EDIT – The above Cuisinart CSC-400 is unavailable current - Cuisinart PSC-400 4 Quart Slow Cooker is the one we’re going to want now, especially since it is on sale at Amazon 74$, 50% the normal 150$ (and FREE SHIPPING). If the Cuisinart CSC-400 returns we will alert you.
A slow cooker makes a huge difference if you lack the time on some days to cook. Slow-cooking foods allows that taste and flavor to seep in over time. Best yet they are convenient; you only need to use / clean this one device, and the heat stays within the slow cooker / crock pot.
In 2005 we bought the KitchenAid KSC700SS 7-quart slow-cooker for around 110$ on eBay. Maybe the most enticing feature is that you can set the KSC700 to ‘warm’ mode if it goes over the cooking time on the digital counter. This helps you if you are running late as it’ll automatically keep it warm for a few hours. This is a huge 7-quart slow cooker so yes it is heavy, but you are not going to find one that big that is light. Also since it is built well you get an evenly cooked recipe inside the slow cooker. The handles and machine stay warm on the outside and do a fantastic job of sealing the heat and steam on the top.
When using a KitchenAid Slow Cooker (or any slow-cooker) you will want to cut up the meat / vegetables before you put them in there. Also make sure you do not throw frozen meat in – you’ll want this to be close to thawed before you begin the operation. It is best to heat the slow cooker up very high at first and then turn it down to let the slow cooking process begin.
If you are looking for a smaller slow cooker for just yourself or a small family, the Cuisinart CSC-400 4 quart slow cooker is probably your best fit. One thing to keep in mind about the Cuisinart units (the 6.5 quart cuisinart cooker also) is that they heat up and cook recipes a little faster than usual. Like the KitchenAid slow cookers, you can hit the ‘hold’ button to ensure your food stays warm even after it’s done cooking. The Cuisinart CSC-400 has carrying handles and the retractable cord adds to the convenience. Amazon has a nice deal on the Cuisinart PSC-400 also, being 74$ when it is normally 150$!