Best Crock Pots for Healthy and Hassle-free Cooking

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 24, 2018
Want to eat healthy and nutritious foods without a hassle of messy and time-taking cooking? Looking for an easy way to have your dinner ready when you come home after a hard working day? You need a crock pot. This compact kitchen appliance will let you eat freshly cooked meals every day without spending hours for the cooking process. Below, we’ve compared 5 top-selling models to help you choose the best crock pot for your kitchen arsenal. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CAPACITY
POT MATERIAL
CONTROLS
USABILITY
WARRANTY
 
PROS

This model comes fitted with the Wi-Fi technology. An LED WI-Fi indicator will show WiFi connection status while a special Restore button will help you avoid connection problems by quickly reconnecting the unit to your Wi-Fi router.  

CONS

A gloss finish is prone to fingerprints and will require extra care. 

OUR VERDICT

Today smart technologies are not something unusual or extraordinary anymore. So-called smart home options can be found in a whole variety of household appliances, from an air conditioner to a doorbell. The Wemo Smart crock pot is not an exception. By simply downloading the WeMo™ app to your smartphone, you'll be able to remotely adjust your dinner from anywhere.

detailed parameters
CAPACITY

6 Qt

POT MATERIAL

Stoneware with Rinse-Clean™ coating (removable and dishwasher safe)

CONTROLS

Digital control panel, Remote control with the WeMo app (iOS 7 and higher or Android 4.0 and higher), 2 temperature modes, Adjustable timer, Stay-warm feature

USABILITY

Cool-touch handles, Glass lid with a handle, Cord storage, Recipe book

WARRANTY

1 year 

PROS

A built-in timer will let you adjust the cooking time up to 20 hours. Hence, you are free to experiment with dishes and ingredients and practice the most exquisite recipes. You can simmer meat and vegetables up to mouth-melting textures and create a lot of unforgettable flavors.

CONS

Pretty short power cord. 

OUR VERDICT

Created with every user care and convenience in mind, this crock pot with timer will become a real find for busy people who work a lot, come home late and don't have any scheduled dinner time. Once the cooking is over, the appliance will automatically switch to the Stay-warm mode allowing you to enjoy a warm fresh meal whenever you need.

detailed parameters
CAPACITY

6 Qt

POT MATERIAL

Stoneware with Rinse-Clean™ coating (removable and dishwasher safe)

CONTROLS

Digital control panel with LCD-screen, 2 temperature modes, Adjustable timer, Stay-warm feature

USABILITY

Cool-touch handles, Glass Secure-Fit™ lid with locking latches and a handle, Recipe book

WARRANTY

1 year 

PROS

Thanks to an improved body insulation, the food in the pot will remain hot pretty long even after unplugging the unit, which makes this model a perfect solution for take-out meals.

CONS

Small non-skid feet might slip over some types of surfaces. 

OUR VERDICT

If you look for an appliance not only to cook delicious dishes but also to transport your ready-made meals, this Cook & Carry crock pot is for you. It will come in handy to cook a pretty big amount of food and carry it to parties, picnics, tailgates, potlucks, or simply to the dinner at your neighbors. Besides, if you are one of National Football League fans, you can personalize your cooker with a logo of your favorite team.

detailed parameters
CAPACITY

6 Qt

POT MATERIAL

Stoneware with Rinse-Clean™ coating (removable and dishwasher safe)

CONTROLS

Mechanical control panel, 2 temperature modes, Stay-warm feature

USABILITY

Cool-touch handles, Glass Secure-Fit™ lid with locking latches and a handle, Recipe book, 32 NFL team logos available

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

A removable oven-safe ceramic bowl is casserole-shaped which will let you use it as a casserole dish for baking omelets, pies, puddings, quiches, and a variety of other scrumptious foods in the oven.

CONS

Locking latches might seem a bit flimsy. 

