I am a longtime crockpot user. In fact, I received my first crockpot as a Christmas gift from my parents when I was in college. While it tends to be a seasonal kitchen appliance, only coming out during the colder months, it has been quite valuable. There’s nothing quite like the smell of chili or beef stew simmering all day long. And what could be more fun that a batch of Spiked Mulled Cider on a cold winter afternoon spent with friends?
However, on a Sunday a couple winters ago we were debating what snacks to make for an afternoon of football. On the list were a few hot dips, which led to the natural question: how will we keep them warm? They could be put in our fondue pot, but open flames and a handful of kids aren’t a good mix. They could be baked in the oven and reheated as necessary, but we planned on a leisurely afternoon with lots of nibbling, so there would be lots of reheating. They could stay in a pot on the stove, but we were certain that we’d end up with burnt dip in the bottom of the pots. Then I remembered that one of my friends had told me about mini crockpots. My husband headed out to a local store and came back with not one, but two mini crockpots.
Since that day, these mini crockpots have seen much usage. With a two-quart capacity, they are the perfect size for almost any hot dip. We have used it for espinaca and You Decide How Hot Sausage Dip, among other appetizers. It also is handy when you’re having mother-daughter movie night and want to have fondue, but don’t want an open flame on the blanket picnic you’ve created. Plus, if you’re making a small batch of meatballs, it’s the perfect size to let the meatballs simmer in marinara for the day.
Sad to say, the model that we bought is no longer on the market, but having talked to numerous people there are many mini crockpots available that are quite reliable, and inexpensive. Doing a quick search, for less than twenty dollars you can own a crockpot that will keep your oh so yummy espinaca warm and tasty for hours!
If you’re making a wishlist of kitchen tools and enjoy warm, gooey dips, make sure you add a mini crockpot to the list. You can thank me later!