slow cookers

cargoDecember 9, 2007

I know that there have been previous posts on the relative virtues of different slow cookers, but these are quite old and I thought that perhaps there might be some new information out there or that manufacturers may have made changes in their products based on past problems.

I would like to buy a slow cooker but am confused about which ones heat up too much, if this is the problem of the user not using enough liquid, and which ones have lids that let the steam escape. I would be willing to spring for the All Clad, especially with the 20% off coupon I have at BBByond, if it were not beset by so many problems. I would also get a less expensive one if I knew which model to get. I do want a large one because I would like to use it for entertaining or making something with lots of leftovers. The idea of using my oven is interesting, but it seems like a terrible waste of electricity especially in an era of trying to be energy efficient.

Thanks for the advice.

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cat_mom

We got the KA (7qt?) slow cooker last winter (was a godsend during our kitchen reno--I could make some home-cooked meals!!!). Had originally purchased at L&T with a 20% coupon in the SS finish (BB&B only carried it in the Cinnamon color), but within a day or two of purchase, another store that offers coupons, ironically in the same shopping ctr., had it for the same price, and not only could I use a coupon, they were offering a $30 store gift card (for future use) with the purchase of that item. Needless to say, I made the swap!

With that kind of bargain available (and the KA cooker is supposed to be a good one) I just couldn't justify spending the much higher price for the A-C (although I did like the one with the stove-top usable insert).

The one downside to the KA; the silicone/rubber gasket around the lid (ostensibly to prevent spills during transport, or steam escape?) tends to pick up cooking odors which seem impossible to remove. I tried soaking in bleach, can't remember if I tried vinegar yet, but will try again. Otherwise, it worked well for us.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 9:52AM
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danab_z9_la

Dawn liquid detergent now comes with a new odor eliminator formula.....not sure if it would remove the odor on gaskets; however, it works on plastic food storage containers.

Dan

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 4:25PM
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cargo

Does the all clad come in more than one model? I have only seen the one for $149. but the idea of an insert that can be used separately to brown seems like a good feature. I would love to know how well it cooks and if the problems of it over heating have been solved or can be prevented by using the proper amount of liquid. I would love to hear from more people who have recently acquired a slow cooker and what their opinions were.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 4:58PM
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cat_mom

Apparently they do from the ads I've seen. They make a model with a stoneware insert and one with a metal, stove-top compatible insert.

I'll try the vinegar and if it doesn't work, will look for the Dawn (hate to add to my growing collection of under the sink cleaning supplies if I can avoid it!).

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 9:55PM
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nanabelle

I just ordered the Kitchenaid Slow Cooker in Gloss Cinnamon. I just came from Macy's and checked out both that and the AllClad and personally I was more impressed with Kitchenaid. the lid on the Allclad seemed chintzy and didn't fit too well. Of course, I haven't cooked with either one, but liked the construction of the Kitchenaid. Amazon has them for sale for $111.99 and free shipping for a short while, I believe. Can't wait to receive it and try it out. I have yet to go wrong with a Kitchenaid appliance.

Amazon has some reviews on small appliances. You might be able to find more info by googling the product and going to the Amazon website.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:22PM
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stir_fryi

$100+ for a slow cooker? The best slow cooker you can buy is at a garage sale for $5.

Todays SC are crap and only work well if you like to boil your food.

I am keeping my 5Q Rival (with the ugly blue pattern) from 1992.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 8:35AM
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cargo

Well, I did some google research and finally came up with a page that tried to analyze all the conflicting information. For those of us for whom a garage sale is not an alternative, it seems that among the high end products, the best bet is the Kitchenaid. I would love to know if you were satisfied with it. For those wanting something in a lower price range they suggest the Hamilton Beach programmable. So, I guess I will get one or the other but would still be happy to hear from others.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 3:28PM
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cat_mom

As I mentioned above, we used our KA slow cooker a bunch last winter, and it worked just fine. I think I only made whole chickens in it (3.5-4 lbs) and I made a meatloaf in it (first time in a slow cooker for me). With no kitchen last winter, the less prep, the better (no counters to do the prep, and only a bathroom sink for washing up! We had to use the tub to clean the insert).

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 4:34PM
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lynda-ann

Cargo: I have the All Clad slow cooker with the insert that allows you to brown food on the stove top first and then use the slow cooker. I haven't used mine a lot (received it as a Christmas gift) - but I have made curries, soup and a few other things. I have had no over heating problems and only good things to say about it. The lid seals really well, which is great - no cooking smells throughout the house even with curry.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 11:31AM
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