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What is the best slow cooker or crock pot?

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Hi ,

I am looking for a slow cooker or crock pot that don't cost a lot of money. But serve the purpose of feeding my family. Something that I can set up and let it cook for a couple of hours. Something that is easy to clean and have different heating tempertures. Dishwasher safe and something that i can use recipes to cook dinner with.

Any recommendations.


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    1. I recommend the West Bend Slow Cooker, 5 quart. It's got an oblong casserole dish (with lid) that sits on a separate heating base. It's the most versatile slow-cooker because you can use the lightweight dish on a stove-top or in the oven to brown meat, cook beans, etc, and then just transfer the dish to the base for slow-cooking. The separate pieces make cleaning easy. The heating base also doubles as a griddle, so you can use it to warm tortillas or bread, or to cook sausages, bacon, or a couple of pancakes at a time. They are the Volvos of kitchen appliances; take care of them and they will last forever. You can buy a new one for about $50. If you buy an older one on-line for cheap, just make sure the inside of the dish is not scratched and the cord is not compromised. 5 quarts is big enough for most meals. Have fun, I love my slow-cooker.

      1. Hi Richard,
        I read the thread from goodhealthgourmet and I know there are mixed reviews about the Rival. I have a 6 qt. and haven't had any problems at all. I do find that it cooks a little faster than you would think, but I just adjust my times accordingly. One of the best things I've found is that when it's hot out and I'm reluctant to turn on my oven, it's perfect for cooking porkroast for BBQ pork sandwiches, even whole chickens for chicken salads. The kids love them and the kitchen stays cool.

        1. I have a Cuisinart slow cooker that works well, but it's gathering dust. Nowadays I prefer to just put a Le Creuset Dutch oven on an induction hotplate.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tanuki soup

            Tanuki, please sell it or give it away to a charity. Someone will use it. Thanks!

          2. I have had a Cuisinart PSC-400 4 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker for about a year and love it. I like that you can set it for, say, 6 hrs on low and it will automatically shift to "Keep warm" if you don't happen to remember to check it. Lots of nice features for the money.

            1. Slow cookers don't have too much variation, but there are two things you want. First and foremost, make it at least 6 quarts. You can make dinner for a small group in a big one, but you can't make food for a crowd in a small one. The other thing is absolutely vital: You need it to have an on-board digital timer. You just set the timer, and when the timer goes off, the slow cooker automatically switches to the Keep Warm setting. That way, you can go do whatever you need and you won't come home to mushy overcooked boeuf Bourguinonne. The one I ended up with is a 6-quart Crock Pot brand from Target, and it does quite a good job.

              1. I'm quite happy with my KitchenAid.

                1. I will continue to refer people to this web site because I think it offers a wealth of slow cooking expertise, including what to look for in a slow cooker. The recipies are great, but the nuts & bolts info is found in the column on the right-hand side. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

                  I have two Rival 6 quart programmable Crock Pots & really like them. I just bought the 2nd one for under 30 dollars at Target. The biggest advantage to this pot is that it bumps down to "warm" once the programmed cooking cycle is finished. I do what the author of the blog says to do -- If I am going to be away from the house all day (like at work), I choose the 8 hour cycle instead ofn the 10 hour cycle. The food cooks for 8 hours, then gets put on warm until I get home. At most, I just need to jazz it up to high for 30 minutes or so, but most it's cooked just fine. And nothing is overcooked.

                  Oh, the author also has a new cookbook out. I need to order one for myself, so thanks for reminding me via your OP!