I'm on the hunt for a slow cooker. I've never owned or used one before, but love the thought of coming home to a warm meal that's ready to eat. I don't have a lot of counter or storage space in my apartment and am mostly cooking for two. Any suggestions?
- itemCrockpot 38501-W Round 5-Quart Smart-Pot Slow Cooker, Whitetagged by Nicko, 2/9/16
- itemFagor Duo 8-Quart Pressure Cookertagged by Nicko, 2/9/16
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Making the Most of Your Slow Cooker-Sauerbraten
Last edited: 2/17/16
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Slow Cooker. How to choose?
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I would look for one with a good timer setting. I had one that would only let you get to warm if you ran through a 4-10 hour setting and then it was set for 4,7, 10 hour settings. I purchase a new version last year that let me set the timer to whatever I wanted and also let me go directly to warm for things I just wanted to keep warm after cooking on the stove or oven.
I actually own four crock pots in varying sizes. The small one is great for breakfast oatmeal or a side dish of dried beans. The largest can hold a whole chicken or small turkey or baked potatoes for the whole family. And the in-betweens are perfect for a typical chili or soup meal. The one MUST HAVE feature is a removable insert; the first one I ever had (a hand-me-down from my parents when I was in college) was a one-piece thing, and it was a pain to wash. A removable insert can to into the dishwasher. Beyond that, the differences are minimal - of course, I must admit that I have no experience with the browning features; they might be worthwhile.
You have to decide if you want a big slow cooker (some are huge) or an average size one. Do not get the cheapest one, yet do not get the super expensive ones, unless you want. Also some don't have a timer, just warming modes, and you've have to time it yourself; while some have an actual timer. Also, if your going to be slow cooking multiple foods, some slow cookers have an extra compartment for vegetables or rice or something. It all depends on what(food) and how your going to use the slow cooker.
We're a 2 person family, and I find I get the most use out of my 1 1/2 qt and 3 qt ones.
The smaller one lives on the back burner of my rangetop, which I rarely turn on.
The larger one I store on top of the microwave; it only takes up counter space when in use.
Neither has a timer, but I've had no problem plugging them into a standard appliance (lamp) timer.
- Slow Cooker. How to choose?
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