By Carl Hanson

Don't even think about putting your slow cooker in mothballs for the summer. There's a legit argument that summer, not autumn or winter, is truly the season of the slow cooker. For one, the contraption doesn't heat up the kitchen. For another, we're just plain busier in the summer; and with the crock pot, dinner's ready when we are.

But primarily, if you put the slow cooker out to pasture, you'll be missing out on some of summer's greatest hits. Like these.

Best slow cooker recipes for summer

1. Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken II

"A wonderful 'fix and forget' recipe. Great served with rice or pasta, or even alone." - Carla Joy

Photo by Dianne

Like that? Try this: Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

2. Pozole in a Slow Cooker

"Easy, authentic pozole. Serve with chopped onion, cilantro, shredded cabbage, lime wedges, and corn tortillas or tostadas." - Isabel

Like that? Try this: Carnitas with Pico De Gallo

3. Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs

"Serve with hot cooked spaghetti noodles." - HUNNIE0913

Like that? Try this: Slow Cooker Lasagna

4. Honey-Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

"Easy and uses pantry staples. Serve with basmati rice or quinoa." - Myrna

Photo by Sherri

Like that? Try this: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

5. Slow-Cooker Pepper Steak

"Very tender and flavorful. Serve over rice, egg noodles, or chow mein." - MJWAGNER68

Photo by abapplez

Like that? Try this: Slow Cooker Thai Pork with Peppers

6. Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

"Come home to the warm Indian spice smell....LOVE IT! Serve with basmati rice and warm naan bread." - The Meal Planner

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Like that? Try this: Keon's Slow Cooker Curry Chicken

7. Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore

"A wonderful Italian neighbor showed me how to make this recipe. Adding cheese gave it something special, it also made it mine." - Sneakyteaky

Photo by CookinBug

Like that? Try this: Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

8. Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken with Bok Choy

This simple method works equally well with any stewing or braising meat -- duck legs, chicken thighs, pork chops. Serve with steamed rice.

Photo by Baking Nana

Like that? Try this: Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

Check out our collection of Slow Cooker Recipes.

Related: 15 Essential Recipes To Convert To The Slow Cooker