I like finding ways to use things as efficiently as possible. With that in mind, I found a neat way to heat more than one thing with my large (7qt) crock-pot.
When making tacos for our fellowship meal after Sunday service, we can put refried beans in a glass container, in this case a heavy duty, 2c. glass measuring cup, and set it in the pot with the taco meat so they heat at the same time without having to take a second slow cooker. Although it doesn't look like much meat, it was 4 1/2lbs., which was more than enough for the 7 of us that were eating, and as you can tell, it could have held a bit more.
We've also used this for heating hotdogs and chili at the same time.
Any thick glass container will work as long as it leaves enough room for the other food and is tall enough to keep the main food out of the secondary food. A wide mouth, pint size canning jar worked well for chili since several of mine don't eat chili on their hotdogs.
This is my other trick.
Use a cookie sheet in place of the lid and you have a nice sized surface for warming bread; in this case, tortillas for the soft tacos. I have one a little smaller that we normally use, but I was in a hurry and this one was easier to get to. Just make sure the pan covers the top of the cooker.
We've used this successfully for biscuits, rolls, cornbread, hamburger and hotdog buns, and obviously, tortillas. By covering the bread with a towel, you can keep more of the heat on it.
You can heat the wrapped bread right on the lid, I have done that too, but since the lids are domed, and have a handle on them, you have to wrap the bread in smaller bundles and balance them around the handle. The cookie sheet works better in my opinion. And for the record, if you break your lid, you can use a cookie sheet in it's place until you can order a replacement. Which, incidentally, is how I came by using one to warm bread.
I hope this little trick can come in handy for someone else out there. It has sure worked well for us.
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