Welcome to my Best Slow Cooker reviews, good day all! My passion for cooking fuels my desire to provide great tasting meals for my family despite my hectic work schedule.
This machine, despite its name, is a wonderful appliance for the working people who don’t have time to cook. Do read on to find out why and how to choose the best machine!
I’ve come up with several slow cooker reviews to help you decide which machine is ideal for your situation because there are so many on the market. Besides that, they are different in design from other kinds of cooking appliances so I bet you’ll appreciate my short introduction on what machine does and how it can work magic in your cooking life!
This means I’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to! Besides that, I’ve included some handy tips that will help you start on your own machine journey so you’ll be making yummy one-pot dishes in no time at all! Bon appétit!
Hamilton Beach 33967
They are just great, especially during those days where you are not home most of the time, or you just want to sit back and relax without having to worry about dinner. The Hamilton Beach 33967 is simply the best programmable slow cooker.
This appliance is nothing small, it has a 6 quart pot, made of stone, really big, I could cook up extras with this pot, and 1 pound of sliced chicken is not a problem for this large device. The pot has an oval shape, so you could get creative, think about leaving a whole chicken in overnight and having it the next day.
The thing about this crock is that it’s made of stone, and its heavy, but that’s a good thing, because it’s almost as similar to the ceramic ones which would break really, really easily, it’s also dish washer safe, but I think that this crock is washable by hand just fine, all you have to think about is the weight.
The functions on the Hamilton Beach 33967 is amazing, it’s got almost everything that machine needs. The program function allows me to set the time and temperature I need, this is really great for simple things like meat.
I just set the time to how long I want it to cook and I leave it, after a few hours I return with a ready and always warm meal waiting for me. It has an easy to see LED display, very useful especially at night when you don’t want to turn on the lights in the kitchen.
The handiest feature that comes with this machine is the probe function. This monitors the temperature of the cooking and keeps it at a controlled level. When it reaches to a point where the temperature is suitable it will maintain that temperature by switching itself to keep warm and back to cook again if it were to drop.
The reason why they call it probe is because you have to stick the thermometer they gave you into the pot, that’s right, set it to probe and probe the thermometer into the pot and leave it.
The clip on the tempered glass lid is really something, it may be really troublesome to lock and unlock but it’s crucial for a model, as some ingredients tend to bubble more than other and possibly causing a mess, well I for one do not want to come home to my dinner which is on the floor instead of in the pot. The lid also houses a spoon; I mean the spoon clips itself onto the lid for safe storage.
This device may be almost perfect, but it does receive some complaints from users about power interruptions. Imagine leaving your food for 7 hours, but this device stopped itself during the first 2 hours, that would leave you with uncooked and spoiled food.
This is actually a programming error that causes the machine to stop itself too early, maybe Hamilton Beach should have made the controls easier.
Overall it has a great performance, is easy to move around, just a tad heavy. If you need a programmable slow cooker, Hamilton Beach 33967 is a great buy and comes at an affordable price.
Cuisinart has never failed to deliver quality and durability. Now they have made a small model, well I do say small because my average size of a crock pot is enough to feed at least 6 or 7 people. The Cuisinart PSC-350 is the best small machine for singles and couples who cook. If you have a small family of 3 this might work fine too.
Size and Material This 3 and a half quart small slow cooker is a better choice than my earlier pick on the best small device for a couple of reasons.
The unit itself and the pot come in an oval design, this is great for storing and keeping, nothing like a good little pot that conserves more space than others it size, as I myself enjoy a lot of counter space for whenever I have the urge to whip out a quick meal.
The pot is made out of ceramic; it won’t be as heavy as the stone ware ones, but I can’t say that I noticed any difference in between the two so I did a little research.
After researching I was taken aback by what I discovered, a machine and a crock pot are not always the same thing, and Crock pot is a generic term like Blanco or Aspirin, but that I shall set aside, since I have been using the term for well over a decade now.
The glass lid and the pot are all dishwasher safe, easy cleaning if you ask me. Controls and Use The Cuisinart PSC-350 is a programmable device, simply means they would give you a bunch of buttons to adjust the time, the temperature and which elements you should use.
I remember one of my mum’s slow cookers which had these functions; it wasn’t anything famous, since it was made in China. This device is very easy to use. It has 3 settings, simmer, low and high. There is not much brain work except deciding what temperature you want your meal to be cooked in.
Simmer gives you slightly above 180 degrees Fahrenheit, while Low gives you about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and High is just a bump above that at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
The buttons looks like the ones I have for those digital photo frames, but a lot sturdier and well made, also that they are touch sensitive, so everything can be done by just running your fingers over the buttons. The LCD display is always on for the duration of the cooking and warming, until it is turned off.
This is a useful function especially for the after dark cookers. Now let’s take a look at the process of cooking with this thing. You are given 4 cooking modes, the 3 mentioned earlier and the keep warm function, so depending on what you are cooking select the mode and set the time, and then this machine does everything else for you.
