10 Best Multi-Cookers For Under $50 (Almost)

10 Best Multi-Cookers For Under $50 (Almost)

One of the commenters on a previous post asked if I could find the best Instant Pot and Multi-Cookers for under $50 for her. Wow, this was no easy task! Multi-cookers are complex cooking devices that take the place of several of your other small kitchen appliances. They require precise controls and multiple safety devices to ensure safe and perfect results consistently. But, I promised to try. After all, this site is dedicated to helping you find the right small kitchen appliance for you. And so, here are the 10 Best Multi-Cookers For Under $50 (Almost). You will find a couple here over $50 but just a little more. Hope you find the one that suits your needs as well as fits your tight budget.

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The 12 Best Slow Cookers And Crock Pots In 2018 For Your Kitchen

The 12 Best Slow Cookers And Crock Pots In 2018 - Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

The 12 Best Slow Cookers And Crock Pots For Your Kitchen In 2018

What are The 12 Best Slow Cookers And Crock Pots In 2018? There are a lot of slow cookers and crock pots on the market right now and choosing the right one for you can be confusing. Is the programmable or non-programmable best for you? What size is best for your cooking needs? And what features should you look for? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and find out which slow cooker/crockpot is best for your kitchen.

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Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart (SCV800-B) Review

The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart (SCV800-B) Review

Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart (SCV800-B)

Do you need an extra-large slow cooker for your large, hungry family or your next holiday party? The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart (SCV800-B) is large enough to serve soup or stew for 8 or more people. Its oval shape can handle a very large beef or pork loin roast, or a 6-9 lb. chicken or even a small turkey.


Name: Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart
Website: www.crock-pot.com
Price: See the Amazon link below for current price
Owners: Newell Brands Co., Hoboken, NJ
CEO: Michael B. Polk
Overall Rank: 89 out of 100

Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart, Product Overview

The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart is an extra large mechanical slow cooker. The largest size slow cooker is 8.5 quarts available from only a couple of other manufacturers. Links to them are at the bottom of the page, in case you are interested. However, with 8 quarts you can cook for 8 or more people depending on their appetite and what you are cooking.

The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart comes with a removable stoneware crock with glass lid. Both are dishwasher-safe. This model is black but it is also available in red and stainless steel.

The control switch has heat settings of Off-Low-High and Warm. Warm should only be used after the meal is cooked in order to keep the food at serving temperature. Warm should never be used to cook food from cold because the food would remain at an unsafe low temperature for too long leading to harmful bacterial growth.


The Good & the Bad

The Good:

There are other slow cookers that advertise a capacity of 8 quarts but many of them do not truly hold 8 quarts. This one does, although the 8 quarts of liquid comes right to the brim where it touches the lid. You should only be filling it with liquid to 2/3 to 3/4 full (about 1-1/2″ from the top) to avoid boiling over during cooking. So the actual usable capacity of any slow cooker needs to be derated accordingly.

The removable inner stoneware pot and glass lid are easily cleaned.

The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart is easy to use with only one 4-settings control switch.

The see-through glass lid is great for checking the progress of your meal without lifting it. Lifting the lid releases precious heat and can extend the time required to cook the food.

The price is very good for the size of this extra large unit. Many smaller capacity cookers are close to or even more expensive.

How To Make A Whole Thanksgiving Turkey In A Slow Cooker | TODAY

The Bad:

This is a large appliance measuring 9.5 x 15.3 x 15.4 inches. It takes up lots of counter and cupboard space.

The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart does not have a timer that automatically switches to the warm setting. When cooking is complete you must manually switch to warm or shut the slow cooker off to avoid overcooking or drying the food out.


Who is the Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart, (SCV800-B) For?

The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart is for anyone that needs to cook for a large crowd of people. Or if you don’t have a lot of time during the week, use this extra large slow cooker to prepare a large quantity of food on the weekend. Divide it into portions and freeze for lunches and suppers later during the week.

Convenience is the best feature of a slow cooker. If you are going to be busy doing something else or have to be away for awhile. But, you need that meal ready to serve at a certain time. Then slow cooking is a great way to have a complete meal ready when you are.

Here’s a video showing How To Make Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast.

How to Make Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast | Allrecipes.com

Looking for something smaller? Have a look at my  Slow Cookers page to learn more about other similar appliances.

Or maybe you need a slow cooker that automatically switches to warm when you are not around? In that case, a Programmable Slow Cooker is what you want.

