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Old 12-01-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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Help... I am in information overload since Black friday checking out crockpots online.

A relative wants a 6-quart (at least) slow cooker to replace the one that just died... I see that many now
are digital .. and most say "programmable" but I have read reviews that say that term is a misnomer... that
you CAN'T set the pot to start when you're not home (which is what "programmable" suggests to me...e.g. that you want it to start cooking at 10 a.m. but you left the house at 8 a.m.) But this may not be a deal-killer. The "countdown" element seems helpful... that you can see at a glance how much longer it will be cooking or has been staying 'warm.'

I think she would like a model with the "clips" that keep the lid on for travel... she does want oval, and a hi/low/keep warm setting, which also seems to be fairly standard. Does nonstick surface help or not really make a difference? There's one model (Farberware) that lets you brown stuff in it on the stove and then place into the crockpot shell... lots of users seem to like that. Bu that one doesn't have the lid clips.

I missed a really good deal Costco had about 2 weeks ago for the Crock-Pot stainless steel one with the "little Dipper" included... but then I read a ton of bad reviews about it.. heating issues, ill-fitting lid, bad-smelling rubber gasket, all sorts of stuff.

Anyone buy a slow cooker recently that they simply adore? Input welcomed! Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
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I've owned "Crock-Pot" brand slow cookers and a couple of other brands. I gave the other brands away. I also wouldn't be concerned about a nonstick surface. Cleaning is fairly easy if one does so soon after finishing a meal. I often put the crock in the dishwasher with good results. . I use my crock-pot 2-4 times a week and rarely ever need to brown anything. I wouldn't worry about that feature either for the number of times it's needed.

I have one which is like you describe--not really programmable, but goes into "warm" mode. It's probably similar to the model sold at Costco. I purchased it a few years ago on Black Friday at Target. I've not experienced any of the issues you describe.

I also looked for a programmable one. I don't think they exist for safety/liability reasons. Consider someone leaving out unrefrigerated meat for hours before the crock pot started cooking. It's better to cook and keep warm rather than wait to start cooking.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Whispering pines, cutler bay FL.
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I have a crock pot programmable one and you program at the beginning for either time, high or low or with a temp probe that shuts crock pot to warm when a programmed temp is reach on the meat item. On wends when I know I will be gone all day I program for eight hours, and it shuts to warm after that.

For roasting chicken ( place foil balls on the bottom and rest the chicken) I use the temp probe.

I also use crockpot lining bags which makes cleaning a breeze. Having had the simple crock pot with high and low settings only and my programmable one I have noticed a world of difference and more flexibility with the programmable one.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: UpstateNY
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Cubanchic, I did a ton of research before buying my Mom a 7 quart one last Christmas. She loves it.

We only use Kitchen Aid and Cuisinart appliances so the brand was easy. Sorry I can't remember which brand won out.

Read the reviews. One brand had terrible problems with defective crocks cracking. They would be replaced under warranty but they continued to crack and once the warranty was up you were screwed.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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I bought this Crock Pot about one year ago. I was never a fan of crock pots before I owned this one. It cooks far more evenly and steadily than any other crock pot I've ever owned. It's made me a real fan of this kind of cooking (which I never was before). Love it!

That particular model does not come with the snaps to close it, so we just bought a carry bag, which works perfectly fine.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:18 PM
 
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I have this slow cooker on by list to buy in the next few months.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:40 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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I don't think I've ever had anything but the Crock Pot brand...had my last one for 15+ years and the crock broke because I dropped it.
Now I have exactly this one:
Crock-Pot® GameSaver® Bronze

I can see how some of the digital features could be useful.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:03 PM
 
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Thanks everyone! Appreciate the input!
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:41 AM
 
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I just bought the 3 in 1 cuisinart one. It makes rice, slow cooks and steams. I was going to go for the one that sears as well but the price difference wasn't justifiable to me.

As for the programmable ones, it isn't for a delayed start. It's for the warming if you are gone longer than the cook times. (as others said) But I thought the same thing as you OP! lol
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:43 PM
 
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I have the Crock-pot brand as well. Apparently it's not "programmable" because it stays hot. Too hot I think. As per starting it, luckily I have my own timer. It's called a husband with a job where he's in the area most of the day, and almost always home for lunch.
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