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Old 01-11-2005, 06:24 PM   #1
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Crockpot help!! Do I have a dud?

I am completely new to crockpot cooking. My mother gave us one this year and I've tried it twice so far. It is a Rival 5 quart chrome smart pot and has a setting for 4, 6, 8, and 10 hours. It adjusts the temperature accordingly.

The first time I used it I came home after 8 hours to find a pool of water all over my counter. I guess water condensed on the lid, got on the wide lip of the ceramic pot, and boiled right off the edge onto my counter. It was a LOT of water. Meanwhile, my split pea soup had burned around the edge of the bottom of the ceramic dish!

I tried it again today with beef stew. I didn't fill the pot as much (about half full) to keep it from boiling over and I added more liquid than the recipe called for to try and curb the burning on the bottom. I checked in on the stew after 5 hours (came home on my lunch break) and lifted the lid to stir it. I found that food was already sticking to the bottom. Water was collecting on hte lip of the ceramic pot and when I lifted the lid it fell back into the stew. When I returned 4 hours later, there was some stew stuck to the bottom of the pot and no water spilt on my counter. The steam was lifting the lid up and down making a clanging sound!

What do you think??? Is there something wrong with my crockpot or do I need to learn some tricks of the trade!


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Old 01-11-2005, 06:37 PM   #2
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wow! what a mess....!

I'm sorry I can't be of any help...

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Old 01-11-2005, 07:13 PM   #3
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Sounds like a dud.....contact the manufacture.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:55 PM   #4
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I agree that it sounds like you need to return it and get another one.

A couple of things. When cooking with a crockpot, you should not need to need to add any extra liquid. You will usually end up with a lot more liquid than you started with.

Sometimes when I use mine, the steam does lift the lid a little bit and it makes a slight clanking sound.

Return it and try another one and hopefully that will solve the problem.

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Old 01-11-2005, 10:09 PM   #5
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I "assume" you read the manual that came with it and are following the directions.

It is normal for moisture to condense on the lid and fall back into the food. A crock pot is slow moist cooking ... you need to keep that moisture in the pot. Adding extra liquid should not be necessary.

I've never had anything burn or stick in a crock pot when following the directions - and I've never had one leaking moisture all over the counter. Again assuming you are doing everything "by the book" - it sounds like you might have a unit with a defective thermostat, or defective control unit, that is causing it to run too hot.

If the store your mother bought it from is local, and IF you still have the box it came in ... just take it back and tell them you got it for Christmas and it has a defective thermostat. Sometimes a store like Target or WalMart will take it back without the original box ... but when you swap it out they will kep the box the new one was in to put the old unit in. Actually, if you have a local Target, K-Mart or WalMart (they all sell Rival crock pots) that sells the same unit you have - just take it back there (little white lie that you got it for Christmas and it came from there) and swap it out.

Alternative is to contact Rival. Click on the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of their website home page: http://www.rivalproducts.com/eStore/...er_static.aspx
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:53 PM   #6
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I guess it might be a dud

Thanks for all the info. I guess I must have a dud. I got teh split pea recipe from a random website for crockpot split pea soup. The other recipe was from Rival's website!! I did add carrots to the stew (which they didn't include) but I also increased the amount of liquid to try and avoid the sticking problem. It was getting really dry so I kept opening the lid to add more water. Maybe it is cooking on high instead of low. It was boiling already when I checked on it 4 hours into cooking. I don't know if that means anything.

She got it at Kmart. I have the box and receipt but the nearest store is 60 miles away from where I live. :( I checked walmart and target and they don't carry it. I think best buy carries the white version of my chrome pot. I'll call Bestbuy adn Rival tomorrow to see what options I have. I might end up having to live with this one.

Thanks everybody. If ya'll have any other thoughts on the subject, let me know.
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:20 AM   #7
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My crockpot just has High and Low settings, no "time" settings.

