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Old 07-30-2008, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Central FL
1,683 posts, read 7,464,304 times
Reputation: 832

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As I prepare for my return to school, I'm trying as usual to find a way to eat healthy and economically without spending hours in the kitchen. I love using my slow cooker on especially busy days. I often leave home before 7:00 AM and don't get back until 5:30 or so. That's 11 hours. Is it unrealistic to expect a slow cooker to keep food that long? Is it safe?

I have two oval, ceramic slow cookers....Rival - 4 qt. and Hamilton Beach 6 qt. They are both about 5 years old. They both cook way too fast...boil food on low! If I cook chicken breasts longer than 4 hours on low - they are ruined. With almost anything I cook - it is burnt around the edges.

I've checked reviews on some of the newer, programmable pots but they all seem to have issues. The expensive Kitchen Aid has an issue with cracking crocks and the All Clad is reported to cook too fast - the main issue I have with my cheap pots. I'm afraid to get another rival because of the issue with cooking too fast. I had settled on a Hamilton Beach...but already have one that cooks too fast.

Does anyone have a newer, programmable crock pot that does what a crock pot is supposed to do....Cook on LOW all day without burning your food?

Thanks...I'm very frustrated!
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
1,077 posts, read 3,799,297 times
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Funny you should mention that, thought it was just me!

My father gave me his old oval crockpot a few years ago and found if I left it for the eight hours on low, it was definitely overcooked. Just checked and it's a Rival too.

You'd think the newer they are, the better they would be .. wouldn't you?

Never had this problem with my really old one that I threw out in place of this one.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Central FL
1,683 posts, read 7,464,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stone-ground View Post
Funny you should mention that, thought it was just me!

My father gave me his old oval crockpot a few years ago and found if I left it for the eight hours on low, it was definitely overcooked. Just checked and it's a Rival too.

You'd think the newer they are, the better they would be .. wouldn't you?

Never had this problem with my really old one that I threw out in place of this one.
RIGHT! Unfortunately, I replaced my 20 year old one that I received as a wedding gift in the late 70's ...only because it was UGLY (orange and avocado green vegetables!!) and the white crock was so stained. Also was too small for our current family. Wish I had kept it. Evidently the newer ones cook faster due to health/safety issues. However, they are not supposed to boil your food!
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Yes, the big oval one is waaaay too big for just two of us, ..

.. so! .. who should I pass mine off on then?
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:14 AM
 
Location: friendswood texas
2,489 posts, read 6,451,677 times
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Hey me too!!!! I gave away my old round one for a shiny new oval one and it does the same thing.

You should try to hit some garage sales maybe you'll find an older one.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:43 AM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,050 posts, read 21,168,230 times
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I have the old 70s crock pot with the veggies on the side and a dark green crock insert. Last week I put a tri-tip roast in it to make BBQ beef - had it on from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm and it was tender as can be - no scorching or burning. I have heard many complaints about the newer crocks and most are switching back to the old ones. I have seen them sell on ebay for more than the new fancy ones.

I don't care how ugly my crock looks on the counter - it's only there when no one's home anyways Wouldn't trade my old crock for a new one even if it goes kaput. I'll probably go on ebay or garage sales until I find another crock from the 70s if that were to occur.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:40 AM
 
Location: somewhere
4,264 posts, read 7,932,869 times
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I got a Rival programmable crock-pot. OMG I love this thing. You can program it to cook on high, then go to low and then when the cooking time is over it goes to warm. Nothing burns or gets hard. It also has thermometer. Granted it was expensive but well worth it to me. I totally recommend the programmable ones for people in your situation.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
3,872 posts, read 7,602,480 times
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pianogal, go to a pawn shop, a yard sale, etc and look for the old ugly ones. I have an avocado green one that my mom got back in 70 when she got married. Works perfectly. doesn't have a removable insert, but I can use crock liners and it's a snap to clean. And you can just throw the food in before class and come back in the evening to a hot meal that isn't burnt!
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Central FL
1,683 posts, read 7,464,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
I got a Rival programmable crock-pot. OMG I love this thing. You can program it to cook on high, then go to low and then when the cooking time is over it goes to warm. Nothing burns or gets hard. It also has thermometer. Granted it was expensive but well worth it to me. I totally recommend the programmable ones for people in your situation.
Do you know the exact name of your crockpot? How old is it. I went to a couple of stores and looked at some today. There are so MANY! Guess I could try one and if it cooks too fast, return it.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Central FL
1,683 posts, read 7,464,304 times
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After staying up till 1:30AM last night researching. I found the answers I needed for the slow cooker dilemma. The old ones cooked from 175-185 on the low setting. The government got involved - and now the low setting is required to be around 200.

The new KitchenAid Slow Cooker is the only one I've found in my research that has found a way to get around this. They have 'added' another setting. Their programmable slow cooker is set up like this:

Buffet - 165 - basically the same as the "Keep Warm" function - will automatically shut itself off after 6 hours

Simmer - 185 - the same as the old slow cookers 'low' setting
Low - 203 - same as the new slow cookers 'low' setting
High - 212 - some of the new slow cookers 'high' settings were 225!
Auto - Cooks on high for 2 hours, shifts to low for up to 8 hours (you can program this time as much or little you like) and then shifts to Keep Warm for 4 hours.

Simmer, Low and High are programmable to cook up to 10 hours and then will automatically shift to the "Keep Warm" setting (165) for 4 hours before shutting itself off.

Needless to say, I went on a little shopping trip to Bed Bath and Beyond and $80.00 later - I am the proud owner of one of these machines. I got a great deal - it retails for $129.00. The regular price at Bed, Bath and Beyond is $99 - plus I had one of their 20% off coupons to use.

I'll let you know how it works!
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