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Tips for Making Christmas Dinner in Your Slow Cooker

Eliminate the stress and fuss by using your slow cooker to make your Christmas dinner.

By: Marah Altenberg, Editor,
Tips for Making Christmas Dinner in Your Slow Cooker

What are you hoping Santa will bring you this year? Maybe a slow cooker for Christmas. This unbelievable appliance will have your Christmas dinner ready in no time. Having an entire slow cooker Christmas dinner made in your slow cooker, or even using a few at a time, is entirely possible. It actually could be easier to make this most special holiday dinner using slow cookers rather than your oven. All of your favorite Christmas dishes can be made in a slow cooker and many, we believe, will have a more intensified flavor and richness due to the amount of cooking time and the magical way your slow cooker is able to simmer a dish to perfection.

We would love to share our Christmas collection of slow cooker recipes that will fill your menu with peace and joy this holiday season. Serving a meal fill with amazing and wonderful holiday dishes is one of the keys to a fabulous holiday. We have tips on making ham, potatoes, vegetables and of course your most scrumptious holiday desserts. You will swoon when you see the menus you can put together with your slow cooker. Use our tips to make a slow cooker holiday to remember.

Tips for Making Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

A succulent ham can be the perfect main dish to build your Christmas dinner around. A juicy and flavorful ham on your holiday table is the ticket to happiness for all. Read our tips for making your ham the very best it can be. 

  1. Cut a zigzag pattern around the shank to trim away excess fat. Leaving about a quarter inch layer of fat, you want to run a knife under the rind and lift it off in one piece. Use a sharp knife to cut diamond squares into the ham.

  2.  Score the fat in a diamond pattern to make your ham look pretty. Using a skewer, punch a hole in the center of each diamond and insert a clove. The look of your main dish will set the tone for your meal. 

  3. You are going to want to glaze the rind to help to enhance the flavor of your ham. There are many types of glazes from honey mustard to ginger to lime or rum. Pick the one that suits your likes and menu plan. 

  4. Carving your ham is extremely important. You should trim off 2 or 3 slices that are parallel to its length. Trim them from the thin side of the ham. Starting at the shank end, you want to cut your slices across the ham and down to the bone. Then, you want to cut parallel along the bone to release the slices. 

  5. Your ham can be cooked in just about any liquid: You may like finding recipes using cider or spiced wine and orange juice. Coca-Cola is another option they use in the south, where having their ham come out sweet and sticky is appealing.

  6. Your ham should be able to stay good to eat for 12 to 16 days if stored correctly. 

Make Ahead Slow Cooker Sides

Many side dishes you are considering for your Christmas menu can be made ahead in your slow cooker. Once you have cooked your dish you can freeze it until the big day. You warm it a little before you are ready to serve your meal and you have dramatically reduced your holiday stress. 

  1. Holiday potatoes can be made ahead of time and frozen. You can peel and prepare your potatoes ahead of time and simmer them to perfection. Instead of doing all of the work on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, you are able to pull out your pre-prepared dish and throw it in the slow cooker for warming. 

  2. Various cranberry recipes can also be made ahead of time and frozen until the holiday arrives. It is nice to spend a separate night preparing your dish without the stress of people arriving and having a specific timetable. Right before you Christmas dinner you can pull out your cranberries and warm them up in the slow cooker. 

  3. Many vegetable casseroles can be made ahead of time. These tend to freeze extremely easily. Check your ingredients in the recipe to make sure they freeze well after they are cooked. Many vegetable casseroles can also be made a few days ahead and refrigerated. You can transfer it from your slow cooker into a casserole dish for refrigeration or freezing and either warm it in that dish or put it back for warming. 

  4. Make ahead breads are also a great addition to your Christmas menu. There are many types of breads you can make in your slow cooker and refrigerate or freeze.

Tips for Making Holiday Cakes in the Slow Cooker

Everyone is always searching for the newest and latest cake to make for their Christmas dessert buffet. We have some wonderful cake ideas that you can easily make in your slow cooker. Some of these recipes may be easier and have less steps than actually baking a cake in the oven. Try out one of these during this holiday season. 

  1. When baking a cake in your slow cooker you can use a baking insert available from the manufacturer, or use a baking dish from your equipment that fits into your slow cooker, or you can just put the batter straight into your pre-greased and floured slow cooker. 


  2. Once all of your ingredients are in the slow cooker ready to bake, you can prop open the lid with a wooden spoon handle or chopstick if you want to vent the cooker. By doing this simple task it eliminates condensation from collecting on the underside of the lid and possibly dripping onto whatever you’re baking.

  3. When your recipe has finished baking, wear oven gloves to lift out the item you have baked. Save your knuckles!

  4. Want to bake cookie bars? You just stack the ingredients into your slow cooker crock or insert. It is a fairly easy process.

  5. Fit a pie crust straight into your slow cooker crock. Pat it into the bottom and up the sides an inch or so. If you’re using a big cooker, use two crusts. Just overlap them slightly where they meet, and pat the seam smooth.

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