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on February 23, 2012
I really shopped around when looking at crock pots because they are expensive. I had heard mixed reviews all around about the cooking temps on some of these being too high or too low or some models automatically shutting off before they are done cooking or even in some cases the electronics lock up to the point of having to unplug and leave unplugged for an hour...this doesn't do any of that. We've used it about 15 times since we bought it (often several times a week) and love throwing a whole meal in there in the morning and coming home after work to a prepared meal. This is truly a fix it and forget it crock pot! I will leave 2 comments that reference some other bad reviews on here:

1. This thing stinks - Yes, the first time you use it, it does have a weird plastic type smell that even smells in the air as you cook. This smell will go away literally after the first use. Washing it first won't help. It didn't affect the taste of the food in the least.
2. The warm feature is too hot - It is a slow cooker, so when it switches to warm, it doesn't immediately turn off like your oven. The automatic feature of it switching to warm once the timer is done is really cool. It will keep the food HOT, but not boiling. I've left it on warm for about 1-2 hours before because I wasn't ready to eat and it kept it at serving temperature, not cooking temperature. Our old crockpot would let it get too tepid to be considered a "warm" setting.
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on January 31, 2015
UPDATE: Feb. 17, 2015. I have used this Crock-Pot a dozen times since writing my review ... and it gets better and better! I've made casseroles, breakfast dishes, beans, roast, ribs, Mexican food dishes - all just great (including the chicken/rice recipe with the rice cooked in the Crock-Pot)! The stoneware liner is easy to clean and food is NOT sticking to the sides or bottom. Warmer feature is super and it does not appear to be too hot. I found that when a cooking time range is given, such as 6-8 hours, I should probably go with the low or middle part of the range. For someone who actually HATES to cook, I'm becoming a regular Betty Crocker, and even experimenting, because cooking is SO easy with this appliance. I'm SO glad I made this purchase! Now ... back to your regular programming with the original review ...

I have an old Crock-Pot and it still works, but is too small for a roast, etc. So I got this one for two reasons: 1) bigger, 2) can program the time and temperature setting. I've only used it twice and, at this point, I am extremely satisfied. Should things change, I most definitely will update.

The programmable feature is really nice because you can set the cooking temperature on LOW or HIGH and set the cooking time in 30-minute increments all the way up to 20 hours. Some other "programmable" slow cookers have a few time/temp combination options but they are quite limited - this one gives you total control. Once the programmed cooking time is finished, the Crock-Pot automatically turns to "warm." The controls are touch (instead of turn dials) and very user-friendly. The user manual is small, but complete, and includes a couple recipes.

My first dish: Breakfast Casserole (photo attached). Very tasty and the Crock-Pot worked perfectly. There was some extra browning around the edges so I probably need to adjust the cook time a bit ... and you'll have to do that with any slow cooker. Second dish: Hot Sausage Stew. Again, the appliance worked perfectly and the "warm" feature is great because the food finished cooking before I was ready to eat. Keep in mind: you may consider the "warm" temp to be hotter than you expect but that's because of government regulations, not the Crock-Pot.

This Crock-Pot holds a LOT of food! I'm cooking for just me so I put some in the fridge and the rest in smaller containers in the freezer. And since I truly hate to cook, this is the best way to keep me out of the kitchen but still have good food to eat.

The food I prepared didn't stick to the stoneware and it was super easy to clean. Just hot, soapy water and rinse. You can also put the stoneware and the glass lid in the dishwasher. I will probably never use the "carry" function but I did try the locked lid and the rubber seal is tight and should make it easy to take your dish to the potluck, etc. Just don't lock the lid while you're cooking!

