Which Hamilton Beach slow cooker is best?
Cooking a sumptuous repast doesn’t always have to take a lot of work, but sometimes it just takes a lot of time. Slow cookers allow you to make tasty meals, from soups to casseroles, overnight or throughout the day so that they are ready when you are.
One of the leading countertop appliance companies, Hamilton Beach, offers a range of user-friendly slow cookers, including this versatile and feature-packed Programmable 6-Quart model. Understanding how they work and what options are available is key to finding the best slow cooker available.
What to know before you buy a Hamilton Beach slow cooker
What is a slow cooker?
A slow cooker is a simple countertop appliance that champions convenience. It’s ideal for those who are busy or aren’t particularly interested in spending a lot of time cooking. A slow cooker is ideal for roasts, soups, stews, casseroles and sauces. Slow cookers run at low temperatures for four to eight hours, so they’re most often used before going to bed or in the morning before work. You can leave them unattended and they consume little power.
A slow cooker comprises three parts. A base plugs into an outlet and provides the heating mechanism. A crock sits within the base and holds the ingredients. A lid attaches to the base.
Hamilton Beach slow cookers range in size from around 3 quarts up to 10 quarts. Most busy households will find a 6- or 8-quart appliance sufficient. With an increase in capacity comes a higher price tag and the need for a larger amount of counter space or storage space.
Slow cookers are fairly simple in operation: most Hamilton Beach models allow for a low setting and a high setting. The hotter option cooks 200-225°F while the lower setting ranges from 180-200°F. There is typically a “keep warm” function, which maintains an internal temperature of 165°F.
What to look for in a quality Hamilton Beach slow cooker
More advanced slow cookers feature programmable settings and a digital interface to add convenience and precision to use. With a timer included, the slow cooker will maintain a temperature for the preferred length and then automatically switch to the ‘keep warm’ setting. Timer settings range from 30 minutes up to 20 hours.
A probe is included in some models, allowing you to check the internal temperature of the ingredients to determine whether it’s ready. This is often used for meat dishes, where a threshold needs to be reached for the meat to be safe to eat. The lid may include up to four spots where you could insert a probe to check the temperature.
While basic models offer a ‘low’ and ‘high’ setting, some include a ‘medium’ option as well. Others still allow for a more exact temperature to be set through the digital interface for increased precision and better results.
Certain Hamilton Beach models offer easy movement with convenient and secure features. Oversized handles are included in some models so that you can carry the appliance with ease. The lid may lock into place either through a latch or wire clips to prevent seeping of the contents during movement as well. Securing the lid is designed for temporary movements and you should not close the lid fully while the unit is running.
How much you can expect to spend on a Hamilton Beach slow cooker
Mid-size Hamilton Beach slow cookers cost $25-$50, though models with temperature control or a probe will raise the price.
Hamilton Beach slow cooker FAQ
How do I clean my slow cooker?
A. The lid and the crock portion of a Hamilton Beach slow cooker are dishwasher safe in most cases, which allows for easy cleaning. Still, they are also fairly simple to wash by hand using a soft cloth or sponge and gentle soap. Let the unit cool before you rinse it. You can wipe the base with a damp cloth.
What’s the difference between a slow cooker and a pressure cooker?
A. While a slow cooker prepares food on low heat over a long time, pressure cooking rapidly speeds up the process through intense pressure and hot steam. Some pressure cookers allow for slow cooking as well.
What’s the best Hamilton Beach slow cooker to buy?
Top Hamilton Beach slow cooker
Programmable 6-Quart Slow Cooker
What you need to know: This versatile model includes a digital interface and programmable features for convenient usage.
What you’ll love: It includes a probe with four different entry points to check the temperature. It has various temperature settings and a ‘keep warm’ function.
What you should consider: The unit is bulky and the cord is short.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Hamilton Beach slow cooker for the money
What you need to know: This is a compact, straightforward slow cooker ideal for smaller households in need of easy, tasty meals.
What you’ll love: It has a low price for a 5-quart slow cooker and it includes a ‘keep warm’ setting. The components are dishwasher safe and the stoneware crock is fridge and microwave safe.
What you should consider: It has analog controls. Be careful when removing the lid to avoid messes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Stay-or-Go Portable 6-Quart Slow Cooker
What you need to know: With a mid-range size and dual settings, this slow cooker offers value for its versatility and capacity.
What you’ll love: It features a digital programmable interface and toggles between two temperatures. The lid locks securely in place for easy movement. The size serves up to seven people.
What you should consider: It lacks precise heating or temperature check options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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