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Slow Cooker: Your Recommendation?

liu Oct 30, 2012 08:32 PM

A family member has requested a slow cooker. She is a nurse and she works long hours. Slow cooking is the only way that she can have dinner ready for her and her husband at the end of the day.

Her requirements are two. First, she needs to be able to leave it on all day, maybe 10-12 hours, while at work. Second, she wants the ability to program it; she wants the appliance to switch to "warm and hold" when the contents are done cooking.

One additional request. Since the appliance will be on all day, I want to be sure that it is a quality appliance; I do not want to worry about an appliance fire!

I ask for your recommendations. Please offer details about your preferences.
Thanks in advance!

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  1. liu Nov 4, 2012 07:53 PM

    I would love to hear your experiences with your own slow cookers: what do you have and what do you like or dislike about it?

    2 Replies
    1. re: liu
      Lotsofscots Nov 5, 2012 07:27 AM

      I have the Rival stainless steel Elume crockpot, with a touchscreen that is programmable. It works just great for cooking large amounts of food. The stainless steel outer jacket gets quite hot while it is cooking, though, I make sure nothing is touching it when I leave the house.
      This crockpot does not get so hot that everything boils, unlike my previous large crockpot. In my search I ruled out the Hamilton Beach because parts of it seemed flimsy and prone to breaking. I wanted to look at a Cuisinart 4 quart programmable one, but I couldn't find one in any stores near me.
      Prior to the purchase of the Rival touchscreen Elume I tried out a GE crockpot from Walmart. I loved, loved, loved the programability of that one but after 2 uses had to return it. The gasket around the lid absorbed all the cooking odors and no amount of soaking in baking soda or weak bleach solution would dispel it.

      1. re: Lotsofscots
        liu Nov 5, 2012 07:54 AM

        Lotsofscots, thank you for your input, and I do appreciate all the details.

    2. Coogles Nov 5, 2012 09:56 AM

      I'm expecting one of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product... to be delivered tomorrow to replace our ancient one-piece Rival slow cooker. They had a 20% off promo code when I ordered so it was only $45 delivered and I'll get a $5 gift card as well. Since there are only 3 of us in the house we wanted a smaller capacity cooker and this one had generally high ratings.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Coogles
        liu Nov 5, 2012 10:15 AM

        The anticipation for a new appliance is always so much fun! Thank you, Coogles, for weighing in on this post.
        Please report back as soon as you have had a chance to use it!

        1. re: Coogles
          Lotsofscots Nov 5, 2012 10:23 AM

          This one sounds awesome, and I am sorely tempted to get it to replace my smallest slow cooker, just because it has a simmer function. The majority of the Amazon reviews are glowing, especially notable is the one from an author of a slow cooker cookbook who states it is her favorite of the 10 she owns. Liu, this one might be a good choice for a gift. I'd love to hear from a fellow chowhounder who owns one.

          1. re: Lotsofscots
            liu Nov 5, 2012 10:38 AM

            Thank you, again, Lots~, for your help. My only reservation with this Cuisinart is the 3.5-quart size. My gift recipients like left-overs, and I am not sure that this smaller size will permit the cooking of a larger piece of meat. I would love to hear your opinion on this.

            1. re: liu
              Lotsofscots Nov 5, 2012 03:13 PM

              I use my smaller crockpot for meatloaf and for cuts of meat under 3 lbs. and small batches of soup, stew, or beans. If the meat is 3 lbs or more, or the batch of whatever is big enough to fill a crockpot at least 2/3 full, I use the bigger crockpot. A small amount will burn in a big crockpot. If your friend likes lots of leftovers, it would be better to go with the larger size.

        2. al b. darned Nov 5, 2012 09:27 PM

          We have this one:

          and this one:

          Love them both.

          5 Replies
          1. re: al b. darned
            liu Nov 6, 2012 06:03 AM

            Hello, al b. darned!

            Is the 4-qt. sufficient for most of your needs? When do you use each?

            1. re: liu
              al b. darned Nov 6, 2012 07:44 AM

              With just the two of us, I tend to use the smaller one more often, but some things just don't fit into the smaller one.

              1. re: al b. darned
                liu Nov 6, 2012 07:51 AM


                1. re: liu
                  Coogles Nov 6, 2012 08:28 AM

                  Here is another one that comes with three different sized crocks (2, 4 and 6 qt). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product... I was considering it but don't have a bunch of extra space to store the extra crocks.

                  1. re: Coogles
                    liu Nov 6, 2012 08:58 AM

                    I love the idea of this 3-in-1 set, but for my search, it has no programmable settings for all-day preparation, and it has a only a one-year warranty. I do not know if that is the standard for slow cookers, but that does not give me much confidence in the product.

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