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Slow Cooker/Crockpot Purchasing...?

ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I want to buy a slow cooker/crockpot. Are there any features in particular I should be on the lookout for? Some of them seem to be just plug-and-go, whereas others have things like temperature control. I do have a Costco membership, so I'm probably going to order one from there (I love my rice cooker). Any particular suggestions?

Thanatos on

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Get one that has both low, high, and warm settings. If you can find a crockpot that has a timer, even better.

    http://about.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=34193625/search=all-clad slow cooker/st=product/sv=title&mode=about_southernfood&

    Something like that is worth the cost. We have a cheap $50 one and it works fine, just wish I could make it before I left and have it cook sometime after I leave because I don't work a straight 8 hours like most recipes want.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    That one has some pretty terrible ratings, both there and on Amazon. But like he said, you just need the three temps, around 6 quarts, and you're pretty much good to go (provided it's quality).

    Crockpots don't have to be pricey to be good. They're pretty basic machines. Anything by "Crock-Pot" is going to be pretty decent.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah I saw that, just looking for the the ones I can find with a timer was hard.

    This one looks good.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    Yeah I saw that, just looking for the the ones I can find with a timer was hard.

    This one looks good.

    Yeah, timers are great in case you forget or something holds you back from getting home to turn it off.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    I really like the Hamilton Beech models with the gasketed lid and metal locking clasps. Makes transporting food a breeze.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    RhinoRhino TheRhinLOL Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Check out your local thift store. You can get them for super cheap. Basically old ladies die off and their crock pots go to goodwill. My local thrift store always has 4 or 5 for sell for like $5-15. Most places will let you test them before hand to make sure the heating element works.

    I think "crock pot" brand tends to be the best. There are some others, some of varying quality, but won't go wrong with a real crock pot.

    Features: Temp control. Everything else being equal, get one with 2 or more temp settings.

    That's about it. The other things you could look for is size depending on how much you want to cook. We have a small/medium sized one and then also a large one.

    Some have "removable" ceramics. It makes it easier to clean, but I've found the removable ones tend to be cheaper quality and don't heat as well (since the contact isn't as tight), so it's a trade off. The built in ceramics I've found tend to heat more eventually and hotter since they can mount the heating element right on the ceramic. But then you have to try and clean it without getting the cord too wet.

    For the lid there is either glass or plastic. I tend to like glass because they are heavier. The weight helps keep the steam in. We had a plastic one and took longer to heat because the "seal" wasn't as tight since the plastic was very light and steam would leak though. Also in general, for cooking/storing I like glass because it doesn't absorb any colors/smells/tastes. The downside to glass it that it is breakable. That's not much of a problem though, I've dropped our a couple time without any ill affect. They are really heavy/thick.

    Style. Some have designs/patterns on it. Ours has flowers and roses and crap.... my gf complains because it doesn't "match" our kitchen. I'm like "whatever, it warms meat, deal with it". So consult the roommate/wife/other if they care about aesthetics since it does have to sit out in the open for 6-12 hours while cooking.



    Rhino on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    So, this looks like a pretty good one. Lockable lid, 6 quarts, fully adjustable temperature, and it's a Hamilton Beach. Sound decision?

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    So, this looks like a pretty good one. Lockable lid, 6 quarts, fully adjustable temperature, and it's a Hamilton Beach. Sound decision?

    That's the one I've been eyeballing for when I get back from France in January. Great reviews.

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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    While I'm at it: any good sources for easy, healthy slow-cooker recipes? I'm inherently lazy about everyday cooking (thus the slow-cooker), so I'd like to have some things that are fairly healthy that I can cook up without much trouble.

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    HeirHeir Ausitn, TXRegistered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    So, this looks like a pretty good one. Lockable lid, 6 quarts, fully adjustable temperature, and it's a Hamilton Beach. Sound decision?

    I have this one, I love it!

    As for recipes, I tend to look here for them.

    The most recent I made was this Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

    camo_sig2.png
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    So, this looks like a pretty good one. Lockable lid, 6 quarts, fully adjustable temperature, and it's a Hamilton Beach. Sound decision?

    Have it, love it.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User regular
    If you get a crock pot with a mechanical switch (not digital), you're just one step away from getting into sous vide.

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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    I was going to NOT recommend the one that I have because it doesn't actually have temperature settings, even though the dial says "Warm," "Low," and "High." But it was more expensive than that nice one you pointed out, so yeah, now I've added that to my wishlist as a replacement.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    EggyToast wrote:
    I was going to NOT recommend the one that I have because it doesn't actually have temperature settings, even though the dial says "Warm," "Low," and "High." But it was more expensive than that nice one you pointed out, so yeah, now I've added that to my wishlist as a replacement.

    You don't need specific temperatures for Crockpots. Just Low/Warm/High. They're nice, but completely unnecessary.

    Esh on
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    mightyjongyomightyjongyo Sour Crrm East Bay, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Allrecipes.com actually has a whole section of slow cooker recipes, most of which involve chopping stuff up and tossing it in, so that might be a good place to start.

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    TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    This blog has a bunch of recipes as well, and it is slow-cooker specific.

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