Help with choosing slower cookers/crockpot..never had one - Mothering Forums
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Nutrition and Good Eating > Help with choosing slower cookers/crockpot..never had one
dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 09:41 AM 01-26-2011

I must say I don't think I ever touch one, it is just something I didn't grow up with (I grew up more around a pressure cooker). I am thinking that having one for after my 3rd child is born would be a good idea. I am not going to have much help and have started freezing meals but my freezer is just a small on top of a fridge type of freezer (I live in an apt.).

 

I have no idea where to start except for the endless googling and reading I have been doing. Is it mostly the size that would be important. I thinking I can use it eighter everyday or every other day as to not deminish my freezer stack to fast.

 

Any help welcome thanks.



Maurer's Avatar Maurer 11:09 AM 01-26-2011

There are a few features that might be of an interest to you.  My old slow cooker had low and high cooking settings and I could choose either 4,6,or 8 hour cooking times.  I could not choose any other time settings and I could not just set it on warm at any point during the cooking cycle.  It would only go to the warm setting if it had finished the 4,6 or 8 hour cooking time.   I finally got sick of that because often times my soup would be finished cooking after 5 hours or something like that and I wanted to just turn it on warm. 

 

My DH bought me a new one for Christmas. He surprised me and did all the research and read the reviews from people.  He ended up getting me this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CW9HCC/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_3?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000HGI5N6&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0ZRED85KCQY4M82EWT1Z

It was the best one for the money.  You can spend more money of course, but this was one of the top rated slow cookers and it was cheaper than many others that were top rated. 

 


Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 12:31 PM 01-26-2011

You need to consider size and also programming capability. If you are going to be home while using it then programming is less important than if you need it to have dinner ready when you get home from work for example.

 

There are newer ones that allow you to program it to say, cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 6 hours then on warm for 3 hours. But most of the programmable ones just basically let you choose how long to cook at either high or low and then auto switch to warm. I have 2 of those and they do most of what I need since I'm generally home while they are in use. I also have one that is all manual ( the Hamilton Beach 3 in 1) but I like that it came with 3 different size crock inserts in 2, 4 and 6 quart so I can cook smaller or larger things in it. So I use the programmable one when I need that control and the manual one when I need the smaller size but will be home.

 

There are also ones that allow you to brown on the stove in the pot and then transfer the pot to the crock to cook. I've seen them in Williams Sonoma catalog but they are a lot more expensive.


dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 05:09 PM 01-26-2011

I have researching all day and I am still at lost. I thought all crock pot was programmable..how then does people leave them for the whole day if some can't be set for a certain hours.

 

I believe I would want a programmable one even if I am home, I want it so I can set it and leave it. But it took me all day to realize this with all the searching..I just feel like buying anything and just pray it works well..I have been spending so much time on this..all these reviews...


Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 08:24 PM 01-26-2011

Well, one of mine just basically is either on or off and if it's on I can choose high, low or warm but there is no timer at all. So it's up to me to remember to turn it off. My other two, I can set the time I want it to cook for and it automatically switches to warm once the timer runs out.

 

I found going to the manufacturers website and reading the manual of the models I was interested to be much more helpful than reading reviews.


ollyoxenfree's Avatar ollyoxenfree 07:37 AM 01-27-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

 

There are also ones that allow you to brown on the stove in the pot and then transfer the pot to the crock to cook. I've seen them in Williams Sonoma catalog but they are a lot more expensive.


 

IIRC, the Cook's Illustrated review suggested that this feature doesn't work all that well, considering how much extra it costs. 

 

OP, my biggest hesitation about getting a new slow cooker is that there seems to be a problem with temperature control on a lot of them now. They cook too hot, even on the low setting. I've read that manufacturers are concerned about bacteria growth on low settings over a long time. So they have over-compensated and as a result, food gets overdone. Once you find a model that you like, I'd read the consumer reports about it and make sure there aren't complaints about this. 

