Slow Cooker Taco Meat

For years now I’ve been browning ground beef in my homemade taco seasoning to make tacos. On a whim I decided to make slow cooker taco meat. Boy, am I ever glad that I did. Hours in the slow cooker makes browned beef even better. Tender, juicy and tasty. Perfect for taco night!

Slow Cooker Taco MeatI used a very lean ground beef when I made this taco meat. You don’t want to deal with a bunch of fat floating around the top of your slow cooker. Ewwwww. No, use at least a 90/10 (that’s 90% meat, 10% fat) mix and crumble it well when frying it.

Any extra taco meat freezes very well so don’t be afraid to double the recipe if your slow cooker can handle it.

Slow Cooker Taco Meat

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 10 mins
Total Time6 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1 7 ounce can diced green chiles (I used our fire-roasted Hatch chiles)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook until just about done.
  • Add the onion and stir. Cook until the beef is cooked through.
  • Transfer meat and onions and all remaining ingredients to a slow cooker.
  • Stir and cook on low 4-6 hours.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch Wings

I usually cook wings on my Char-Broil Big Easy or on my charcoal grill using the Vortex. I have to admit, I was pretty pessimistic about the idea of cooking wings in a slow cooker. Would I like the texture? Would they taste as great as wings off the grill?

One thing’s for sure, making Buffalo Ranch wings in a slow cooker really couldn’t get any easier. It was the perfect recipe for my working-from-home lunch. Toss everything in first thing in the morning and at lunch, enjoy some wings!

So how were they? Well, mighty tasty for starters. In fact, I loved the flavor. Big time. Texture-wise, they got barely crispy but the meat was oh-so-tender and juicy. For truly crispy skin you’ll have to leave them under the broiler for a good bit of time, but keep an eye on them. I found the skin to be melt-in-my-mouth tender and I didn’t actually miss not having super-crunchy wings. In fact, it was a nice change. I loved them!
Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch WingsAlthough not traditional Buffalo wings to a purist, I still enjoyed these slow cooker Buffalo Ranch wings more than I actually thought I would. No mess, no fuss and very tasty. Certainly much easier than firing up a grill or even deep fryer to make a batch of the wings you normally expect.

Meijer makes a fantastic Buffalo wild sauce that is great for this recipe.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch Wings

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 -4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • 1 cup your favorite Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 packet Ranch dressing mix about 3 tablespoons of homemade
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Ranch dressing for serving

Instructions

  • Place the wings into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Combine the wing sauce, Ranch dressing mix and salt and pepper and pour over the wings.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours - 3 hours until the meat is starting to pull back from the bones.
  • Carefully transfer the wings to a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Place under the broiler and broil until just starting to crisp.
  • Let cool slightly then serve with Ranch dressing for dipping.

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Ribs

I almost bailed. I almost didn’t post these slow cooker Vietnamese ribs. To be truthful, they stunk up the house. Seriously. There’s tons of fish sauce in them, and if you’ve used fish sauce before you know it stinks. And then some. But, here’s the crazy part: they’re crazy delicious. That surprised the heck out of me.

That fishy smell disappeared and left me with a rack of completely fall-off-the-bone ribs that I devoured like I hadn’t eaten in two weeks. Who would’ve thought?
Slow Cooker Vietnamese RibsI’d keep an eye on these slow cooker Vietnamese ribs after about 6 hours. I cooked mine the full 7 hours before placing them under the broiler. You may want to take the ribs out sooner if you prefer yours to stick to the bone a bit instead of completely falling off. Mine definitely came out tender.

Also try my oven baked ribs.

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Ribs

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main
Servings: 1 rack

Ingredients

  • 1 rack baby backs cut into sections so they fit into your slow cooker
  • 2 shallots chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place ribs into the slow cooker.
  • Stir together the shallot, fish sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Pour over ribs.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until the meat is starting to fall off the bones, rotating the ribs after 3 1/2 hours.
  • Turn on your broiler. Carefully transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet and place under the broiler, meat side up, for 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned.
  • Pour the juices that remain in the slow cooker thru a sieve and into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes until nice and thick.
  • Serve ribs brushed with reduced sauce.