OUR VERDICT

2.5 Qt is an optimal capacity for one pot meals and casseroles, dips and desserts. It is more than enough for 3-4 persons and will let you cook maximum quickly. On top of that, white color with a fancy pattern allows serving dishes right in the crock and will fit even a festive table. All of this makes this model a great choice for small family dinners, friendly get-togethers, and outdoor parties.

detailed parameters
CAPACITY

2.5 Qt

POT MATERIAL

Stoneware with Rinse-Clean™ coating (removable, oven, and dishwasher safe)

CONTROLS

Mechanical control panel, 2 temperature modes, Stay-warm feature

USABILITY

Cool-touch handles, Glass Secure-Fit™ lid with locking latches and a handle, Cord storage, Recipe book

WARRANTY

1 year 

PROS

A removable container is made of high-quality food-grade aluminum distinguished by unmatched heat transfer characteristics which means it will heat up your cooked meal in mere minutes for a quick lunch or dinner.

CONS

There is no on/off button. 

OUR VERDICT

Do you prefer healthier home-cooked meals to take-outs or frozen boxes from the store for the lunch in the office but have to eat your lunch cold? Not anymore. With a mini crock pot food warmer, you can have your favorite foods always warm for lunch. Moreover, an aluminum food container with a spill-free lid is removable and doubles as a lunch tote saving you the trouble to transport the whole unit.

detailed parameters
CAPACITY

~0.6 Qt (20 oz) 

POT MATERIAL

Food-grade stainless steel (removable, dishwasher safe)

CONTROLS

Plugging in and out

USABILITY

Plastic container lid, Outer lid with a built-in handle, Tote-like handle, Cord storage

WARRANTY

1 year 

Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2

A Smart Kitchen Helper

Just several years ago smart technologies were something out of the ordinary. Smart solutions were not that essential and widely spread as they are today, first of all, due to their high cost, and partially, due to being incomprehensible for most of us. However, currently, a smartphone is a common thing we can’t imagine our life without. Yet, what is a smart technology? Only a few know that it goes far beyond the Internet connection option and the ability to surf the web. “Smart” is a lot more interesting. By using the Internet connection, it allows creating complex systems and provides remote control over those systems. In a broader sense, smart technologies mean time optimization, efficient scheduling, and multitasking capabilities. Smart solutions quickly permeated every sphere of our everyday life making it easier and more comfortable. Cooking is not an exception. Today, you can find a whole variety of smart kitchen appliances fitted with remote control functions and the Wemo smart crock pot is one of them.

Featuring a built-in Wi-Fi module, this model can be synchronized with your smartphone via a special WeMo App. Thus, your smartphone will serve as a kind of a remote control to adjust cooking time and temperature, switch the unit to keep-warm mode, or turn the slow cooker off from anywhere. Though somebody might regard it as an overpriced extra, this option will provide an overall remote control over the cooking process and give you the flexibility to have your dinner ready when you are ready.

Apart from smart functionality, this crock pot is distinguished by high-quality design and exceptional performance. A 6-Qt stoneware insert with a Rinse-Clean™ coating is durable and dishwasher safe making cleaning a breeze. It offers enough capacity to cook a substantial meal for a large family or a dinner party of seven and more people. A glass lid will tightly close the bowl trapping the heat and vapors inside to create a perfect cooking environment. The unit exterior made of polished stainless steel and plastic looks sleek and modern. Cool touch handles add safety and convenience during handling while a single control button ensures the ultimate ease of operation allowing you to adjust cooking settings without the WeMo app.

If you are into smart technologies and are not new to slow cooking, this smart crock pot will further enhance your cooking experience and let you ideally align the cooking process with your personal meal schedule.

Review of Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Stainless Steel

Get the Convenience of the WeMo App

The WeMo app, designed to keep you connected to your Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker, belongs to the home automation product line developed by Belkin. The app is absolutely free and can be downloaded for both iOs (iOs 7 and higher) and Android (4.0 and higher) devices. Using the app, you’ll be able not only to program your cook settings but also monitor the status of your meal, modify the settings to your liking, extend the time for the warm mode if you get stuck in a traffic jam and is late for the dinner, and send notifications to your family members telling them the meal is ready even if you are not at home. Moreover, you can use the same app for other WeMo-enabled devices, including coffee machines, heaters, humidifiers, safety cameras, thermostats, and light switches to have your home electronics at your fingertips.

Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Stainless Steel in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S

A Real Find Both For a Lazy Cook and For a Creative Foodie

In a fast pace of modern life, one of the most valuable resources almost everybody lacks is time. With a lot of chores to accomplish every day, we are always in a hurry trying to manage everything and are often short of spare time on leisure and entertainments. Hence, the last thing you would like to do after work or a busy day is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. And what if you are a creative foodie keen on culinary experiments to delight your loved ones with extraordinary scrumptious delicacies yet drastically lacking time on cooking? One of the best programmable crock pot models, the SCCPVL610S, offers an easy way to cook a simple fresh meal or an exquisite creative dish without much of your time and effort required.

Unlike many other slow cookers and crock pots featuring only high and low modes with pre-programmed time settings, this model boasts a digital timer allowing you to set any cooking time from 30 minutes to 20 hours in 30-minute increments. Once the timer is set, a programmable controller will start the countdown to let you know exactly when your meal is ready. Once the selected cooking time is finished, the crock pot will automatically shift to warm and maintain the food temperature for 6 hours. And if you know your dish is cooked before the set time, you can simply switch the appliance to a Keep warm function or turn it off. Thanks to such flexible and precise time selection, you’ll be able not only to cook a lot more crock pot recipes and adapt regular recipes for a slow cooker but also have more freedom for culinary experiments to create unusual signature dishes that will quickly become your family favorites. The only tiny drawback some customers claim is that the digital timer features no delayed start option. However, there is a reason for that since it’s not safe to leave food, especially raw meat, sitting in a pot at a room temperature for several hours.

In addition to the programmable cooking time, the SCCPVL610S features the capacity enough to cook food for about 7 people. A 6-Qt oval ceramic bowl can easily accommodate a 6-pound roast, lamb rack, or even a whole midsize chicken. Another key feature of this crock pot is portability. Large cool-touch handles on the sides ensure safe and easy carrying when the appliance is hot while a locking gasket lid will prevent any spills and mess during handling or transportation.

Whether you are a first-time slow cooker user, a lazy cook, or a busy culinary enthusiast, the SCCPVL610S large crock pot provides the functional versatility that will cater to all your needs.

Review of Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Slow Cooker

The History of Success

The first Crock-Pot slow cooker was introduced over 40 years ago. Back in the 1970s, it was the Rival Manufacturing Company’s trademark and the unit was marketed as a simple bean cooker. Yet, over years, the device was reshaped and redesigned into a more functional and versatile kitchen appliance as we recognize it today. Defining a new way of cooking and serving delicious meals, Crock-Pot slow cookers quickly gained popularity and became unmatched kitchen assistants for numerous families over the world. Today, the Crock-Pot is still the market leader and continues keeping up with the pace and introducing innovations to meet modern lifestyle demands. The manufacturer offers the whole range of slow cookers from simple manual slow cookers to fully programmable and even automatic-stirring models to fit any household needs and any budget. Though there is a number of other brands selling crockpot style slow cookers, the Crock-Pot remains a registered brand name that still can’t be used by other slow cooker producers.

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Slow Cooker in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Crock Pot 6 Quart Slow Cooker Little Dipper Combo Recipe

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

The 6-quartz capacity of the pot inside could feed up to seven people or more, depending on their appetite, also being able to fit in a whole chicken.

Features

The auto shut off saves me from burning food.

Size & Weight

Good crock pot and size is nice for a potluck. It does get really hot, so, dishes that may take all day, may cook in less hours. Try keeping an eye on it the first time you use and adjust time as needed.
 

Crock-Pot SCCPNFL600-NE

Cook it, Lock it, and Go!

Using a crock pot is not only about taking the strain, hassle, and mess off out of the cooking process but also about diversifying your daily and even festive menus with a variety of healthier yet not less delicious and savory foods since crock pots are suitable for cooking literally anything, from a whole range of meat stews and roasts to specific national dishes, one-of-the-kind desserts, tasty appetizers, dips, and snacks. Saving your precious time, making your diet healthier, and offering all-purpose functionality, most crock pots stand out for one more feature that can’t be left unnoticed. It’s portability. Thus, you can cook your favorite chili, paella, mouth-melting meatballs, or spicy pork ribs and bring it right in a crock pot to treat your friends, coworkers, or neighbors. Or you can make a bowl full of Teriyaki chicken wings, Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks, or any creamy or spicy dip served with tacos, corn chips, Tortillas, crisp salty cookies, or fresh buns for a picnic, tailgate, potluck, and any family party, to say nothing of carrying your signature dishes to district food festivals, charity dinners, or your kids school events. Impressive, isn’t it? And you’ll get all these opportunities with the NFL cook-and-carry 6-quart crock pot.

