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Size: 4 Quart|Color: Black|Change
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on June 22, 2011
I bought this crock pot a little leary because of some of the reviews on here saying it gets too hot, burns food, etc. I thought for the price it would be easy to return and/or replace if needed. This is not only an excellent price for a large crock pot but it works just as good or better than any slow cooker I've owned, and that includes a Weir programmable slow cooker costing $150! This is it's replacement and after using it 10 times this is what I've found versus the complaints I've read on here:

1) Yes, it's a slow cooker and the base is stainless steel, it conducts heat and does get hot but no hotter than any other stainless steel based slow cooker I've ever owned. It even warns you in the instruction booklet it will get hot and not to touch it while on and to use the handles if you need to move it.

2)I'm not sure what kind or type of slow cookers the complainers have had in the past but yes, there is SIMMERING which is normal for the low setting. If it were boiling it would be running out of the cooker down the sides, and this is not the case.

3) If it is burning your food you definitely need a cookbook or read the tips, instructions and recipes in the instruction booklet. You definitely need to add more liquid as it suggests. I have been slow cooking for years and have never burned anything in any slow cooker, this one included.

This crock pot is basic and does a great job as well as being a fantastic bargain. I don't get the complaints because the crock pot is acting like a normal crock pot should!
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on April 10, 2006
I was looking for a crockpot that wasn't too large and wasn't too expensive. This product fit the bill.

The lid is treated glass so, you can see the food cooking without lifting the lid. The lid handle stays cool during the cooking, so you won't burn your fingers if you touch it. The ceramic cooker is sturdy and alittle heavy. It can become slippery when wet, so be careful while washing it in the sink. Also be careful because the handles on the cooker and the metal base can become very hot during cooking. So keep potholders nearby.

The cooker can accomodate a 3.5-4 pound whole chicken and 4 pound roasts. It's oval shape enables these foods to fit well. It comes with a small instruction manual that includes some recipes.

So far, I've cooked whole grain cereal (barley and cracked wheat), stews, whole chickens, corned-beef, and turkey legs. They've turned out good. However, since I'm new to slow-cooking, the first attempts were abit off because I cooked the food too long. But now, I'm better with the timing so the food is better.

Just a side note, if you like eating whole grain cereals, the slow cooker is terrific. You don't need to stand over a stove stirring the pot and worrying it will boil over. This cooking method allows the grains to fully absorb the water, which makes for a creamier end result. Plus, you can toss the grains and water into the cooker at bedtime and it's done in time for your breakfast.

I do have a two very minor complaints:

1. The packaging. The cooker is packaged in a way that you have to slide it out of the box. If you aren't careful, you could drop the ceramic cooker or the glass lid.

2. The handle to the lid was alittle loose, and could be made tighter with 1 turn. But that might not be a design flaw, but a way to compensate for the expansion of the glass during the cooking process. So, don't mess with it, imo.

Otherwise this is a great product.
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on November 5, 2006
I read a lot of reviews before I bought this and most of them weren't very good. I took a chance and bought it anyway because it was the easiest brand to find in a store. My oven is broken so I needed one of these right away. I don't see what the problem is and actually I love this crock pot. I didn't have any problems with it leaking or with the lid not fitting. The heat seemed appropriate for the setting. Maybe I got lucky? For the price, I think this crock pot is perfect. I wish they made this size programmable. I'm not really sure why they don't. That would be my only complaint but I still give it 5 stars because I got what I bought and I'm very happy with it.
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on May 18, 2012
At temperatures over 80 degrees F, the glaze leaches lead into your food. To give you a frame of reference, the low setting cooks at about 170F. I noticed that Target.com lists a Prop 65 warning, which prompted me to do some testing of my own.
I am a chemical engineer and work in a lab, and I'm qualified to do such testing myself. This model leaches dangerously high levels of lead into your food. BEWARE ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR FEEDING CHILDREN

PLEASE be careful when shopping for crock pots, clay, ceramic or anything glazed. Lead poisoning happens over a long period of time. It builds in your tissues over time.

