General Question

seekingwolf's avatar

Which crockpot should I buy?

Asked by seekingwolf (8897 points ) March 25th, 2012

I am looking at crockpots so I can make roasts/stews/sauces/soups in a few hours or over a whole day and come home to a hot meal! My mother had one but it’s been long gone for a while and we don’t know what kind it was. :/

I have no idea what’s out there – anyone have any experiences with certain ones that can recommend?

Here are features that I’d like the crockpot to have:

-stay warm setting
-timer built-in that will stop after x hours and revert to “stay warm”

I’m willing to save up for a GOOD crockpot if I have to but no outrageously priced ones. :(


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17 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This programmable unit from Target looks like a pretty good deal. It has some interesting settings that might satisfy your requirements.

whitecarnations's avatar

I think you can get away with a cheaper one. Because in theory let’s say you go to work from 9–5. You turn it on from 9 o clock to 5 still. So any program less wouldn’t matter. Same with any time frame really. You would need the crock pot on until it was ready for anyone to arrive. The pro I see in the program is if you want it to turn off automatically say you cooked it for a family member and they said they would be home at a certain time, and you don’t trust that they’ll remember to turn it off, then the programs are worth it. :D

I’d also shop the selection at Target, but feel free to compare prices at a WalMart. I believe they have similar brands.

Buttonstc's avatar

There are many different brands of slow cookers on the market today, but your primary requirement should be that its made by the Rival corporation. This is the original maker and the only one legally authorized to label their products as a “CROCKPOT”

The reason I state this so definitely is because their temperature ranges are precisely accurate and this is important. I once bought one that looked just like the one in the Target picture (which BTW is a genuine Crackpot, or it wouldn’t be legally allowed to label itself like that) because I liked the stainless steel look.

But several times I ended up with sauce or meat that ended up burnt. That should never happen. And I noticed that it was whenever there was any meat touching the sides as I tend to jam my Crockpots quite full. But still, that should never happen.

It wasn’t until I read an article in Consumer Reports where they did exhaustive measurements

Buttonstc's avatar

on the temperature ranges on both ends of the scale for each device in that test.

I had previously thought that all slow cookers used the SAME low temperatures. But thats just not the case at all. Finally my horrible experiences where food ended up burnt made sense to me.

I have NEVER purchased another slow cooker unless is is made by Rival and never had burnt food again. Theyre the original and still the best.

Now I’m not saying that every other brand of slow cooker has a problem with inaccurate temperatures, but thats really not something you can measure while its sitting on the store shelf. You wont know until after you get it home.

Better safe than sorry. Just make sure its a Rival Crockpot whatever other considerations there are and you cant go wrong.

john65pennington's avatar

If a new crockpot is not necessary, Goodwill has them all the time

Tryr to locate one with a glass top,

West Bend is a good brand name in crockpots.

seekingwolf's avatar

Thanks @Buttonstc. You’re right, better safe than sorry! I’d rather spend a little more and get a crockpot that won’t burn stuff.

seekingwolf's avatar

What do you guys think of this one:

Good size, original Crockpot (by Rival – that’s how I got to the crockpot site), programmable times that switch to “warm” when done, and easy cleaning and serving! Only 34.99.

anartist's avatar

Also buy one with a removable inner pot that can be washed in a dishwasher instead of being scrubbed out by hand. I have liked my old West Bend for this reason [which as @john65pennington suggested, I bought in a thrift shop many years ago and it has served me well for many a chili cook-off]. And it has a glass top. But alas, no programming as it is now about 20 years old and BTW never burnt anything.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I have many crockpots @seekingwolf. My favorite ones are not white. They have a removable inner black or a brown ceramic pot.

West Bend’s are my fav (they are locally made where I reside) as they seem to cook the best and stay hotter than the other brands. My all time favorite is an old one (probably from the 70’s or 80’s) made by Hamilton Beach. The inner liner is earthen ware. It cooks nice & evenly.

seekingwolf's avatar

The one I posted has a removable inner pot that is dishwasher safe. It also can double as a serving bowl.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’ve just never had luck with the push button or the white ones @seekingwolf. All of those have either gotten pitched or been given away. I have 6 regular size crocks…all of which double as serving dishes, though I rarely utilize them that way. I just like the lift out for clean-ability.

seekingwolf's avatar

Oh no. :( Well hopefully I can find something that has many, many good reviews.

jazmina88's avatar

you can get cheaper ones. The size matters. If you use a BIG one, make sure it has tons of stuff in it, so it doesnt dry out.

If it is coooking for only you, get a small one.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I have never seen a programmable one. I got mine from Amazon and it has three different sizes of crock that all fit on the same base. It is just a Hamilton Beach but I really like it. I like the squat shape and sturdy, stay-cool handles.

seekingwolf's avatar

I am okay with a larger one as I’ll be using it mostly for 2 people, myself and my boyfriend. We already cook a lot together. The more, the better because I love leftovers.

whitecarnations's avatar

@seekingwolf Love the one you chose. It’s all about what you put in there :D

Kardamom's avatar

Here are some recomendations from Consumer Reports. I would definitely try to get one that has a removeable crock that you can take out to wash.

I have seen some, also, that come with an insulated carrying case, like if you want to prep the food at home to take to a party. Don’t recall the brand, but I’m pretty sure I saw it at Target, since I wander around in there for hours just for fun LOL.

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