Looking for something even bigger? Another way to slow cook very large meals, like a 22 lb turkey, is to buy a Roaster Oven and cook at the lowest temperature. Here are a couple of options:


Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart – Customer Reviews

Amazon Customer Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars


My Final Opinion of the Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart

The Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart is a great appliance for large families, family gatherings, pot-luck get-togethers or special holiday meals. It is also handy for cooking a lot of meals ahead of time, to be portioned, frozen and eaten at a later date.

I give the Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart 89 out of 100 and highly recommended Buy Now.


Do you have a Crock-pot Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black, 8-quart? What is your opinion? Please leave your comments or questions in the comment box below.

Crock-Pot SCV700SS 7-Quart Slow Cooker Review

Crock-Pot SCV700SS 7-Quart Slow Cooker Review

Crock-Pot SCV700SS 7-Quart Slow Cooker

The Crock-Pot SCV700SS 7-Quart Slow Cooker is a simple, manual slow cooker. Set it on “high” for a quick meal or side dish. Or, set it on “low” to cook while you’re away from the kitchen. Your meal will be ready for you and your family or guests when you return. Use the “warm” setting to keep cooked food hot until it’s time for dinner.

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Mechanical Slow Cookers Review

Mechanical slow cookers are very simple appliances consisting of a pot, usually removable, a lid, and a heating element controlled by a 3 or 4-way switch. The switch settings are off, low, high and on a 4-way switch, keep warm.

The following are a few of the more popular models available.

Crock-Pot SCV700SS 7-qt Manual Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot SCV700SS Stainless Steel 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, 7 Quart

The Crock-Pot SCV700SS 7-qt Manual Slow Cooker is an inexpensive way to get started with slow cooking. It is simple to operate with 4 settings. Low for when you want to cook while you are away, high for cooking a meal quickly, and warm for keeping your dinner at the perfect temperature until you are ready to eat.

Features

  • The 7-quart stoneware insert is removable for serving and easy cleaning.
  • High, Low and Warm settings are made for cooking versatility and keeping food warm.
  • It is large enough to cook a seven-pound roast serving nine or more people.
  • Comes with a see-through glass lid.
  • Lid and stoneware are dishwasher safe.
  • Elegant stainless steel finish with black accents and plastic handles.
  • 24″ cord length.
Crock-Pot SCV700SS 7-qt Manual Slow Cooker - Learn More Button

West Bend 84905 Oblong Slow Cooker

West Bend 84905 Oblong Versatility Slow Cooker, 5-Quart, Silver (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

The West Bend 84905 Oblong Slow Cooker has room for a roast because of its shape. The see-through glass lid means you won’t have to lift the lid and lose valuable heat to see how your meal is coming along. And the cooking pot can go directly from cooking to the fridge or freezer without worrying about breaking it.

Features

  • Oblong-shaped for roasts and ribs
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • 5-quart capacity for family dinners and entertaining
  • Oven-, range-top-, and freezer-safe cooking pot
  • Glass lid included; see your food cooking without lifting lid
  • Heating base doubles as a nonstick mini griddle
  • Dishwasher-safe pot and lid
  • 1-year limited warranty

Hamilton Beach 33182A Slow Cooker, 8-Quart

Hamilton Beach 755263231981 (33182A) Slow Cooker, 8 Quart, Black

The huge 8-quart capacity of the Hamilton Beach 33182A Slow Cooker makes it so easy to cook an entire meal for the entire family or group of friends in one pot. You won’t have a ton of cookware to clean up after dinner. And the pot and lid are dishwasher-safe.

Features

  • Great for large meals
  • Perfect size for a 6 lbs. roast or 8 lbs. chicken
  • Mess-free lid rest for easy serving
  • Full-grip handles
  • Removable stoneware insert
  • See through glass lid
  • Dishwasher safe stoneware and lid

Do you have a favorite slow cooker? Leave your comment or question in the comment box below, I would love to hear from you.

Slow Cookers

Slow cookers are convenient ways to cook meals ahead of time. Small and efficient they take up little room on the counter or in the cupboard. Due to the slow cooking method, they provide tender, tasty meals from less costly cuts of meat. Cook an entire meal all in one pot. Prepare it the night before, store in the refrigerator, and put it in the pot in the morning. Set the temperature, turn it on and go about your daily activities. When you and your family are ready to eat, the meal is ready to serve.

Slow Cookers - Soup cooking in a slow cooker

Types of Slow Cookers

There are basically two types of Slow Cooker, the mechanical and the programmable.

The mechanical type comes from the original “Crock-Pot” invented by Irving Naxon in 1936. His device consisted of an insert, held up by a case that held a heating device, which facilitated even heating of food inside the insert. The device was also portable. It continues to be made today by Rival Manufacturing without much change but is also made under many other brand names.

