbsp brown sugar, Cajun seasoning, Creole seasoning, paprika and a pinch of
salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Rub the pork all over with the
seasonings. Once hot, add pork and sear on all sides until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side).
Add pork to the Slow Cooker and sprinkle with any remaining seasonings and or drippings from the
skillet. Cover and cook on low, 8 hours.
After 8 hours, remove the pork from the Slow Cooker and set aside to cool slightly. Skim off any excess
fat from the cooking liquid, then strain into a large skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by one-
third (about 10 minutes).
Shred the pork with forks and toss with the newly reduced sauce.
In a small bowl, combine 1 mashed avocado with lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons spicy brown
mustard to make a crème. Stir until combined and set aside.
To make the pepper & corn slaw: puree ½ of an avocado, lemon juice, olive oil and ½ teaspoon kosher
salt in a blender (if it seems too thick add a tablespoon of water or beer at time to thin) and add to the
corn kernels, sliced bell peppers, poblano, chopped green onions and toss gently.
Slice and toast the slider rolls. Spread a little of the avocado crème on the bottom of each roll. Add the
pork, top with pepper & corn slaw, and the top of the roll.
Serving size is 2 sliders per person. Enjoy!