A great food cheats tip is how to reduce washing up – and for slow cooker meals you can simply cheat by using slow cooker liner bags.
Slow cooker liner bags are made of various materials, often polyester and are intended for cooking, so they are 100% safe for the temperature and also food-safe. Although they look like plastic, they’re not, that’s why they don’t melt in the slow cooker.
Slow cooker liners are easy to use too. You can also use slow cooker liners to cook two different meals at the same time – or if you’re cooking for an elderly/infirm person and don’t want them to be trying to empty and wash up the slow cooker after a meal you’ve prepared for them has finished cooking. Personally, I find slow cooker pots can be tricky and heavy, so using these bags makes things a whole lot easier.
If you want to “batch cook” and prepare a lot of slow cooker meals in advance, then you can just fill several bags in one go, then you simply drop the whole bag into the slow cooker, saving prep/faff time.
Usually sold in packets of 4-5 liners, approximately 30cm x 55cm (this size will fit 1.5-6.5 litre, or quart, slow cookers), they’re worth trying out for yourself! There are different sizes, for different sized slow cookers too! I tend to pick up 3-4 packs at a time as they’re handy as stocking filler gifts too.
A lot of people like to use the liners because they are fed up with scrubbing the burnt bits stuck to the sides of their slow cooker – I can honestly say I’ve never burnt anything in my slow cooker, so this isn’t a high priority – but if you’re cooking with ingredients or recipes that you find do stick or burn a little, then using a slow cooker liner might solve that for you.
Slow cooker liners are handy for:
- Pre-preparing a variety of meals at one time, by splitting common ingredients across several bags, then popping into the fridge or freezer for when you’re ready to cook them.
- Cooking 2-3 different meals in one slow cooker – or 2-3 courses to create a 3-course meal.
- For ease/safety if you’re taking slow cooker meals to somebody with limited strength and agility to get food out of the slow cooker, e.g. children, the elderly, or the temporarily infirm.
- Reducing washing up, they reduce washing up down to zero as you remove/empty then bin the bag and your slow cooker’s still as clean as when you started!
- Ideal if you’re taking your slow cooker on holiday with you, either camping or in a motorhome; nobody wants to spend their holidays washing up!
Instructions on how to use slow cooker liners are on the packs in case you’re unsure, here’s mine:
- Simply place a Slow Cooker liner firmly along the sides and bottom of slow cooker.
- Ensure the liner is outside of the top of the rim along the slow cooker and all the way around.
- Add recipe ingredients to the liner, put the lid on and cook.
- When the food is ready, serve food from the slow cooker.
- DO NOT remove the slow cooker liner with hot food contents.
- After serving, allow your meal to cool, and then you can either use the Slow Cooker Liner to store the food in the fridge or freezer.
- Alternatively, serve the food and throw the liner away.
You can find slow cooker liners at supermarkets, local hardware shops, or on online easily enough, Amazon and ebay are both great sources to have them delivered to you:
On Amazon, I use: Sealapack Slow Cooker Liners or there’s the “Look No Mess” brand