If you’ve been thinking you need to use your crockpot more often, you’ll love these unusual uses for a slow cooker. This versatile piece of kitchen equipment can be used for more than cooking food, though it’s certainly brilliant at that, too.
1. Make clarified butter: Also known as drawn butter and ghee, this is unsalted butter with all of the milk solids and water removed. The remaining golden butterfat is soft and liquid, earning its name as ‘gold oil’ in portions of the world. Making clarified butter can be time-intensive on the stove but it’s easy to do in a slow cooker: place 2 or 3 pounds of butter in the cooker then cover and cook on low. After an hour, skim the milk solids that have floated to the top until you reach clear liquid. Strain this through cheesecloth into clean containers and refrigerator for up to two months or freeze for up to a year.
2. Freshen the air: Whether you need to get rid of cooking smells or want to scent the house for the holidays, your slow cooker can pull double duty as an air freshener. Just fill it 3/4 of the way with water, add a couple tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil, then turn it on high and leave it uncovered. The steam will waft fragrance throughout your house. No essential oils on hand? Toss in apple and orange peels, a few cloves and some cinnamon sticks instead.
3. Make new candles from your old ones: We all have those old candles that are lopsided or have holes burned through one side. Rather than toss them in the trash, toss them in the crockpot instead. After they’ve melted, fish out the old wicks and gather your heatproof containers. Tie a weighted candle wick on a pencil laid across the container’s rim and let the other end dangle into the empty container. Carefully ladle the melted wax into the container without disturbing the wick and let cool. Voila, new candles!
4. Dye fabrics and yarn: If you have a spare slow cooker that you won’t be using for food again why not put it to use making custom-dyed fabrics and yarn? Soak your material in a bowl filled with equal parts water and vinegar to start with, then make the dye in your crockpot following the manufacturer’s mixing instructions. Add the fabric or yarn, stir well with a non-porous spoon, and let it “cook” covered on high. After an hour, turn the heat off and remove the lid. Let the contents to reach room temperature (2 to 4 hours) then carefully remove the fabric and transfer it to a sink filled with cool water and 1 cup of salt to “set” the dye. Rinse well and dry.
5. Make your own body lotion: Skip the parabens and artificial fragrances and get soft, naturally moisturized skin. Just melt 8 oz. cocoa butter in 2 oz. of distilled water in your slow cooker on low, then stir in 1 oz. of beeswax, 4 oz. of sweet almond oil, and 2 oz. of coconut oil. Add essential oils if you’d like fragrance. Pour while hot into clean jars and cover tightly with lids then store in a cool, dark place. By the way, this makes a great gift, too!
Equipment I’ve Used For This: