This is the one Cook's Illustrated said would stay between 190 and 212. Mine was boiling the liquid. I contacted Crock-Pot, who said they were designed to get to 209, which made me wonder if I have witnessed a miracle of physics.
Before I exchange or return this one, I was just wondering if anyone has this model and finds that it doesn't boil.
Here is a further response from Crock Pot:
"The unit is not defective because it suppose to boil on high or low. The temperature will be between 209-215 on the low and high settings and this is perfectly normal. The food is cooking so it will boil just make sure you have the correct food and liquid ratio in the unit."
So in other words...it will boil the food. I will have to see whether changing the ratio of food to liquid can allow it to get up to 195 or so (so the collagen can melt) and keep it there, or whether I can use different ratios of low vs. high vs. "keep warm" (which goes up to 170). If anyone is as overly concerned about the mystery of crock-pots and precision cooking as I apparently am, I'd welcome your obsessive thoughts!
This is the de facto set up for almost all modern crock-pots/slow cookers these days without an integrated probe thermometer.
Older crock Pots had low ,medium and high which were really low, medium and high.
The "food police" stepped in many years ago and felt food safety was compromised, thus, low, medium and high only meant the rate to which slow cookers reached their sole cooking temp, which as you state , is 209F.
A covered slow cooker at 209F will indeed reach 212F due to retained heat via the lid and trapped steam, thus you are back to boiling.
To me these are cooking tools. And knowing how your tool works and how to make it work for you is paramount.
Sadly, the adjustability and adaptability of modern crock pots is almost nil, but those with probes that fit thru the hole in the lid are far more adaptable to various cook times and situations than the current "set it and forget it" dumb logic models.
Because of your OP findings, I too find myself using crock pots only for "Holding" already cooked food or for meals I know a defined time and recipe and will be around to turn the unit off or pull and hold using a different cooking devices if the crock pot does not suit my means.
They used to be great.
Now they are like a cooktop burner with only one setting and a dutch oven bolted to it.
Right tool for the right job--NOT adapting the problem to fit the solution is how I see things. And the current Crock Pots sans probes are not it.
Sorry. And I own and use a half dozen crock pots. :)
thank you for your comments--it is a puzzlement as to why CI raved about how it wouldn't get that hot, when clearly it does and it's designed that way. I didn't pay that much for mine, so I'll probably keep it--but maybe I should have spent the money getting my oven calibrated so it's not cooking 40 degrees too cool, in which case my dutch oven would be perfectly fine sitting in there at 200 degrees...
I use a gas cooktop and gas ovens and know exactly what temp they run and what tick mark on each cooktop burner will do.
As for Crock Pots, I have a HUGE Rival with the touch pad and it contiues to think it is smarter than a human but far from it.
Need to put it on warm? Nope, it has to run thru the hot, mediuim or low cycle before warm. No direct warm button.
What happens when the power goes out or power surges for a second and then is fine?
Whelp, it's so smart it just goes into shut down mode and flashes a green light saying it needs attention. heating element goes off and food goes to room temp.
Talk about food safety.
I came home to a cesspool of nearly raw chicken 4 hours into a recipe on a summer day in my kitchen last year.
Thanks Rival. Glad to see you've got that "fuzzy logic" shit well under contol. LOLZ
Older crock pots fire back up and just get-er-done.
For chiil cookoffs I have to toggle between low and off to keep held chili from scorching on the bottom.
And this is a NICE Rival crock pot.
Look into probe units as that will be my next buy if I find one suitable.
I find crock pots a "love-hate" relationship.
What can I say. :-)