While I have had condensation on the lid like you've described (which makes sense as the steam has no escape route so it forms water where it pools up on the lid) I've never had any trouble with stuff sticking. Maybe try coating it with olive oil or some no-stick type spray before you add your ingrediants next time if you're stuck with that one.

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Old 01-12-2005, 08:51 AM   #8
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I have never had any trouble with foods sticking in my crock pot. I especially like making spaghetti sauce in it because it can simmer all day with no sticking and I don't have to stir it at all, as used to be required when I cooked the sauce on the stove previously. I do not follow the crock pot recipes requiring the addition of lots of liquids because, as stated above, there is lots of moisture being created in the lid which goes down into the cooking food. It's true that you end up with a lot more liquid in the end. My lid is heavy glass and it does not vibrate. Adding the carrots should not have made any difference at all. I add extra stuff all the time.

As far as returning it, you must return it to the store where purchased or perhaps the manufacturer directly. We had to return a coffee pot from Christmas and, even tho' we knew it had been purchased at Target, we noted that WalMart carried the same item. Since WalMart was much closer to us than Target, we tried returning it at their store. They scanned the UPC code and told us it hadn't been purchased at a WalMart. We, therefore, had to take it back to Target and their policy on returns is that you must purchase a replacement item from the same department. They don't give you store credit. Since they didn't have another coffee maker we liked, we turned out buying a new microwave. Ours still worked, but was getting pretty old and a bit tempermental, so it was only a matter of time since we were going to have to replace it anyhow.

So, good luck with your crock pot. It's definitely not working right, but they are a fantastic asset in the kitchen. I use mine mainly in the Winter months and it's great if having company and you want to prepare your meal early in the day with clean up being only the ceramic cooking pot. Lots of main dish foods can be made in it, just use your same basic recipe for an item you might generally make in the oven, i.e. a pot roast, or foods that require lengthy stove top cooking. Don't give up, you will surely like crock pot cooking once you get a good unit. :)
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:48 AM   #9
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One other thing I want to point out since you mention you lift the lid a lot. I have heard (and I have no way to know if this is actually true or not so hopefully someone else can confirm or deny) that every time you lift the lid you need to add another 20 minutes to the cooking time.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:59 AM   #10
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I've heard that too, GB!
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:33 AM   #11
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I recently started doing some crockpot cooking and am in the market for a new crockpot (see my post below)........I have an older Rival 4 qt and while I've had excellent results, the 4 qt is too small for my needs.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of research on crockpots, and from what I've seen the Rival Smart Pots have gotten very mixed reviews. I read all the reviews on Amazon and many many people had the same problem.

Just thought I'd share that. The one I want to get is thw West Bend 6 Qt Versaility cooker (which got good reviews on Amazon). The great thing about this one is that the vessel can go on the stove for browning the meat. Cook's Illustrated gave the Versatility Cooker an excellent review. While they gave the Rival smart pot a good review, they said that the timer is an unnecessary feature.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any more questions. Cook's reviewed a few others......you have to subscribe to cook's site to get some of the information, so if you need to know anything else, let me know and I'll go look.

i'm not on all that much these days, so feel free to email me........

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Old 01-15-2005, 09:49 AM   #12
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The last time I owned a crock pot I also had a problem with it being "too hot". You shouldn't reallly be able to boil water in your crock pot. Now my stove has a setting that I call "crock pot" so I don't own one at all. But in my younger days this thing was a life-saver in being able to throw stuff in it, plug it in, and go to work, coming home to a great poached chicken or stew or soup. But I think quality control has gone down. When I owned one, I could fill it almost to the rim and not have anything but maybe some condensation when I picked up the lid. It may be that you used to high a setting, but I suspect you need to return the thing.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:50 PM   #13
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A lot of people are having the same problems with the Rival 'Smart Pots' - if you look at the customer comments about them on Amazon.com you will see...... I know this because I was considering buying one a couple of months ago, and I always use Amazon.com as a source of customer information before I buy most anything.


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