Surprising uses for the Crock-Pot Little Dipper

At Amazon: Crock-Pot Little Dipper
At Amazon: Crock-Pot Little Dipper

The single-use appliance. No self-respecing Parenthacker would own one, right? Well, I do: the Crock-Pot Little Dipper (it's a slow cooker that holds 1.5 cups of food).

I got it as a gift several years ago and haven't been able to bring myself to give it away despite never using it. I'm just not a hot dip kind of gal.

But I am a hot oatmeal kind of gal! The Little Dipper is the perfect tool for a single serving of overnight oatmeal!

My interest piqued, I asked the Twitter-Facebook-iverse for other uses for the Little Dipper, and many came back I've never considered.

  • Server for chocolate fondue
  • Diffuser for essential oils
  • Method for taking sauces to parties
  • Water warmer for a sitz bath (no, you don't sit on the Little Dipper)

On Twitter, @cpellgr passed along this tiny recipe for chicken taco filling she makes in the Little Dipper: 2-3 chicken breasts, 1 cup of water, and 1 packet of taco seasoning (she uses Penzeys Taco Seasoning). [Edited to note that she uses a regular 1.5 quart slow cooker for this recipe. See her comment below. – Ed.]

On the Parent Hacks Facebook page, Teri suggested steeping orange slices with mulling spices to make the house smell good. Jody uses hers to keep melted wax hot for batik. Another PHer pointed to the fabulous site A Year of Slow Cooking for more Little Dipper recipes (there are a bunch).

Do you have a surprising use (or favorite recipe) for the Little Dipper?

Related: Help me — I want to love my Crock Pot! Talk amongst yourselves.

More: Tons of mealtime tips, hacks and recipes in the Mealtime archive


  1. Judy says

    My hubby is a carpenter, and on some job sites there is no microwave to reheat leftovers (plus he refuses to eat them cold). So this winter, he brought it along, put in his food an hour or two before lunch, and he said it was perfect!

  2. says

    Oh, whoops! I didn’t realize the Little Dipper was quite THAT little. The recipe for chicken taco filling fits in a 1.5-QUART slow-cooker, not a 1.5-CUP cooker. My apologies!

    • katie says

      The company is missing out on a whole demographic, when it comes to using the Little Dipper !
      I’m 92, and getting quite forgetful at times, which has caused a few burnt pots & ruined food when I’d forget the stove was on while doing something else. My older sister was forbidden the use of her stove for a time before she went to Assisted Living, for the safety of the other apartment dwellers.
      I got a Little Dipper, started experimenting with it, and it’s a whole new ballgame — and a fun one for me — doing my own cooking. I have a little notebook for a reminder of the recipes I use, but basically it’s all slow cooking in very reduced sizes plus the elimination of a lot of leftovers !
      Even if I forget the Dipper, it hardly matters that things get a bit mushy (like rice). I bake potatoes and small pieces of meat, leaving the lid cracked a bit, and even layer ingredients, like lasagna or chicken with stuffing.
      However, the lid is inadequate for actual cooking, and a large round potholder is necessary to place on top of the lid. Yesterday I baked potatoes; last night started a vegetable soup before going to bed (oh yes, I always have to get up at night!), and turned it off around 3 AM, very nicely done. The company needs to come up with an insulated lid, were they to take an interest in catering to us old folks who like to cook our own meals. Our numbers are increasing, it’s said, and I sure appreciate the alternative to forgetting the stove burners. Bon appetit ! Katie

  3. Stacy says

    @Jona – they use one as a bottle warmer at my daycare. It just stays on all day and they pop the bottles in as needed.

  4. says

    Well there you go, a Hot Dip Advocate! I may have to give it a shot some day. The fact is, where there’s warm artichoke dip available, I partake. A lot.

  5. LouLou says

    I use this all the time for single servings of whole grains. I plug it in to one of those timers you use for lamps when you’re out of town to turn them on and off–I put in 1/4 to 1/2 cups rice, barley, wheat berries, amaranth, quinoa, or kamut, etc., approximately 1 cup water, and set the timer to cook it for 2-3 hours before lunch. It’s ready for lunch and fantastic. You can put in nuts (walnuts are particularly good), canned beans (they will split), use broth, or other stuff. Just drain off extra liquid (makes a nice tea).

  6. Aimee says

    Anyone know how hot this crock pot gets? I’m hoping to use it to make herb infused oils.

  7. Laura K says

    I’m trying to find the right proportions for steel-cut oatmeal in the Little Dipper. Are they posted anywhere? Is anyone willing to share? Please? Oatmeal weather is waning out here in the desert….

    • Joanne says

      Steell cut oats we do every night .
      one cup of water and one ounce of oats
      I also add pumpkin seeds and coconut oil to mine.
      cooks all night and is wonderful in the am.
      I used to have a wolfgang puck 1.5 cup cooker and can’t find another one.
      the one we had wore out!!! anyone know where to find one????
      Now I am stuck with a 1.5 qt one and it dries out the oats in the am.!!

  8. erin says

    The crock-pot little dipper only reaches the warm setting, which is between 165-175. Regular crock pots reach a Max temp of about 215.

  9. Amber says

    I use it to keep almond bark smooth and melted while dipping pretzels (or anything you want chocolate covered). Lay them on wax paper and let them set. So easy and always a hit!

  10. Evelyn says

    1/2 small pepper, 1/2 onion, 6 oz of mushroom pasta sauce (or any pasta sauce at hand) and 1 to 1 1/2 chicken breast. Put chicken in the little crock pot (little dipper.) If chicken is to big, cut into cubes, this will make you able to move the pieces and have less empty space. Add the rest of ingredients on top of the chicken. Cover and set it for 4 hours. Little dipper is a plug and go appliance but with a timer is a nice little slow cooker for a single serving. Now when you get home after work, prepare some pasta and add the chicken cacciatore and enjoy.