You might have seen some commercials about Slow Cookers on TV – could it be that you even started to consider buying one? Good for you! But there’s numerous of them, so how on earth are you going to decide which of them that suits your needs best? That’s why I created this site, to make it a little easier for you to make up your mind, and navigate through the jungle of Crock-Pots and Hamiltons. I would also humbly like to share some of my favorite Slow Cooker Recipes.
I’ve been working as a chef for almost 20 years, and hopefully gained some experience through all this time. Besides sharing some of my most precious Slow Cooker Recipes and recommendations of slow cookers, I’ll also provide some tips on how to keep your slow cooker clean. Cleanliness isn’t only a virtue, but also one of the most important rules in the gastronomic industry. Last but not least, as a chef, I can’t miss the opportunity to share some of my Best Slow Cookers!
The chef who fell in love with slow cooker recipes
My name is Matthew Flanagan and I’m a chef. Several of the dishes served in my restaurant take hours to cook. At home, I’ve got shelves filled with books with slow cooker recipes, and I’ve tried ridiculously many different slow cookers. This site’s purpose is to share some slow cooker tips with you guys – Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Reviews
6-Quart, Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker, Digital Timer, Stainless Steel
They don’t make ’em like they used to. I still own an old crock pot which is still functioning perfectly fine. The only disadvantage it has is that it is too small. This is why I wanted to try some various, upgraded versions from the same brand. So I decided it was about time to check out some other crock pot which potentially could give me more value than my old crockpot. The two major reasons that made me want to test this slow cooker was that it was big and has a time and temperature control program with it. I only have used it twice and I am very happy with the results.
The programmable aspect is particularly attractive and very helpful. It enables you to set your cooking temperatures on low or high. You can set 30 minutes for high and for slow food you can set up to a maximum of 20 hours. Unlike other “programmable” slow cookers, with limitations when it comes to controlling time and temperature, this one lets you be in charge. When the cooking program is finished, the machine automatically puts itself to “warm”. The temperature controls are touch which is more user-friendly, unlike the knobs. The manual is small, simple but complete and has a couple of recipes accompanying it.
My first meal to make with the crockpot was Breakfast Casserole. It was very tasty and the crockpot worked perfectly fine. However, I noticed some change of color to brown on the edges signifying a little higher than necessary heat. The next time I use it I will try and be a little gentle with the heat. This is a requirement with any slow cooker. My second dish was Hot Sausage Stew. Again the appliance worked very well and the ‘warm’ feature really helped, the food was ready before I was ready to eat. Be warned, the ‘warm’ temperature might be hotter than you expect.
What I love about this is one is that it holds a lot of food. You won’t have any problem finding tasty slow cooker recipes for this one. Due to its large capability, I can put some food in the fridge and pack the remainder in small containers and keep it in the freezer. This is an ideal way to keep me out of the kitchen and have a decent meal at the same time.
This brand can be fully trusted. My old crockpot is at least 15 years. This is why I chose to review two of these amazing machines on this review site. Both of them are amazing aids in the kitchen and helps make the best of your favorite slow cooker recipes
The pot is very easy to clean. The food does not stick to the stoneware and it is super easy to clean. When it comes to burnt food and persistent filth, check out my cleaning guide. You can wash the lid in the dishwasher. You only have to ensure you never lock it when cooking.
6-Quart, 3-In-1 Cook Central Multi-Cooker: Slow Cooker, Brown/Saute, Steamer
This is a great slow cooker! I have not had any problems dealing with it or using it at all. From reading some other people’s reviews, I noticed some of them experienced problems when dealing with the control panel on the front. They had not been able to start it up again when they turned it off. However, I personally haven’t had any of these problems at all. I just read the instruction booklet where it said clearly that you need to wait for few minutes to let it cool off before you start it, probably something they implemented to prolong the lifespan of the machine. The waiting time is barely two minutes and not a whopping half an hour. That time is fine by me.
What I like the most about this slow cooker is that it also has abilities to stir fry, sauté or sear/brown, which is great since the variety of slow cooker recipes it opens up a lot. I especially like the function that allows you to brown food in it. When the food has been given a nice surface you can add other ingredients immediately for getting slow cooked. The depth of the pot is equally attractive as it prevents grease from splashing on nearby walls. Even though the capacity is only for one person, I really like it.
The temperature controls on this slow cooker are just amazing for me. Some other stainless steel variants I’ve tried have either been not hot enough or had problems with producing enough heat. To get a good idea of for which slow cooker recipes to use the different heat options, take a closer look in the manual.
Do not overfill the pot, if you put too much in, it will boil over. You can avoid this by leaving some space for the liquid to expand. Don’t use the “brown” settings to get the heat going since this also most probably will cause the pot to overflow.
If you like you to, you can put the lid in the dishwasher when you’re done with the cooking, given that your dishwasher is spacious enough – it’s quite big. For other tips on how to keep your slow cooker clean, take a look at my cleaning guide.
In short, I’d like to say that this is a very nice Slow Cooker. It’s easy to learn how to operate it and has multiple different settings both for slow cooking and frying. This is something I really like as a chef since it opens up for a whole new dimension of interesting recipes.
4-Quart Slow Cooker
After years on end of using the extremely hot crockpots which are branded as slow cookers, it was such a huge breather to find the real state of the art Proctor and Silex Slow cooker – a device perfect for a countless slow cooker. Proctor-Silex is true to its description as a slow cooker. It is easily adjustable to fit very low heating temperatures which in the long run end up giving you soft, well-cooked foods which are full of exquisite flavor, as long as you stick to the right slow cooker recipes.
