HomeFood for ThoughtGuide to Slow Cookers

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Guide to Slow Cookers — 44 Comments

    • Well - a crockpot is a slow cooker, and many people use the terms interchangeably (though not all slow cookers are crockpots.) I tried to show both ends of the range. You do get more features at the higher end - so it can be a matter of determining how important it is to you to have greater control of the timing, for instance. And many of us can do perfectly happily without a given feature (my current pot is pretty simple,) while for some that feature makes it more likely to be used! All about the way you cook.
  1. I love slow cooker recipes especially in the fall and winter, they are what make my life so much easier and cozy for sure. the soups the stews come out way better.!
    • I love them for long simmering things like that! I'll never forget, though, visiting cousins in Texas - and each of them had several slow cookers, and used them constantly! They don't heat up the kitchen... so you can still get a home cooked meal in hot weather. I found I love using mine in a heat wave to cook chicken overnight (when it's cooler) and then chill the meat to use in salad.
  2. I love my slow cooker and I have been wanting to get a new one for awhile now to meet the different needs I Have now. Thank you for the recommendations.
    • You're welcome, and I hope it helps! That's what triggered it for me - realizing that after I move, I'll want one with a timer, so I can set up a meal for the parents if we're out in the evening. It will be ready when they are, and with the keep warm feature, they don't even have to fuss about putting leftovers away! Situation changed, the appliance I need changes...
    • Thank you! I hope it is useful! Yeah - there are just too many things that almost but don't quite fit in a round one...
    • And if it works for you, it works for you. In the end, that's all that matters... But if it ever doesn't - these are things to think about!
    • Frustrating when you don't get what you want/need... But I was delighted to find that there are more options among the less expensive brands for the programmable ones. Might be time to look into it again!
  3. It's great to see that slow cookers come in different shapes, sizes and price points. I have the old standard Crock Pot but have been thinking about upgrading to one of the oval-shaped slow cookers that have more settings and features.
    • Yes - the variety is wonderful, something for everyone, but deciding which features you need - that can be tricky! If you do choose to upgrade, I hope some of this is helpful!
  4. This is a great guide on slow cookers! I love making slow cooker recipes all winter long, fix it and forget it!! :-)
    • Oh, yes. I've had more than one at times, too - I just don't have room for that right now. (Maybe eventually, after the move? A big one for a ham, a small one to set up just tonight's dinner?)
    • The basic one is good, and sometimes it is all you need. But I think that if a feature means you'll use it more often... then that's worth it. Hope you get one that works well for you!
  5. I never understood the beauty of crock pot cooking until I had children. I needed a more hands free way to cook a meal. Now I have two crock pots and I can't imagine not cooking in my crock pot each week!
    • LOL Oh, I get that... I always thought of them as something I'd only use if I was out of the house. Then I started working from home, and realized that if something is on the stove I have to keep part of my mind on it... I set this up, and don't have to think about it again until dinner time!
    • Absolutely. I thought a basic one was enough (and it still can be, depending on your situation.) Then I repped a programmable one, and the company gave me one to work with so I could get to know the features (that one had many bells and whistles...) Other features could be fun, but the timer! Oh, my, it made so much difference when I was working crazy retail hours! I'm convinced.
    • It can be overwhelming, can't it? I had trouble even narrowing down the ones I wanted to link to as examples! I'm glad you find this useful!
    • I know, right? The parents don't have one, and we were trying to talk them into it a few years ago. It would have made life easier! Now, though, I'll just get one...
    • Oh, my! I've never had that happen! (I have broken crocks...) I would probably make sure I only got one from the more established companies - such as the ones I link to - and probably a basic one (since the more electronic features there are, the more there is that could go wrong...) Good luck with it!
    • Availability does vary in different places. They actually solve many of the same problems as pressure cookers, but with an opposite approach - little attention for a long time, rather than total attention for a short time! And thank you - the move itself is pretty intense...

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