Buying a Crock pot or Slow Cooker: what to look for??

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14 years 3 months ago #314153 by blimeyvicki
I also bought the cheapest crock pot I could find about 4 years ago off TM and it gets almost daily use in the winter time and is still going strong! It is an oval one and there is nothing better than a whole chook in the crockpot to come home to at night! Put the veges on the bottom and chicken on top of them turn it on low then its cooked when I come home. You can even brown it under the grill for a few minutes if you want it to look like a roast! Yum!!

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14 years 3 months ago #314160 by Organix
We've got a collection of crock pots/slow cookers (names seem to be interchangeable in many quarters but accurately are thus ) all purchased relatively new but cheap off of Trade Me.

Zip 3.5 litre round littley for meals for the two of us, Zip 5.5 litre round for whole lamb shanks and the like and a Ronson 5.5 litre oval (bought for son at Uni but flatmate already had one) which fits a large chicken.

All serve their individual purpose without bother but my one advice is that bigger is not necessarily better as if used with low level of food the exposed wall can accumulate burnt splatters.

Just had lamb shank slices, chopped bacon, dates, onions, garlic, red wine, stock done in the littley. Yummy :p

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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14 years 3 months ago #314169 by hogiehorse
Go for a Breville Avance 5 litre ( it is oval shaped). I have the smaller one which is great for 1 person, but suggest you go bigger. Lamb shanks ...............aaaaaah. You will never cook them any other way.

Hogiehorse
Quit lifestyling in September 2005 after 20 years but still ardent fan of this forum

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14 years 3 months ago #314179 by Francesca
My advice is to shop around: don't pay full price, as they're often on sale at up to 50% off.
I note you're from Dunedin, so places like Briscoes are ideal (always having sales).
Think I may've got mine from Harvey Norman - definitely at half price.
It's a Zip 3.5l round slow cooker, which suits me fine for small quantities. Good luck and happy eating :)

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14 years 3 months ago #314199 by GloPony
We got the Breville Banquet Meal Maker (6.5 ltr capacity) on FlyBuys at the same time as we got our rice cooker & I have to say, they're both very well used! I really like the bigger unit as it fits two chickens with ease & large cuts of meat are easy to accommodate with room to spare for veges.

We had a problem with the crockery insert cracking though. I was really careful about making sure all ingredients were added at the same temperature, etc but despite that, the bowl cracked after a few months. Husband couldn't wait for the replacement (wanted to cook curry for a dinner party) so bought a whole new cooker. The insert promptly cracked in that too on it's second use!

We had absolutely no problems getting replacement inserts; no questions asked at all in fact which makes me suspect that perhaps it's a reasonably common occurrence. [}:)] We did only get one replacement to date though (the other cooker is still sitting in the box minus it's bowl) as they're hellishly expensive at almost the same cost as the entire unit. The replacement bowl is noticeably thicker & heavier than the first two as well & we've hd no problems at all since.

I LOVE our slow cooker!!! Such a good investment & such incredibly tender meat. I've never been able to achieve that in the oven no matter how low & long I've cooked it for & despite my $500 Fissler roasting dish!

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14 years 3 months ago #314218 by Kilmoon
Thanks guys for the tips....will pass on to hubby. He's doing the great scout around of all shops during his lunchtimes - he says he's helping:rolleyes:, but I think he's just having fun compairing models, sizes, number of knobs, whether knobs are 'plasticky' (ie will they last etc), prices and who has what. :D

I, on the other hand, will sit back (letting him do all the walking[;)]), use my fingers to ask questions and this weekend will decide (based on his info) which stores to visit to have a looksey. We tag-team well. :D :D

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14 years 3 months ago #314221 by ronnie
Mine is a Sunbeam Crock-Pot. Has a plastic outside with the heavy pottery, temuka crock inside. I bought it brand new off Trademe a few years ago. Got it for a very good price and it is fantastic.
Only has one switch so its either slow or fast cook.

Wouldn't be without it now.

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14 years 3 months ago #314223 by arnie.m

Hawkspur;299086 wrote: Unfortunately, the recommended use doesn't include cooking large cuts of meat or cooking straight from frozen, because the food can take too long to reach a safe temperature, and spend too long in the dangerously warm state.[xx(]
www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Slow_Cookers_and_Food_Safety.pdf

We have done many large cuts & frozen over 20+years, as long as you give them enough cooking time there should be no problem, typical yankee "overkill" :D to use a pun.

arnie
88 Valley
Nelson

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14 years 3 months ago #314237 by debnjohn
Good for rice puddings as well.

All the slowcookers I've seen on the shelves now are farily high wattage - 350W, 500W etc so are not that cheap to run for long periods.

The older 'crock pots' used to run on a much lower wattage - both convenient and economical to leave on all day while at work

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen" Albert Einstein

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14 years 3 months ago #314257 by drifter
Don't buy one! Buy two :D
It's fantastic having soup in one and dinner in the other :D
Or on occasion, dinner and pudding[;)]

I have sunbeam and find them great.
I strongly recommend you also get Joan Bishop's New Zealand Crockpot and Slow Cooker Cookbook. It's absolutely fabulous.

My friend has an insulated bag designed to fit her crockpot in so she can take it when she has to 'take a plate'. I'm jealous and want one too;)

Strange how much you've got to know, Before you know how little you know.

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14 years 3 months ago #314282 by cowvet

ronnie;299174 wrote: Mine is a Sunbeam Crock-Pot. Has a plastic outside with the heavy pottery, temuka crock inside. I bought it brand new off Trademe a few years ago. Got it for a very good price and it is fantastic.
Only has one switch so its either slow or fast cook.

Wouldn't be without it now.


same one as mine - and still going strong 13 years down the track


I love animals...they're delicious

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14 years 3 months ago #314318 by Hawkspur

arnie.m;299176 wrote: We have done many large cuts & frozen over 20+years, as long as you give them enough cooking time there should be no problem, typical yankee "overkill" :D to use a pun.

It is the cooking time that is the trick.
And it isn't just a yankee overkill thing:
www.nzfsa.govt.nz/consumers/food-safety-...elling/slow-cookers/

The note about red kidney beans is also worth knowing. I had friends who got very sick because they didn't realise how these should be cooked. Nasty - especially as their toilet was in an outbuilding...a bit of a run for them...[:0]

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14 years 3 months ago #314724 by Kilmoon
Well we've bought a "Breville Avance Meal maker 5" so will be having fun once I find that slowcooker cookbook.

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14 years 2 months ago #315213 by cranky
I've had a crock pot and slow cooker the difference between the two the slow cooker has low,high and auto heat settings. I love that I can throw what I like in and its cooked when I get home. Alison Holst has 2 great slow cooker cook books, with great easy recipes.

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