 

 

 


Owen'nZoe's Avatar Owen'nZoe 08:09 AM 01-27-2011


Quote:

 

OP, my biggest hesitation about getting a new slow cooker is that there seems to be a problem with temperature control on a lot of them now. They cook too hot, even on the low setting. I've read that manufacturers are concerned about bacteria growth on low settings over a long time. So they have over-compensated and as a result, food gets overdone. Once you find a model that you like, I'd read the consumer reports about it and make sure there aren't complaints about this. 

 

 


This exactly! Check the online reviews for the models you select, and look carefully for comments on cooking time.

 

Here's my experience: I had a Rival programmable previously. I was so excited about the programmable feature when I first got it, but every time I tried to cook in it, the food was overdone by the time I got home from work. Even on the lowest setting, it was hot enough that I worried about leaving it on when I wasn't home.

 

When I replaced it, I knew I wanted something that did not cook as hot. I did a lot of research, and found that cooking too hot is a very common problem with the Rivals. I saw several recommendations from people who had replaced their Rivals with Hamilton Beech and were much happier. I was surprised, because the HB are less expensive, but decided to go with it. I got a 3-in-1 Hamilton Beech that was not programmable. I am very, very happy with it. I love having 3 different sized liners, so I can pick the one that is the right size for what I'm making. I find it cooks much cooler than the Rival, so food doesn't get overcooked. Since it isn't programmable, I use a plug-in outlet timer to limit the cook time - this works well for us!


jazzharmony's Avatar jazzharmony 06:21 AM 02-11-2011

Bumping.  I'm looking for a crock pot and am overwhelmed by all the choices.


jazzharmony's Avatar jazzharmony 11:44 AM 02-11-2011

I ended up getting one from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-33135-6-Quart-Stainless/dp/B000R8A1OK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1297449790&sr=8-1

 

A huge selling point for me was the multiple/different sized inserts.


koru's Avatar koru 09:47 PM 02-13-2011

Personally, I'm disillusioned by all crock pots since I found out they contain lead in their glaze. They are, of course, within FDA regulations of acceptable amounts of lead but when heated, this lead is released into the food. Bleh.

 

http://insightfulnana.com/home-garden/housekeeping-home-garden/lead-poisoning-and-crock-pots


allnaturalmom's Avatar allnaturalmom 09:57 PM 02-13-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by koru View Post

Personally, I'm disillusioned by all crock pots since I found out they contain lead in their glaze. They are, of course, within FDA regulations of acceptable amounts of lead but when heated, this lead is released into the food. Bleh.

 

http://insightfulnana.com/home-garden/housekeeping-home-garden/lead-poisoning-and-crock-pots

yeahthat.gif

 

I got rid of ours (it was one of the ones that was actually recalled for lead a while back) and will not use the new one my mil got me for this reason. There is an old thread around here about this... IIRC, it was a real long one.

 

gl

hth


 


Maurer's Avatar Maurer 10:28 AM 02-14-2011

I would be curious to know if they all do contain lead still.  There is usually a company within a mix that will change their ways to appease some customers.  I will have to research this further.   


krankedyann's Avatar krankedyann 04:54 PM 02-15-2011

I just got a 6-qt Nesco roaster.  Temp adjustment from 125-425, so I can turn it down and control the cooking time like that.  It won't run as hot.  It also has a porcelain interior and can function as an oven, not just a crock-pot.  I bought it for $34 on Amazon this weekend and it arrived today.  I've got the 18-quart Nesco Roaster and I'm already in love with this one!


femmeknitzi's Avatar femmeknitzi 10:16 AM 02-22-2011

For our wedding a year ago, we received a Hamilton Beach Crockpot that comes with 3 different sized containers that lift out for portability. I like the flexibility this provides. However....

