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Pls. recommend a crockpot for a bachelor who barely cooks.

He likes to eat but is not a good cook. For several decades all cooking has been in his microwaves (2). The other day he asked me why dry beans didn't cook well in his microwave. I asked if he had a slow cooker. His answer,"No", but he was interested, so there's hope.

We'd like to get a crockpot of some sort for him for Christmas, but have no idea what to buy for the man who has almost nothing in his kitchen.

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  1. Highly recommend the Crock-Pot® Countdown Touchscreen Slow Cooker. Good temp control, Can go a LONG time, good size and shape.

    1. It seems that if he is not much interested in cooking, then he would not be much interested in cooking tools. So get a simple one with just "off, low, high, warm" settings. At the low end these are all about the same, so just get one that has bachelor style.

      1 Reply
      1. I agree a basic on/off warm model will do the trick. Maybe an issue exploring here is size. I would not recommend anything smaller than 2 qt (those are more useful as "dippers") or larger than 4 qt (unless he likes to make big quantities, freeze, then nuke later on.) The basic 3-1/2 qt model probably would be ideal.

        1. May I also suggest a slow-cooker cookbook BHG has very basic ones (you can probably find in the supermarket magazine rack). The recipes are nothing special, but are easy to prepare, use basic ingredients and are pretty tasty.

          1. As a bachelor who rarely cooks, if you can find a crockpot in less than 6 quart size, maybe 4 quarts, that is the way to go.

            I rarely use my crockpot because it is simply too big to cook for one.

            1. Thank you for giving me some of the parameters to check for.

              Do you have any suggestions for what's needed to cook a pound of dried beans in one? I think he could learn to soak overnight, rinse and start the next morning, but doing it all in the crock pot might be easier.

              I had wondered about the size, thank you redfish for the steer to smaller.

              3 Replies
              1. re: shallots

                I have a 3-qt slow cooker which I use to make bean soup. I use one 500g package of Cannellini and it comes out just right. One lb. is slightly less than 500g.

                1. re: shallots

                  Please don't take this response as being defensive. All of my fellow CH'ers make excellent points. I merely want to expand on my original response at this time.
                  My initial recommendation still stands. My philosopy in kitchen equipment is similar to how I feel about my personal computer capability...I'd rather have the expanded capability and grow into it as I develop my skills. Having a "better" crock pot gives the user the flexibility up front to decide on somewhat simpler recipes to start, and grow with confidence into more complex, more involved recipes without having to, maybe someday, buy a better unit. The one I recommended is NOT that hard to understand or work and comes highly recommended by America's Test Kitchen. Although cooking for one is always problematic, having the extra size and capability at least gives the OP hope that maybe they will be cooking for MORE than one soon...

                  1. re: njmarshall55

                    If he weren't in his seventh decade and rather set in his ways, the 'better' consideration would be in play.

                    He did make the transition to two microwaves, one is used in its storage spot (plugged in, even) in his oven. He has become so addicted to the microwaves that he microwaves steaks and chicken. (He does have the occassional dinner party. He has a good heart and is a good friend, but his cooking......)

                2. Is a crockpot the way forward for your friend? Their use involves thought and action eight hours prior to eating, and I think that a degree of enthusiasm is required to sustain interest.

                  Maybe go the other way time-wise. A wok?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robin Joy

                    My experience is that wok cookery requires a bigger commitment to developing cooking skills and stocking ingredients than does crock-potting, for good results. Prep for many slow cooker dishes is minimal, and the product is often something which keeps well. The latter is ideal for someone who doesn't much like cooking, because leftovers make a meal with no cooking at all.

                  2. If I were to rewind, I'd start with a 1.5 or 2 qt model. I bought a 4 qt model for two of us back in the day and, since I didn't have experience with slow cookers, I underfilled it, under- or over-estimated time needed, didn't know how to prep and add ingredients/liquids, and when I was eventually successful, ended up with much more of a recipe than we wanted (I froze extra, but we like a variety of foods, and 8 servings of chili can overwhelm a small freezer).

                    My 1.5 qt is my little workhorse, I use it on average 4 times a week (the other sizes get used weekly+ also). Beans, small stews, squash soups, chicken thighs, oatmeal, small batches stock, etc.

                    If you start your friend small, once he's learned enough to want a larger cooker, he can get one. Best to learn and make mistakes in a small format. Honestly, no one wants 4-6 qts of shitty chili lol (experience speaking here!).

                    1. And a small crock pot can be used for dips, and other stuff when you have a party.

                      If you are unsure if he will use it much, there are usually lots of them at thrift stores, even vintage Made in USA ones - woohoo! I can see it now a Harvest Gold, or Avocado green one from the 70's. Prices are not bad, and it will probably still outlast a new one made in China.