The programmable slow cooker, as its name says, can be programmed by electronic controls. Some models can be programmed for up to 24 hours in 30-minute increments, although cooking food for this long is much more than most home cooks require and can lead to food-safety concerns. Many models automatically switch to a keep-warm setting when the set time is up and can keep food warm for hours. Manual mode is also available on some models.

For tips on cooking with slow cookers be sure to read this.


Mechanical Slow Cookers

The basic control on a mechanical slow cooker or Crock Pot is a 3 or 4 position switch. The 3 positions are “Off – Low – High” and on a 4 position switch “Warm”.

Following is a table comparing cooking times of conventional stove vs high-low slow cooker settings. In other words, if a conventional oven takes (x) minutes to cook a meal, then a slow cooker on high setting will take (y) hrs and on low setting will take (z) hours

Cooking Times:

Conventional (x)          High (y)           Low  (z)
15-30mins                      1-2hrs             4-6hrs
35-40mins                     3-4hrs            6-8hrs
50mins-3hrs                 4-6hrs            8-18hrs

You must manually turn the temperature control to “Warm” setting, when available. “Warm” setting keeps the food hot and ready to serve. Food kept at the high or low settings for too long will overcook and turn to mush.

Pros:

  • Easy to use – simple, uncomplicated switch setting, no learning curve
  • Less expensive to buy
  • No electronics – less chance of equipment failure, cheap to fix/replace if it breaks
  • removable inserts for easy serving and cleaning

Cons:

  • Manual control – requires more attention in order to prevent overcooking

Examples of Mechanical (Crock Pot) Slow Cookers

Slow Cookers - Mechanical

Programmable Slow Cookers

Timers automatically switch to “warm” when the food is finished cooking. Some of the more common features of this type of slow cooker are:

  • digital displays
  • touchscreens
  • settings up to 24 hours in 30-minute increments
  • removable inserts
  • some models feature multi-cooking modes such as steaming and rice cooking
  • some have WiFi for remote control via a smartphone app

Examples of programmable slow cookers

Slow Cookers - Programmable


Things to Consider When Buying a Slow Cooker

  1. Location of Heater Element – is either on the bottom only or on the bottom and on the sides. Having a bottom only heater element leads to uneven heating and cooking of food. The best models have heater element(s) on the bottom and sides and a tight-fitting insert to ensure even and efficient spreading of heat throughout the food.
  2. Size – slow cooker sizes range from 3-quart up to 8-quart. What you plan to use it for determines the size you need. Smaller units suit singles or couples. Larger families and those of you that entertain groups need the larger capacity.
  3. Crock Material – is metal, ceramic or porcelain. All types are fairly easy to clean, particularly if removable.
  4. Removable Inserts – allow easier cleaning and more convenience. Slow cookers with non-removable pots cannot be completely immersed in water. Otherwise, the damage to electrical components could result. Removable inserts can also double as serving containers.
  5. Lid Material – the temptation to look at what’s cooking is very great but lifting that lid releases precious heat and delays the final tasty result. Look for a glass or other clear material for the lid so you can see inside without opening the top.
  6. Shape – slow cookers come in various shapes the most common being round or oval. What you intend to use the cooker for should determine its shape. If you are going to cook ribs or roasts, oval slow cookers will suit you best. For soups and stews, round shapes will work just as well.
  7. Timer – if you are going to be home all the time while cooking, a mechanical slow cooker will be fine for you. Set a separate timer to remind you when the cooking time is up. However, if you will not be around when the food is done cooking then you need an automatic timer to switch to “warm” so that the meal doesn’t turn into mush. A 10-hour timer is enough for most meals. You need a longer timer only for large, complex recipes.
  8. Searing Function – more expensive slow cookers may come with a searing function built in. This allows you to sear food to seal in juices prior to slow cooking without the use of a stove. Some slow cookers have an insert to put on the stove and sear meat without dirtying another pan.
  9. Warming Function – consider a “warm” setting, either on a programmable automatic timer or on a mechanical slow cooker. This feature keeps food at a lower temperature until ready for serving. If a “warm” setting is not available the food must be served immediately or transferred to a pot to be kept warm on the stove. This is to avoid food cooling slowly and developing dangerous bacterial cultures.
  10. Mechanical or Programmable – the advantage of programmable slow cookers over mechanical is their “set and forget” capability. Set the timer and the unit will switch over to “warm” when cooking is done. This allows you to do other things or even be out of the house without the worry of overcooking. However, if that is not a concern for you then the extra expense is not necessary, go ahead and enjoy the cooking experience of the simple “crock-pot”.

Leave a comment about your thoughts or experiences with any of the types of slow cookers.


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