 

For X-mas this year, I received an enameled dutch oven (just a knock off brand, but I still like it!)  and I'm left wondering if I will ever use my crockpot again. This pot is big enough to roast a ham or chicken, can go on the stovetop or in the oven, cleans easily and is designed for braising which is basically the same thing as slow-cooking. I've used it to make soups, stews, large cuts of meat, spaghetti, you name it! The only downside is that the cast iron pot is VERY heavy. I cooked a ham in it and had to have my husband lift it out of the oven for me, so it's not as convenient for potlucks. Also, since it goes on the stove, it's not safe to leave cooking when you're not at home. But this new addition has definitely reduced my crock pot use.


kgbubble's Avatar kgbubble 10:56 AM 02-22-2011

Lead and other leaching was huge for me, too. I went with a Vitaclay, which uses a clay pot, and claims to be 100% lead free. I've read where it's been tested and confirmed to be leadfree. there was a discussion about it on Debra Lynn Dad's site, which I really trust for information on toxic-free stuff.  you can set it to cook rice, soup or stew, and all them can be adjusted time-wise if you want it to cook longer or shorter. the booklet explains what things cook best on which settings. I usually use the stew setting, unless I'm cooking rice, and just adjust the time on it to lower or higher, depending on what I"m doing. They're on ebay, amazon and even the manufacturer sells them directly, I think.  So far, we're happy with it after almost two years!  I want to get a second one thats bigger, and use my little 6 qt for rice only. we eat rice every day, so I'd like to have rice and beans in it and use the other for the veggies, soup, or whatever. 

 

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

 

is my best go-to for recipes. 


MovnMama's Avatar MovnMama 12:04 PM 02-22-2011

Cast Iron can be a great piece of cookware for vegetarians as well, since small amounts of iron leaches in to the food. This sounds bad (like the lead-leaching mentioned above) but a lot of vegetarians are actually iron-deficient. Especially if you have a picky veggie child!


WCM's Avatar WCM 08:39 AM 02-23-2011

Whoa, thanks for posting about ead in crocks. It never dawned on me to consider this, (though I don't use SIGGS water bottles because I don't trust the patented glaze/resin in it either) and I've been trying to use a crock more for saving $$ and time. No more! I'll keep it for melting beeswax. So glad I didn't get further into my crock-pot dependency, it's easy to give it up. Thanks again!


Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 01:01 PM 02-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by femmeknitzi View Post

For our wedding a year ago, we received a Hamilton Beach Crockpot that comes with 3 different sized containers that lift out for portability. I like the flexibility this provides. However....

 

For X-mas this year, I received an enameled dutch oven (just a knock off brand, but I still like it!)  and I'm left wondering if I will ever use my crockpot again. This pot is big enough to roast a ham or chicken, can go on the stovetop or in the oven, cleans easily and is designed for braising which is basically the same thing as slow-cooking. I've used it to make soups, stews, large cuts of meat, spaghetti, you name it! The only downside is that the cast iron pot is VERY heavy. I cooked a ham in it and had to have my husband lift it out of the oven for me, so it's not as convenient for potlucks. Also, since it goes on the stove, it's not safe to leave cooking when you're not at home. But this new addition has definitely reduced my crock pot use.


I have a whole bunch of Le Creuset enameled cast iron and I still get decent use out of my crock pots. I like my crock pots because I feel safer leaving them on when I'm not home than leaving something on the stove or in the oven. The crock pot doesn't heat up the kitchen like my oven does and I don't have to worry about stirring. Plus it's so convenient to leave my stocks cooking in the crock pot overnight and it frees up my stove for other uses.


DrBrockBaca's Avatar DrBrockBaca 07:54 PM 02-24-2011

I LOVE my All-Clad stainless steel slow cooker from Williams Sonoma. It's easily programmable and the insert can be used on the stove. On the high setting, it cooks very quickly, and then keeps it warm if necessary. Or you can use the low setting if you are going to be gone all day.


Tella 04:49 AM 07-31-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBrockBaca View Post
<p>I LOVE my All-Clad stainless steel slow cooker from Williams Sonoma. It's easily programmable and the insert can be used on the stove. On the high setting, it cooks very quickly, and then keeps it warm if necessary. Or you can use the low setting if you are going to be gone all day.</p>
do you like it? and I don't understand why slow cookers are so popular! why cooking all day long is better than using time-delay function? I've got one in my multi cooker, redmond RMC-M4502, you just set the delay and everything's ready by the time you come back and it keeps the food warm if you're a little bit late. no too mushy vegetables - everything is the way I like
SundayCrepes's Avatar SundayCrepes 10:25 PM 08-06-2014
Can someone share a link to the Sonoma stainless steel cooker? I only find aluminum and I don't cook in aluminum.

