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Focus Electrics West Bend 84905 Oblong Slow Cooker, 5-Quart
|Price:||$39.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Oblong-shaped slow cooker with adjustable temperature control
- Generous 5-quart capacity for entertaining or dinner with the family
- Oven-, range-top-, and freezer-safe cooking pot; glass lid included
- Heating base doubles as a nonstick mini griddle; dishwasher-safe parts
- Measures 7-1/4 by 12-3/4 by 8-3/4 inches; 1-year limited warranty
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Item Dimensions||12.75 x 7.25 x 8.75 in||9 x 13.8 x 8.3 in||15.1 x 9.4 x 14.8 in||11.8 x 11.8 x 9.5 in||14.4 x 9.5 x 14.4 in||14.5 x 10 x 9.5 in|
|Material Type||Metal||Glass||Stainless Steel||Stoneware||Stoneware||Glass|
|Size||5-Quart||One Size Fits All||6 Quart||4 Quart||8 Quart||6 Quart|
The West Bend 5-Quart Oblong Slow Cooker makes homemade meals a snap. Just add the ingredients, select a temperature, and return to a delicious, ready-to-serve meal.
Top customer reviews
The West Bend Versatility series is a quantum leap forward: non-stick metal pot that can be used to brown meat (any experienced slow-cooker knows what a convenience that is!); converts to a griddle if you don't have one handy; and has an infinite heating control from barely warm to just-short-of-boiling.
Because I'm a gadget geek, I made some tests. (First, please be aware that most slow-cookers typically peak at around the same point --somewhere between 180-210 degrees F, regardless of the heat setting. The main difference between Low, Medium, and High is how quickly the peak temperature is reached. Some of the more sophisticated cookers (the Versatility is one) have lower or higher peaks related to the setting. For the serious cook, these types are preferable).
My tests started with the pot 2/3 full of room-temperature water. I used a calibrated thermometer probe in the center of the pot. I put the cover on, but it wasn't seated where the probe wire exited.
TEMPERATURE SETTING #3 (LOW) HOURS MEASURED TEMPERATURE
7:00 188 (Flatlined)
TEMPERATURE SETTING #4 (MEDIUM)
3:00 194 (Flatlined)
TEMPERATURE SETTING #5 (HIGH)
2:45 209 (Flatlined)
I didn't do a time series on the #1 and #2 settings, but they topped out at 149 and 160 degrees respectively.
Remember that the Versatility setting is infinitely variable, so in-between heating speeds can be used. Also, bear in mind that these temperatures were measuring water only -- cooking food may be different.
These ranges were relatively the same on both the 5-quart and 6-quart cookers.
Speaking of quarts, be aware that the "5-quart" has an actual maximum capacity of 4.3 quarts at overflowing. West Bend Customer Service still maintains that it's 5 quarts. The "6-quart" model is an actual 6-quart capacity. Practical capacity for cooking is, of course, less.
As other reviews have noted, there's no "off" setting, so you havee to unplug. However, the cooker end of the cored is unpluggable, so no big deal.
Other reviews have complained about the non-stick coating deteriorating. I refer them to the instructions in the manual, under the heading "Using Your Slow Cooker--First Use" wherein it describes how to avoid damage to the coating. I won't repeat it here -- it's in the book. Also, note that while the coating is dishwasher-safe, it will last longer with hand-washing --a breeze due to the non-stick finish. Because so few users actually read directions, West Bend does not cover the non-stick under warranty.
All this said, the Versatiltiy is an incredible value for its price. It's a good example of how excellent design, engineering, and production can result in a quality product at very low cost. It's far and above any cooker I've used before.
4 stars only because it lacks an "off" switch, and the "5-quart" capacity is inaccurate and misleading.
Outstanding product and value!
So here's my assessment of some of the flaws others have reported:
*Temp too high or too low: I found that even cooking at high (5) my food didn't overcook. Keep in mind that 5 is also the setting for the griddle, so after a few hours it SHOULD get high enough to boil water; otherwise, the griddle could never be expected to do its job. Temp too low? Hopefully you read the instructions and understand that 1 & 2 are for keeping food warm, not for cooking. I've had no issues with cooking in the time indicated on recipes.
*Too Small: I thought the same thing when I pulled my slow cooker out of the box. It looks too small! Keep in mind that you're probably used to the thick crockery your old pot was made out of. When I fill this pot up, it's way too much for my family of four and we have leftovers for days. As for claims that the cooker does not hold 5 qts, I haven't had the occasion to even bother checking. Sorry.
*The Tote Doesn't Fit: This is entirely untrue. If you pack the tote according to the instructions, IT IS A PERFECT FIT. I don't know about you, but I don't want a pot full of liquid to have room to slosh around. And it creates a nice, compact storage bag that holds the entire thing, both lids and all, when not in use.
*Coating Peeling Off: Did you read the care instructions? The pot needs to be properly seasoned. I use mine fairly regularly, and after several months the coating holds up just fine.
Most of the complaints I've seen for this product stem from not reading/following the instructions for use and care. Your misuse of a product is no reason to give it a low rating.
I have to say that my favorite feature of this thing is that you can put it on the stove. I love browning the meat on the stove and then moving it to the cooking plate without having to dirty any other dishes. This also makes reheating a snap. What we do in my family now is I cook something overnight, pop it in the fridge in the morning, and my boyfriend (he gets home first) pops it on the stove to reheat for dinner. This totally saves us from having to endure his cooking!