With this modern real way of slow cooking, you will never experience the rushed cooking periods that are common with other brands, which end up giving you substandard results. I was keen to also note that the 4-quart size is an ideal size for two. It yields just the required quantities of food enough for a couple of servings without having to throw away a bounty of food unnecessarily, because you cooked into too large a pot.
I, however am a little skeptical about one minor thing with the cooker, the glass finishing, and the finishing of the croak, does not sit well to completely cover the whole croak. Therefore, you will notice small gaps as a result of the rim of the crock not being evenly finished. When using the cooker, you, therefore, nee to carefully equalize the small glass lid when placing it in the slow cooker. This is necessary to help you avoid the entrance of more air into the cooker.
Anyhow this should be and is a non-issue. It does not make the Proctor and Silex cooker less worth. In fact, I tend to think that this multiple small air entrances into the cooker could be a part of its design which makes it make more than perfect meals as opposed to the other similar labeled brands in the market, which are both extremely too hot, and cook rather rapidly for a slow cooker.
This product is a perfect example of value for your money. If you compare the price at which it is sold, and the value in form of service that it gives you, you will be very impressed like I was since there is no point of comparison. This becomes even better if you manage to secure free shipping with Amazon, or even a different free shipping promotion.
Proctor and Silex, is a slow cooker like no other. It gives mouthwatering, flavorful foods that just make you want to keep sinking your teeth in the food.
7-Quart, Oval Manual Slow Cooker in Stainless Steel,
What I like most about this Slow Cooker was that it was was not too big or too expensive. This product has it all for me and is actually one of the best CrockPots I’ve ever tested and is great for cooking slow cooker recipes. It even outperforms than slow cookers with programming abilities and a price tag around $150.
The lid is made of treated glass. You can see the food as you cook it without having to lift the lid. The lid handle remains cool during cooking and cannot, therefore, burn you when you lift or touch it. It can be quite hard to get a grip of when you wash it, so be careful.
There have been complaints about the temperatures of the pot, here is the thing, it is a CrockPot which base is made out of solid stainless steel. It conducts heat very well, so it does get hot, but not in any extraordinary way, this has occurred with many other slow cookers I’ve tested. I would recommend you to keep your pot holders nearby.
I read some other reviews where people were complaining about it boiling over. This isn’t anything that has happened for me. There are some simmering even if you keep the settings on low, but this is totally normal for slow cookers. Simmering is NOT equal to boiling.
Some other people claimed that their food got burnt. For me, it is clear that they have not read the instructions in the manual. If they had, they would have known that you need to add more liquid, this is pointed out very clear in the manual. I have tons of experience with slow cooking and have never burnt my slow food, at least not in a slow cooker.
The capacity of the cooker is quite large which gives a large variety of slow cooker recipes to choose from; it can accommodate a three to four-pound chicken and four pounds roasts. The secret lies in the oval shape, which allows the foods to fit in well. Always ensure you read the instructions manual which also includes some slow cooker recipes.
When cooking whole grain cereals, this appliance is fantastic. You do not have to stand over a pot and stir the whole time fearing that it might run over. This way of cooking lets the grains absorb water, which makes for creamier end results. You can simply put the grains in, add some water, turn the cooker on and go to sleep. The grains will be ready for your breakfast the following morning.
A crockpot is a fantastic complimentary to each well-supplied kitchen, and this one is amazing. I do not get the complaints on the pot since the crockpot is acting how a normal crockpot should.
Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 33969A
6-Quart, Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe
The Hamilton Beach Set’n’Forget is an amazing Slow Cooker regardless which slow cooker recipe you’re following. It’s truly an ideal assistant in the kitchen, I’ll soon tell you why. What I liked most about it was that it had all the crock pot features that I desired. The most basic and attractive feature is the size of the pot. It has a fairly large size that will enable you to put in two turkey breasts or a whole turkey roast if you wish without struggling. The lid of the pot has a rubber gasket that protects the pot from collecting boiling liquids under the edges. It is ideal for traveling and picnics since it shuts tight. That means you will have no fear of spills at all.
With this state-of-the-art cooking pot, burning your food stops being in your worry list when cooking. The temperature programming of the pot is designed such that your food will never burn. When I first bought the pot, just like any other electronic, I read through and understood the user manual of the product.
According to the instruction manual, you should clean out the pot before using it for the first time, so I mixed soap and water and cleaned it out. I then went ahead and tried a slow cooker recipe of cooked beef stew with my large pot. After putting in all of my ingredients, I then let the cooker do what it does best. I left it to cook for five straight hours. After it was ready, I kept aside the liquid from the boil and made pea soup. However, I made this with a high temperature and it was ready in an hour’s time. I stoked these foods in my freezer which means I can go for a couple of days without having to cook.
Just like any other new electronic appliances, a crock pot assumes a ‘new smell’. Although some people find it irritating, to me it was never that serious. There should not be so many hullabaloos about the smell. It barely stays on for too long. Just 15 minutes and it is gone for good.
I have not had much of an opportunity to utilize the thermometer. However, I know that it is one of the most efficient ways to cook where energy is concerned. It is ideal when you are making meats or roasts. With the raw meats, a standard of 4 is recommended when cooking at a high temperature, and 8 hours when cooking on the slow temperature. I cannot ask for a better deal. This is it, these where our top best slow cooker. Hope you enjoyed it!