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Slow Cookers: Choosing the Right One

Updated on September 24, 2013

Slow Cooker

Slow Cookers are Ideal for the Busy Family

A slow cooker is one of the most useful appliances that you will have in your kitchen, especially if you have a busy family. You can prepare full meals in them easily and quickly, really all you have to do is put the ingredients in and turn it on. A good slow cooker is well worth having but you have to make sure that you get a good one. This article will help you to do that.

Size Matters for Slow Cookers

The most important thing that you are going to want to look at when you are choosing a slow cooker is the size. You can get them in all different sizes so you need to make sure that you choose one that is appropriate for your needs. Obviously the one that you select needs to be large enough to cook a meal that feeds your whole family. On the other hand if you get one that is too big and try to cook a small meal it will cook too quickly. If you do think that you are going to have to cook meals of various different sizes you can find slow cookers that have different sized inserts, these may be worth looking into.

Easy Clean Up Will Make your Life Simple

The other big thing that you have to make sure of when you are choosing a slow cooker is that you get one that has a removable insert. Trying to clean a slow cooker that doesn't have one can be an absolute nightmare since you won't be able to put it in the sink. Ideally you should find one that has an insert that is dishwasher safe since this will make clean up a lot easier. The lid should be dishwasher safe as well but this is not as big of a deal. One feature that you may want to look for when it comes to the lead is that it can be clipped on, this makes it very easy to take your slow cooker with you to things like pot luck dinners. Handles on the side also come in really handy for this.

Slow Cookers have Different Heat Settings

The heat settings are the next thing that you are going to want to look at when you are choosing a slow cooker. Pretty much all of them come with high and low settings but most also come with a keep warm setting these days. This can really come in handy if people are going to be eating at different times. One feature that you may want to have is a temperature probe. This is inserted in whatever it is that you are cooking, when the desired temperature is reached it will switch to the keep warm setting so that you don't over cook your food.

Many Slow Cookers can do More than One Thing

While slow cookers are already one of the most useful kitchen appliances that you can find a lot of manufacturers have found ways to make them more useful. They do this by making them multipurpose tools. They do this by combining the slow cooker with a rice cooker or a roaster so that it can be used in a variety of different ways. This is a nice feature to have but not really required, you will get plenty of use out of your slow cooker as it is.

The last thing that you are going to want to look at when you are choosing a slow cooker is the warranty. This is not a huge deal since slow cookers are not all that expensive but it is still nice to be protected. Most come with a warranty of one year which should be enough to ensure that there are no problems with your slow cooker.

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    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Talk about serendipity! I have to buy a new crock pot either today or tomorrow because my old one crapped out. So this info will come in handy. I prefer the smaller ones since it's just my husband and I now but I do like the idea of being able to take the crock out to wash. I borrowed a friends and hers was also a deep fat fryer, which I didn't like. I was used to the "off, low, high" settings of my old crockpot.

    • Keith Matyi profile image

      Keith Matyi 

      6 years ago from Denton, TX

      I like this article as I do a lot of cooking. I am going to buy a new cooker soon and this article helped me out..

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