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102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2010
I was watching Rick Bayless' "Mexico, One Plate At a Time" and saw him using something like this so I tracked it down on Amazon. What a great idea -- the removable pot is made of cast aluminum and can go onto a stove top. I can saute vegetables, brown a roast and then lift the pot (using oven mitts) into the slow cooker to finish while I'm at work.

The aluminum pot's walls and bottom are about half an inch think and distribute heat evenly. I expected to find hot spots because it's oblong and my burners are round. That wasn't a problem. I've simmered marinara sauce directly on the stove top and haven't noticed any difference in temperature between the center of the pot and either end. I've also used it on the stove top to cook lasagna noodles. It's large enough to roast a whole chicken.

Sometimes slow cookers finish their cycles with everything done well, but with too much liquid left in the pot. With this one, I can just set the pot on a burner and quickly thicken the sauce.

I'm impressed.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2012
I am going to concentrate on the heating characteristics of this appliance, as others have covered most of the features pretty well.

All "modern" slow cookers cook food to hotter temperatures in faster times than the old slow-cookers of yore. The trouble these days is finding a slow-cooker that does not get too hot...too fast; this defeats the entire purpose of buying a "slow-cooker" in the first place.

I recently tried another brand of cooker that, when set on "low," brought a full load of water to a rolling boil in less than 2 hours! This is unacceptable for a slow cooker. If you expect to leave such a "fast-cooker" for a full work day, your meal will be petrified when you return.

I tested this slow cooker by checking the temperature of a full pot of water as it heated on "Low" over a 6 1/2 hour period. The GRAPH OF THE RESULTS is available in the product pictures at the top of the listing. In summary, this slow cooker heated a full load of room-temperature water to a temperature of approximately 205 degrees Fahrenheit over the test period. This seems to indicate that this particular appliance will be less prone to overcooking in a given time period than some other slow-cooker models, though it will still cook faster than a "vintage" slow-cooker!

In comparison, my 35-year-old vintage slow-cooker reaches a maximum temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit over a 12-HOUR period when set on "Low." My old "vintage" cooker will not ruin a meal during a workday. However, slow-cookers that actually cook "slow" seem to be unavailable these days, due to the manufacturers yammering with the heat controls.

By starting off with refrigerator-cold ingredients (instead of water at 74 degrees, as I did), you can probably manage to cook a decent meal in a normal 9-10 hour workday with this thing.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
I keep losing ceramic inserts to cracking. This high quality dutch oven style metal insert is the answer to my needs. My slow cooker is on 24/7 for my dogs [most death row dogs coming from starvation situations]. I have to book time for us to cook other items. I may have to get another one.
I love the two sets of handles, the nice space between the base and insert edge, the steam vent in the glass lid. It would benefit from pour spout in the center of the insert.
The metal lid handle gets hot, watch the fingers. I would like 7 qts, but I over fill everything so the bigger it is the more I will fill it anyway.
I recommed this with no reservations; shades of Cook's Illustrated...
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2009
I chose this slow cooker because the outside is stainless steel,the insert is removable, and it has a large capacity. I can brown meat on the stove in the same pan that I slow cook it in. Because I didn't read carefully I didn't realize that it wasn't programable until I unpacked it. Other than that it works well and meets my needs adequately.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
For several reasons. First: The insert is metal coated with Teflon so it cleans incredibly easily. Second: And this is the main PLUS -- The insert does NOT touch the bottom of the heating element -- it sits a good 1-2" above it. This means that while it get hot and cook very thoroughly I've NEVER had anything burn or even scorch using this product. I'm thinking of getting each of my three kids one of these for their Holiday presents this year.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
My wife wanted a slow cooker cause she doesn't have time to cook anymore. So she was looking at this model on Walmart's website. I decided to check it out on Amazon since I like to shop on Amazon. I found this model and it was cheaper as well. The best part was I place this order on Oct. 27th and it came the next day. I was so surprise of the speedy delivery and I chose the standard delivery. We cooked some brown stew chicken and the meat is just falling off the bone and it cooked it all the way through. We didn't even brown it on the stove, we just slow cooked it and it came out just perfect. The only draw back is that I wish the handles was heat resistant since you have to handle it from stove to the cooker. Over all we love it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2010
So far this is a wonderful product, the only drawback I see is that it does not have a cooking timer. Other than than, it is durable, easy to clean, and being able to brown the meat in the same pot makes the flavor of everything great.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2011
This slow cooker was purchased to replace a very old one that finally stopped working. It heats up so quickly and gets quite hot even on low. I have cooked thawed meats on low in an hour or less and have cooked a 3lb. frozen beef roast on high in 2 hours while still retaining all the flavor and moisture of the roast. I haven't cooked much else on high as I imagine it would be boiling in no time considering how hot this cooker gets on low. I did read that I can cook directly with the insert on the stove to speed up the cooking time, and have friends who have done that, but I prefer to do all my cooking directly in the slow cooker. It is oval in shape and takes up very little space. The cord wrap on the bottom was a nice surprise and makes storage very convenient. The "warm" setting is also a nice feature of this slow cooker. I would definitely recommend this slow cooker to anyone experienced or new to slow cooking.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
Have used this product multiple times already. We almost opted for the $300+ All-Clad unit from W-S, but after reading countless bad reviews decided on this inexpensive alternative. Couldn't be happier, it works exactly as intended. The quality of the unit's materials does seem a tad cheap, but at this price we'll use and abuse it with no qualms of replacing it if it wears out. Definitely recommend.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2011
I needed to replace an old West Bend that I've had for over 20 years and this is better. The stove top option is a must because you don't have to dirty another pan to brown meat in. And having deep sides like a crock pot is definitely a bonus. My old one did not have deep sides, just a base. This is better because of more even heat and less heat loss.
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