Monday, December 10, 2012
Product Review of the Original Crock-Pot
I was so lucky to receive this 6 quart Original Crock-Pot Smart-Pot with One Touch Control to review because it has been an amazing experience. Unfortunately I can not seem to find the exactly same model online. This is the closest one but please note, mine does not have a hinged lid.
Kitchen Test #1
I started with a roast chicken which was unbelievably delicious and easy to make. I love having a slow cooked meal happening in my kitchen without using the oven so I could also bake that day.
Kitchen Test #2
I needed to make a pot roast to test a PC sauce and thought why not use the crockpot?
This time I cooked it at a higher temperature for six hours.
It was perfect! Absolutely fall of the bone. In fact it fell apart as I took it out. I had to put it back together for the photo.
Kitchen Test #3
Although Reg does not eat pork, I absolutely had to try and make my own shredded pork to complete the test. I got this pretty big pork shoulder and put some veggies on the bottom. My friend Wayne also recommended scoring the top layer of skin which I did.
I combined a generic barbecue sauce with my favourite: Bull's Eye Old West Hickory.
I followed the directions in the little cookbook that comes with the slow cooker and slathered the pork with the sauce and sprinkled it with chopped onions.
I cooked it low and slow for 8 hours.
It just keeps amazing me how well the meat browns! And again, this pork was fall-off-the-bone perfect.
I shredded the whole thing up and used some of it in a sandwich slathered with the defatted BBQ sauce. It was divine!
I usually hand wash large items so I can put smaller items in my dishwasher but finally did have some room to put both the ceramic bottom and the glass top in one night and they came out perfectly! I was nervous about testing this part, I really grew to love this crock-pot and did not want to have it crack on me.
Despite getting to me perfectly wrapped and sealed, there was a slight knick on the front of the crockpot which I am sure was a fluke.
For the sake of full disclosure, the company that sent me the crockpot then sent me this FoodSaver V3880 Fully Automatic Vacuum Sealing System as an apology for the imperfect crockpot so it is early Christmas in my kitchen! (Review to come.)
Fabulous gifts aside (and wow, what a gift), I absolutely love my crockpot and will not give it up. In fact I have all sorts of ideas on how I can use it keep coming to me which I will share of course. The most important thing (other than all the food was perfect) is this frees up my kitchen for holiday baking without impacting having slow-cooked dinners. Most of all, I adore how this crock-pot seems to brown meat instead of boiling it.
I can not think of one thing I do not like about this crockpot, other than maybe its huge size. As a second oven that I can use to cook anything, anywhere... it is worth the space I give up. It is super easy to program and the warming feature for after the time has elapsed is genius. I highly recommend this as a gift for the holidays, especially for meat lovers. I give this product five out of five wooden spoons. And no, the FoodSaver had nothing to do with the perfect score, I promise. But it is awesome, just the same.