How to Choose the Best Slow Cooker
Looking for a good one? Here are our recommendations for good buying.
As a slow cooker is a truly delight way to make you get a delicious dish effortlessly, having a nice one is a wise idea. However, finally youíll realize that thereíre too many various kind of pots in the market. When meet the plenty of choices there, our guides will help you. These are what you should concern before buying:
This is the most important point to start with. The food style will decide what slow cooker youíll need. For example, if you tend to cook whole chicken stew recipes, you may consider having a 5-quart oval pot. Yet, if you have nothing in mind or love the try something new from Martha Stewartís menus, just skip this step.
Choosing a wrong capacity may cause little disaster for your dinner meal. There is variety of sizes on the market, from 1 to 11 quarts available. (The size is measures in quart.) Donít be fooled by the big one; the proper size makes it mostly worth. These are our simple advices:
Something to remind for the safe use is the appropriate level of food inside is 1/2 to 2/3 of the crock. However, if you are undecided, some 3-in-1 models have various sized pots, which can breezy for differently using.
- For a couple or single: The less than 3 quart pot is the right size. Though you want some remainders for other next meals, you shouldnít pick larger than 4 quart or youíll have to waste excess money.
- For family of 4 or 5: The 5-6 quart is perfect. Actually, these are the most sizes youíll find in the market. This range of size is the most useful for normal uses.
- For bigger family or group: For the peach in mind, we recommend going to 6-quart size or more. This will help you make delightful dishes once.
The traditional slow cooker is round shape, which great for making soups, sauces or stews. Also, this shape is easier to clean. While oval or square shape are good for putting large pieces of meat or whole meat, for example, chickens or rips. It has roomier than round shape comparing to the same size.
However, whether you pick a round- or oval-shape crock, donít forget to check the rim that it has firmly fit the body. The flat rims can have bubble or liquid spillover the top.
4. Manual vs Programmable
The big advantage for having programmable crock is it will automatically switch to Warm mode when reach the setting time. Itís convenient for those who have no time to manage it. This allows you prepare everything in the morning and get a nice dinner effortlessly. Moreover, this temperature probe makes the food safer due to keeping the food in safe temperature, which can kill the possible germs.
Some smart models also have various useful modes for easy cooking, such as rice cooker. However, remember that the more technology, the more pricy. The maximum timer depends on each model. Some cooker may be up to 24 hours.
While manual crock has three basic temp levels: High, Low or Warm (or Off in some models) setting, which is super easy to use. More, it rather has longer time to use and save more money at least a half.
The new model of slow cooker has removable insert, but make sure itís dishwasher-safe for breezy cleanup. Most models have stoneware inserts which allows keeping in the fridges, oven or microwave. Yet, theyíre quite heavy. Some have stainless or aluminum that can be cooks on stove or brown. Whereas some models have nonstick surface for easy cooking and cleaning. However, like a nonstick pan, you need to be careful for damages and chips.
6. Food Safety
According to the FDA, look for the model that has shorter time to change the temperature: from low to high or high to low. As bacteria can grow in the danger zone of 40 to 140 degrees F, the good slow cooker should rapidly reach the safe temperature or more than 140 degrees F to prevent dirty food. The FDA also suggests keeping it reheated, fridged or eaten within 2 hours. For the safetyís sakes, itís better to go on High temperature for at least the first hour of cooking then switch to others.
The price ranges are about $20 to $200 up to the type, feature and brand. Normally, the manual type is much cheaper. You can find a nice manual one at $20 to $70. While a good programmable crock is about $40 to $200.