Here a few tips for buying a slow cooker or using one. Slow cooker are now equipped with so many features that they blow the old models out of the water. With new or recent slow cookers you can program when to start cooking, keep food for extended lengths of time plus more.
Slow Cooker Buying Tips
Slow Cooker Types
There are different types of slow cookers that you can choose from depending on your circumstances and desires. There slow cookers that are non-electric, that are programmable and digital, some use manual knobs, some are designed for picnics, camping, etc. Read our comprehensive slow cooker buyers guide…
Compare Slow Cookers
When following our tips on buying a slow cooker you will notice that you will have the ability to compare slow cookers by looking at the available features, your circumstances, etc.
If you work shifts and are away for more than 8 hours, you are likely going to purchase a slow cooker with different features from someone who would be using a slow cooker while in the house. Or wants to eat home cooked warm meals at work.
Does The Size Of Your Crock Pot Really Matter?
If you are choosing between a 4 quart crock pot and a 6 quart crock pot, choose the 6 quart size. In my experience, even if a recipe you like calls for a 4 quart crock pot, it will usually work out just fine in a 6 quart crock pot without making a lot of adjustments, if any. Just be sure that you have filled your crock pot at least half way full, but no further than two-thirds full
For instance, if you want to make a 4 quart recipe into a 6 quart recipe, a simple adjustment such as using a large onion instead of a medium onion, may increase the volume enough to fill the larger crock pot.
When you find a recipe that calls for a 6 quart crock pot, you don’t want to pass it up because it won’t fit in the smaller crock pot. And, making a larger recipe is one of the reasons crock pots are so efficient and economical. More food cooking in the same amount of time, plus leftovers. It just makes sense.
If you like cooking whole chicken, you may wonder what size slow cooker for whole chicken? While size will also depend on the size of the chicken be sure to choose an oval slow cooker. A size 6 or 8 quart size would be adequate.
Should You Put A Timer On Your Slow Cooker?
Buy Slow Cooker With Timer – Crock Pot SCCPVL610
To deal with this, some folks have used the little timers you can get in the hardware department. This is the type that you plug into the wall, then plug your crock pot into the timer, turn a dial, and set the crock pot to start at the time you set.
If you choose to use this method, you prepare your meal in advance and put it in the refrigerator, paying heed to the food safety tips discussed previously. However, when you take your prepared meal out of the refrigerator, it can still only sit out at room temperature for 2 hours maximum. So, if you are away from home for any more than 10 hours to cook an 8 hour crock pot meal, this is not a good idea.
Your best option would be to buy a slow cooker with timer that is programmable like Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Timer, Stainless Steel.
What Happens If The Power Goes Out?
Even though some of the newer crock pots have power backups built in, they are not meant for extended periods of time. They will recover a crock pot’s heat settings after short power outages only. If you experience a long power outage while you were away from home, and the food has not completed cooking, discard the food.
If it has finished cooking, it should be safe to eat for up to 2 hours. If you cannot determine when the power went out, how long the food has been sitting, or if the food has in fact completed cooking, discard the food. Better safe than sorry.