Though it’s not a programmable digital slow cooker, it provides the same High and Low cooking settings and a Warm function delivering great cooking results every time. A ceramic bowl is highly durable and features Rinse-Clean coating that makes both manual and dishwasher cleaning a breeze. The pot size is big enough for a large gathering or dinner party. Yet, the distinctive benefit of this model is a secure fitting glass lid with reliable side locks to prevent the contents leakage or spills during transportation and an improved exterior insulation keeping the food warm for a pretty long time after unplugging the unit.

With the NFL cook-and-carry crock pot, you can replace more expensive restaurant takeaways and unsafe fast food snacks with healthier home-cooked foods wherever you go.

Review of Crock-Pot SCCPNFL600-NE New England Patriots NFL 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker

Support Your Favorite Football Team

A specific feature available for this very crock pot model is a customized design. Thus, you can order a slow cooker in one of 32 National Football League logos and colors to support your favorite team while cooking dinner for a big game night or show off your team pride at the next tailgate. It’s a great idea of a sports theme gift for any football fan.

Crock-Pot SCCPNFL600-NE New England Patriots NFL 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Crock-Pot SCCPCCM250-BT

Convenient for Every Occasion

With all indisputable benefits of crock pots, today, this cooker is almost a must-have kitchen appliance you can find in any household. However, while 6 quart crock pots are perfect for large families, they might appear oversize for couples and smaller families of 3-4 persons as well as for the occasions when you need a smaller portion of food or you'd like to cook some kind of side dish. Some people would say you can just use fewer ingredients for your bigger bowl. Yet, if you want to obtain consistently good cooking results, you can’t since following the manufacturer instructions, the bowl should be at least ⅔ full to prevent overcooking and drying out. This is where a Crock pot casserole slow cooker will come in handy.

This model features a 2.5-Qt oval ceramic bowl ideal for your favorite casserole dishes, dips, garnishes, and desserts. It’s ideal for lasagne, quiches, gratins, pies, and cottage cheese puddings. Simply load the ingredients, choose High or Low setting depending on the recipe at hand and forget it until your dish is ready. If you need to keep your dish warm before serving, you can switch to Keep Warm mode when the cooking process is over. Such smaller crockpot size is optimal for any occasion, whether you cook a single-dish meal for yourself, a dinner for a family or a treat for a whole party. While preparing for family dinners, holidays, or large gatherings, the 2.5 Qt crockpot will be helpful for cooking entrees, appetizers, and dips while you use your conventional oven for turkey, chicken, or bigger roasts. Besides, thanks to an elegant design in white color with fancy blue patterns, you can serve dishes right in a slow cooker or in a removable pot to cut down on additional dishware. Meanwhile, for safe handling and easy spill-free transportation, the unit comes with two cool-touch handles and a locking glass lid.

If you need a compact yet fully functional slow cooker for a small family or a lower capacity unit to add to your larger 6-Qt crock pot, the casserole slow cooker is the right option to go for.

Review of Crock-Pot SCCPCCM250-BT 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker

More Than a Slow Cooker

Despite its distinctively smaller size, the 2.5-Qt mini crock pot boasts one distinctive feature you won’t find in bigger and more expensive models. The appliance comes complete with a stove and oven safe stoneware allowing you to bake deliciously airy omelettes and scrumptious pies or pre-brown your roast before moving the pan to the heating base. It’s a really handy option that further enhances the unit usability and expands its functionality.

Crock-Pot SCCPCCM250-BT 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Crock-Pot SCCPLC200-EM-SHP

A Perfect Complement to Your Healthy Diet

These days, healthy eating has already become a modern trend. And rather than chasing for beautifully shaped bodies, it is about feeling good, having more energy, and improving health. Yet, a healthy diet is not only eating healthy foods and reducing sugar and refined hydrocarbons intake. Another essential aspect is a proper nutrition regimen including three basic meals a day with two light snacks in between. And you should eat healthy freshly cooked meals not only when you are are at home but also at work, during travels, and commutes. For many people, sticking to a balanced diet when away from home appears pretty difficult and they either turn to packaged meals and sandwiches or eat only fruit, yogurts, instant porridges, or protein snacks for lunch that in no way substitute a substantial hot meal. How often do you eat fast food, sandwiches, and precooked frozen meals for lunch? It’s time to change your eating habits with the Crock-Pot lunch and food warmer.

