Since Kitchen Gadget Girl operates on a shoe string budget (!), rather than test a bunch of slow cookers, I thought I would walk through the process I would use for finding a new slow cooker, aloud, showing my readers (all three of you now) how I would go about finding a new appliance. And because I do most of my shopping on-line, that is where I will start and finish my search. Any questions or comments? Ok, let’s get started.
1. I do a generic search for “Crock Pot Review” in Google
2. Up comes Consumer Search, Slow Cooker Review: Best Slow Cooker, Crock Pot
Well, this looks interesting. They have compiled reviews from a whole bunch of sites, including Cooks Illustrated (a trusted source in my book), Amazon and Consumer Reports. They also have a nice layout, comparing different brands and price points. And they have a feature to compare prices. Nice.
Looks like the top one is the All-Clad 99009. This slow cooker has an impressive array of features, including programmable settings and three temperature settings. Prices run right about $179, which is a little more than I wanted to spend. I don’t use my slow cooker that often, but I do like the programmable features of the All-Clad…it would be ideal on those days when I am out of the house early for work.
The Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go 33162H is the Budget Choice from Consumer Search. Right around $50, this slow cooker uses wrap-around technology, which is according to the review, a feature not often seen in a low-end model. It has 3 temperature settings, but no timer, which is a useful feature to have if you are gone from home during most of the day. Amazon reviewers give it pretty high points, and for $39.99 on Amazon, it would not break the bank to try this out.
At this point, I think I have enough information. Home appliance and kitchen tool purchases under $40 are fairly straight forward and do not require the extensive research for an appliance of $250 or more. Each shopper has their own threshold for purchases, and depending on how much you plan to use this kitchen tool will certainly influence how much you want to spend. Since I do not use mine often, and my key desires for this new appliance are a removable pot and multiple temperature settings, I would purchase the Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go.
The CrockPot Lady, aka Stephanie, cooked every day in her slow cooker in 2008 and blogged about the experience – her appliance of choice was a Crock-pot brand slow cooker, formerly under the Rival brand name. I think her experience shows that it is not necessarily the appliance that makes the dish, but good quality ingredients cooked with care.
What kind of slow cooker do you have? Do you recommend yours, or would you like to ship it off? Tell us!
Photo courtesy of Amazon.com.