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A Quick Look at the Best Slow Cookers

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/14/2011 3:00 PM   :  31 comments   :  13,818 Views

See More: woman's day,
By Mandy Major, Woman's Day

Slow cookers are extremely versatile and ideal for everything from chicken entrées and vegetable sides to cakes and fruit desserts. But which is the best one? We decided to put 10 affordable models ($60 and under) to the test to see which ones would be worthy of our counter space after spring cleaning. To evaluate each slow cooker’s features, we tried our own Spring Vegetable & Chicken Stew and Ranchero Pork with Lime-Marinated Onions recipes, rating each cooker from 1 to 5 on heat level, ease of use, maintenance/cleaning and attractiveness. Read on to see how the slow cookers stacked up.

Read the rest of the story at Womansday.com.

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Comments

  • 31
    I am still using the crockpot I received as a wedding gift in 1979. I let someone borrow it for a funeral luncheon and they ruined the exterior, but that pot cooks as well as the day I received it! It makes great frijoles`, wonderful German potato salad, and divine chili! I use it seven days a week,, Rival is the best,, I even made cakes and cobblers in it. Great for keeping buns warm while burgers or weenies cook. In fact, I have coked them both in the crockpot! - 3/31/2013   2:19:26 PM
  • JUDITHHAMM
    30
    I have so many recipes for my slow cooker and have used one for over 20 years. I slow cook lower cost cuts of meat and they come out perfect. The cooker can be a great help to working moms. Just experiment with some favorites and you will come to love it. Thanks for all the good suggestions. - 4/16/2011   7:53:22 PM
  • GAARAMA
    29

    My crock pot is over thirty years old and still going strong. I have many favorite slow cooker recipes from marinara sauce,chili to pot roast.
    - 3/22/2011   2:15:35 PM
  • 28
    I made corned beef & cabbage w/ red potatoes & carrots in the slow cooker the other day ... liquid was 1 - 24 oz can of Miller Lite beer and some water ... added some garlic also to the seasoning included w/ the brisket ... cook on high for 6 hrs!! Don't know the calorie count but it was AWESOME!! - 3/17/2011   8:18:43 AM
  • SUZABELLA67
    27
    Mine broke last fall and I mourned its loss! LOL I got one for Christmas (a Rival) but I did NOT like it, so I returned it and got a Hamilton Beech, which I like much better - and! it matches my toaster! - 3/16/2011   8:14:11 AM
  • 26
    We use ours all the time and love it - 3/16/2011   5:39:29 AM
  • 25
    We have a slow cooker and I love it. I cook with it at least once a week especially over the winter months. And we only got it a couple of years ago... I wonder why we waited so long! Thanks for the blog. - 3/15/2011   11:10:50 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    24
    My slow cooker sits on a shelf in the garage, has sat there for over 20 years, used it about 5 times. Easier to just cook in a pot on the stove. - 3/15/2011   10:32:58 PM
  • 23
    Love the crock pot! My husband's favorite recipe is the Lasagna. Mine is the Slow Cooker Collard Greens recipe from SP. We also make white chili and pork pozole quite often in ours. - 3/15/2011   8:29:49 PM
  • 22
    sp slow cooker chicken salsa is the best slow cooker I've found recipe so far :) - 3/15/2011   7:03:06 PM
  • MIEZEKATZE
    21
    This lovely lady's blog has some of the BEST slow cooker recipes ever:
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com /

    Anybody who says that they can't find any recipes that aren't a soup or stew are doing it wrong.

