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Do you like your slow cooker/crockpot?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm looking for opinions about slow cookers/crockpots. I'm thinking about gettting one because I'm starting a new job where I'll be at gone from noon until 6 and I'd like to have as much health and variety in our meals as possible. So.... do you like/use your slow cooker? Can you make a bunch of different things in them? Which brand do you have?

I'll definitely get one if it'll help me keep putting home-cooked meals on the table. I just don't want another appliance that mostly sits in storage.

Thanks!
post #2 of 11
We got rid of ours when I found out about lead in the glaze of the pot itself. Mil has a metal one but it is teflon lined - so that is out. I don't know if anyone has found a glass one, but I would buy that in a heartbeat. We used ours enough to justify having it - it wasn't just kitchen clutter. Grab one at the thrift store and try it for a while, see if it works for you. If you are worried (like I did) about the crock pot itself, maybe you could do all your prep in the morning and throw dinner in the oven at night?
post #3 of 11
We have one that we use all the time. Really, most of our meals are made in the crock pot. Mine is a 6 qt. GE. It doesn't have the non-stick coating. The inner crock comes out of the machine which makes it easy to put it in the fridge or clean it. Some come with timers so they can automatically shut themselves off, but mine's not like that it just has Warm, Lo, and Hi settings & I have to turn it off myself. Which is fine, it hasn't been a problem. If/when it ever breaks I might get a fancy one that turns itself off but it's not something I *must* have.

There are tons of cookbooks out there for slow cooking everything from appitizers to main dishes, to deserts and breads. Really anything and everything! And check out this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=237665
post #4 of 11
We don't use our crockpot much in the spring and summer, but we LOVE using it in the fall and winter for soups, especially chilli. I just pop the ingredients in the crockpot before I leave for work and let it simmer on low or warm all day. It is so yummy and a no fuss dinner.

I used to have a crock pot with a timer and I hated it. I got a new one that's just high/low/warm and I like it a lot better because I can adjust the temperature as I go.
post #5 of 11
I mostly use mine for stocks, I've never enjoyed food cooked in it. It is good for chili, but most stuff just gets over-cooked IMO.

oh, I do also make pot roast and chicken chimichangas in it.
post #6 of 11
We have a slow cooker, but don't use it very often. I just don't really enjoy any of the recipes I've tried in it. Like one other poster mentioned, everything gets overcooked if I don't watch it like a hawk (making the convenience factor, moot.) It's a General Electric 4.5 quart oval.
post #7 of 11
I have 2 or 3 crock pots and we use them all. The other day I made a nice pot roast in it, stuck it in before I left for work and it was done when DH got home.

I've used it for broth, soups, roasts, to keep stuff warm, making mulled cider, pretty much anything.

At the holidays we have all 3 going at once: one for mulled cider, one to keep potatoes warm and the 3rd for whatever. (I cook for 20-40 people on the holidays)

I have one huge one, and 2 smaller ones.
post #8 of 11
I love mine. It's a euro pro, I think it's 5 quarts? I don't have the box any more but it's pretty big. I use it a lot, I just wish I could find more recipes that didn't rely on processed junk like campbell's and lipton's soup. If anyone knows a good healthy sub for those 2 ingredients I've got some old recipes I'd like to convert

anyway, I make chile verde, chili, pot roast, chicken and corn soup,vegetable soup, and potato soup in mine most of the time. I love it, I usually load it and the breadmaker at the same time.

I don't know any vegetarian recipes if that is a concern.

The hardest thing is finding good recipes. I have not had any success with bbq ribs, I've heard you can make them but I have not had a recipe that worked, they were awful. I love the pot roast made with those awful soups, but I rarely make it because I just don't like knowing what goes in it.

I've got several crock pot recipe books, but really, I've only found 2 or 3 recipes in each one that looked good to me. You're supposed to be able to bake bread in them, too, but with a bread maker I don't see any reason to.

and I second the mulled cider thing. At christmas time my sil made a mixture of cinnamon schnapps and apple cider in the crockpot that was much yummier than I would have expected.
post #9 of 11
I try to like mine, but the only things that I use the CP for on a regular basis is beef roast and dried beans. The texture of chicken and pork is, um, not pleasant, in my opinion. It makes it too soft. Kind of like a boiled chicken texture. Ugh. And, honestly, a roast does better slow cooked in the oven in my cast iron. But, that doesn't work well in the summer. Same with beans. The CP keeps the kitchen from heating up with the stove being on for several hours. We only use the CP during the summer.

So, I have a CP, but I could definitely do without it.
post #10 of 11
We have one we use several times a week. Besides the typical soups, stews, chilis, etc, we also make roasts, whole chickens, pork loins, desserts, dips, etc.
post #11 of 11
I have two, a four quart and a seven quart. the four is a kitchen aid, and I can't remeber what the brand is on the 7. Love them both, and we use them a lot. DH and I work and have a toodler and a teenager, so we don;t have a ton of time to cook. It's a life saver. I've made all kinds of things in them... pot roast, spaghetti sauce, chili, stews and soups, BBQ brisket, BBQ pork for sandwiches, pork spare ribs with BBQ beans.... I could go on and on.

Somewhere on this forum is a thread with a bunch of recipes... try doing a search if you're interested.
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