West Bend's Oval 4-Quart Crockery Cooker has a country-kitchen look, with clean white curves accented in gold, maroon, and navy blue, with a freehand-style floral motif. Its casual design is well suited to everyday kitchen use, but it's also decorative enough to take its place in a buffet line-up. (During fall and winter, it's great for keeping hot cider or mulled wine warm.) The stoneware insert--also a deep blue--can be used as a serving or baking dish.
There are three temperature settings--Hi, Lo, and Keep Warm, and an indicator light underneath the control dial verifies that the heating element is engaged. The domed glass lid helps keep an eye on whatever's cooking. The body of the slow cooker is metal, so exercise caution, as it does heat up along with the contents as they cook. The lid and handles, however, are made of a stay-cool plastic and can be safely touched during the cooking process.
Clean-up is very easy; warm soapy water will do the trick. (The base unit is not immersible; just use a soapy rag or cloth.) Do not use scratchy, abrasive cleaners on any part of the slow cooker. The glass lid and stoneware insert are both dishwasher-safe. The slow cooker measures 15-1/2 by 11 by 9 inches (including lid and handles). West Bend products include a 90-day warranty against defects and come with a detailed booklet of instructions, recipes, and tips. --Garland Withers
Oval 4 Qt. White exterior with floral design. Removable cobalt blue crock. Lo, Hi and Keep Warm settings with operating light. Dishwasher safe crock and glass cover.