Slow Cooker Buying Guide
A slow cooker is a must-have because it can cook meals throughout the day when you're away. This appliance helps lock in flavor and allows the ingredients to mingle, giving you a perfect bite every time. Many models can handle anything from a savory cheese dip for a party to a large chicken or roast. When buying a slow cooker, consider some key features to find the best model for your kitchen.
Available in sizes ranging from mini models that can warm a couple of cups of food to large sizes for the whole family, these are the perfect tool for cooking up all kinds of meals and sides from roasts to soups and dips.
- Roasts - Large slow cookers are great for cooking roasts because they can slowly cook them all day and keep them moist.
- Cheese dips - For parties, a mini crock pot can keep your cheese dips melted and warm for hours without burning them.
Triple slow cookers feature three separately heated pots so you can whip up three dishes at once and have an entire meal ready when you get home.
- Multi-part meals - You can cook three dishes that need separate temperatures, like a main course and sides, so you have a complete meal ready to go by the time you get home.
- Buffet style meals - Create a buffet at home for large parties or family breakfasts by heating up different favorites in each crock pot.
Cook food quickly and precisely within a pressure-sealed vessel. The high steam pressure inside the cooker lets food cook quickly and helps keep it moist and flavorful.
- Rice & beans - The high pressure boiling environment cooks foods that typically take a long time to cook like beans and grains quickly while sealing in moisture to produce a tender end product.
- Creating complex flavors - Some dishes and ingredients lose flavor when they're steamed traditionally, but a pressure cooker requires little extra liquid, and the high pressure helps flavors permeate ingredients like cuts of meat.
- Liners - Slow cooker liners make clean up easy and can help even out hot spots.
- Lid clips - Sturdy clips ensure heat and moisture are locked into the crock pot, and help prevent spills during travel.
- Temperature probes - Track the internal temperature of large cuts of meat, ensuring your meal is fully cooked and safe to eat .
- Warm - The warm setting will sustain a very low temperature to keep items just hot enough without continuing to cook the dish
- Low - Low uses a level of heat that is best for cooking your meal over a period of eight to 10 hours
- High - High typically cooks meals in a period of two to six hours