Cuisinart Slow Cooker

The Cuisinart slow cooker makes it easy to prepare your meals early and let them cook all day.

The Cuisinart slow cooker makes it easy to prepare your meals early and let them cook all day.

I've had my Cuisinart slow cooker for a little over a year now, and I have to say it's super convenient. Mostly, it's just a matter of throwing all the ingredients into the pot early in the day, turning it on on the low setting, and letting it simmer slowly all day. At dinnertime, just serve and eat.

Well, it's often not quite that easy. Meats of all types generally need to be browned first.

The controls are super-easy. There's a button to turn it on or off, temperature settings (high, low, simmer), and "plus" and "minus" buttons to set the duration.

If you set it to cook on High for 8 hours but 8 hours later you haven't eaten yet, the cooker automatically switches to the warm setting to keep your food warm without overcooking it.

The retracting cord is nice. When not in use, it snugs up into the base of the cooker and out of the way.

It has a see-through glass lid. The manual says that every time you lift the lid, you should figure on adding a half-hour to the cooking time. I have to admit, when the food is cooking all day and filling the house with wonderful smells, it's hard not to lift that lid periodically to do a taste-test.

I got the 6 1/2 quart cooker. In retrospect, I sort of wish I had gotten a smaller one. Mostly it's just my husband and me, and one this large is really more than we need. Slow cookers really need to be at least half-full to work properly. But the large one is nice to have when I'm feeding a group, and that's also when it's the most convenient. I can start dinner early and then spend my time socializing with my guests rather than in the kitchen.

The brushed stainless steel finish is elegant looking and easy to wipe clean. The ceramic pot and glass lid are dishwasher-safe. The ceramic pot is heavy, especially when filled with food. The manual warns you to be careful and not change the temperature of the crock too quickly — i.e., don't put it in the fridge overnight then take it out and put in the cooker.

The whole unit seems well-constructed and solid. The heat settings work very well. The high heat setting is generally used to cook foods for about 4 hours, while the low heat setting should be used for 6-8 hours.

I've used this for chicken, beef, soups & stews, meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and many other dishes. My husband likes to make his world-famous chili in it. Everything comes out beautifully. For slow cooking, you do have to learn to adjust for the amount of liquid, and brown your meats first, and things like that. The manual gives information on adjusting your favorite recipies.

A good slow cooker can't be beat for set-it-and-forget-it meal preparation. This slow cookers offers the Cuisinart quality I've come to expect in a good-looking and easy-to-use unit.

 

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