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Slow cooker puzzles out side dishes

The BDY Slow Cooker Mate features a removable insert that allows for two side dishes to be cooked separately from the main dish. Using fewer pots makes cleanup easy.

A whole meal, ready when you are.
A whole meal, ready when you are. Chef's Catalog

Cooking can be like a puzzle. Figuring out what to eat and how to make it can be challenging enough, but then there is a further complication: the dishes. Finding ways to minimize mess translates into using fewer dishes. Regardless of what's on the menu, if the same appliance can be used to produce a full meal, then the game is won. When it comes to slow cooking, freshly cooked side dishes don't have to require separate cookware.

The BDY Slow Cooker Mate features a removable insert that can be used to add two additional side dishes to a meal. The four-cup insert fits directly into the 6-quart base crock, separating ingredients to keep their flavors distinct. The 270-watt slow cooker can be used with or without the insert, providing convenience and versatility in one familiar appliance.

Vegetables don't fare particularly well with long cooking times, but one could always add the insert towards the end. The standard high and low settings are all that is needed to set dinner in motion. when cooking is completed the machine switches over to a warm setting. Adding veggies at just the right time shouldn't be too hard to gauge--consider it just another part of the game.