While going to an engineering school there is seldom any time for cooking and meal prep. The best option for school time cooking is a slow cooker. You can simply put ingredients in and forget about cooking for hours on end. However, when you are cooking for one and have a 6 quart slow cooker, you wind up with a lot of wasted food and repeated meals. In order to get more variety of easy dinners throughout the week, you can create a slow cooker divider out of aluminum foil so that you can create multiple meals at the same time. In addition, the cleanup will be easier since the interior of the crockpot will be covered in foil. The divider works best if the recipes used have the same cooking time. Bon appetit!
Step 1: Know the Measurements of Your Slow Cooker
The key to creating the divider is to use enough foil at each step so that there is no leakage. The measurements do not need to be exact and change depending on the size of your slow cooker. In this case it is always better to overestimate the amount of foil than underestimate. In my case, I am using a 6 quart Crockpot with dimensions 11.5 X 8.5 X 4.6 inches. For the purpose of this Instructable, I will call the longest side of the slow cooker as the width, the shorter side as the length and the inside length as the depth.
Step 2: Make the Divider Template
To make the divider, measure a piece of aluminum foil that is a little more than twice the depth of the slow cooker. In my case, my slow cooker has a depth of 5 inches so I measured a piece of aluminum foil a foot long. Fold the foil in half width wise and the divider will be tall enough to divide the entire slow cooker. Fold the divider length wise until it fits the length of the crock pot. It is ok if the divider sticks out of the crockpot because it can always be folded over later.
Step 3: Create the Skirt of the Divider
Next, measure out two sheets sheet of aluminum foil a little more than the width of the slow cooker. In my case, this came out to about a 15 inches long. Take one of the sheets and use scissors to cut a slit lengthwise the same width as the divider as close to center as possible. Hold the divider upright and push the bottom foil up about halfway up the sides of the divider creating a skirt of foil around the divider template. Take the second piece of foil and fold it over the top of the divider. Smooth the foil.
Step 4: Fit the Divider and Skirt Into the Slow Cooker
Fit the divider and skirt into the slow cooker. It is ok if the divider must bend in order to fit in. When in, the divider can be reshaped as necessary. It is ok if the foil does not cover the sides of the slow cooker. However, it must cover the entirety of the bottom. Afterwards, remove the base and skirt from the slow cooker. The base and skirt together create the fitted divider. It is ok if the original divider template falls out of the fitted divider.
Step 5: Create an Aluminum Slow Cooker Cover
Cut out two more pieces of aluminum foil that are about four inches longer than the width of the slow cooker. Arrange the two pieces of foil into a cross shape. The goal is to have extra foil hanging out of the crockpot when we line it with the crossed foil. Place the cross into the slow cooker to line the interior of the crockpot. This lining is the aluminum slow cooker cover.
Step 6: Complete the Divider
Place the fitted divider back into the slow cooker on top of the foil lining. Use the extra foil hanging outside the slow cooker to connect the aluminum slow cooker cover with the skirt of the divider. Press down on the foil to connect the pieces. Pinch the sides so that the divider is stable. Now you have created two sections in the slow cooker!
Step 7: Prep Your Meals
Prepare both slow cooker meals! Halve the recipes that you use by halving the quantity of each ingredient. Each section of the slow cooker should be filled least halfway to three quarters of the way full. Follow the recipe directions as normal. Place each prepped recipe in a section of the slow cooker. Make sure that the recipes you use have the same cooking time. Cook as directed and when time is up, serve and enjoy!