Bottom line: the ability to truly program the cooking time/temp ... and the "warm" function ... make this my top kitchen appliance (right along side my George Foreman grill). I'm actually looking for slow cooker recipes to try - and I can't believe I'm doing that! My old Crock-Pot is at least 15 years old and that's why I chose this brand. Because of the "computer" that allows the programming, I know the chances of it lasting that long are probably slim because the fancier you get, the more chances you have of something going wrong. But the price is right and, so far, I'm very happy with my purchase. Amazon shipping was fast and the slow cooker was packed in its original box with plenty of protection.
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on February 1, 2012
I use a crock pot a minimum of once per week. I have had one for several years that worked, but would get so hot (even on the "keep warm setting") that the liquid would scorch along the sides of the dish. Because it was the only crock pot I had ever owned, I thought that was how they all worked.... I decided to get a new one and was looking for one with the automatic timer that would cook, then switch to "keep warm." I purchased this one, expecting it to cook the same way. After cooking one meal, it was obvious how terrible my previous crock pot was. This one cooks evenly, never scorches, and the casing is surprisingly lightweight! The oval shape also makes it easier for me to store. This might be one of my favorite purchases ever.
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on May 10, 2013
When using my new crockpot to serve my tomato sauce and meatballs warm at a volleyball tournament fundraiser, I noticed that on the keep warm setting the sauce was boiling. I had to rely on unplugging it and plugging it back in. The other 5 slow cookers there all worked fine.
I tested the crock pot at home, filling it to 3/4 full of water, getting it to 150 degrees on high, and then switching it to keep warm. 2-3 hours later it was 211 degrees!
I called crock pot, they said the design temperature for keep warm was 175 degrees and they sent me a replacement, Same problem. Sent me a third slow cooker, same problem (actually 215 degrees this time).
I called them again, had a long conversation with a rep that said they had to redesign the product to raise the temperatures to satisfy the FDA. She acknowledged that if they sent me more crockpots they were likely to have the same problem. And a higher end version would likely be the same.
Of course the only reason i bought this was that Americas test kitchen rated a sister product as the highest due to its ability to stay on temperature, and the product does exactly the opposite now...
This product may work fine for you if you are not using or relying on the keep warm setting, but if you are, I recommend finding and old one somewhere.
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on January 4, 2012
I chose this model partly because it won the editors choice from Wired magazine. It also fit my needs of a nice slow cooker with programmable time and keep warm mode. The price is great too.
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on April 2, 2014
Arg! This is a "fast cooker" but I was living with that. Seriously - I'm lucky I've always been home to babysit because even on "keep warm" the thing keeps a rolling boil. (see vid)

But today I reached my limit - when I was making chili for a potluck event (I think this is the 5th time I've used it) the side clasp came off and the bolt and washer fell into the soup! We don't have the money to waste on 12 servings of chili so after pouring out liquid and agonizingly going through beans, I FINALLY found the tiny bolt and washer! Could have easily not realized they were both in there if I hadn't looked carefully at the design.

Dangerous, poorly constructed and cooks at too high a temperature!

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on August 11, 2014
The lid contains a plastic handle which collects and traps dish-water and cooking steam. Once inside, the water can not easily escape without disassembling the entire handle and cleaning. This trapped water can breed bacteria and germs. If not cleaned properly, the trapped water has the potential to drip onto the food as the water is positioned directly above the food.

I called customer service on 8/11/14, seeking advice. They don't consider it an issue. The representative suggested I "do my best" to remove the trapped water by sticking a paper towel into the unsealed lid hole which is only 1/8th of an inch wide...the hole also has a plastic anchor stuck in it, further complicating the suggested fix. Maintenance is for automobiles and lawns...not cookware.

The representative also stated ALL of their crock-pot lids have this design. No where in the product's manual does it suggest that the user clean-out the lid handle void or crevice. The manual states, "The lid and stoneware can be washed in the dishwasher...". This suggestion adds to the problem as water from the dishwasher intrudes in the handle.

This is one of those problems that will get rectified after a customer becomes ill or dies from such blatant disregard of basic food safety initiatives.

Image of trapped water:

Image of water that had been trapped inside for a couple weeks.
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on July 28, 2015
I do NOT recommend this crock pot. The latches assume you're going to take the food somewhere and you don't want it to spill, but I'm not sure how it's possible to take a hot dish anywhere in this thing when the entire unit - including the outside - gets absolutely piping hot to the slightest touch. I have four kids under the ages of 12 y/o and this is NOT safe on the counter top as compared to other units I've owned. I put a meat thermometer on the side of it (see pics), and the temperature registered almost 190 degrees only after a bit and the pole of the thermometer was only touching at the tip.

The latches are annoying if at home during regular use and you're not going to haul if off somewhere. Other than that, it works, it seals well, the price point is right and the control panel is simple to use.
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on February 10, 2012
I wanted a slow cooker with a timer & keep-warm feature. I liked the look of this one because it has a convenient touchscreen & long cook time, similar to the more expensive Cook's Illustrated recommended crock-pot. And the latched travel lid seemed like a cute feature.

I assumed that cooking would be similar to the more expensive model. Apparently not. This heats quickly, but the temperature is MUCH too high. A full 212-degrees F! Sadly, I will be returning this.
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on December 15, 2014
First off, I don't have this exact same cooker, but I have one very similar to this with plastic handles. I am only giving this two stars because it works to cook, but the hardware is brittle plastic, and a handle (and the hinge) have broken off (once into my soup including plastic shards), leaving me with one handle which will inevitably break off soon. Cooks food, but it is so cheaply made it is comical.
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