Recomendations for 4 qt slow cooker [Moved from Home Cooking]
I am looking for a small-sh slow cooker (we are a family of two).
Right now I am looking at the Calphalon Programable 4 qt and the Cuisinart 3.5 qt programable.
The programmable feels important because we are often out of the house for more than 8 hours a day, and i would like it to automatically turn to heat easily.
My concern for the 3.5 court is that it will not be able to hold the kind of stuff necessary to make the food really good.
Are there any strong opinions on this? As we head into autumn I feel strongly about buying the equitment soon!
Thank you so much for your time.
http://tinyurl.com/9ca2k4c I have this Cuisinart 3.5 qt. programmable slow cooker, and it works fine. I make very good white chili in it, and I've used it successfully for cooking meat. The only complaint I have is that the black insert discolors after one or two uses, although this might be attributable to what I cooked in it. At any rate, this does not affect performance. I use the programmable features. I recommend the cooker. I cook for two in it. It is too small for cooking for a crowd.
There is also a rice cooker that double as a slow cooker and can go to a "keep warm" mode. I have one that DH picked up for me at Costco (Aroma brand) that has high/low slow cooker mode as well as cooks rice, steams veggies (has a separate steamer basket that you can do the rice and steam veggies at the same time) and then goes to "keep warm". Loving it! I like things that do multiple duties.
We are also a 2-person family. I had a 3-3.5 quart slow-cooker and just recently upgraded (or up-sized) to a 6 quart for exactly the reason you suggest may be a challenge. One of the benefits of 'good' slow cookery (as opposed to recipes based on cans of soup) is that you have your choice of marvelous stews, braises, soups...but they all, it seemed to me, called for more ingredients than my original cooker would hold happily.
Now I see my slow-cooker as the source of big-batch delights and I tuck the excess in the freezer or gift my daughter or a pal who is under-the-weather. For example, the wonderful recipe for "Sticky Wings" from the Slow-Cooker Revolution cookbook. Or the chicken mole from a recent issue of Martha Stewarts Every-Day Food magazine.These both demand the larger size, but, trust me, you won't be sorry you have "planned-overs"!