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Author Topic: Slow cookers: any thoughts?  (Read 715 times)
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CeeKay
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« on: December 17, 2009, 11:04:04 PM »

I'm looking to get a slow cooker for my apartment. I need to stop eating out as much and I figure one could be a good way for me to help do so. I plan on putting something together before I go to work and leave ut to cook all day so when I get home it's ready. Are there any brands I should prefer/avoid?

I thinking a five gallon one should be more than enough for just myself with leftovers.
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 11:28:00 PM »

Just get a reputable brand so you don't burn down your kitchen with dodgy electrics.  Also, get some of the disposable slow cooker liners for easy cleanup.  Winter is good slow cooker season. 
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 11:28:05 PM »

I did a bunch of comparison shopping for one a few years back and Hamilton Beach was the winner for me.  Features and performance on par with the super pricey versions at half the cost.

Keep in mind that bigger isn't always better, though.  You want slow cookers to be filled a certain amount when you use them, so unless you're prepared to cook a lot every time you might not want the biggest one you can find.  I went with a medium-large one and it serves me well, but there are times I wish I had a second, smaller one as well.

Cooks Illustrated has some really good comparisons if you can find their slow cooker article.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 02:46:40 AM »

I'm pretty slow, and I work for minimum wage.

Is a slow cooker the same thing as a crock pot? We use ours about once every 5 years.
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 03:42:30 AM »

I love my crock pot. Two hints: The crocks are durable, but I've ruined a couple. Hot stuff inside, done late at night, and I'm wanting to go to bed, empty it & start washing it w/ cold water. Ooops. Little cracking 'ping' means it is time for a new one. Rapid temp change= bad idea. Hint two: my newest one has an electronic control (versus the basic high/low dongle) - the extra couple settings (hi/low, but adds a couple choices in how many hours, plus when the cycle completes then drops to a 'warm' setting - very handy that). Since I like to do a lot of stuff overnight, the extra couple setting choices help a lot.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 04:18:36 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on December 18, 2009, 02:46:40 AM

Is a slow cooker the same thing as a crock pot? We use ours about once every 5 years.

Crock-PotŪ brand slow cookers may be one of the most popular lines of slow cookers, but Sunbeam Products, Inc, a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH) would kindly ask you not to dilute the trademark of its Crock-PotŪ brand by referring to any and all slow cookers as Crock-PotŪ brand slow cookers.
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Moliere
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 06:21:33 AM »

Do I need to call a moderator on you for starting another duplicate thread? You couldn't find my 9 month old thread?  icon_twisted
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 06:32:09 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on December 18, 2009, 06:21:33 AM

Do I need to call a moderator on you for starting another duplicate thread? You couldn't find my 9 month old thread?  icon_twisted

but that's about crock pots, this is about slow cookers  Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2009, 04:25:46 AM »

I'll toss out an alternative, take a look at an electric pressure cooker.  It's more expensive but it's also more versatile.  You can use it as a slow cooker, but as a pressure cooker you can get a similar result in significantly less time.  If you plan a meal for dinner but don't have time in the morning to prep it to slow cook you can do it that night in the pressure cooker and still have it done fairly quickly.  It has a timer and delay start so you don't have to watch it, it'll beep when it's ready.  You can also brown food in it, something you can't do with a regular slow cooker, so that's one less pan to clean up.

I got this one for Christmas a couple years ago.  It's worked great when I've used it and I should use it more.  That said, I'll still go to the stove for cooking most of the time.  It's probably just familiarity, I already know how to cook something that way and I'd have to check a recipe to make sure I'm doing it right for the pressure cooker.  Now that you've got me thinking about it I think I'll plan something to make in it tomorrow night.
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 06:21:07 PM »

Use our slow cooker couple of times a week. It's perfect because you have hot, delicious food for dinner AND you have leftovers for one or two lunches later in the week.


We have a Hamilton Beach that works very well.

If you don't want to clean it a whole lot, there are some slow cooker liners you can use that make it super easy to clean.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 08:35:37 PM »

Another vote for the Hamilton beach line...picked up my wife a programmable slow cooker a few weeks ago, and it works great.  Even come with a temperature probe.
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Kagath
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 04:49:52 AM »

We have people registering just to post on the craziest topics nowadays! icon_lol
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