I worried about lead in the pot until I read this. It's old, but it was current when I got my crock pot: http://www.terminalverbosity.com/200...-surprise-you/

I LOVE my Hamilton Beach crockpot. The 3 in 1 didn't exist when I got mine. This is mine. I've never had it burn food. I had a couple issues and customer service was so good that I was really happy with the company:
Amazon Amazon


I only used my crockpot for a few month's after my daughter was born. I would mix all the dry ingredients and veggies together at night after the kids were in bed then put it in the fridge. In the morning I would add the wet ingredients then turn it on. It made my life so much easier. I found lots of recipes online. I also got this book:
Amazon Amazon


I don't use my crock pot so much now, I mainly use cast iron. However, if I have a busy day I use the crockpot so that my day is easier. Also, we really like the sloppy lentils out of the above mentioned book so I make that frequently.
Sollana 09:51 AM 08-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tella View Post
do you like it? and I don't understand why slow cookers are so popular! why cooking all day long is better than using time-delay function? I've got one in my multi cooker, redmond RMC-M4502, you just set the delay and everything's ready by the time you come back and it keeps the food warm if you're a little bit late. no too mushy vegetables - everything is the way I like
oh I've heard ot these multicookers but can't find where to buy them! where've you got yours? and what's the bowl size???
Tella 05:23 PM 08-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sollana View Post
oh I've heard ot these multicookers but can't find where to buy them! where've you got yours? and what's the bowl size???
hi there
bought it on multicooker dot com
the bowl is about 5L as far as I remember, just perfect for our family of 4.
Sollana 07:11 AM 08-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tella View Post
hi there
bought it on multicooker dot com
the bowl is about 5L as far as I remember, just perfect for our family of 4.
I've just ordered redmond m90 - they say it's a new model with ceramic bowl and nice handles!!! I can't wait to start cooking with its help, it must come in about 2 days, yahoo!!!
Trully_Jully 08:22 AM 08-30-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sollana View Post
I've just ordered redmond m90 - they say it's a new model with ceramic bowl and nice handles!!! I can't wait to start cooking with its help, it must come in about 2 days, yahoo!!!
Congrats! I have Redmond 110, using it like 8 months already. By the way, all these devices has 24 months warranty. It's like twice longer in compare with others.
Trully_Jully 08:34 AM 08-30-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tella View Post
hi there
bought it on multicooker dot com
the bowl is about 5L as far as I remember, just perfect for our family of 4.
As for Redmond multi-cookers, you can choose from 3 to 5 liters, and even 2 l. for small breakfast type. But 5 is kinda big. Mine has 4 liters bowl, neither big or small, just perfect.
Natali555 04:15 PM 09-08-2014
Do you want to try something like that http://multicooker.com/at/offers/buy...s-free-europe/ ?
Tella 06:49 AM 09-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trully_Jully View Post
As for Redmond multi-cookers, you can choose from 3 to 5 liters, and even 2 l. for small breakfast type. But 5 is kinda big. Mine has 4 liters bowl, neither big or small, just perfect.
Of course 4L is OK too but they've got much larger variety of multicookers with 5L bowls, so that was my choice
Tella 06:56 AM 09-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sollana View Post
I've just ordered redmond m90 - they say it's a new model with ceramic bowl and nice handles!!! I can't wait to start cooking with its help, it must come in about 2 days, yahoo!!!
Cool I haven't heard of it yet
Don't these handles get hot while cooking?
Sollana 08:03 PM 09-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trully_Jully View Post
Congrats! I have Redmond 110, using it like 8 months already. By the way, all these devices has 24 months warranty. It's like twice longer in compare with others.
Thanks a lot I'm loving it!!!
When I got it I didn't even have to read instructions
- the menu is simple.
I like the temperature setting function a lot)))
Have already made bolognese sauce, chips and curry!
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