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Friday, November 18, 2011

Slow Cooker Holiday Shopping Guide

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO CROCK... I SALUTE YOU!

With Black Friday next week and the holidays right around the corner, I thought it was a good time to give you a King's look at my favorite Slow Cookers. While there are a TON of great slow cookers on the market, I have highlighted my three favorite for the season. Remember, slow cookers are NOT all made equal.

When you are purchasing slow cookers pay attention to the following features:
  • Does the slow cooker have a removable insert for easy cleaning?
  • Does the slow cooker have a "keep warm" feature?
  • Does the cooker have a programmable timer?
Without further ado... here are the CROCK STARS of the season.

AWESOME... but expensive.

The
Breville 7 Quart Slow Cooker is in a class of its own. This stainless steel cooker, with a cast aluminum crock takes the art of slow cooking to a new level with itsversatility. The materials and design used allows the user to place the non-stick aluminum insert directly on the stove-top to sear meats or saute vegetables. The handle design allows for "straight to tabletop" serving.



PROS:
  • Insert can be used on the stove-top
  • Insert is aluminum, allowing for an extremely uniform heating
  • This product is VERY easy to clean
  • The silicon handles allot the insert to be moved from cooker to table
  • roasting rack included with purchase
  • It looks GOOD!
CONS:
  • There are NO timing features (timer, countdown, programmable, etc)
  • This cooker may be cost prohibitive ($129 from manufacturer)
  • High heat is high, can cause overheating if not attended to

The King of Crock Rating:
Four out of Five CROCK STARS, you will not be disappointed!
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QUALITY... and affordable!

The moderately priced Kenmore 7 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker is as consistent as they com
e. With both count-down and count-up digital timer, as well as three temperature settings, this cooker is a perfect for any kitchen, for crockery chefs of all skill levels. The removable stoneware insert is super easy to clean. This popular slow cooker is a good entry point to the Crock World.

PROS:
  • Removable stoneware insert for easy clean-up
  • Easy to use programmable timer
  • "Keep Warm" feature kicks in when time has expired... VERY COOL
  • At $49.99, this is a good deal for a good cooker
CONS:
  • This cooker is HEAVY
  • With the stoneware insert and a glass lid, this is a fragile unit
  • It is SLOW to get going. High heat takes a long to time to get there
  • It's a Kenmore (Sears) product, customer service can be challenging

The King of Crock Rating:
Four out of Five CROCK STARS, a GREAT Value!!
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UNIQUE... a great gift

The brand new CREATE-A-CROCK from Rival gives you a chance to customize your slow cooker with photos and colors of your liking. Easy ordering online, this new slow cooker would make a GREAT gift for the holidays.

PROS
  • You will have a ONE OF A KIND slow cooker
  • removable stone insert is dishwasher safe
  • has a convenient "keep warm" setting
CONS
  • Perhaps a little more than you'd like to pay for a very basic slow cooker ($50 for a cooker that would normally run you $30)
  • Online ordering only
  • Manual, no programmable timing
The King of Crock Rating:
Three Crock Stars out of Five

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Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping from the King of Crock!
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1 comment:

  1. I have a pretty crappy crockpot that I got for my wedding a few years ago (it was under $30, I'm pretty sure)... but it does the job. I made an incredible recipe for Korean shredded beef on Tuesday. Now I'm really excited to put this baby to work this season! :D

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