10 Unusual Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

We all love a good crockpot recipe, right? I know I do! The ability to “set it and forget it” is invaluable on those super busy days! But warm and delicious slow-cooked meals are only the tip of the iceberg for this trusty appliance! There are plenty of other ways to use your crockpot, for things you probably haven’t even thought about! So today I’m sharing 10 of my favorite unusual crockpot “recipes.”  Check them out, and and I’ll bet you start seeing your crockpot in a whole new light! :-)

If you have a crockpot tip or trick that isn’t listed in today’s post, we’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below this post letting us know what unusual thing you make with your crockpot, and your comment could be featured in an upcoming blog post! 

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Hot Dogs – For a Crowd!

Need an easy meal for a large group/small army? It’s hot dogs to the rescue! Place several hot dogs in your crockpot and stand them up vertically. Turn your crockpot on and let them hang out until they’re hot!

Related: “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Super Bowl Edition

crockpot uses

Recycled Crayons

If you have kids, chances are you also have a box of half-used crayons somewhere. Collect all those broken pieces, and use your crockpot to make new crayons!

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

You’ll need a disposable muffin tin, your crockpot, and your crayon bits. Distribute your crayon pieces into the cups of the muffin tins, doing your best to sort them by similar colors. Place the muffin tin into your crockpot, turn it on to the high setting, and wait until all the wax has melted completely (about 2 hours). Remove the tin from the crockpot and allow the wax to solidify completely before removing your new crayons from the tin.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Caramel Apples

Making caramel apples using your crockpot is easy, and more importantly, easy to clean up! Start by placing a crockpot liner into your crockpot, then add a bag of unwrapped caramels and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook the caramels on high until the caramel is melty, easy to stir, and shiny.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Spear your apples with craft sticks or skewers of some kind, then roll them in the caramel and let the excess drip back into the crockpot. Sprinkle with nuts, coconut flakes, or sprinkles if you’d like, but work quickly, because the caramel hardens fast! When you’re done, just toss out the sticky crockpot liner.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Chex Mix

Making savory, salty, crave-worthy Chex Mix is a breeze in the crockpot. I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven, and it worked out wonderfully! I already need to make another batch!

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot


I was definitely skeptical of this one before I tried it! But it totally works, and it’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without heating up the whole kitchen by using the oven. Get the recipe for these chocolatey bits of heaven over at Momtastic.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Greek Yogurt

Making yogurt sounds like one of those things that’s best left to professionals, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think! This particular crockpot method is virtually foolproof (and I would know, because I didn’t follow my own instructions when I made it the first time, and it still turned out fine!) Get step-by-step instructions from my post on Foolproof Crockpot Greek Yogurt.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot


Yes, you really can make homemade soap in your crockpot! It’s simple to do and totally customizable. Plus it looks homemade, which I think gives it a lovely rustic charm. :-) Get the details from How To Make Homemade Soap In A Crockpot.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Simmering Potpourri

You can use your crockpot to stir up a naturally-scented potpourri that will make your whole house smell amazing. You can get a couple of my favorite “recipes” from My Favorite Simmering Potpourri Recipes.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Overnight Oatmeal

Who doesn’t love making overnight anything? Any chance I have to turn waiting time into sleeping time, I count as a huge win. (Impatient? Who, me??) ;-) A bit of prep the night before can yield you a crockpot full of warm, comforting oatmeal that the whole family will love. Perfect for the chilly autumn mornings that are just around the corner! Get the recipe at Overnight Slow Cooker Oatmeal For A Crowd.

Things You Didn't Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot


I’d never tried making applesauce before, let alone in a crockpot, so I had no idea how it would turn out. Not only was it unbelievably easy (thanks in part to this handy 3-in-1 apple peeler gadget,) it was delicious too! If you happen to live somewhere that produces delicious apples, pick up a case and make this applesauce! You can thank me later. ;-) Get the recipe at How To Make Your Own Applesauce In The Slow Cooker.

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • When I was in sales I would always throw a “end of quarter” potluck for my co workers. The hot dogs in the crockpot was a huge hit! Just make sure the turn the crockpot along with the hotdogs and water on low early in the morning. By lunch time they are puffed up and hot.

  • With the caramel apples, you said work fast because it hardens. Do you turn the crock pot off? How many do you think this would make? Could I double the recipe?

