Lacks extra features
The name Crock-Pot has become ubiquitous with slow cookers, nearly replacing the term altogether. As the company’s own slogan goes, “If It Doesn’t Say Crock-Pot, It’s Not the Original.” They’re beloved for turning out delicious one-pot soups, flavorful meats, and many other meals over the course of a day. We tested out one of the famed slow cookers, the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker, to see if it’s worth the purchase.
Design: Simple features
The Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker is simply designed, with a stainless steel shell, black ceramic stoneware insert, and clear glass lid. The size is big enough for most meals, while still being small enough to pack away in a cabinet. You could leave it out on the countertop, too—the simple, modern design is nice enough to put on display.
At 6 quarts, it’s big enough to cook meals for seven or more people—or to have plenty of leftovers for the week.
One thing we perceive as a design flaw is a lack of handle on the black ceramic cookware itself. While it’s easy to carry while in the stainless steel base, removing the stoneware to clean is difficult, especially if it’s still slightly hot.
Performance: Easy, one-pot meals
This Crock-Pot is a no-frills appliance. There’s just one dial to work with, which sets the slow cooker to one of three temperature settings: Low, High, and Warm. While we appreciate the simplicity, we wish there was at least some sort of indication that it was on and working, like an illuminated light—though you’ll soon know it’s on when it begins to quickly heat up.
The Crock-Pot doesn’t have any built-in timers, so you’ll have to keep track of cooking time on your own.
While slow cookers excel at many types of food, we especially like them for melding together the flavors of soups and stews. With this in mind, we decided to cook up a creamy rosemary white bean soup. After filling up the vessel with our vegetables and stock, we turned it on to high for a faster cooking time. The Crock-Pot doesn’t have any built-in timers, so you’ll have to keep track of cooking time on your own. And while it has a “Warm” mode, the settings are all manual. So unlike other slow cookers, which automatically adjust to this mode when the cooking time is complete, you’ll need to turn the dial yourself.
After around two and a half hours on high, the soup was simmering strong around the edges and lightly in the middle. We let it simmer for another four hours on low, and when we were ready to eat we had a delicious, perfectly cooked soup.
At 6 quarts, it’s big enough to cook meals for seven or more people—or to have plenty of leftovers for the week. The size is especially great if you’ll be taking advantage of the “Cook & Carry” feature (see next section).
Features: Good for traveling
This slow cooker doesn’t come with many extras, but the one defining feature is the lockable lid. This makes the Crock-Pot a stellar option for traveling; it can be taken to parties and cookouts without any worries of spills. We found that the locking lid felt secure without being complicated to use, and we felt confident traveling with it. The Crock-Pot is slightly heavy on its own (13.5 pounds) and the addition of food makes it even heavier. Keep this in mind when deciding how far to carry it.
We found that the locking lid felt secure without being complicated to use, and we felt confident traveling with it.
While the lockable lid keeps the slow cooker from spilling, we did find it to be an issue when we needed to open the Crock-Pot during cooking, because the combination of the steam and hot container made it difficult to close without burning ourselves.
Even easier than throwing everything into one pot to cook? Throwing the ceramic vessel into the dishwasher when it’s done. The lid is dishwasher-safe, too, but we prefer to wash it by hand. The stainless steel exterior should never be submerged in liquid. Instead, clean it with a damp cloth when needed. But before putting the slow cooker vessel into the dishwasher, be sure to rinse it out well. We’ve found that if inserted into the dishwasher with food still suck on, it sometimes comes out still dirty. Ultimately, how well it cleans will depend on your dishwasher and how “stuck-on” the food is in the first place.
Price: Very affordable
The price of slow cookers varies greatly based on different factors and features. Even for a simple slow cooker, this one is surprisingly affordable. The Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker sells for only around $30. This is right within the price range of similar items, and with it comes a big brand name.
Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker vs. KitchenAid Slow Cooker
For triple the price of the Crock-Pot, you can try the KitchenAid Slow Cooker. While they are the same size, instead of the manual dial of the Crock-Pot, the KitchenAid has an LED with a 24-hour programmable timer and four temperature settings. The built-in timer and automatic “Keep Warm” mode mean if you forget about your meal or can’t be home to turn off the slow cooker, there’s no need to worry. But if this isn’t a big concern, then paying the lesser price for the Crock-Pot might make sense for you. Also note that the KitchenAid slow cooker does not have a locking lid like the Crock-Pot option does.
A good budget buy!
If you can do without a built-in timer or any other extras, you’ll like the affordable and simple Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Manual Slow Cooker. And if you’re the type who loves heading to dinner parties or cookouts, this slow cooker will be an especially perfect match for your on-the-go lifestyle.
- Product Name 6.0-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker
- Product Brand CrockPot
- UPC 048894035937
- Price $29.99
- Product Dimensions 15.4 x 15.3 x 9.8 in.
- Color Silver, red
- Material Stainless steel, ceramic, glass
- Capacity 6 qt.
- Cord Length 24 in.
- Warranty 1 year, limited