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Is having 2 slow cookers necessary?

We currently own a 6.5 QT oval slow cooker. Is it necessary/beneficial to also have a smaller one on hand for smaller recipes?

I usually only use it for big batches of chili right now anyways, but my wife thinks having a smaller one would be handy.

Just seeing what others out there own and think.

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  1. I actually have three. I use the full size one for dinners, and the littlest one for barbecue sauce or even chocolate sauce when serving a buffet. The middle one, which is about three quarts or so, is good for small batch items, like beans. Don't feel guilty. get a smaller one. The big one can actually burn small quantities, even set on low.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGC1982

      I have three too. They say that the pot should be at least half full so if you're using a big one and there's not much in it it's not the best.

      1. re: RGC1982

        My wife thanks you both for helping her win the argument ;)

      2. I have a Cuisinart slow cooker, but find that I rarely use it anymore. Everything I used to make in it I now cook in a Le Creuset French oven or stainless steel stockpot on a portable induction hotplate.

        You might also want to consider this option -- Many other handy uses (an additional burner in the kitchen, good for keeping things warm or cooking at the table, can be used on the deck, veranda, or patio if there is an outlet available), more precise control over heat settings, and easier to store. (Just make sure you get one with all the timer functions you need.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: tanuki soup

          I can't see leaving a hotplate running while you're out of the house.

          1. re: SuperGrover

            Well, I guess my use of the term "induction hotplate" was kind of an oxymoron, since the "hotplate" never gets hot. I don't know if you've ever used one, but the ceramic surface of an induction cooker stays cool enough to touch just an inch away from the pot, since all the heat is generated in the pot itself.

            I definitely agree with you about not leaving a conventional electric hotplate unattended.

          2. re: tanuki soup

            Brilliant! That definitely falls into the "why didn't I think of that" category. The ultra-low ultra-steady settings on an induction hot plate would be perfect for things I cook in the slow cooker. (Make that **cooked,** since I just broke the big one. Glad I read this before replacing it.) And the space savings - wow - thanks for the suggestion!

            As far as leaving it running when out of the house, I can't see how it would be any more dangerous on a low simmer than the crock pot.

          3. I have 3 also, 2 large ones and the Hamilton Beach 3 in 1.

            1. Only have one -- used to have a smaller one years ago, too, but I used it ONLY for heating wassail at Christmas. Don't miss it at all.

              1. I'm single and have a 6 qt slow cooker. One main reason for buying it was so that I can make large batches and freeze them in individual meal sized containers.

                1. I like the idea of having three. But here is my experience. I have one that I bought years-and-years ago when the only configuration was round and a little bit taller than it was round. It certainly wasn't large, but I did a few pot-a-feu's in it.

                  When the different sizes became available and inexpensive I bought a larger one, but in the oval shape which had a larger bottom than it is tall. However, I just don't like the settings at all. Either too hot or not hot enough. I then bought a set of a larger one and a smaller one in one package. Right away I gave away the smaller one, the heat setting was impossible, and the same still with the larger one.

                  In my big give-away, I really should have given away this larger slow cooker, but I didn't. And, I no longer think to use the old one which is still good as it can be.

                  I think the idea of an induction is good, or a separate small burner with a thick pan. I like these two ideas in that both can be set on the porch for hours without steam (or odors) coming into the kitchen.

                  1. IMO, that's like asking , "is it really necessary to have more than one skillet or one sauce pan?" I think the answer would be a definitive, "It depends."

                    While you *can* cook just about anything in a 3 qt. Saucepan that you can in a 1.5 qt, the results would not be as good. Just as with my collection of sauce pans and skillets, my 4 qt. and 6 qt. Slow cookers each have their place.

                    1. I have one that rarely gets used, sometimes years go by with out being used. i find them good for keeping somethings warm, but they are too slow and an energy waste as far as i am concerned. What I do have other than regular cookware are 2 pressure cookers. They are very fast and energy efficient. I just don't have time for slow cookers.