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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Slow Cooker & Crock-Pot Cooking / Crockpots with just Low, High and Warm dials, but no timer?
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    Crockpots with just Low, High and Warm dials, but no timer?

    mettam
    Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:31 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I have a crockpot that has a low, high and warm dial but no timer. I am never sure how long the low or high setting run for. Do they switch to warm after say 4 hours? Sometimes I am at work for 10 hours, which seem too long to leave the crock pot on low cook. I'm afraid of over cooking or even worse starting a fire.
    Can anyone advise how these crockpots with just the Low, High and Warm dials work.
    duonyte
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:23 pm
    Forum Host
    Timers are relatively new - neither of the crockpots I own have timers. Without a timer, the crockpot will run at whichever setting you set it to, until you turn it off.

    Ten hours is not an unusual time on low. There are no reported instances of slow cookers catching fire. Your bigger "danger" is that food turns to mush. Not a lot of foods really do well with extended periods of cooking - I find most recipes put too long time frames.

    In crockpots with timers, it will switch to Warm when instructed to it. But without a timer you would have to do so manually.
    duonyte
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:28 pm
    Forum Host
    Also check out this thread for recipes designed for longer times, http://www.food.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=370591
    mettam
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:48 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thank you for replying.. I think I should go out and buy a Crockpot with a timer. Can you recommend one for two people and a baby. Maybe a 6qt or 4qt.. Or will any one do, are they all good.
    duonyte
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:22 pm
    Forum Host
    I have a five quart cooker and a 3 1/2 quart cooker. I use the 3 1/2 for most stuff, but the larger one is great for roasts, whole chickens, some other things.

    The smaller one is very old, from when the slow cookers ran a bit cooler. The larger one is a private brand - Crofton - from Aldi. Neither have a timer, as I said.

    Your best bet for recommendations is to look at amazon.com or walmart.com, at the product reviews. If I can find some recommendations at Cooks Illustrated or some place like that, I'll let you know. I think Red likes the Hamilton Beach 3 in 1 which gives you the flexibility on sizes, and I think the new Ninja 3 in 1 got really high marks on Rachael Ray and A Year of Slow Cooking. But I have no experience with any of these myself.
    Red Apple Guy
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:27 pm
    Forum Host
    mettam
    The pots with simple controls are suitable for plugging into timers. Turning a pot off say an hour before you get home should keep the ingredients in a safe temperature range.

    I do prefer Hamilton Beach cookers. Some brands are known for running on the hot side. As duonyte suggested, product reviews on Amazon.com should clue you in to a good pot to purchase.
    mettam
    Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:31 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    The Ninja 3 in 1 looks amazing, but not sure I can justify spending $150 just yet.

    I watched the demonstration video for the Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System. I noticed how the roast chicken and roast beef all have a nice golden brown roasted look, can you actually get this from a slow cooker ? or do they have to prep it first ?
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ninja-3-in-1-Cooking-System/21092317
    Red Apple Guy
    Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:28 am
    Forum Host
    mettam
    The ninja cooking system is much more than a slow cooker. The several functions offered allow searing, browning in the same pot you cook in (as I understand what I've read about it), The moisture in a closed pot limits the browning a roast or chicken gets, but I typically brown meats before placing in the pot to get the additional flavors browning brings to the dish.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

    A whole chicken will be pale unless it is finished in a hot oven which also crisps the skin.

    I often brown a roast in a skillet prior to slow cooking. This also speeds up the cooking unless you place the pot with the browned meat in the fridge before cooking.

    The slow cooker just brings convenience, tenderness and flavor to the dish.

    Red
    duonyte
    Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:26 am
    Forum Host
    I brown meats before putting them in the slow cooker, too. This really enhances flavor. You also need to deglaze the pan and add that to the slow cooker for a flavor boost.
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