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  • Crock Pot

    Hi

    I'm going to buy a crock pot and as I've never bought one before, is there anything I should particularly look for?

    Also is a cheaper one just as good as a more expensive one?

    Thanks

  • #2
    I love cooking with a crockpot. It's so easy.

    If you are like me you are going to look for the largest size you can find (I love to cook whole chickens and large roasts).

    I've found that the cheaper ones work well , but some of the plastic parts tend to break off after about a year..which then makes them pretty useless. So I look for ones with metal hinges (or better yet a lift off top with no hinges) and handles. I also recommend ones that will go to "keep warm" when the meal is done. I've had some times in the past where I've been a few hours late getting home and my meal was over cooked (not that I didn't eat it anyway, but it wasn't as good).
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need." ~ Vernon Howard

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    • #3
      The more expensive ones have timers and stuff to change the heat levels while you are gone. I find that my simple one works very well- there are three heat settings and that's it. Crockpots are made to be left alone for hours on end, and most things will be fine. Don't ever cook chicken on high or for more than six hours, though.

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      • #4
        Size - you want to make certain it's large enough to fit the standard size roast you will want to cook or a whole chicken. I'd recommend a 5 quart.
        My primal journal that I don't update enough:
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

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        • #5
          I use an inexpensive Rival crockpot--must be ten years old at least, and attach a timer if I want to time cook. They all operate the same, so size is more important than brand. I agree a 4-5 qt pot will hold a whole chicken or a sizable(4-6lb) roast. I think all of them now have the removable crock, which is important for cleaning.

          Oh, do get a lid that just lifts off with no hinges; makes easier to clean and store.
          Last edited by SugarBaby; 07-13-2011, 10:07 AM.
          WWW.SUGARAHOLICS.COM

          I was a sugarbaby; meaning since I was born I was given lots of sugar, and ate lots of processed foods, especially sweets until I was into my thirties. Most people in the west were/are sugarbabies.

          “How does today’s youngster educate his sense of taste? By submerging it in a sea of sugar from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed.” W. Root and Richard DeRochemont, Eating in America (1976)

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          • #6
            Thanks for your responses, I do appreciate them This forum rocks

            I will look for a 5 quart one and one with metal hinges.

            Now I just have to find some good recipes.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by aussie1girl View Post
              Thanks for your responses, I do appreciate them This forum rocks

              I will look for a 5 quart one and one with metal hinges.

              Now I just have to find some good recipes.
              Search this site or google and you will get tons of recipes.
              WWW.SUGARAHOLICS.COM

              I was a sugarbaby; meaning since I was born I was given lots of sugar, and ate lots of processed foods, especially sweets until I was into my thirties. Most people in the west were/are sugarbabies.

              “How does today’s youngster educate his sense of taste? By submerging it in a sea of sugar from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed.” W. Root and Richard DeRochemont, Eating in America (1976)

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              • #8
                Try this site for inspiration : A Year of Slow Cooking

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                • #9
                  Removable crock. Maybe they all come that way now, I don't know, but I know my first crock pot was one piece and it was a PITA to clean. I was glad when I dropped and broke it so I could buy a new one. Otherwise, they all work pretty much the same. You'll just pay more for electronic controls and timers and stuff, but for slow cooking, I don't think that's so important.

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                  • #10
                    I used a 5qt crock for years, but feeding a family of 5, I switched to an 8qt this year and I'll never go back. It's perfect.

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                    • #11
                      You mentioned 'cheaper', well I've got cheaper for you.

                      Slow cook in a dutch oven in your oven. Even better, make a haybox <.See the link.> and cook without too much energy of any kind.
                      Hayboxes, How to Make a Haybox Cooker for Fireless Cooking and Recipes
                      Tayatha om bekandze

                      Bekandze maha bekandze

                      Randza samu gate soha

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                      • #12
                        Using a dutch oven in the regular oven will use more energy than a crock pot. You are heating a much larger area in order to cook what is in the pot. The crockpot at $20-50 will quickly pay for itself.
                        WWW.SUGARAHOLICS.COM

                        I was a sugarbaby; meaning since I was born I was given lots of sugar, and ate lots of processed foods, especially sweets until I was into my thirties. Most people in the west were/are sugarbabies.

                        “How does today’s youngster educate his sense of taste? By submerging it in a sea of sugar from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed.” W. Root and Richard DeRochemont, Eating in America (1976)

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                        • #13
                          Sugarbaby: Check my post. The lower energy refers to using a haybox. Just use sufficient energy to start a boil, then put it in the haybox---or any insulated equivalent--and let it stew all day without external energy applied.
                          Tayatha om bekandze

                          Bekandze maha bekandze

                          Randza samu gate soha

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                          • #14
                            Good replies so far. Here is my own checklist for choosing a crockpot.

                            1. Size - We have two crockpots and I'm not sure how many quarts they hold, but they can each cook a whole chicken or roast which is what counts in my book.

                            2. "Keep Warm" setting - I don't care for fancy gizmos like timers on my crockpot, but having settings for high, low, and keep-warm are helpful.

                            3. Removable crock - Absolutely mandatory! If it's not easy to clean, I'll avoid using it. It's just that simple. We used to have a small, older crockpot that wasn't removable, and the only thing I would use it for was making cider since it was relatively easy to rinse out the liquid.
                            We must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility
                            -Sparrowhawk, The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin

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                            • #15
                              I have one that couldn't have cost $10 25 years ago that still works fine. Removable crock was a selling point at the time but I think they all come that way now.

                              I'm wanting this Amazon.com: Hamilton Beach 33967 Set &#39;n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker: Kitchen & Dining only because of the ability to cook and then hold at temp so stuff doesn't get dried out. Other folks here have said they don't use them much but mine get used more than any other appliance I have.
                              Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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