DIY Programmable Slow Cooker

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The other day, I posted a photo on Instagram of two crockpots set up.  One with our dinner and a smaller one with dessert.  Someone noticed that the small one was hooked up to a timer.

This is a cheater tip I shared about a year ago.  I’d still love to have a fancy programmable slow cooker, but this $4 hack does the job.

Here’s the original post, but the basic idea is to plug the cooker into a timer, so you can delay the start of cooking and set it to turn off at a certain point too.

I’ve used it for overnight oatmeal and also dessert.  It would work great for some side dishes too.  I don’t think I’d use it for cooking with meat or other highly perishable foods though.


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  1. LOL I’ve been doing this for years. It works great!

  2. WOW! I just bought a timer a couple of weeks ago and have had such fun using it for oatmeals and desserts. I do believe you are the one who inspired me…I’ve thought about this for a long time before I finally did it. Thanks so much. I am passing along this idea too.

  3. I use the timer on my crockpot all the time so that I can have it start later in the morning. I throw in frozen or partially frozen meat and by the time I get home at 6 pm, dinner is pretty much ready. I also have a programmable crockpot, but it is quite a bit larger so I don’t use it as often.

  4. I don’t know why I never thought of this. I am so excited to give it a try!

  5. This is brilliant! I’ve always made our breakfast risotto and such the day before and then heated them up in the microwave since I’m not getting up in the middle of the night to start the crock pot. Problem solved! LOVE IT!!! And totally better than $100 on a new crock pot that has more features to break!

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