As summer draws to a close, and the temperature starts to drop, how we eat changes - out go the light bites, and in come the stews, braises and warming dishes. One of the best ways to get comfort food like this at home is a slow cooker. Affordable, easy to use and energy-efficient (on low, a slow cooker can use less energy than a lightbulb), they're a must-own piece of kit for the budding home chef.
We've put together a few recipes to give you some inspiration as the nights draw in.
This Mexican shredded chicken dish is a great way to see out the last days of summer. Made with chicken thighs, cooked low and slow in a spicy, smoky sauce, it's great in tacos, burritos or served over rice.
This hearty French vegetable stew is a great low effort way to get a few of your five-a-day! Just chop up your vegetables, throw them in the slow cooker, and serve with toasted bread or tossed through pasta a few hours later.
An American barbecue favourite, a slow cooker is a great way to get tender pulled pork at home. Made from pork shoulder, it's a fun, affordable tea that will feed the whole family and more - this recipe even features a tomato ketchup based sauce if you have a few bottles of Harrisons' sauces in your cupboard!
This Italian staple is one of our favourite winter warmers - after browning your meat and sweating down your onions and garlic, throw everything else into the slow cooker and let it go!
Once it's finished, what you do with it is up to you. Lightly dress your pasta as the Italian's do, or pile it onto a baked potato with plenty of grated cheese - this is a large scale recipe, leaving you plenty of leftovers to experiment with.
Are you breaking out the slow cooker this autumn? What are some of your favourite recipes?