Lisa’s Buying Guide

I love pots and pans and gadgets… all that cooking “stuff”!  And we give that stuff a good workout with Cooking Club, so I feel like it’s tested out pretty well.  Since people are always asking me which slow cooker they should buy or which cast iron pot we’ve been using, I figured I’d compile everything in one spot so it’s easy to find.  Full disclosure:  Most of these links will be referral links, so, if you buy something, it doesn’t cost you any extra, but, I make a little money.  Then I can buy more stuff to try out and tell you about. 😉  (If you’ve been to Cooking Club and have a question about something we’ve used in my kitchen, email me here!)

My New Obsession! The Instant Pot

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker 6Qt/1000W, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior

I’ve been intrigued (but intimidated!) by pressure cookers for a while.  It was appealing to make big batches of food in a fraction of the time it takes in a slow cooker, but, I’d heard horror stories about exploding pressure cookers and was scared off for a long time.  After a very early morning starting my crockpots, I finally decided to bite the bullet and give the Instant Pot a try… and promptly had a disastrous first try and decided it was a waste.  I used too much water with my chicken and when we released the valve it was just… messy and gross and I never wanted to use it again.  I was ready to write it off, but, a mishap with a slow cooker that we forgot to turn on forced me to give it another go and, with less water, it worked like a charm.  Awesome, juicy shredded chicken in less than a hour with minimal work.  GAME CHANGER!!  I guess I just have to learn how to follow directions and get used to it via tested recipes before going rogue and branching out.

Slow Cookers

Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1 Slow Cooker with 2-, 4-, and 6-Quart Crocks, Stainless Steel

This was my first slow cooker.. and it’s still going strong.  VERY basic… High, Low, Warm.  The coolest feature is the 3 different sized-crocks.  I only ever use the biggest one, though.

It looks like they may not make this anymore. 😦  Here’s a Crock-Pot version.

Hamilton Beach 33967A Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Sadly, this slow cooker died… it went strong for about a year, but, then one day I just put too much stuff in it and it cooked over and, I can only guess, its circuits got fried.  The extra timing features on this one were cool, but, I suspect they may have also been the weak point.. though the malfunction was admittedly definitely due to user error.

Crock-Pot SCCPVI600-S Countdown Slow Cooker with Stove-Top Browning, Stainless Finish, 6-Quart

This is my newest slow cooker (and the first actual Crock-Pot I bought since it’s the first Crock-Pot BRAND slow cooker I purchased).  I love being able to brown the meat on the stovetop and then keep it in the same crock to switch to the slow cooking.  Works like a charm!


Hamilton Beach 33182A Slow Cooker, 8-QuartI bought this to replace the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget slow cooker… and went a little bit more basic… no more programming/timers.  I like it and it definitely works well, but, it has one drawback that admittedly drives me a little crazy — there’s no light or indicator of any kind to tell you when it’s on!  That doesn’t seem like a big deal, but, when I use it, I’m so paranoid that it might not be on/working that I have to watch it until I’m convinced (by fog, condensation or emanating heat) that it’s actually on.  (UGH! This finally screwed me… totally forgot to turn the crockpot on and since there was no indication, didn’t realize until about 20 minutes later when I touched it and it wasn’t hot. So frustrating.)

Other Cookware

Presto 07046 Tilt ‘n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle

It’s a little confusing knowing what temperature you’ve got it on and the center seems to cook slower than the rest of it, but, it’s great to have an option for LOTS of pancakes (we can make 9 at a time!) without tying up the stovetop.  You just have to play around a little to get it going just right.

All-Clad 3020 Hard Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Double Burner Grande Griddle Specialty Cookware, 13 by 20-Inch, Black

Lodge Color EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Island Spice Red, 6-Quart
Lodge Pro-Logic P14W3 Cast Iron Wok, Black, 14-inch

Gadgets

Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer
 Meat Claws by Kassa
LivSpoons: Measuring/Serving Spoons

(Use this link to create an account and if you buy something, we’ll each get a $10 credit!)

Food

Explore Asian Fettuccini, Organic Edamame & Mung Bean, 7.05 Oz
(Pack Of 6)

3 thoughts on “Lisa’s Buying Guide

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