    I own a super cheap crock-pot from Target ($15!), mostly because it is red and fits in with my decor, but it's really simple to use and works just fine for me. I don't need anything fancy.
    - 3/15/2011   3:16:24 PM
  • 20
    Love my crockpot. I use it often. I love making soups, chili and stews in it. it also makes the best lagazna in it. - 3/15/2011   2:36:04 PM
  • 19
    Thanks for the article. I grew up with my mom using them often. Now, I'm looking for one for my home. - 3/15/2011   2:12:03 PM
  • 18
    I have a slower cooker that never gets used because it is hard to find slow cooker recipes that are: meatless, gluten-free, and aren't things like soup, stew or chili. - 3/15/2011   10:09:15 AM
  • 17
    I have been using slow cookers for over 20yrs and love them. I have two: a 12 L. Corningware that has a setting "automatic". This puts the cooker on high for 2 hours and then low until you turn it off. I use this for making stocks: put in the bones, vegies, seasonings and 6 hours later I have perfect stock; also good for chili. The other one I have is a Hamilton Beach with a meat probe. I have used the probe but do prefer using the oven or BBQ for roasting. It is good for other meals such as stews, pot roast, etc. My background is European and there are many recipes I use the slow cooker for. I couldn't live without one. - 3/15/2011   9:50:28 AM
  • 16
    My favorite recipe is Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (recipe right here on SP). It's SO easy and good! I have a 6 qt. Crock Watcher by Hamilton Beach, with auto shift. I like it, but the removable crock is rather heavy. - 3/15/2011   9:43:12 AM
  • PICKANYNAME
    15
    I absolutely love my slow cookers! I have a large one that I use for regular meals, and a tiny small one to use for serving dips/appetizers.

    I particularly like using the slow cooker liners (or oven roasting bags work just as well) to keep the grime off of the inside pot. They make clean up after a rather big, tastey meal an effortless task .... leaving more time to enjoy the outdoors! - 3/15/2011   9:41:16 AM
  • 14
    I think my slow cooker is a Black and Decker. I can't remember exactly because Santa gave it to me. I'm still experimenting with mine. So, right now, I don't have a favorite recipe. My brother makes lots of soups with his.

    - 3/15/2011   9:40:45 AM
  • 13
    Hard to beat a crock pot for legumes. - 3/15/2011   8:51:40 AM
  • 12
    I have 3 slow cookers (1.5, 3 and 5 qt) and use at least one almost every day. I do any prep the night before, toss it in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a great hot meal. I check for doneness with an instant read thermometer and it's always perfect. - 3/15/2011   1:33:34 AM
  • MOMMAHIGGY
    11
    I have a slow cooker I use just about every Sunday, and an old one I pull out occasionally. I think I need to look at some different cookers... maybe spend a little more money. I love the cooker I have, but having more options would be great. - 3/14/2011   11:39:05 PM
  • 10
    I have 4 slow cookers and use all of them depending on what I'm cooking. I couldn't survive with just one! - 3/14/2011   9:20:59 PM
  • 9
    I love using the slow cooker. The one I have is a combination slow cooker/pressure cooker, and I love both functions. - 3/14/2011   8:05:41 PM
  • 8
    I love my slow cooker and will it is still standing but no longer has handles. I really need to get a new one so this article is just right for me lol

    I noticed a trend. Don't pay over $40.00 on a crock pot or it goes down in quality. lol - 3/14/2011   8:03:40 PM
  • 7
    I wish they'd also evaluated smaller models; my 1-quart is on its last legs. - 3/14/2011   7:43:56 PM
  • 6
    I love using a Slow Cooker, so I have a large one. - 3/14/2011   7:28:20 PM
  • 5
    Great article. Since I am a truck driver and drive at night. I love using my slow cooker to fix meals that I can make then bag up in serving sizes, ffreeze for giving my husband. He can get good home cooked meals that he can heat while I sleep. - 3/14/2011   7:20:19 PM
  • 4
    Since I'm routinely away from home for 11 or 12 hours at a time, I think a crock pot with a programmable timer is invaluable. Otherwise, my tasty recipe turns into overcooked crap. I have a model similar to the Hamilton Beach stay or go featured in the article (mine is a Stay or Go with a timer). I think it's a huge pain to store it in my tiny apartment kitchen, but I wouldn't be without it. I use it at least twice a week. - 3/14/2011   4:53:43 PM
  • 3
    How funny that this article came up the same day I'm using mine for homemade chicken noodle soup. However, attractiveness is subjective and I didn't think any of them were. - 3/14/2011   3:58:48 PM
  • 2
    Perfect timing! I was just deciding that I need to buy a new slow cooker. Not sure what happened to the old one, just know that it is time to buy a new one. - 3/14/2011   3:42:19 PM
  • 1
    Great article I love to use my Slow Cooker, it helps when I am always going to have a meal ready when we get home. Thank you for sharing this blog. - 3/14/2011   3:29:06 PM

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