Continuing the conversation about crock pots…

I really appreciate your comments and advice in response to my last post – thank you! – but now I’m going to ask for a bit more.

We do own a crock pot – an old cheap number that I bought when I moved to Boston in 2001. It has been on its last legs for a while now, with a broken handle and very inconsistent heat. On top of that, it’s a little tippy, so I have never felt comfortable leaving it on unattended – which kind of defeats the purpose, no? Despite its flaws, we’ve used it for making stocks and confits in addition to the usual soups and chili, so I do think that an upgrade is in order, and that we’d get a lot of use out of a newer model with more features.

I’ve got my eye on this Cuisinart model, but it is a bit spendy, and while I do think that we’d get a lot of use out of it, ultimately justifying the expense, I do want to know if there are similar, less expensive options before jumping on it. A removable crock is probably a necessity. Programmable is a plus. And if it allows you to actually brown or sauté right in the unit before adding liquid so you can do a true braise without dirtying an extra pan, well, that’s even better.

So tell me – what are your recommendations for crock pots?

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5 responses to “Continuing the conversation about crock pots…

  1. I’m not sure I could recommend a brand, but Kohls usually has them for a good price, especially this time of year. Mine was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law, and so far it’s been working just fine.

  2. Steph

    Now I want that crock pot! I have one like this, which was ‘free’ with credit card miles and serves the purpose pretty well.
    I have never used either the 2 or 4 qt bowls, only the largest 6 qt.
    The ability to saute right in the crock is genius.

  3. We have the All Clad version of the one you posted, given to us as a gift. Your last requirements – the ability to braise/brown in the pot I think is key. Our pan does not allow for that and I find it to be a bummer, both in efficiency and also in flavor, though it doesn’t hinder us using it on a regular basis. The programmable piece is essential, as well as the removable part. I do think that there are cheaper models (in fact, ours is on sale and I’d say for that, I’d go for the cheaper:

  4. Cheryl

    I’ve got the 4 quart version of this: The prices on the Calphalon site itself aren’t bad, but I managed to find it on sale at Bloomingdale’s.

    I can’t speak to the ability to brown or saute right in the pan. It’s really easy to program though.

  5. Thanks again for your suggestions and input, everyone :) As it happens, I got a Williams-Sonoma gift card from my boss, so I will probably use it toward the purchase of that Cuisinart slow cooker I’ve been swooning over!


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