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Slow cookers are so useful, especially for bulk cooking, but a browning or saute feature makes them even better. While most slow cooker inner pots can go in the oven, they can’t be used on the stovetop. So, if you want to brown meat or vegetables, you have to do that first in a separate pan.
When your slow cooker has a browning function, you can brown meat or vegetables right there in the unit on the stovetop. It saves you the trouble to having to use and clean a second pan.
Does the nonstick coating last? With many otherwise terrific slow cookers, reviewers note that the nonstick coating began to bubble or pit and even break off into the food after a while, even using the gentlest tools and TLC. I have not included any that had consistent mentions of this in the reviews at the time of writing.
Capacity. You’ll have to decide what size you want based on the dishes you like to cook. If you cook whole chickens, you might need an 8 quart slow cooker. If everything you do is smaller, than a 3.5 quart might be fine. Take a look at your recipes to get an idea.
Easy to clean. Because the manufacturers know that’s important, most slow cookers are easy to clean nowadays.
This slow cooker has a nice big size, digital programmable controls, and you can use it on electric, gas and induction cooktops. But what stands out is the lack of complaints about the non-stick coating.
This cooker has a ceramic cooking surface with a proprietary non-stick coating. It claims to be more durable than the non-stick coating used in most slow cookers. They also claim this surface provides more even heat.
Capacity: 5.3 Quarts
More durable than standard non-stick coating. This is backed up by a lack of reviews mentioning any problems with it.
Compatible with electric, gas, and even induction cooktops
Ceramic cooking surface provides 20% more even heat (Compared to standard nonstick)
Some reviewers note that the pot can retain odors from previously cooked foods.
You can use this pot directly on your stovetop to brown, braise, sauté, and make sauces. For even more versatility, you can use the heating base as a griddle. It will cook eggs, french toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetables, meats, fish, etc.
Whether you're taking your slow cooker to a pot luck or on a camping trip, the travel lid and thermal travel bag make it really easy to do this without worrying about spills.
So versatile, with features like a griddle.
Carrying bag and travel lid, perfect if you don't just use your slow cooker at home
Most reviewers are replacing very old WestBend slow cookers that finally gave out, so this brand has a reputation for lasting.
Some complaints about an annoying clicking noise every few seconds while cooking. Seems to be normal behavior for this unit.