I prefer to using an actual Crock-Pot brand one. The one I currently have, and over the years I’ve gone through quite a few, is delicious in that it has a removable crock. Can we say easier cleaning?The questions you have to ask yourself when choosing a crock-pot are:
- How important is it to have a removable crock?
- How many people are you cooking for?
- What sorts of items will you be cooking?
- Do you want higher end options like programmable timers and the pot’s ability to shift to a “warmer” setting when cooking is done?
So let’s all look at these four questions:
- How important is it to have a removable crock? For me this is a no brainer. After owning both kinds I will ONLY buy one with a removable crock. Cleaning is simpler. You don’t have to worry about the electronics getting wet during the cleaning process. However, if you don’t feel like you’re the most coordinated of people, having to hand wash the crock might not be for you. I’ve had people write to me saying “help – I dropped the crock in the sink while washing and it cracked – now what”? Well depending on the brand, you can actually buy replacement parts. Another bonus of the Crock-Pot brand one I have. You can buy replacement crocks, lids and lid handles (I’ve had those break on me from age).
- How many people are you cooking for? For me I’m only cooking for 3 people, so if I’m cooking for just one meal I really don’t need a gigantic crock-pot, however I like to cook and freeze some for a later date – so I opt for a larger crock-pot to make sure I have enough room to cook enough food for left overs. I believe mine is a 6.5 quart - it was purchased at Costco.
- What sorts of items will you be cooking? If you’re thinking of doing a rack of ribs in the crock-pot, you’ll want to have a larger one so that you don’t have to cut the rack down so much to fit in. Mine can fit almost a full rack of ribs in without having to cut anything down.
- Do you want higher end options? This is another no brainer for me. I really like the set it and forget it of a programmable timer. My current one lets you set it by 30 minute intervals. You can also choose from “high” or “low” temperature. And bonus – when the timer is done, it automatically shifts over to “warm” so you don’t overcook your food.
I hope this was helpful to you. Please drop me a line if you have any other questions. I go through phases of cooking with crock-pot. I don’t use it every week, but use it enough to keep it in the kitchen instead of packed away in the garage like the ice cream maker.
** I have received no compensation for this product write up.