7 incredible slow-cooker hacks that will change the way you cook forever

Ah, the slow cooker.

Is there really anything more valuable than this magical cooking appliance? Perfect for lazy nights, novice cooks and long days, the slow cooker is truly nothing short of extraordinary.

Especially with the impending colder weather, your slow cooker will be the MVP of busy winter nights. And as you get ready to break out that crock pot, here are some professional tips to get the most out of our favorite kitchen appliance.

Related: Crock-pot hacks we can't get enough of:

Nine Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In a Slow Cooker
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Nine Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In a Slow Cooker

Looking for more ways to use your slow cooker? Discover these surprising foods you can make in a crock-pot.

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According to the blog The Kitchn, slow cookers can reach temperatures of up to 200 degrees F, which is perfect for bread baking! Baking times can vary among devices, but with a little trial and error you can make loaves and rolls without having to turn on the oven.

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You only need three ingredients to make homemade yogurt: milk, starter store-bought live/active culture yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit. Set aside one evening to prepare the mixture, let it stand overnight and wake up to delicious, additive-free yogurt – costing just a fraction of the price of store-bought yogurt!

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The Crockin’ Girls bloggers Jenna and Nicole show how easy it is to make pizza in the slow cooker. Roll out refrigerated pizza dough in the bottom of the device, top with sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings in the cooker and let it work its magic over a few hours.

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Brownies turn out rich and fudge-like in the slow cooker! Line the device with parchment paper before cooking to ensure easy removal. To prevent overbrowning, create a collar out of aluminum foil to line the edges of the appliance.

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Warm up chocolate with cream, milk and vanilla in a heatproof glass bowl inside your slow cooker under the low setting. In just over an hour, you’ll have the perfect dip for strawberries, pound cake and cookies, and the slow cooker will continue to keep it warm throughout your meal!

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Crème Brulee

Making crème brulee is nearly foolproof when using a slow cooker. The cream, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla mixture cooks in a water bath inside the device. When finished cooking, it just needs a little broiling action in the oven for that crackly sugar crust!

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You can layer noodles, meat sauce and cheese directly in a slow cooker to make delicious lasagna.

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Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are another surprising food you can prepare with your slow cooker. Wrap the potatoes in foil and let them cook for five to six hours. Then, split them and dress with your favorite toppings!

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It's possible to make fries in your slow cooker! Slice spuds and stick them in your crock-pot with olive oil and your favorite seasoning, let it cook over a few hours with occasional stirring and the potato wedges will come out golden brown with soft centers.

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From enhancing aromatics like garlic to getting the most out of your chicken, these tricks will change the way you use your slow cooker forever. Watch the video above to learn all the tricks of the trade!

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