Crock Pot and Slow Cooker Reviews

Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker

Product Features

  • 6-quart programmable slow cooker with LED digital control panel
  • 3 automatic-cooking options–program, manual, or probe; automatic keep-warm
  • Power-interrupt protection; clip-on spoon; clip-tight gasket lid; side handles for safe transport
  • Dishwasher-safe stoneware and tempered-glass lid; user manual with recipes included
  • Measures approximately 10-2/5 by 16 by 16 inches; 1-year limited warranty

 

Marlene P. :

First, I have to tell you I am a 73 yr. young widower. I finally got tired of quick meals, TV meals, eating out, etc. So, I finally decided that it was time I grew up and started learning how to cook.

I did a lot of research on slow cooker’s and decided on the Hamilton Beach 33967. I let it set on the counter for a week before I decided to either send it back or, try it.

My first attempt was a pot roast with potato, carrots and celery. Followed the recipes except added/subtracted seasoning that sounded good to me.

Much to my surprise, I had a VERY! tender roast with great veggies. Made enough to have a meal and freeze rest for several meals. (Wrong). I had it for supper, lunch and dinner the next day and lunch the third day.

Pot performed great and meat came out tender as butter.

Vicky M. :

I love this Crock Pot. It has two outstanding features that the others don’t–The snap on lid and the “keep warm” feature. In the past I have used crock pots that would cook with the setting of a manual dial. This new Hamilton Beech model cooks for as long as it is programmed and then it will keep the food warm until you are ready to eat. That’s a great feature for those days when you’re running late for dinner! Plus there’s the great new lid that means you can take hot dishes anywhere without a spill or leak. Outstanding product!

Get your Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker!

 

Crock-Pot SCCPBP600S 6-Quart Oval

Programmable Slow Cooker

 

  Product Features 

  •   6-quart oval stoneware
  •   Four programmable time setting options provide one-touch versatility and     automatically shifts to warm once the cook time is complete
  •   Perfect for seven or more people or a six pound roast
  •   Dishwasher safe stoneware and lid; convenient cord storage
  •   Measures approximately 20.0 by 12.0 by 15.8 inches

 

Brian J. :

I’ve used this Crock-Pot several times in the few weeks that I’ve owned it, and I can say that I am truly more than pleased with this purchase! My previous slow cooker was a Rival Brand crockpot which tended to boil my food on low. I never felt comfortable leaving my old slow cooker on while I was at work for 9+ hours each day. For any recipe that called for 8 hours of low cooking time, the meal would be ready within 3-4 hours and would start to scortch the sides shortly after!

When I started my search for a new crockpot, I considered all options, including high end ranges like All Clad and Breville. I’m MORE than thrilled that I went the route of this Crock-Pot. Yes, it isn’t as “programmable” as some (it’s options for cooking are ONLY low: 8 or 10 hours and high: 4 or 6 hours – it also has a WARM setting).

For my very first use, I decided that I would try it on a Saturday, when I could monitor how the slow cooker actually cooked the food. I didn’t really want to leave the house using an appliance for the first time. I noticed that it cooked the chicken very slowly. I was thrilled with the results. An 8 hour recipe really did take 8 hours, which was SO unlike my other slow cooker! It really does cook on low – barely a simmer – which is exactly how a slow cooker should be! After the cook time is up, it automatically switches to the WARM feature, and remains on WARM for up to 6 hours (which is a nice safety feature in case you forget to turn off the pot).

Clean up is a breeze! The insert is dishwasher safe, and the brushed stainless steel wipes up perfectly. It is a very large appliance, so be sure you have the counterspace or the storage space for it! The lid fits snuggly on to the pot – it has a rubber seal, which really helps at preventing a sliding or bubbling lid.

Overall, I’m thrilled with this purchase – I’m so glad that I decided to take a chance on this slow cooker instead of spending 3-4 times the amount on a high-end one!

Get your Crock-Pot SCCPBP600S

 

Cuisinart PSC Stainless Steel Programmable

Slow Cooker

 

Product Features

Size: 4-Quart
  • Programmable slow cooker with removable round-shaped ceramic cooking pot
  • Simmer, low, and high modes; 24-hour programmable cook time; auto keep-warm; cord storage
  • Brushed stainless-steel housing; glass lid with stainless-steel rim; cool-touch    chrome-plated handles
  • Includes cooking rack, recipe book, and instruction book; dishwasher-safe lid and ceramic pot
  • 3-Year limited warranty

 

Elaine W. :

I bought the Cuisinart PSC-400 because I wanted to expand my cooking skills into the realm of slow cooker convenience–but at the same time, I wanted to avoid the wonderful varieties of bland, gray, tough, and mushy disappointment that slow cookers are so famous for.