In case you're interested:
3.85L of 0.7M acetic acid was heated at 30 degrees C, roughly 86 F, for 24 hours. The absorbance of the solution was read using a highly sophisticated atomic absorption spectrometer. Absorbances of the treatment solution and a blank 0.7M acetic acid control were compared on a calibration curve. Complete protocol available through FDA.gov.
Solution contained 2.71ppm Pb, almost 3 times what is allowed by the FDA. My crock pot has a new home in the trash.
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on November 18, 2010
Just received it a couple days ago and began cooking with it immediately. I guess time will tell whether or not it holds up, but I've had a couple made by the same brand in the last few decades and they have always held up great. This thing is not at all fancy, but I cannot fathom why it would need to be. Only four settings: Off, Low, High, Warm. I made a giant vegetable stew yesterday (the 7-quart capacity of this thing is enormous) and it came out great. I have a brisket going right now... For the price, which is quite low, this crock pot seems excellent and I think I'm going to have a blast with it.

The one hit I would give this thing is that the power cord attached to it is ridiculously short - like two feet. Unless it is convenient for you to have this thing stationed RIGHT next to an outlet, plan on getting an extension cord for it.

Otherwise, great product.
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I would not be writing this review if my vintage 70's era crock pot didn't somehow get "lost". Did we leave it at someone's house after a party? Did it get shoved somewhere where it will be found, like a time capsule, many years from now? Whatever the situation, and as seldom as I used it, there are times I want to make a simple batch of slow-cooked stew.

For that purpose, this model is essentially identical to the 40 year old one it now has replaced. I bought it today for about $15, made a pot full of stew and it did everything it should. The quality of construction even seems to be about same as the old Made in USA model with the exception that the inner pot is removable for cleaning (a postive feature) and can be washed in the dishwasher.

There is no magic about how a crock pot cooks and frankly the difference between a $15 one and a $150 one is pretty insigificant. I like and prefer the simple basic mechanical switch for off/low/high. Keep warm is probably an okay feature for long dinner parties, but the fact is that the inner pot stays warm for a LONG time in any crock pot.

As most people do, I read a lot of reviews and I am baffled by those who give bad ratings to a crock pot because the "low" temperature is too high compared to their old vintage crock pot. Many of those people swear they will never buy that brand because the low temp is higher than they are used to.

What's especially puzzling is that so-called negative can be found in reviews of virtually EVERY brand of crock pot being sold today. If only there was a magic button that could be pushed to simultaneously enlighten everyone on Earth that it is not the fault of one brand or one model ... several years ago every manufacturer raised the minimum temperature setting by about 20 degrees F (6.7 degrees C). Why? Because of legal issues and government regulations regarding the former low temperature being potentially unsafe. So there you have it ... when you see that "complaint" about a crock pot you can simply skip over it and ignore it because the new higher "low" temperature is something you will find on all current crock pots.
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on September 22, 2010
Overall, this is a great crock-pot. I felt the black color was very stylish when I ordered it. However, it is the black coloring which makes it more difficult to clean, as it is hard see any remnants of food stuck to the side while washing by hand. If you own a dishwasher, this is a non-issue.

My only true gripe with it is that there are only 3 pegs at the base to hold this crock-pot upright. This leaves it prone to leaning when bumped. I've yet to have any spills or other unfortunate incidents, so it hasn't been an issue. The threat is always there though.

