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Decent Slow cooker brand

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  • Decent Slow cooker brand

    Hey folks,

    I'm looking for a slow cooker here in Canada. Any recommendations? would be meals enough for dinner breaky and maybe lunch. Primarily roasts with veggies and yam occasionally.

    I see there are lots to pick from and some seem to not perform well when cooking on slow so especially potatoes and such. I'm looking to start when off to work or just before bed so 6 hourish cooking time would be ideal with it to switch to warming after that.

    Any suggestions would be great.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I think I have a 6 quart oval Crock-Pot brand slow cooker. It's got a low setting, a high setting, and lets you set the timer for up to 20 hours. Once it hits the specified time it goes to the "warm" setting. The insert is glazed white enamel. I've seen some pretty cool slow cookers that have a cast-iron insert, which means you can brown your roast on the stove in the insert without having to make a second pan dirty... but anything that's cast iron is pretty expensive.

    I use mine every weekend for chicken broth. I start the chicken in a pot on the stove with all the veggies; after it's simmered for about an hour, I take the chicken out and carve the meat off. Then I put the contents of the pot into the slow cooker, add the chicken carcass, top off the water and put it on low for about 8 hours. Strain out all the meat and veggies and you've got great broth. Add the reserved chicken meat back in with some fresh veggies for a tasty chicken soup.

    I've also done the pot roast from Mark's cookbook in there, turned out great.

    I'm a big fan of batch cooking so I would definitely recommend a large cooker. Use it once a week and portion everything into little containers to nosh on until the following week.
    ~elaine. twitter, primal journal.


    Originally posted by vontrapp
    CoWorker: What? Cmon live a little.
    Me: No thanks, I'd rather live a lot.

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    • #3
      I have the CrockPot my mom got as a wedding gift 37 years ago. It works awesomely and it is a beautiful shade of 1970's pea green. When it finally croaks, I'm going to get the kind with the insert you can pull out for easy cleaning, but it just refuses to die.

      I know you can spend lots of money on a slow cooker, but I honestly haven't seen the point, and we use ours often. If someone has a fancy All Clad or other expensive one and thinks it's worth the money, I'd love to hear about it.
      My True Primal Story

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      • #4
        I use enamled cast iron(Le Creuset)and a gas range and stove. I have a crock pot stainless slow cooker I haven't pulled out of the cabinet since buying the good cast iron but that crockpot oval slow cooker has cooked many good meals and never gave me any trouble so I can recomend that with no reservations.
        Both methods work great but It's getting cold now and I like the warmth that having something in the oven always proivides. I like to braise and slow cook in the same dish myself so the stove top to braise then when the stock is added I pop it in the oven and go to work.
        Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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        • #5
          i have 1 from a local chain which cost me £14.99 & has done me proud so far.
          nothing fancy at all just a low & high setting.

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          • #6
            I have a Rival® brand, which works just fine for me. I think it's a five-quart or so, which works for the single college guy. Five settings (two high -- 4 & 6 hours, two low -- 8 & 10 hours, and a "warm"), perfectly useable.
            Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

            For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
            -- Blaise Pascal

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            • #7
              It's a slow cooker. Whichever one is cheapest and doesn't look like it's going to catch fire.

              As long as it gets warm and doesn't leak you're good.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SweetPickles View Post
                I have the CrockPot my mom got as a wedding gift 37 years ago. It works awesomely and it is a beautiful shade of 1970's pea green. When it finally croaks, I'm going to get the kind with the insert you can pull out for easy cleaning, but it just refuses to die.

                I know you can spend lots of money on a slow cooker, but I honestly haven't seen the point, and we use ours often. If someone has a fancy All Clad or other expensive one and thinks it's worth the money, I'd love to hear about it.
                The old crockpots are the best ones and worth looking for at yard/garage sales. So many of the newer ones burn or overcook the food.

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                • #9
                  I went looking to replace my old Rival since the lid died, and ended up at eBay of all places, where I found one just like mine like new ( go figure it is 20 plus yes old). It was all clean and mine had years of crap burnt on so I gutted mine and kept the good parts. I would have just bought one if there were any not made in China. So, try eBay. Also, the new ones get hotter and that can be a problem since the new low is quite hot. PM me if you want links to slow cooker info.

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                  • #10
                    i have a newish rival - prob at least 10 yrs old. Works like a champ. Got it for what must have been a good price at Target. You don't need to spend a lot on a crockpot.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NicoleP View Post
                      The old crockpots are the best ones and worth looking for at yard/garage sales. So many of the newer ones burn or overcook the food.
                      My parents have one that's as old as I can remember (I'm 32) and my mom still uses it regularly.

                      We have 4 different sized ones, from really small to pretty big. I can't remember all the brands, but I know that the medium sized one is a Rival and the big one is a Hamilton Beach. The Rival we've had since we got married 10 years ago and still works great. The Hamilton Beach we won in some contest a few years back. It's a nice digital one with a probe and it works great also. I just used it today to slow cook a whole chicken that turned out excellent.

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                      • #12
                        I disagree that older* is better. Here's why.

                        Temp Control - my older crockpot had four settings: High, Low, Warm, and Off. If I put something on Low all day, I came back to a steaming pile of crap in a slowcooker. The "set it and forget it" mantra only works if you like your food to taste like meaty mush.

                        Timers - I tried tinkering with cooking times by using timers (the kind that you plug into the outlet and then plug the appliance into), but if I went even an hour over (i.e., start the timer at 2 PM, expecting to be home at 6 PM, but instead got home at 7 PM)...I came home to a steaming pile of crap in my slowcooker. Nor could I just tell it to shut off at 6 PM, because then I'd come home to room temp food poisoning.

                        Thermometers - Some of the newer models have this cool new feature that allows you to stick a probe in your meat and the crockpot switches to "Warm" when it hits temp. I haven't tried this, but I bet it's pretty cool if that's your sort of cooking.

                        Safety - An awesome point I saw made on a blog -- say you are your family's primary cook. Say you started a pot roast at 8 AM, went to work, and had a heart attack. Okay, so the heart attack probably won't happen if you're primal, so let's say you get run over by a clown car. You go to the hospital, your S.O. shows up to be by your side, and meanwhile your old reliable slow cooker is chugging away. Unobserved. Probably burning your house down. The nice thing about a newer slow cooker is that they flip to Warm when the time's up, and after 10-14 hours they SHUT OFF. So if you get Rapture'd up to be with Baby Jesus or Buddha or Thor, you're fine. No worries about the house burning down.

                        I have a Hamilton-Beach 6 quart slow cooker. I can program it to cook for X hours at High or Low, and after X hours it flips to Warm. My crockpot cooking has improved 150% since I bought this thing and ditched my old, timer-less, crappy slow cooker. And this is not the best touchscreen slow cooker on the market; it's just one I saw at Target and decided to buy.

                        So in conclusion: buy one at a yard sale, by all means. But check the features list. Being able to control how long it cooks, at what temp, and when it flips over to a "warm" temp is really vital.

                        Finally, the Slow Cooker that Cook's Illustrated recommended is the Crock-Pot Touchscreen. Amazon has it for $79.99 USD. My Hamilton-Beach has so far been great, but if in the future I should decide I need another, that's the one I'm going for.



                        * "Older" in this case means "any slow cooker that predates built-in timers".
                        Last edited by onalark; 11-04-2011, 12:42 PM.
                        Steph
                        My Primal Meanderings

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