    • Don’t turn off the crockpot until you’re done making the apples. You can make about 4 apples with 1 bag of caramels, but you can double the recipe or use any amount that you’d like!

    • Karol, just a little more information please! Do you put your slow cooker on the high setting? For approximately how many hours for the medium size potato (like a small adult woman’s fist tightly clenched). Thanks!

      • My slow cooker user manual states 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Haven’t personally tried it out yet, but will do so soon.

  • I hosted a going away party for our step-daughter, who was joining the Navy, a co-worker of hers brought a tray of dozens of homemade tamales, she had me warm them up in my crockpot… They were perfect !!

  • When making those hot dogs for a crowd, if you have a second crock pot, wrap a like number of buns in a double thickness of foil and place in the crock pot on low for basically the whole time. They’ll taste steamy, soft and freshly baked.

  • I make applebutter in my crockpot. I core the apples, cut into 8th and throw them in, skins included. Cook on high for 8 hours, adding brown sugar, and cinnamon. (I add more at the 7th hour if necessary.)I use a potato masher to reduce the cooked chunks. If pieces of skin do cook down enough, pull them out. You can freeze in freezer bags, or, I use sanitized peanut butter jars.

  • Hi Jillee. Did you use a towel under the crockpot cover to do the chex mix to prevent it from getting soggy? Just saw that it was a suggestion in the link you provided.

  • If you cook baked goods like a cake place a paper towel over the top of the crock pot then put on the lid. The paper towel collects the drops of steam so your cake isn’t soggy. I’ve made dump cake and the top browns up & is crunchy.

  • I will often cook two meals at one time in my large crock pot. I line my crock pot with heavy-duty foil (a big piece), add all of the ingredients and then wrap it in the foil, I then get another big piece of foil and place it on top of the first meal. I load it with ingredients, put on the lid and turn it on. When the correct time has elapsed I remove the foil wrapped meals. (Careful, they’re hot!) I will usually serve one of the meals for dinner that day and allow the other to cool, label it, and put it in the fridge or freezer for later.

    Note: you could use crock pot liners for this as well but you should transfer the food to freezer-safe storage if you are going to freeze it.

  • Crockpots are amazing! I have made hot chocolate in the crockpot for a crowd, it keeps it hot all evening long! I am definitely going to try out the brownies recipe! How clever!

  • When I get a pork roast with a thick layer of fat from a local farm, I slice off the fat and cut it up small, then put it in the crockpot (I use my little crock pot for this) to cook down and render into lard. It works like a charm.
    I wrap beets, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, even a rutabaga, in foil and cook them on low all day. It saves me from using the oven on hot days, and the texture is just better than when they are microwaved, to me.
    I put the chicken carcass in from a roasted chicken, add water and seasonings, and let it cook on low for hours to make stock without having to watch a pan on the stove.
    I pre-soften dry beans (a must, when adding sugar to them in a crock pot) then put them in a crock pot with all the other ingredients, but less liquid, for making long-cooked homemade baked beans, which can take hours in the oven plus requires stirring occasionally. In the crock pot, I can leave them alone all day.

  • Not sure why you’d use a crock pot to make yogurt. The only thing it’s used for is warming the milk. That can easily be done on the stove. You still need to check the temperature. Does leaving it in the oven with the light on provide the needed warmth? I dunno.

    • I heat my milk in the microwave to 180F which helps it set right. Kind of like scalding milk for a custard. I don’t have to stir it at all until it’s finished, then I just whisk the protein film back into the milk. As it cools down to the right temp I whisk it around it a few times. I let it cool down to 105F since my two Dash two yogurt makers will get the cultured milk up to the right temperature. It’s better to be low than high, as too high starts killing off the cultures. I make three quarts at a time, and in my microwave it takes 80 minutes at 30%. That seems like a lot, but since I’ve started doing that months and months ago I have not had a bad batch. I’ve been using starter from my last batch during those months, but it;s time to recharge. I use either Chobani or Stonyfield plain.

  • I’ve done several of these, but brownies and soap in a crockpot???–What a great idea, I’m so excited! We’re gluten and casein free so I’m sure (or really hoping) there’s a version out there for crockpot gfcf brownies :)

  • Not a recipe, but a great hack – for warming baby bottles easily for nightly feedings, keep a Crock-Pot of water on low. If baby wakes, just set a bottle in. No more waiting for the hot water out of the tap!

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