Customer Review

821 of 840 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really programmable, but better than average quality., August 8, 2009
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This review is from: Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker (Kitchen)
This cooker has a digital timer that you can set to cook at your chosen setting (Simmer, Low, High) for any time up to 24 hours. At the end of the set cooking time, it automatically switches to Warm, and then switches itself off after another eight hours. IMO, a truly "Programmable" cooker would change heat settings during cooking, and perhaps have a delayed start function; this unit does neither.

On the other hand, the Simmer setting is what's missing from some other slow cookers, and perhaps that's why foods get burned. This cooker heats to 185F on Simmer, 200F on Low, 212F on High, and 165F on Warm. Some cook books, including Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, assume that Low is 180. 180F is the oven temperature I've always used for slow cooking a leg of lamb, London broil, and other roasts, so the lower Simmer setting is something I appreciate.

The stainless steel housing, glass lid, control panel, and ceramic pot are all nicely constructed and finished - nothing's cheap-looking or flimsy - and looks like they'll last for years. The 3-1/2qt oval pot holds a 2-1/2lb chuck roast without the meat touching the sides, and there's enough room for a layer of vegetables (a couple of cups chopped) a layer a meat a couple inches thick, and new potatoes on top. You could cook a complete meal in this for three or four people. Mine is a one-person household and this is the ideal size for me; anything smaller wouldn't make enough leftovers.

The included cookbook has nutritional information - number of servings, calories, carbs, fat, protein, sodium, and more - for all 50 recipes. I gave it four stars instead of five because it's not what I consider programmable, but I'm very pleased with it for the price.
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Comments

Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 17, 2009 11:50:13 PM PDT
Steve99 says:
Which model of slow cooker either changes settings while it's cooking, or has a delayed start feature? You may have decided that "programmable" implies one or both of these features, but I've seen neither of them on any existing model. As far as I can tell, "programmable" means an adjustable count-down timer, so this one appears to fit the bill.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2009 5:53:50 PM PDT
B. Smawley says:
I agree with Steve99.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 6:12:01 PM PST
S. S. Scott says:
The KitchenAid 7qt model has an "Auto" setting which goes on high for 2 hours, then drops to Low for a programmable amount of time. That's the closest I've seen to changing settings while cooking, and although it sounds cool, I can't justify that monstrous of a capacity - I need something more like 4-5 qt. I've been doing a lot of research and the level of "programmable" on this baby is pretty par for the course, so it doesn't seem fair to ding it for not doing what is ideal but is simply not out there in any other product.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2009 10:22:34 PM PST
bourgeml says:
Regardless of what other models of slow cookers offer or do not offer, the word 'programmable' certainly overstates what this unit does. I was glad to have this pointed out by the reviewer, as I had assumed otherwise. It really should be called a timer.

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 2:54:17 PM PST
C. B. Golden says:
I like your comment about cooking for a one-person household. I often wandered what size crock pot is appropriate for serving single people even though I'm aware one can always prepare meals with left overs in mind. It seems all the special features or bells and whistles are reserved for the larger capacity crock pots. It's nice to note this medium size capacity slow cooker has the appropriate amount of amenities to make it a good deal for the price.

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 5:45:21 PM PST
illustra02 says:
I appreciate you putting the temperature in your reviews. This is the sole reason I was even looking at this model, so your info really helped. Thanks!

Posted on Jul 12, 2010 5:08:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 12, 2010 5:10:40 PM PDT
Bob Feeser says:
I guess I am splitting hairs but it seems to me that not calling it programmable, and merely a timer would entail something that is set at one temperature for the amount of time the timer is set to. The fact that this is at one temperature of your choosing for the digitally controlled amount of time that you select in the program, and then changes to a keep warm setting should in all fairness be considered a programmable unit.
I just got over a couple of days of a mild case of food poisoning after eating some food that was stored in my freezer after experiencing an about 30 hour blackout due to a storm. From that the warnings about not leaving food out for more than a short period of time, as in not 3 or 4 hours precludes having Cuisinart supply any kind of delay timer before it starts cooking. When we had the blackout, the following morning Wawa was emptying their freezer and refrigerated items and throwing them all in the dumpster. So I guess keeping food fresh is vital.
By the way great review. Having the temperatures posted was very helpful. I'm looking forward to some slow cooked chicken that falls off of the bone.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2010 6:50:51 AM PDT
Kate23 says:
B. Feeser had exactly my reaction to the non-programmable (set it to begin at some time in the future) comment from the original reviewer. It's not like setting your washing machine to begin in 5 hours, so your clothes just sit in the machine safely till the start time. It would be potentially VERY unsafe to put uncooked foods in a crockpot and leave them there -- not cooking -- for a period of hours. So I believe that Cuisinart has indeed thought this one through.
Other than ignoring the negativity on the programmable feature, I did appreciate the original review. Was very helpful.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 8:57:41 AM PDT
I. Lindsay says:
Regarding programmable features, on p. 7 of 'Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker' book it states "because of food safety considerations, the slow cooker does not allow you to pre-program the cooking start time, so you can't fill the pot with food, leave home, and have the pot go on an hour or two later". Sounds like something to do with bacteria growing at room temperature. Makes me wonder if any cookers offer this feature? It would be nice it if could be programmed to change temps. Thanks for the very thorough review.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 9:00:20 AM PDT
I. Lindsay says:
Regarding programmable features, on p. 7 of 'Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker' book it states "because of food safety considerations, the slow cooker does not allow you to pre-program the cooking start time, so you can't fill the pot with food, leave home, and have the pot go on an hour or two later". Sounds like something to do with bacteria growing at room temperature. Makes me wonder if any cookers offer this feature? It would be nice it if could be programmed to change temps. Thanks for the very thorough review.
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