Meal Magic – It is in the Bag!

For many people the slow cooker is the most popular appliance in the kitchen. I will be honest, I am not one of those people. I am a bad slow cooker person. I seem to wait until it is too late in the day before I think about loading up the slow cooker for dinner.

That said, I own 5 slow cookers!
You know what makes a slow cooker even better?

Reynold’s Slow Cooker Liners!

Now, I know what you are thinking.  Are these safe?  I can tell you they are BPA free, made of the same material that the Reynolds Oven Safe Turkey bags are made of, heat resistant nylon.  After doing quite a bit of reading about these, I am willing to use them and assume they are food grade bags, made to withstand heat.

I tend to use slow cookers for keeping food warm, at a safe temperature, until ready to serve. As far as actual cooking goes, my slow cookers get pressed into service for beans and stocks / broths on a regular basis.

Slow Cooker Liners

Store a box in every pot.

I discovered slow cooker liners after we bought an RV. Equipping an RV kitchen is much like outfitting a small apartment kitchen with a very small sink and no garbage disposal.  One of the first things to move into our RV was a Slow Cooker.
There is nothing better than sitting around the campfire on a chilly evening with a bowl of hot soup or chili.  There is also nothing worse than trying to wash a large pot or crock in a tiny sink while trying to avoid clogging up the kitchen plumbing.

Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners were the perfect solution.  Whether you actually cook your soup or chili in the slow cooker or merely re-warm it, using a slow cooker liner makes short work of clean up.  No garbage disposal, scrubbing or soaking required. Yep, that is MAGIC!

Kitchen RemodelI introduced my daughter to Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners when she found herself without a kitchen for months on end, including no real kitchen sink.  She had a small microwave, slow cookers and a grill to feed her family of eight..  The Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners were a real blessing and saved her sanity through 3 months of kitchen remodeling.

Let’s talk about Football food. ‘No Baking Papa’ and I host a mid-week gathering of football fans throughout the season.  I should say, he hosts – I cook and then disappear. He never knows how many people are coming, which makes it difficult.  This month I did a crock of my Easy Meatballs and another crock full of Johnsonville Italian Sausage links, smothered in pasta sauce. Rolls and a salad rounded out the meal.  I told ‘No Baking Papa’ and the guys they were responsible for clean up. Imagine the look on their faces!
Then I showed them the Slow Cooker Liners. Magic!

This month, the best use of these bags had nothing to do with slow cooking.  Sadly, I was pressed into service to provide dinner, prior to a memorial service, for 4 families whose boys were killed in a tragic accident.  I needed to marinate 40 pounds of chicken, fast.  I have used Reynolds Turkey size bags for marinating or brining meat before, however brining one turkey is far different that marinating 40 pounds of chicken thighs.  I pressed all my  food safe Reynolds bags into service.  One turkey sized bag lined a huge pan, then several 8 pound Reynolds Oven bags and all my Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners were all filled with chicken and marinade and placed inside the large lined pan.

Having used all my Reynolds Bags on the Shuyo chicken, I had to restock my supply. For a little over $10 I came away with 2 packs of Slow Cooker Liners, a package of 8 lb Roasting bags and a package of Turkey Roasting bags.

Last night, I realized that despite all the Reynolds products / bags this month I used this month, I had not actually done my AllRecipes assignment.   Fortunately, my ‘Eaters’ were coming for dinner.

I made a roast chicken in one of the 8 lb roasting bags. Sorry – no pictures of the chicken.
Is the chicken roasted in a bag as crispy as oven roasted?  No, it is not.
Is it good?  Yes it is.
Can you make gravy?  Absolutely!
Did the ‘eaters’ like it?  Yes, they did!

Slow Cooker Corn 004 AR 1

 

Tomato and Bacon Creamed Corn

Rich and creamy, I would consider this for a Pot Luck type dish sans the basil and tomato.

The Slow Cooker Liners worked well and it only needed to cook for 3 – 4 hours.

 

 

Slow Cooker Apples 012 ASlow Cooker Apples with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar
This a keeper recipe with a few tweaks.
These cooked perfectly in 3 hours on Low as directed.   I left out the raisins, as we have a couple of raisin haters in my home. These would be easy to throw in the slow cooker before practice and come home to a welcome treat.
My “eaters” loved these & clean up was almost too easy.

To keep everything above board and honest: I received a sample of Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners, Reynolds Parchment Baking Sheets and Reynolds StayBrite Baking Cups, all of which I love.  If you have ever battled a roll of parchment that doesn’t want to stay flat and doesn’t fit the sheet pan, you MUST try these parchment baking sheets. I will never buy a roll of parchment again!

Tips and Tricks:

  • A reader on Facebook mentioned that although she loves the slow cooker liners, she noticed a white film on her black crock, that did not want to wash off.  I tried a batch of chicken broth in my black crock and sure enough there was a faint white film.  It seemed to be on the lip and the area above where the food was.  I contacted Reynolds and they suggested that it was condensation that formed and then cooked onto the crock.  I took white vinegar on a sponge and wiped the lip and interior of the crock.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then washed as normal.  Sure enough, the crock was sparkling clean!
  • Although food safe, do NOT fill full any of the bags or liners with heavy food and then try to lift the bags without support.  This is the reason I used multiple bags for marinating the chicken, all set inside another Turkey Sized bag.  An 8 pound roasting bag means it will hold 8 pounds of food, not that it will support the weight.
  • Store the Slow cooker liners in the slow cooker.  You will know where they are and they will be easy to grab when needed.
  • If you are stocking an RV, take two packages with you.  You never know when your neighbors will need one and they are wonderful for marinating meat prior to grilling.
  • When traveling to a place that has a kitchen, take a box along.  Many condo rentals come equipped with a slow cooker.
  • When giving a slow cooker as a gift, include a package of slow cooker liners.
  • Use plastic, silicone or wooden spoons to avoid tearing the slow cooker liners.
  • When cleaning up, if you have leftovers, remove as much food as you can with a spoon, then lift the liner out of the crock, hold over the storage vessel and snip the corner.  All the gravy / juice from the bag will flow right out.

Can you tell I am a fan of Reynolds products?  From foil to cooking bags, parchment and baking cups, Reynolds products make cooking fun and clean up easy!

‘I am an Allrecipes Brand AmbassadorProducts received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Baking Nana’s Kitchen. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Penny aka Baking Nana.’