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  • Slow Cookers

    This may be a dumb thread but I am looking for some advice. I clearly want to expand the cooking options. Anyone have any advice:

    Any other brands as good as crock-pot?
    Is the temperature gauge necessary?
    How important is the size?
    Where is the best place to purchase? (Costco, amazon, etc.)

    Any and all help…

  • #2
    I've been wanting to get one myself so thanks for making the thread for me need one for making stock/broth.
    -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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    • #3
      I can't speak to most of that, but I can offer these two opinions for whatever they are worth:

      1) Ideal size is a product of the temperature range you want to maintain and the amount of food you will be holding in the cooker. It's fairly important. A small cooker full to the brim will take longer to reach temperature and may not be able to hold the target max temperature (which may not be a bad thing). On the other hand, a large cooker with very little food will tend to overshoot the target temperature and burn/overcook food. It's sensitive enough that I know people with two different sizes, which they switch between depending on how much they are cooking.

      2) Electric pressure cookers pwn slow cookers. They can slow cook, they can keep food warm for hours or days, they can steam vegetables, but they can also do everything a slow cooker does and do it in half the time if you use the pressure functionality. They can make stock, slow-cook meat, and boil eggs in a few minutes too. Around here Costco has been selling them off and on for the past 2-3 years and they rock. I think I paid $70, which is on the high side for a slow cooker but totally worth the extra money for what you get. I have one, my parents now have one (due to my blabbering about them), all the cool kids have them and you should too. OK, no, but seriously, I've owned a slow cooker or two, I've owned an electric PC, and there is just no contest - the electric PC is significantly better in every way but one (it's slightly harder to clean).

      Just my $37.50 (inflation, sorry), YMMV.
      Last edited by Him; 12-29-2012, 09:58 AM.

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      • #4
        hey, I have a ceramic one inside a aluminum heater. Not sure if those are accurate but you get the picture. The problem is the inner part isnt made to go on a stove top. When you want to cook delicious stews etc you want to caramelise the meat first. It is a shame to do it in a fry pan and then transfer the meat to the slow cooker....all those lovely flavours left in the fry pan. My tip is to try get one where you can do initial high heat frying in inner bit on stove and then move it to slow cooker.

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        • #5
          We got a GE digital one with a retractable power cord and like it. Took forever for the new crock pot smell to wear off when we used it though (it's still there, but not as bad after about 10 uses)
          --Trish (Bork)
          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
          http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
          FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            I have a cheapo K-Mart one and it works just fine for most things. I'd suggest starting small and cheap and working up to the fancy schmancy ones if you end up using it a lot.

            Make sure you get one where the inner crock comes out of the heating outer part. I have one where the innards aren't separate and so it's hard to clean so never gets used!

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            • #7
              bumping this thread 'cause I'm curious too...

              I was looking at an instant pot... but it's about $100 more than a crockpot of similar size....

              I have a 2.5q rival slow cooker, and I have to halve almost any recipe I make, which kind of sucks... and it doesn't have a removable inner pot, so cleanup is always... "fun"
              looking to upgrade, and I have amazon gift cards!

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              • #8
                You'll have to google it, but there was some report about crock pots / slow cookers coming out of China (of course) glazed with some nasty chemicals. That were leaching out during the cooking process. There were a few specific brands to avoid.

                I wish I could give you more info, but I cant remember specifics now.
                SW: 68 kg. * CW: 61.5 kg. * GW: 60 kg or less...
                “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha

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                • #9
                  The skinny on lead in crock pots – It may surprise you! » Terminal Verbosity

                  Just googled this. Dont know whatthe 'results' of her test means for those of us with different brands, but quite worrying... theres loads on internet about it if you google it.

                  I dont know this company and have never used any of their products, but if I could get one here (I cant) I would try one of these:

                  VitaClay® Chef Rice Cookers and Slow Cookers - In the Media
                  Last edited by thaijinx; 01-01-2013, 01:54 AM.
                  SW: 68 kg. * CW: 61.5 kg. * GW: 60 kg or less...
                  “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PrimalMama View Post
                    I was looking at an instant pot... but it's about $100 more than a crockpot of similar size....

                    and it doesn't have a removable inner pot, so cleanup is always... "fun"
                    looking to upgrade, and I have amazon gift cards!
                    When I upgraded I did get the Instant Pot & I really do like it. One main feature that I love is the stainless steel cooking pot is removable & easy to clean. The lid seals so well because it is also a pressure cooker that whatever I slow cook never dries out. My old crock pot has a flimsy plastic lid that allowed moisture to escape (even on low). I used my Amazon points to justify the additional cost. I have not used the pressure cooker feature yet but I do like having the option. Hope this helps.

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                    • #11
                      Well that was confusing you said slow-cooker which is a British expression, I'm used to Americans saying crockpot!

                      Never had trouble with Rowenta slow cookers, and have only ever needed low/medium/high settings. I have two. One is a small two person pot for our normal meals, and the other is a large oval pot that can take a leg of lamb.

                      Brilliant devices for meal planning ahead. I used to use mine all the time for evening meals in the week. 10 minutes prepping the night before, put it in the fridge overnight, then set up and turn on to low before leaving the house.

                      I think that I've cooked most thing in mine; roasts, chilli, curry, porridge and fish.

                      Oh, Rowenta have seperate ceramic pots for easy cleaning.

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                      • #12
                        I just got this one from Santa to replace my broken one:
                        Hamilton Beach 33967 Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker: Amazon.com: Kitchen & Dining

                        So far I love it. I've cooked chicken soup and Swedish meatballs in it and they turned out really good. Its great to be able to program the temperature or to use it the traditional low/high temp way. The probe is interesting (I'm going to cook a chicken later this week and try it out) and I really like the idea behind it. Also, the clamps to keep the stoneware to the base are AWESOME! No more spills when taking stuff to potlucks.
                        See what I'm up to: The Primal Gardener

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                        • #13
                          My huge 7-quart rival crock cracked through the bottom about a month or so before christmas (man, was I pissed!). I had wanted an electric pressure cooker for quite some time so DH got me an 8.5 quart Deni electric pressure cooker for christmas. I. Love. It.
                          I used it for the first time 2 nights ago. I put 2 FROZEN pork roasts in it with seasonings and 12 oz. of water and had awesome, tender, nearly falling off the bone roast in 1 hour.
                          It can also slow cook and steam foods. It's a monster though. It's about the same size oval as my big crock was but it's about half again taller than my old crock.
                          I may never want to go back to using a regular crock-pot again
                          Some people just need a sympathetic pat... On the head... With a hammer.

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                          • #14
                            I think I am going with this one:

                            Amazon.com: Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel: Kitchen & Dining

                            Hopefully it works out.

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                            • #15
                              I prefer one that has a full range of temperatures. Mine goes from 150 - 350, I believe. I can cook a meal in an hour, or in a day, or use it just to keep something warm. I guess technically at that point they become a "roaster oven" but they work great as a slow cooker.
                              High Weight: 225
                              Weight at start of Primal: 189
                              Current Weight: 174
                              Goal Weight: 130

                              Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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