Choosing Your New Slow Cooker

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When your old and trusty slow cooker finally kicks the bucket, it often leaves a person wondering if they can ever find a slow cooker that can replace their old, trusted friend. But not to worry! If it’s been a while since you’ve been in the market for a new slow cooker, we’ve got a list of things for you to consider before you bring a new friend in to your home.

  • How many people will you be cooking for?
    If it’s just you and maybe one other person, a 2-4 quart should be fine. For 3 or more people, you may want to consider a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker.
  • Do you like leftovers?
    If you like to cook in larger batches and freeze leftovers for grab-n-go meals, then it’s better to go with a larger slow cooker. Perhaps a 5 or 6 quart pot.
  • What will you be cooking and why?
    If your primary reason for buying a slow cooker is to entertain, choose a larger pot. But if that entertaining is solely going to involve keeping things like dips or fondues warm, you can get a pot as small as 1 or 1-1/2 quarts and be just fine.
  • Can I get away with buying the cheapest slow cooker on the shelf?
    With slow cookers, you generally get what you pay for. While you don’t have to go with a top-of-the-line model to get good results, you don’t want to buy the cheapest one on the shelf either. If money is an issue, consider searching for a used slow cooker.

Some convenient features to look for:
We asked YOU, what you look for when buying a new slow cooker. Here’s a summary of your answers!

  • A timer is a beautiful thing.
    A timer will allow you the luxury of turning off your slow cooker (or switching from “cook” to “keep warm”) while you are away.
  • A removable ceramic insert.
    This is a must for cleaning purposes. Every slow cooker owners manual will tell you not to get the cooking unit wet. This is impossible if you cannot lift the insert out for cleaning. Bonus if it’s dishwasher and oven safe!
  • Locking lids.
    If you use your slow cookers for entertaining and/or pot lucks, locking lids can be wonderful for traveling between locations. Just cook, lock and go!
  • A rack.
    When you want to cook meats without letting them sit in their own fats during cooking (such as with whole chickens), a rack will sit in the bottom and hold your meat while letting all the fat drip to the bottom of the pot.
  • Programmable options.
    Being able to program when your pot turns on and off can be essential if you are away from home a lot while your slow cooker cooks.
  • Automatic temperature adjustment
    If it cooks too low it will adjust automatically to increase it’s heat, and visa verse.
  • An “On” light.
    Simple, but smart! A light that lets you know your slow cooker is on. That way, you never put your food in and walk away, forgetting to plug in the slow cooker.
  • A sturdy lid.
    We don’t think much about the lid until they break! Then we realize how difficult they are to replace.

Where to buy a good slow cooker:
Click here for our skinnyms. picks.

6 Comments on "Choosing Your New Slow Cooker"

  1. Ann  February 6, 2012

    I have been very disappointed with the last crock pot I purchased – even on the warm setting they bring what is in the pot to a boil. This has 12, 10, 8, 6 hour and warm setting but everything boils which overcooks everything. Made by a company that is often recommended but I should have read the reviews on Amazon before purchasing.

    • Skinny Ms.  February 6, 2012

      Ann, So sorry about your slow cooker. What exactly are you looking for in a slow cooker?

      • Ann  February 7, 2012

        I am looking for a 4 quart slow cooker that I can set for the time and then it will go to warm.

        • Skinny Ms.  February 7, 2012

          Ann – Have you checked the Crock Pot web site? They have a lot there.

          • Ann  February 12, 2012

            That is the brand that I purchased most recently and boils everything even on warm. I am looking at thrift stores for older models – I loved my Rival.

          • Skinny Ms.  February 12, 2012

            Ann, People really get attached to their slow cookers. I have an older Rival model, love it.

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