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Thread: What is your favorite kind of slow cooker?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jilly's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Midwest, USA

    What is your favorite kind of slow cooker?

    Now that I am more or less settled, I am making soap again. My first batches were a million years ago and I used the hot process method of cooking the whole mess on the stove top until it came to trace and then molding it.

    In the intervening years I switched to cold process because it took less time, and even though I had to wait for the bars to cure, it was a better fit for my life.

    Now I am retired and seem to have less free time than ever, so I am going to return to cooking the stuff, and am going to use my old slow cooker, as that makes the process easier than standing and stirring at the stove.

    I am cool with that, but now I need a new slow cooker, and I am sort of, maybe, thinking that I might want one that does more than cook at low and high, you know, one with actual settings, perhaps a readout thing, something not as basic as the ones I have always used, but nothing too high-tech or (most especially) too expensive.

    I have been looking on-line and am more confused than ever. The prices are doable, but I am now wondering if staying to the simple kind I have now could be the best fit for me.

    Another option is that my old ones have always had the ceramic crock and I am now seeing some that have metal pan/inserts.

    I would appreciate any advice, thoughts or experiences anyone has had with these things.

    It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality. Arnold Bennett

  2. #2
    I have been told to stay away from fancy-schmancy cookers. Stick with a simple, three selection dial (low, medium, high), and buy one with a glass-liner. Glass lined cookers last a lot longer. Aside from that, look for quality name-brand makes. Crock-Pot, Hamilton Beach, and Cuisinart, come in as being the top three makers of slow-cookers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    I have a multi-cooker with a thermostat and crockery insert that can also be used to deep-fry. I've never used it for slow-cooking. My favorite "slow cooker" is a pressure cooker. It also has a slow-cook setting, which I've never used. Obviously, my choice would be a multiple-use unit. I love my pressure cooker.

  4. #4
    Senior Member treehugger's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I use my slow-cooker all year for beans, and more heavily in the cooler months for soups and stews. Mine is about 15 years old and is pretty simple. It has a crockery insert, which works just fine, and a high and a low setting. I don't think I would like glass as much. That sounds more fragile.

    If I had to buy a new one, I would probably get the same type rather than go for one with more options.


  5. #5
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    A pit dug at the beach, some rocks and seaweed, plenty of crabs, clams, oysters, potatoes, corn, ...

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    My wife brought one of those Crock-Pot (R) oval slow cookers to our marriage. Removable 6 quart crock, one knob (L/M/H/warm/off), works fine -- and, frankly, longer than I expect small appliances to last these days.

    Heat and moisture are the enemies of electronics. I know they're hard to avoid on appliances nowadays, but the longest-lasting appliances will be the simplest ones.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Here are some comments I wrote about slow cookers a couple years ago:

    I have 3 slow cookers. One old, 5 quart one, that cooks at a lower temp than new ones; and two newer ones - 1.5 quart and 3.5 quart. All have removable ceramic inserts and glass lids. All also have simple temp controls (low/high; one has keep warm as well). I expect that they will last forever, which I can't say about the digitally-controlled ones. I have two friends who have had to replace costly, high-end digital slow cookers after a year or two.

    Newer slow cookers cook at a higher temp than 20-year old ones, even on low. It is impractical, I think, to think of starting food at 7am and having it still edible at 6pm. This kind of recipe is what gives slow cookers a bad name, because almost everything will be hopelessly overcooked at that point. I usually start recipes in my newer slow cookers in early afternoon to have them done at dinner (on low). The old slow cooker can actually be used for all-day cooking. So if that's what you're aiming for, I suggest you skip the fancy new ones and head to a thrift store.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2011
    Our slow cooker was about 4 or 5 years old and both handles which are plastic broke off-I guess they got brittle from all the heating. Bought a space age slow cooker from which was more $$ but stainless steel, metal handles which we haven't used yet. The benefit is that our old liner and cover fit in it so we saved them and brought the base to the scrap metal pile at the dump. I hope spending more $$ will get us more lifespan. We use crockpots a lot in the winter.

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