I like the simple dial on the front: Off, Low, High, Warm. Those are the only options I need on a crock-pot. It heats up quickly, and cooks perfectly every time. Overall, I would give this product 4 1/2 out of 5 stars, losing half a star only for its lack of sturdiness.
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on February 17, 2011
This is for the Crockpot Classic model SCV 401-TR: (I honestly think some folks have written reviews for a different product than this and posted them here, their opinions and ours are THAT different!)
I picked this up last week at Target because we didn't have a slow cooker and the kitchen has a red assessory theme going for it. I admit I didn't research it a bit until I got it home. But, since I hadn't opened the box yet, I looked first to Amazon for reviews and was so taken-back by the negative ones I almost took IT back! Some said it leaked all over their counter, some said it was too hot and scorched food, they couldn't keep liquid in it, etc.
Then I went to Target.com and read the glowing reviews there, with nary a bad word on it. I decided that for $15 it would be hard to go very wrong by trying it out.
Yesterday my wife plopped a thawed pork roast in it, chopped an onion, put it in, and poured some BBQ sauce over it (enough to almost cover the roast- about 2/3 full), turned it on LOW (as she'd read the reviews too,) and left for work. I was home and checked on it four or five times during the day, almost expecting to have to add water or turn it off, based on what I'd read here. No reason to, as it was quietly bubbling away, NOT a rolling boil as some have said. No liquid coming out at all, as many said, not even steam escaped that I could see.
My wife returned 9 hours later to find dinner ready. She turned it on Warm, and within 5 minutes took the temperature of the inside of the roast and the sauce with a meat thermometer (at my request) and found it to be 190 degrees. Now, this was 5 minutes after it had been previously at a SLOW boil, so I figure the contents had cooled by only a few degrees, probably 10 to 12 degrees at the MOST. It wasn't overcooking. It was doing its job. The liquid actually seemed to have increased in the pot, probably a result of the fat from the roast being added to the sauce.
Result: the roast was near perfect, no burned areas, great flavor! My wife did report a small area (1" X 2" long) on the bottom ot the pot, right hand side, had a little scorching that she easily scrubbed off. But this was after 9 hours cooking on LOW.
IF I had believed all the negative reports here on this cooker, I would have returned it. But for $15 I figured I could afford to be wrong and tried it. I'm glad we did, as it was the best kitchen investment for $15 we could have made, and it is RED, so it matches the assessories, coffee maker, etc. in our kitchen.
ONE tiny complaint: the entire Crockpot is NOT one shade of red. The body of the Crockpot is a good two or three shades darker than the side handles and lid handle, despite what the picture shows. However, those handles are an almost perfect match of the red Hamilton Beach 49756 coffeemaker we got the same day at Target. Close enough for us.
Great simple, inexpensive Crockpot for a small family- and did I mention it's red!
ADDED 3/1/11:
My wife cooked something in this crockpot the other day and used HIGH for the first time. The crockpot did sputter some water onto the counter, not much liquid- not even a spoonful, but a little. I reversed the lid and it slowed the sputtering considerably. So, if you use a water based liquid and HIGH heat, expect a little sputtering as the boiling water makes more liquid accumulate around the edges of the lid.
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on October 24, 2010
Throw a whole roast in this sucker! Very heavy stoneware. If I was a little smaller, I could use it as a hot tub! It has settings of Off, low, high and warm. Excellent!
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on November 7, 2011
I've owned this crock pot for a almost a year. I agree with the other users who have mentioned how hot the exterior is to the touch. You have to be really careful not to get burned, and to make sure nothing on your counter is too close to it. I've continued to use it with those things in mind, and have been satisfied with its cooking performance. BUT today, while it's exterior was blazing hot and the interior was full of the hot meal I had prepared, one of the handles snapped off as I was about to move it to the serving area. It snapped in 3 places leaving exposed screws sticking out of the side of the crock pot.

Needless to say, I could have been seriously burned if I had not still been holding it over the counter at the time. On closer inspection of the broken handle (as well as the other one that is still attached), I think all of the exterior heat has "dried out" the plastic of the handle. It appears brittle in spots. I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else, but if you currently own this appliance, be very careful when moving it. If you don't own it, do yourself a favor -- DON'T BUY IT!!
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