Good things come to those who wait, especially when it comes to what’s being made in the kitchen. Slow cookers are popular and useful countertop appliances that provide methodical, lengthy cook times in order to maximize flavor while also increasing convenience. Indeed, one of the appeals of a slow cooker is the ability to let it do its job over the course of a day or night, allowing you to mostly ignore it until you’re ready to eat.
Hamilton Beach is a trusted maker of kitchen appliances that grew from the vision of two entrepreneurs over a century ago. Today, Hamilton Beach sells a range of useful items big and small, including a variety of countertop slow cookers.
In this guide, we explore the various slow cookers Hamilton Beach offers and how to decide which one is the right one for your kitchen. Read in for information, tips, and recommendations for our favorite Hamilton Beach slow cookers.
Most slow cooker crocks are safe for storage in the refrigerator as well as use in the microwave or oven. Some high-end options can function on the stove as well.
Why get a slow cooker?
The primary reason to get a slow cooker is convenience. Simply throw items into the pot to make a roast, chicken, soup, or stew, and the cooker does the hard work. What’s more, the slow-cooked nature of recipes prepared in the cooker can make them downright delicious.
Most people set up their slow cooker with ingredients before bed, so the food is ready in the morning, or in the morning, so the food is ready at dinnertime. Slow cookers run at low temperatures for hours at a time, enhancing flavors and tenderizing meat.
A slow cooker emits less heat than an oven, which is another reason why people love them. They use less electricity and are designed to be left unattended. Further, they do not heat up your kitchen the way many stovetop and oven recipes do.
A slow cooker consists of three distinct parts: base, crock, and lid. The base connects to an outlet and provides a heating element under and around the sides of the crock. The crock rests snugly within the base. The lid sits on top, though most are designed to fit loosely to allow some steam to escape. It’s normal for condensation to appear on the lid when cooking.
Handles allow for easy transport of a slow cooker, and there may be knobs, dials, or a digital interface you use to program the cooking cycle.
Hamilton Beach offers varying sizes of slow cookers. Small options hold 3 quarts; large options boast a 10-quart capacity. Between these two extremes, you will find many slow cookers with a capacity of 6 to 8 quarts. For most busy households, a capacity of 6 to 8 quarts is ideal.
The price of a Hamilton Beach slow cooker increases with capacity. When choosing a size, keep in mind that you will need to find a place to store the cooker when not in use. Also consider the number of people you will be cooking for.
Using a Hamilton Beach slow cooker — or any slow cooker, for that matter — is fairly straightforward. In most cases, you can toggle between two heat settings: low and high.
Hamilton Beach slow cookers also boast a “keep warm” function that will maintain the heat of the items after the cooking process is complete. The base features an “off” setting for when cooking is complete. Operation is conducted manually via a dial or with a digital interface.
The high setting for Hamilton Beach slow cookers is between 200 and 225°F. The low setting is between 180 and 200°F. The “keep warm” function holds food at 165°F.
Do not use the “keep warm” function to reheat food in a slow cooker, as this function only maintains heat. Opt for the low or high setting for reheating purposes.
While basic Hamilton Beach slow cookers feature a physical knob that must be turned to operate the unit, as we have mentioned, some higher-end units have a digital interface.
With a digital interface, you have the option to set a timer. Upon completion, the unit will automatically switch to the “keep warm” setting. You may be able to program your unit to run for as little as 30 minutes or as much as 20 hours.
This feature allows you to check the internal temperature of meats and other ingredients while the slow cooker operates. For the preparation of certain meats, this is a valuable option. Some models have up to four different locations where you can insert the probe.
Some units allow you to hold the cooking at a specific temperature for a certain amount of time. This is helpful when preparing items that require added precision. In addition to “low” and “high” settings, some slow cookers have a “medium” setting as well.
Some larger Hamilton Beach slow cookers feature oversized handles for easier carrying and transport. These handles also fold to allow for storage as needed. Since slow cookers can get heavy when full, oversized handles can be a real asset.
Some models feature a lid latch or wire clips to hold the lid in place when moving. This prevents items from seeping out when moving, which could create a mess and potentially burn the user. Lid latches and wire clips are only for temporary use when the unit is moving — not when it is stationary and in operation.
DID YOU KNOW?Some ingredients are better used by a slow cooker than others. While evaporated milk is a suitable item, avoid adding cream, pasta, or seafood until a couple hours before huyhoanglimousine.netFBestReviews
Rice cooker: BLACK+DECKER Rice CookerAnother useful countertop appliance is the rice cooker. We love this sizable and inexpensive option from BLACK+DECKER for making quick and delicious rice.
Air fryer: Dash Electric Air FryerFor those who enjoy crispy treats and sides, like fries or fritters, we recommend investing in an air fryer. This compact option by Dash comes in a variety of colors at a low price.
Hamilton Beach slow cooker prices
Inexpensive: For under $25, you can find smaller Hamilton Beach slow cookers with manual controls.
Mid-range: Most Hamilton Beach slow cookers, including programmable options, cost between $25 and $50.
Expensive: For over $50, you can purchase large Hamilton Beach slow cookers with added features like temperature tracking.
Some home cooks fill the crock ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator before cooking. If you do this, make sure you purchase a crock that will fit inside your refrigerator.
- Resist stirring your food. A slow cooker requires little to no stirring of its contents. In fact, if you are using the low temperature setting, removing the lid would allow valuable heat to escape. You may opt to stir infrequently on high heat.
- Thaw meat before adding it to the unit. Frozen uncooked meat should not be added to a slow cooker. When you add uncooked meat to your slow cooker, start the cooking process immediately.
- Fill the crock at least halfway but not more than three-quarters full. If you do not do this, cooking may complete sooner than expected. For soup, leave a couple inches at the top to allow it to simmer.
The bottom of a slow cooker base may warm up slightly when in use, whereas the exterior will heat up significantly. Station an active slow cooker away from pets and out of the reach of children.
Q. How should I clean my Hamilton Beach slow cooker?
A. Slow cookers are just as easy to clean as they are to operate. The lids, as well as the interior stoneware crocks of most units, are dishwasher safe. These parts are also easy to clean by hand using warm water and soap. Avoid using any abrasive pads or brushes. The base can be wiped with a soft, damp cloth.
If washing by hand, allow some time for the unit to cool down before cleaning it, as going from extreme heat to cold could damage the components.
Q. How long should a slow cooker run?
A. In most cases, recipes call for slow cooking on low for 6 to 8 hours or cooking on high for 4 to 6 hours. Depending on what you’re cooking, particularly if it involves meat, you may want to check the temperature toward the end of the cook time. If your slow cooker doesn’t have an automatic timer, you’ll have to set a timer elsewhere and switch the unit to “keep warm” upon completion.
Q. What’s the difference between a slow cooker and a pressure cooker?
A. Slow cookers and pressure cookers are popular countertop appliances that look similar to one another, but they use different methods to heat and cook food. A pressure cooker uses steam and pressure to rapidly cook items, reducing the cook time for a variety of legumes and rice. Slow cookers use low heat and longer cook times. They are ideal for cooking meats, desserts, and even bread.
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