Following the same slow heating principle applied in full-scale crock pot cookers, this small unit is designed solely for warming up your meal being an excellent alternative to a conventional microwave since gradual and even heating is times better and healthier than microwave “nuking”. The unit consists of a heating base and a 20-ounce aluminum food container ideal for a single-portion meal. The food warmer operation is fairly simple. Just plug it in and in about an hour you can enjoy your perfectly hot meal. If you like your food rather warm than hot, even 30 minutes will be enough to achieve the desired temperature. Besides, if the meal is heated and you are still busy and not ready for lunch, the crock pot will keep the contents hot until you turn it off.

This mini crock pot will help you develop and maintain healthy eating habits sticking to your healthy diet wherever you are. It’s a really good choice for office workers and busy travelers.

Review of Crock-Pot SCCPLC200-EM-SHP Lunch Crock Food Warmer, 20 ounce, Green

Designed With Every User Comfort in Mind

Compact and functional, the Crock-Pot food warmer was carefully designed taking into account every user comfort and convenience. Thus, fitted with a carrying handle and tightly closing outer lid that will keep your meal securely sealed, the unit is fully portable and allows you to take any of your favorite home-made foods for lunch or dinner on-the-go, be it soup, chili, or stew. Besides, the food container is removable and features a securely fitting lid for spill-free food transportation. Hence, you can leave the heating base at work and use the container as a lunch tote. When you finished eating, you can clean the lid and food canister in a dishwasher or simply wash it in a hot water with some dish soap.

Take your crock pot personal lunch warmer with you and enjoy your nutritious hot meal when you need it.

Crock-Pot SCCPLC200-EM-SHP Lunch Crock Food Warmer, 20 ounce, Green in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Crock Pot?

A crock pot is a really useful countertop kitchen appliance created to cook foods at low temperatures for long periods of time. This electric unit cooks at much lower temperatures than those applied for baking, frying, and boiling and eventually consumes less energy that makes it a pretty economical device. The main idea behind such a slow cooking method is to give you an opportunity to cook tasty and nutritious dishes without a hassle of cooking. All you will need to do is load fresh ingredients for your meal and let the appliance do the rest. No need to stir ingredients or supervise the whole cooking process. You can set the crock pot in the morning and enjoy your fully cooked meal in the evening. Besides, all natural juices are sealed inside and such ingredients and fibrous vegetables and meat come out deliciously tender. Crock pots are suitable for cooking literally anything, from a variety of stews and soups to porridges, dips, and even exquisite delicate desserts.

Many people regard a crock pot as a second name of a slow cooker. Yet, not all slow cookers are crock pots. Initially, the Crock-Pot is a brand name. Though today it is used rather as a generic name referring to any slow cooker, there are distinctive differences between these two seemingly similar appliances. Thus, the crock pot is a container with heating elements along the sides and on the bottom and a ceramic or porcelain pot fitting snugly inside. Meanwhile, a slow cooker features a metal pot that will rest on the base with a heating element which means that the heat is concentrated in the bottom and can cause scorching. The recommendation for slow cookers is to cut ingredients into small pieces to accelerate the heating process while crock pots are suitable for cooking larger chunks and ensure more even heating from all sides.

If you are into a healthy diet yet lack time for cooking and need your meals to be ready within the shortest possible time, consider buying one of the modern pressure cookers.

What Features to Compare

Type

Modern crock pots fall into two types: programmable and mechanic models. Programmable units stand out for electronic controls, a LED display, and feature a digital timer allowing you to set the desired cooking time. Moreover, the latest models even offer a WiFi connection that will let you set up and control your cooker remotely via your smartphone. Mechanical units are much simpler and usually come fitted with mechanical control dials for temperature mode selection. However, despite the difference in controls, there is not much difference in performance between these two types, and the extra features are added mostly for your convenience.