On the Safe Side Well I do admit that there is nothing much to a slow cooker, but to be on the safe side let me list out the safety measures taken by Cuisinart for this machine. It comes with no slip rubber feet, quite useful, I tried to bump it a few times but it never did budge, unless it was empty.
The handles always stay cool even after hours of cooking, but I can’t say the same for the unit itself, but it’s not something to worry about just as long as it far away from the grasps of curious children.
So overall this Cuisinart PSC-350 is a great addition for a newly wed couple or a bachelors kitchen for making meals simpler. Even if you can’t or don’t know how to cook, the handy recipe booklet that comes with the unit will be of great service.
Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1
Usually I would set my crock pot on during the night, I would place some veggies and chicken with some herbs and a dash of wine, this makes a wonderfully healthy soup for breakfast which my family and I enjoy, especially in the cold morning hours.
If you were thinking about investing in a crock pot try Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1 because this best value slow cooker comes with not one, but three crock pots.
Most Versatile Slow Cooker Best Value
More slow cooking action with versatility, that’s the specialty of this machine by Hamilton beach. The most unique looking one so far, not because it has a base which doesn’t cover the entire pot unless you nest them in for packing, but because it has three stone pots, ranging from 2 quarts to 6 quarts.
The benefit of having 3 different sizes is that if you are preparing smaller servings it is better to use a smaller pot, this will prevent the food from burning or cooking unevenly.
I did have a large model and cooking just a handful of things seemed very unnatural, and the end result of using a large pot for small servings left me with an awful tasting sticky pile of charred vegetables.
West Bend 84384 Best Budget Model
I thought I would buy an extra slow cooker to cook small meals sometimes when only my wife and I are eating at home. I was looking for a cheap but good one.
West Bend 84384 was cheap; it only cost me below $30 just to have it shipped to me. It has been a week now and I have used it every single day, it’s something I do when I buy a new appliance, I call it the burning process, where I use something new intensely for a week, just to see if there were any flaws or anything I missed before the warranty ends.
Easy Cleaning and Storage
So this is what I found out about this 4 quart oval slow cooker. After using it I always clean it and keep it back in storage, I know this can be a really troublesome thing to do, but its only for a week, so I found that the oval design was easy to store compared to some round ones (and even a square one that I used to have).
The size is not too small or too big, it’s just right, and cleaning for this unit is fairly simple since the pot and the lid are dishwasher safe, and yes I used my dishwasher to clean it every single time during that entire week.
The unit has a brushed stainless steel body; this means that no matter how much you smolder or “molest” this machine you won’t be able to find finger prints on it, unless your hands were dirty.
So now let’s see how well this machine cooks shall we? The dial reminds me of those old slow cookers, the ones from Asia, like Phillips and Sanyo, this dial comes with low, high and keep warm settings, above the dial you can see a signature which says “Crockery” that’s sort of amusing since this is a slow cooker, or maybe the manufacturers didn’t realize the difference between the two.
So I tried some extra long slices of meat and vegetables and the pot literally swallowed it up, after a few hours I was met by a complete meal, quite the pleaser I would say.
The on and off indicator light lets you know if the unit is safe to touch or not, this is because the body will heat up during cooking, and imagine yourself walking about your kitchen one night to bump into it while it’s turned on, not a good experience I assure you.
The handles remain cool even in the heat of the kitchen, a regular safety measure which all slow cookers should have, but there is one bonus about the see through glass lid which I notice most of them do not have, aside the fact that you can see through it to take a peek at your meal, this glass lid has a knob which does not heat up.
That is an amazing add on that I suppose some manufacturers fail to see, now I don’t have to place a thick kitchen towel over the lid or wear a mitten when I want to remove the lid.
After your meal is done you can use the pot itself as a serving dish, it looks great with its ceramic coated in hi temperature black enamel, you won’t be embarrassed to place it out on the table during dinner, just be sure to line the bottom with a towel first.
How to Choose the Best Slow Cooker
So how to choose the best slow cooker then, you ask me? No worries, here are the three main things to look for:
They are measured in quarts. Get the right size for your household.
- Shape and Design
Round, oval or square? A good design will help you cook better!
Do you want a basic slow cooker or one with all the features? There are timers, temperature settings and more.
Every day, my wife and I ponder over what to feed our 3 kids come dinnertime. Ever since she started working again, we have had to think of how to provide a good, nutritious meal to our kids while still being able to balance our work responsibilities.
As I thought about it more and more, I decided to use my trusty slow cooker for a great-tasting solution! Not only are slow cookers wonderful at cooking on a budget and for long periods of time, they make for easy food preparation and easy clean up after.
This solution totally fits into our busy schedules. Before I leave to my restaurant and she goes to work, we decide on the day’s meal and put our trusty slow cooker to use. By the time she comes home for dinner with the kids in tow, they have a great meal to look forward to. Not to mention, she can keep the leftovers warm so I can share in the fun when I come home too!