5 Crispy Slow Cooker Hack Meals

5 Crispy Slow Cooker meals that have a short ingredient list and taste amazing with crispy skin. The perfect recipes to eat for dinner and then use the leftovers all week in different recipes.

5 Crispy Slow Cooker meals that have a short ingredient list and taste amazing with crispy skin. Perfect for dinner, then use them in recipes all week!Slow cooker meals haven’t been a frequent recipe choice for the blog to date and I realized that when I was looking through the numbers of what the most popular posts were that outside of Panda Express meals, as a whole slow cooker recipes were your favorite ones to look at.
My ingredients list with slow cooker meals is normally minimal because I find that I can use slow cooker meats in other recipes.

  1. Every Saturday night (seriously, every single one) we put a pack of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in the slow cooker to make Crisp and Juicy Slow Cooker ChickenThree Ingredients: Chicken, Salt and Pepper. The Easiest method ever for Crispy & Juicy Chicken! Tastes like a Rotisserie Chicken.

2. Chicken is great and all but we are totally POPs in this house (Pals of Pork ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and when I find a good price, we LOVE pulled pork, again made minimally with almost no ingredients in this Hawaiian Slow Cooker Luau PorkThree ingredients, 24 hands-off hours and you have a deliciously crispy, soft, tender Hawaiian Luau Pork that will make you wonder why you every made pork shoulder any other way before!

3. Then one day I bought a pork butt that had skin on, not just a fat cap like the Luau Pork above. Oh my goodness, it was AMAZING. A combination of slow cooker and a quick minute under a broiler made for the most amazing Crispy Cracklin’ Pork ShoulderA foolproof EASY slow cooker and oven method for a shatteringly crisp Pork picnic shoulder that is pull apart tender on the inside with a thin crisp cracklin' skin layer.

4. Chicken and pork are pretty well known for being amazing slow cooker meats…but have you tried turkey? A few times a year I’ll make Thanksgiving dinner for us and I always do it with thighs and legs in the slow cooker. Easiest ever, tender turkey meat. Plus the whole dinner is 7 ingredients…so easy! (Man, now I’m craving it!). Slow Cooker Turkey:Thanksgiving in a flash! Slow cooked turkey that is browned, moist and tender, covered in a rich gravy with candied sweet potatoes and green peas in just 7 Ingredients (not including salt and pepper...but c'mon!)! In case you didn't see the news yesterday, the FREE E-Cookbook 5-10-30 5 Cuisines, 10 Full Meals, 30 Total Ingredients was released for subscribers! 5. Finally, beef. Not just beef like this Chipotle Barbacoa Beef (also from a slow cooker), but easiest put it in the slow cooker with the packet and a couple ingredients Slow Cooker Corned Beef. We make this once a month and then cool it completely and slice for sandwiches. Not going to lie, my husband’s coworkers have even commented on the “crazy deli sandwiches” and ask where he gets them. Right here! Crispy Slow Cooker Corned BeefCrispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef with a crispy crust. No soggy Corned Beef, even from a slow cooker!

The things they all have in common is my slow cooker secret I sort of stumbled on 5 or so years ago. NO LIQUIDS. The thing about meats in the slow cooker are you’re using fattier cuts because they stay tender. So since meats have:

A. Extra fat that renders in the slow cooker, so think of it like a poor man’s confit. Delicious fat slowly cooking the meat until it is fall apart tender.
B. Solution added! Unless you’re buying pretty high quality meat, your meat (especially chicken) is pumped with solution to add weight. In the slow cooker all of that will render out, adding more liquid to the slow cooker.

So just to be clear, you start with the meat of choice and it looks crazy to not add liquid, you cook it on low and then at the end you come back to….. A slow cooker with meat half submerged in liquid with delicious crispy layers on top.

Are there other slow cooker meals you’d like to see on the site? I’d love to hear about it either in the comment section or via email at contact @ dinnerthendessert.com.

5 Crispy Slow Cooker meals that have a short ingredient list and taste amazing with crispy skin. Perfect for dinner, then use them in recipes all week!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert โ€“ Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Your pork and chicken thighs look really good, have you tried ribeye steak with this method? seems like the marbling and dry steak spice would be a hit with a ribeye.

    1. I haven’t tried it with steak as I tend to go high heat/short time period with a steak like a ribeye. If you try it I would love to see how it works for you.

      1. Why doesn’t the meat get crispy like the title and recipe says? Did the chicken and it SUCKED! Had to broil it.

        You DO have to cover the slow cooker to cook recipe, tight???

        1. So sorry. It could be that maybe your chicken had too much liquid still in it. Was it not fully thawed by chance? Sometimes I even pat mine a bit before putting them in the slow cooker. If the top skin stays out of the liquid while it cooks, it should crisp up. If you want to trouble shoot it with me, feel free to email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert.com