nesco roaster oven/slow cookers

kmsmOctober 22, 2011

I very recently bought a Nesco roaster oven since my slow cooker got broken (it was a Hamilton Beach Stay or Go, so it was also a newer model). I found alot of posts here praising the Nesco, plus I thought it would be more versatile than a slow cooker (sometimes I don't want to wait 8-10 hours to cook something) so I went with it.

The first thing I tried in it was a chili I made often in my old slow cooker. I had it set to "slow cook" and it started to boil almost right away! I had to turn it down to the very lowest setting and it still cooked a bit fast.

I'm realizing the newer Nescos start at 200f, while the last models started at 150f.. I'm wondering if Nescos have had to raise the temperatures in their cooker like slow cooker were required to do by the FDA?

I don't have an oven thermometer to check the Nesco... so just wondering if it's normal for them now to cook hot and faster or if I'm doing something wrong. maybe I'm expecting too much to use this as a slow cooker and as a oven?

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I use both a small Nesco and a 25+ year old Rival crock pot in my cooking. Although I have not tested the temp in either, I think the differences may arise from the shape and size of the two appliances. A crock pot is usually deeper and maybe be more round than a Nesco oven. And I think the crock pot has the heat source from the bottom and the Nesco has a the heating elements of the sides for their "Circle of Heat."

IMO, the Nesco is the better choice for roasting, baking, and long cooking than a crock pot. I have made the 5 hour @ 250 degrees Sticky Chicken recipe in the Nesco that I originally baked in my large oven and it actually took a little less than 5 hours. I use the crock pot now for recipes that are more liquid - soup, stew, spaghetti sauce, pepper steak, etc. I confidently go off to work and let the crock pot cook away for 8 hours. Because I think the Nesco is a hotter appliance, I have not gone off and left it unattended - although maybe I could do so, but just not for 8 hours.

The only (edible) flop that I have had with the Nesco was trying to make chicken and dumplings (the thin slider version). The broth didn't reach a low boil to cook the dumplings the way I like them. But I still could eat the results. And, I know the crock pot won't cook the dumplings right for me either, so chicken and dumplings will always be made on the stove top.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 9:18AM
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Looked up the Nesco on Amazon and zoomed in on the photo. At least in the photo, it definitely looks like you can set it for 150 degrees. It just isn't labeled '150'.

I have several older 6 qt Nescos; the youngest one is 20-25 years olds. I have used the even older ones for keeping the dogs' water from freezing in the winter when we had to be away overnight for hockey tournaments. I found that I could set the control to keep the water just a tad bit warm, leaving it in an uninsulated/ unheated garage in cental Wisconsin. In January.

So, I know the old ones are infinitely adjustable. And they're readily available at garage sales up here. (Prices usually run $2-$6 for a good used one.) I think I have four of them. Finally had to quit buying them since I had an heir & a spare and one more to boot! Am sure that I could have accumulated another half dozen (at least) of them just this summer. Soooo, if you're not happy with the new one, I suggest looking for a vintage one. They're great little cookers.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 9:45AM
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Roaster and Crock pot/slow cooker are similar, but not the same.

Some roasters have convection feature, which cooks a little different than regular roasters.

Both roasters (not convection roasters) and slow cookers can be plugged into a high wattage motor speed controller ($25.00) which can override the built-in thermostat allowing you to cook at much lower temperature (like keeping food warm).


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 9:50AM
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thanks, I'll play around with it more and pick up an oven thermometer to get a better feel for where exactly the temperatures are.

I still have the crock and lid for my slow cooker...hoping maybe they'll be some good sales on them during the holidays so I can pick up another and use it for regular slow cooking soups and things, then I'll also have an extra crock for it. Can't believe I'm going to start a collection of these things...

I wanted to also ask, does nesco still make a convection fan lid for the roaster? I don't see it on their site.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 9:07PM
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I also have a crockpot and a Nesco Roaster, mine is relatively new, I got it for Christmas last year and love the thing. I have left both the small 6 quart Nesco and the larger 18 quart Nesco going while I was at work. The large nesco roaster I use to roast a bunch of bones, then I add water and vegetables and simmer a big batch of broth all dayy, the can it. I also use the big Nesco to make apple butter, no sticking or scorching and it works like a charm.

The smaler one I've used for roasting chickens and pork roast, etc., but I've also simmered beans all day, and I made borscht in it last week as well as a batch of oxtail soup. it worked great for both of those things but I did find that "slow cook" is too hot, I have to turn it down even lower to let the soup simmer all day.

cilantro, I'm envious. I've never seen a used one around here, not at yard sales or thrift stores. I think maybe there are a lot of summer cottages and hunting cabins and people send their old appliances there. I'd snap up a couple of the old ones if I found them too. No crockpots or coffee pots here either, but I can always find a slightly used iron, LOL, it seems no one needs those anymore!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:14PM
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I have both and thought I'd put my 2 cents in. We're full-time RVers, and I use my Nesco as an oven. The small propane ovens really heat up the rig and limit what you can bake. I have both the 12 qt and 18 qt size and use then alot. That said, I still use my slow cooker a lot for meals that need to slow cook all day like stews, soups, beans, etc. I wouldn't give up any of my roasters and slow cookers. I find them all to be essential in my kitchen.

Now to answer the question about the convection lid. No, Nesco is not making the convection lid for the 18 quart size. I'm not sure if they're still making it for the smaller sizes, but I know that you can find the 4, 6, and 12 quart size roasters with the convection lids on ebay. That's where I found my 12 quart. They may be used, but they still work great. I've checked with Nesco periodically about the convection lid for the 18 quart but so far nothing. I keep looking on ebay for an older lid to come up for my big roaster. If anyone has heard anything different let us know please.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 1:25PM
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