Why Get A Programmable Slow Cooker: Review
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Find out if a programmable slow cooker is right for you. Also you can enter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a 6 quart programmable slow cooker sponsored by Hamilton Beach.
I didn’t jump on board with slow cooking a while back when it started to get really trendy. I didn’t even own a slow cooker two years ago. Then I bought a small basic one, like this but without the zebra stripes, which I totally wish it had had because then I might have used it more often. I think I used it a total of three times in two years.
When Hamilton Beach sent me a bigger 6 quart programmable slow cooker (similar to this one) I expected to like it a lot more but I didn’t expect to fall in love. Which is what happened.
I use my slow cooker all the time now, usually twice a week. I make all kinds of stews and soups and also chicken dinners, pulled pork and even scalloped potatoes (check out my Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes over here).
If you’re thinking of buying a new one, here are the reasons I love my own 6 quart programmable slow cooker:
1) It’s Nice and Roomy: I can fit enough food for our dinner and for leftovers the next day in a single slow cooker cooking session.
2) It’s Easy to Use: I originally worried that a programmable slow cooker would be complicated to figure out but I’ve barely needed to look at the instructions on mine. It’s really intuitive. You turn it on and choose Manual, Program or Probe.
If you choose:
Manual Mode, you set the temperate (high, low or warm) and you’re done.
Program Mode, you set the time for how long you want it to cook and the temperature.
Probe Mode, you set the temperature you want it to cook at and the internal temperature of the meat that you want it to stop cooking at.
That’s it. Super quick and easy.
3) The Probe Takes Away Guess Work:
You put the probe right into the meat. For the whole time it tells you what temperature the meat has reached. Not only are you able to see the temperature climb but it also stops cooking when the desired temperature is reached. At that point, it switches to warm and keeps your roast at that temperature until it’s time to eat.
For Re-Heating Cooked Food:
If you have a stew or casserole that you want to re-heat, transfer the refrigerator-cold food from its container into the slow cooker. Put the probe in the food. Set the temperature you’d like the food to reach. It will heat it up until the temperature is reached and then switch to warm until it’s time to eat.
4) The Warm Setting is Automatic and Awesome: If in Manual Mode you can set the slow cooker to warm and it keeps food warm. My old small unprogrammable slow cooker did that too. The Warm Setting gets really amazing with the programmable slow cooker.
In Program Mode: The slow cooker switches to warm when your time has run out. If you set the slow cooker for 6 hours, when the 6 hour point is reached the slow cooker automatically flips to Warm and keeps food at a warm temperature until you’re ready to eat.
In Probe Mode: When the temperature you’ve set it to is reached, it switches to Warm. Then the food stops cooking and stays at a warm temperature until you’re ready to eat.
I love that! It means that if you’re late getting home, or if your recipe doesn’t need to cook for the full time you’re away, the slow cooker will stop cooking the food but will keep it ready for you just the same.
I’m pretty tickled with my slow cooker these days. I’d say that if you’re thinking of getting a new slow cooker, a programmable one with worth the extra money, especially if you’re going to use it during the day when you’re away from home.
Tell me about your slow cooking experiences for a chance to win a slow cooker!
I’d love to know the reason why you love your slow cooker. Or the reason you don’t like your slow cooker. Or your favorite thing to cook in a slow cooker. Or anything at all about your slow cooker, come to think of it. If you comment below telling me one of these things, you’ll be entered to win a Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker(#33967) sponsored by Hamilton Beach.
If you win the slow cooker you’ll also receive a free copy of our cookbook Where Slow Food And Whole Food Meet: Healthy Slow Cooker Dinners From Our Kitchens To Yours.
Extra Entry #1: As you may know, all proceeds from the sale of the cookbook go to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. In honor of this, we’d appreciate it if you’d tweet out something about what people can do to end hunger in the US. Include the hashtags #slowNwholeCookbook, #sweepsentry and mention @2harvestcfl in your tweet. Comment below with the link to your tweet so I can verify if you win.
Extra Entry #2: Thank Hamilton Beach for this slow cooker giveaway in a tweet. Make sure to include #giveaway, #sweepsentry, @hamiltonbeach and me, @cookthestory, in your tweet. Comment below with the link to your tweet so I can verify it if you win.
Sweepstakes ends on October 22, 2014.
Disclosure: Hamilton Beach provided me with a slow cooker and is providing the slow cooker for giveaway. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.