The slow cooker is one of the best inventions in modern history. Everything from soups and stews, to chili and casseroles become a breeze when you own a Crock-Pot.

If you’ve mastered those dishes, it’s time to move on to next-level slow cooking. Here are 8 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Cook in a Slow Cooker:

Pizza

We were skeptical of this recipe off the bat, but we gotta say, we tried it and actually loved how it worked out. It’s definitely not quick (total cook time is between 1.5-2 hours, depending on your machine and dough), but prep and cook time couldn’t be easier. Coat your pot with a thin layer of cooking oil, make a sling using some parchment paper, shape the dough of your choice to the bottom of the pot, layer with cheese and toppings, and then strap on the lid and cook on high until desired crispness. Literally, that’s it. Link


Chocolate Cake

This is essentially a standard chocolate cake recipe, complete with sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, milk, water, etc., but dumped into a properly greased slow cooker instead of a traditional cake plate or baking pan. From there, it’s a simple three-hour stint in the slow cooker (or until there are no wet spots and the cake begins to pull away from the walls), and you’re good to go. This is another one of those recipes that takes a little longer to make because of the nature of Crock-Pots, but yields exceptional results. Link


Brownie Pudding

Of all the delicious desserts in the world (and there are many), we say nothing out there beats a good lava cake. Except, of course, if it’s a set-it-and-forget-it lava cake that you make in your slow cooker. This recipe calls for the classic brownie and pudding mix, and done in the Crock-Pot, it comes out perfectly every time. The best thing about this recipe is that it works in 5, 6, and 7-quart pots without any modification besides cooking time. If the pictures aren’t enough to get you excited about it, the total cooking time between prep, which is about two hours and 15 minutes, should do the trick. Link


Bacon Jam

At first, we thought the idea of a half-decent bacon jam done in a Crock-Pot sounded far-fetched. But when you think about it, it’s actually the perfect apparatus. This low-and-slow method for the perfect bacon jam involves some of our favorite things—garlic, coffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, and a heaping pound and a half of bacon—tossed into a slow cooker and rendered down to gooey deliciousness. There’s some supplemental cooking involved to get the bacon and and other ingredients to mix well (pre-cooking in a skillet, and then finishing in a food processor), but the majority of the backbreaking work comes from the Crock-Pot, which renders it all down into the delicious, syrupy jam. Link


Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

We love a good one-pan recipe, and that’s exactly what this is. The sausage gravy is cooked loosely in a pan, using quality pork sausage, butter, flour, pepper, and milk, and then added to a greased slow cooker. Pillsbury biscuits are placed on top of the wet gravy concoction, and then the Crock-Pot gets turned on for two and a half hours (give or take), which gives the bread time to cook and the gravy time to render down into the perfect easy breakfast. It sounds too easy because it actually is. If you want a recipe you can set and then head back to bed for a few hours on a Sunday, this is it. Link


Bread

This one blew us away when we first found it, but it’s actually legit—you can make bread, at home, in your slow cooker, from scratch, with nothing else but time and the right ingredients. This recipe for fluffy standard white bread involves a typical dough mix of bread flour, yeast, salt, and warm water, combined together and left overnight to proof. From there, it’s as simple as lining your slow cooker with parchment paper, tossing in the delicious, yeasty-smelling dough, and setting the slow cooker on high for around two hours. The crust won’t brown in the way that you’re used to, so this recipe recommends throwing it in the broiler for a couple minutes to get the crust nice and flaky. Of course, that’s not a necessity. Link


Thanksgiving Turkey

Okay, okay, okay… this recipe isn’t for a whole turkey, but rather a turkey breast. Even so, it yields some really delicious, juicy, tender meat that’ll keep your house smelling like Thanksgiving for days on end (we’d bottle the stuff into a cologne, if we could. Eau de Gravy, anyone?). What makes this recipe work is that you make a delicious bacon brown gravy that gets poured over the turkey and simmered in the slow cooker for eight—yes, eight—hours on low. When it’s done, you have yourself Thanksgiving in a pot. And if you’re worried about the lack of skin, you can always save it, season it, toss it on some parchment paper, and then bake it until golden brown. Boom! Link


Beef Pho

We’re excited that we’re finally at that point where pho is so popular people have actually started pronouncing it correctly. This recipe for beef pho is as close to the real stuff as you’re going to get without spending an exhausting amount of time making your own beef broth (which you can also incorporate into this recipe, if you’re the “I make my own beef broth” type). We love the substitution of oxtail for the standard beef, because the bone does give added flavor to the broth. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t cook the noodles in the pho (they’ll disintegrate after a while), and like all your other pho experiences, this is all about the extra toppings: Hoisin, sriracha, lime juice, etc. Other than that, it’s as easy as they come. Link

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