Design

Basically, you will come across round and oval or oblong crock pots. It’s worth saying that the unit shape is not only about personal preferences. Actually, it’s more about dishes you are going to cook in your crockpot. In this concern, a round shape works better for meals cooked from small or cut-out ingredients. These are soups, stews, simmers, sauces, and porridges. Meanwhile, an oval pot is suitable for bigger chunks and all kinds of roasts, be it a whole chicken, ham hock, lamb shoulder, or pork ribs.

Capacity

The pot capacity is one of the most important aspects to take into consideration if you want your crock pot to be useful and meet your needs. Normally, the pot capacity ranges from 1.5 Qt to 8.5 Qt. Hence, if you have a small kitchen, seek an appliance for your RV, or simply need a cooker to make a meal for a couple or only for yourself, a 1.5- 2.5 Qt crockpot will be more than enough. However, for a family of four or five, it’s better to choose a 6-7 Qt unit to cook several portions of food. On top of that, you can also find truly tiny in size models with a capacity less than 1 Qt designed for the use on the go. They are mostly used for warming foods up and will become a great addition when eating lunch in the office.

Usability

All crock pots come with glass lids tightly covering the pot to lock the heat, vapors, and moist inside for better food texture and taste and also to give you an opportunity to watch your progress without removing the lid. For convenient and safe handling of a hot unit, there are cool-touch handles and some lis come complete with locking latches to prevent spills. These features are handy not only for serving freshly cooked dishes but also for taking your crock pot to some socials or on-site events. A Keep Warm function will help you maintain a nicely warm temperature of your food until you serve it. Meanwhile, a non-stick coating on the pot will ensure quick, easy, and no-hassle unit cleaning.

Did you know?

Why Slow Cooking?

In a busy world that we live today, a crock pot or slow cooker might become a real lifestyle changer. If you work a lot and usually have neither time nor desire to cook in the evening, this kitchen appliance will help you improve your nutrition replacing take-outs and fast food by healthier and definitely tastier meals and will let you spend more time on things you would like to do after work, be it meeting with friends, going to the gym, or simply relaxing on the couch. And if you are a mom of several kids with a lot of chores to juggle every day, you will surely appreciate a couple of hours for yourself resting assured that your big family will have a freshly cooked dinner just by the time they will all get back home.

Yet, though really helpful and convenient, a time-saver option is not the only selling point of crock pots and slow cookers. One more noticeable advantage of these units is health benefits of slow cooked food. Those who are into a healthy lifestyle or simply try to eat healthily will highly value the potential of a slow-cooking method. The foods cooked at low temperatures retain much more undestroyed nutrients than ingredients that are boiled or steamed to say nothing of scrumptious flavors and meltingly tender textures you will enjoy with slow cooked meals. There are two biggest health benefits you will get with slow cooking:

Hot Antioxidants

Some veggies and legumes can bring more nutritional perks when heated. Thus, boiled or simmered tomatoes release much more lycopene known as a powerful antioxidant protecting your heart and preventing cancer. Similarly, in the cooked corn and spinach, the content of lutein providing protection for your eyes is times higher than in their raw counterparts.

The Safest Way to Cook Meat

No matter how sad it might sound, but grilling and frame-broiling are not the healthiest methods to cook meat. Along with the formation of delicious golden crust on your favorite beef steak or pork tenderloin, due to fat and protein contact with heat, they promote the generation of harmful compounds known as AGEs (advanced glycation end products) increasing the risk of cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes. Meanwhile, slow cooking reduces AGEs production by 50% that will be highly appreciated by all health-conscious meat eaters.

Crock Pot Know How

To get the maximum of your crock pot and enjoy hassle-free slow cooking day after day, follow our useful small tips:

  • For the best cooking results, your crock pot should be at least ½ to ¾ full to prevent over-cooking or under-cooking;

  • Remember that cooking times in crock pot recipes are approximate. Hence, it’s better to cook for the shortest amount of time given, check your dish and cook for longer if needed;

  • When cooking a layered dish, put vegetables first since they need more time to get cooked than meat;

  • If you cook some specialty dishes such as meat rolls, stuffed peppers or apples, put them in a single layer so that they cook evenly and to prevent smashing;

  • While cooking some dishes containing fish or seafood, you should add raw seafood 30 minutes to 1 hour before the cooking time is finished or add pre-cooked seafood several minutes before the end of cooking process;

  • To prevent excess fat in your dish, add only several drops of oil and try to choose lean meat cuts or cut off visible fat from your meat;

  • Be careful with adding too much water. Since evaporation during slow cooking is extremely low, you might end up with a watery dish, especially when it comes to meat, poultry, and some kinds of fruit and vegs;

  • For easier ceramic insert cleanup, spray it with a few drops of non-stick cooking spray before adding food;

  • Do not keep the cooked meal in the crock pot for long to avoid overcooking.