I previously owned 2 slow cookers, both Rival Crock-Pots. One was the original cylindrical model (with the crockery that didn’t detach from the base); the other was a more recent 7 qt. oval model. I never made anything good in either one. My last effort in the large oval cooker was to try (repeatedly) to make beef brisket. The results always came out bland and stringy.

Then, about 100 Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey shows later, I was ready to return to the challenge of slow cooking. This time, I was armed with better information:

1) Apart from stews, meats like dry heat. Avoid slow cookers for brisket especially. But if you have to slow cook meats, place them above the vegetables and be sparing on the liquid content.

2) Avoid filling a slow cooker only 1/2 way. Try to fill it at least 2/3, or you will likely overcook your food.

3) No color, no flavor. If you cook any meats, poultry, etc., always brown them first in a skillet, if possible.

4) Herbs are a mixed bag. Most dried herbs have diminishing flavor in a slow cooker, whereas fresh/undried herbs will tend to produce more flavor than you’re used to.

So I looked for a slow cooker that I could use for my experiments. It had to be small enough so I could fill it up without wasting too much food on bad experiments, yet large enough to get at least a couple of useful meals for my wife and I. It had to be tall and narrow, so I could control the wet and dry portions (layering the food) and prevent overheating if I did want to cook a smaller portion. It had to have preferably three or more temperature settings so I could find the right one. And it had to be safe to leave unattended all day or all night.

The Cuisinart PSC-400 not only fit all of the above criteria, but its automatic warm setting, ease of programming, retractable cord, and good looks were a bonus. Most importantly, of all the slow cookers reviewed, this one appeared to have the highest consensus that its heat settings were appropriate. I found this to be the case as well. “Low” really means low. And “high” is still below the lowest simmer I can achieve on a gas stove. Since there are three cooking settings (not counting the “warm” setting), you shouldn’t have any problem finding the right one. Also, according to the manual, the heating elements wrap around the side for more even heat distribution. I think one would be hard pressed to find another slow cooker for the same price with all of these features.

After buying the Cuisinart, I downloaded 8 recipes from the Food Channel site and got busy. The initial disappointing results led me to the following conclusion: either these famous TV chefs never tasted their own slow cooking, or slow cookers are just too different to use any recipe without significant changes. (Yeah, ok, or I can’t follow a simple recipe. I’ll let you decide.)

But I persevered, and by the time I got to the last few recipes, I was improvising more, with better results. I made a stewed pork dish by first searing the pork in a skillet, along with onions, peppers, etc., then transfering to the slow cooker with just a little broth. The result was flavorful and tender–similar to carnitas.

Eventually, my wife wanted to try out the slow cooker. She has this pork rib soup recipe that she stove-cooks at a good boil for 3 hours. It’s one of her best dishes. In order to duplicate her results in the slow cooker, we tried the high setting for 8 hours. The results were perfect! We now use that 2.5:1 ratio as a guide when converting other similar recipes.

Being aware of the comments on this site that some people found the slow cooker to boil and rattle the lid, I wish to report that this never happened for me, even when cooking on high. Let me be precise: that pork rib stew did bubble at a low boil by the 8 hour mark, but never excessively so (the cooker was full, not half way).

I have one more successful cooking story I want to share. One of the aforementioned Food Channel recipes had resulted in a dry, stringy, flavorless chicken, despite the fact that it had been cooking on low for 6 hours, submerged in broth. So I made it my personal goal to duplicate the most moist and tender poached chicken I’ve ever eaten: Hainan style chicken. And I’m happy to say I’ve cracked the code: 2 1/2 hours on high for 6 thighs + 3 breasts. I layered the chicken and other ingredients to within 1/2″ from the rim, with two breasts on top (meat side down), then filled with liquid up to the top layer. (Note that the manual says not to get closer than 1″ from the top rim. They have their needs, I have mine.) After cooking and verifying the thighs were 170 degrees and breasts were 165, I immediately submerged the chicken in ice water. The result was equal in texture to the best Hainan Jifan I’ve ever had. And the flavor was wonderful! (Hint: 6″ ginger + 6 green onions + fresh garlic + 32 oz. low salt [70 mg. sodium] chicken stock + at least 2 tablespoons salt and buy only organic free range chicken.)

After cooking so many dishes, I have gotten a feel for how the heat settings work. Don’t expect to see a big difference between the three heat settings for the first 2 hours. The slow cooker was still heating up even after the 2 1/2 hours I used for the Hainan chicken. And you should never cook anything for less than 2 hours on high. The lower heat settings should be used for cooking times of at least 4 hours, preferably longer. The manual talks a little about this w.r.t. food safety, so read it carefully.

As far as cleanup, be careful when handling the crockery insert–it feels fragile. The stainless steel exterior wipes clean easily and continues to look beautiful after many cleanings. I haven’t had any problems with the plastic handles covered in chrome. Overall, this does appear to be a much higher quality product than your average slow cooker.

 

Get your Cuisinart PSC Programmable Slow Cooker !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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