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Old 05-14-2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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I have a West Bend 6 qt. (about $30) which I used to use when my kids were at home that I've had for about 25 years, but 90% of what I now cook, gets done in my 2-1/2 qt. Rival ($14)... just the perfect size for 1 or 2 people.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:30 PM   #12
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A new one came out a few years ago that I'm interested in. I believe the brand is Hamilton Beach. Anyway, it's apparently 3 sizes in one, as the heating element accomodates 3 different inserts (small, medium, & large) that come with the unit. And the last time I checked, it really wasn't that expensive - around $50-$60. This seems like it would be very useful, since you can make meals for just 2 people or for a crowd without having to worry about fill levels.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by clairebear View Post
Thanks for the tips so far! Do you have a link to that cheese dip recipe BigAl?
No "recipe" but it's pretty easy. velveeta cheese, few jalaps, milk, and ground meat. I never make it the same way twice. If you can, use ground ostrich meat(also great in chili).

Probably be able to make a gumbo and etouffee in the crock.

Not a big fan of the crock, but it can be helpful.
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BigAL View Post
No "recipe" but it's pretty easy. velveeta cheese, few jalaps, milk, and ground meat. I never make it the same way twice. If you can, use ground ostrich meat(also great in chili).

Probably be able to make a gumbo and etouffee in the crock.

Not a big fan of the crock, but it can be helpful.
Big A try chorizo in it next time, it's fantabulous...
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
A new one came out a few years ago that I'm interested in. I believe the brand is Hamilton Beach. Anyway, it's apparently 3 sizes in one, as the heating element accomodates 3 different inserts (small, medium, & large) that come with the unit. And the last time I checked, it really wasn't that expensive - around $50-$60. This seems like it would be very useful, since you can make meals for just 2 people or for a crowd without having to worry about fill levels.
We have that one; we bought it a couple months ago. It's very handy to have the three sizes because you can easily overcook/burn food in too big of a vessel, especially since the more recent slow cookers cook hotter, probably due to safety concerns.

The only con to this model is that it won't please those who want to be able to set it and forget it. It does not have those bells and whistles. It has three heat settings (high, low, and warm), and it has three settings for each of the three sizes. That's it.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:28 PM   #16
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Thanks for the review. That would actually work just fine for me, as I never "set it & forget it". Have never liked leaving electrical appliances on when I'm not home.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:47 PM   #17
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Thanks for the review. That would actually work just fine for me, as I never "set it & forget it". Have never liked leaving electrical appliances on when I'm not home.
Also know that it does not go to "warm" automatically either.

We've been quite happy with ours, but we're still experimenting with timing. It seems that most recipes cook in less time -- or at least at the lesser of the two times usually given in so many recipes. Again, I think that's a function of modern slow cookers being hotter than the old ones.

But at least with these three sizes, you can be more assured that you're not using a pot too big. That's the biggest culprit, I think, for overcooking or burning. The pot should be at least 2/3 full, if I recall correctly -- just make sure it's not so full that it might overflow.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:52 PM   #18
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That's fine, because since I'm home when it's in use, I can switch it to warm or off at will.

It's the 3 sizes that attract me the most because since it's usually just the 2 of us, I always end up making way more food than is necessary just to have the unit I now own filled properly.
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
That's fine, because since I'm home when it's in use, I can switch it to warm or off at will.

It's the 3 sizes that attract me the most because since it's usually just the 2 of us, I always end up making way more food than is necessary just to have the unit I now own filled properly.
They have an inexpensive 2 qt. model around Christmas time at Wal-mart. They are so handy I bought three (at $5 each on clearance). They are perfect for small dishes or a complete meal for two.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:02 AM   #20
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I couldn't do without mine!! I have just chucked a kilo of shin beef,stock powder, 2 tablespoons of flour, couple of cups of mushrooms, chopped onions some baby carrots, a cup of best red and a cup of water and a good dollop of my daughter's chilli jam in mine and it will be ready later this evening for a terrifically easy Sunday meal.
Use it.. there are some great slow cooker books about, but use your imagination.
cheers :))
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