How to:

FAQ:

Q: Is crockpot cooking safe?
A: Normally, all bacteria are killed at temperatures above 165 °F. In a crockpot, the food is gradually heated reaching the simmer temperature of 209 °F and cooked within 3 to 7 hours depending on the selected cooking mode. Such temperature along with a long cooking time safely kills common bacteria, including E coli, botulism, and salmonella. Hence, crockpot cooking is absolutely safe in case you follow the cooking times specified for different recipes.

Q: What is the major difference between High and Low crock pot settings?
A: Both High and Low modes use the same cooking temperature and the major difference between them is how long it takes to reach the simmer point. Thus, usually, for a Low setting, this time varies from 7 to 8 hours and for a High setting, it varies from 3 to 4 hours. Once the food reaches the simmer temperature (209 °F), the total cooking time will depend on ingredients cut and weight to get that unforgettable flavor and tender texture you expect from slow cooking.

Q: Do I need to stir ingredients while cooking in a crock pot?
A: For most crock pot recipes, there is no need to stir while cooking since ingredients are evenly heated from all sides and will not stick to the ceramic pot. Besides, opening the lead will decrease the temperature inside the cooker that will increase the cooking time accordingly. Hence, it’s better to refrain from stirring unless your recipe requires stirring.

Q: Can I reheat pre-cooked foods in my crock pot?
A: Technically, it is possible, Yet, you will hardly be ready to wait for about an hour while the unit will warm up the food. Most crock pot models feature ceramic inserts suitable for the use in ovens and microwaves. So, you can quickly reheat your meal in a microwave.

Q: Do I need to pre-brown meat before placing it into a crock pot?
A: Basically, you don’t. However, many people prefer to do it to add some deeper flavors to the dish and seal in juices. The only reason it might be helpful is to get rid of excess fat prior to adding meat to the crock pot. Anyway, it’s not the necessity and it’s up to you to decide whether you need an additional cooking step and some more dirty dishware to go with it.

Q: Can I slow cook using frozen ingredients?
A: Yes, you can and that makes up one more indisputable advantage of crock pots. The only thing you will need to do is adjust cooking time accordingly to let frozen ingredients melt, especially if you cook frozen meat or poultry. On average, it will require additional 4-6 hours on the Low setting and up to 2 hours on High. Yet, you should avoid putting frozen ingredients into a dry pre-heated pot since rapid temperature change might cause cracking.

Q: Is it safe to use aluminum foil or baking bags while cooking in a crock pot?
A: Absolutely. Crock pots allow cooking meat, fish, veggies, and other ingredients wrapped in a foil or sealed in a baking bag. Moreover, when it comes to a baking bag, it is very convenient. Once your dish is cooked, you can simply take it out in a bag and serve, saving your time on cleaning the pot.

Sources:

1. Slow cooker, Wikipedia. January 31, 2018.

2. Kelli Foster What's the Difference Between a Crock-Pot and a Slow Cooker? The Kitchn. April 6, 2015.

3. Caroline Hire 10 top tips for using a slow cooker, BBC Good Food.

4. Alison Spiegel A Brief History Of The Crock Pot, The Original Slow Cooker, HuffPost. January 12, 2015.

5. Dori Owczarzak The Benefits of Slow Cooker Meals, PennState Extension. December 13, 2017.

6. Monica Reinagel 5 Healthy Reasons to Dig Out Your Slow Cooker, Quick and Dirty Tips. August 18, 2015.

7. Lynn Andriani 4 Ways Crock-Pots Simplify Your Life, Oprah. March 26, 2015.

8. Crock Pot vs Pressure Cooker – Which Is Better For Everyday Cooking? Food.

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Publish Date: 2018-02-07 10:23:07