Monday, February 11, 2013

Which size slow cooker is right for you?

nwafoodie slow cooker crockpot size which size


Are you looking to replace your old slow cooker or wondering whether or not to add a new size to your collection?  Walk into any Walmart, Target, or Sams Club and you may quickly find yourself scratching your head, wondering which size slow cooker is right for you.  Do you go with the large oval shape?  The medium round one? Oh man, there is a banquet size one tempting you, do you need that also? Or, do you simply go with the size you had before instead of trying something new?

The answer is yes.

And no.

With a little bit of maybe tossed in.

Here is a good rule-of-thumb to help you decide which size is right for you.


1-quart = more for appetizers, like dips and dessert toppings
2-quart (small) = 2 people
4-quart (medium) = 4 people
6-quart = 6 people  
8-quart (large) = perfect to bring to that church potluck

The most important thing to remember with a slow cooker is that you want to have plenty of air flow for optimum performance.  They work best when filled two-thirds full, allowing the heated air from the crock to breathe.  You know how it is best to have plenty of water when boiling pasta so the noodles won’t stick together?  Follow that same principle with a slow cooker.

Over the years I have had the small, medium, and large size of slow cookers in my cupboards.  One by one they were replaced or given away due to space constraints.  I currently have an 8-quart and a 4-quart, which works perfectly for my lifestyle by allowing me to prepare full meals and a side dish simultaneously.

If you are just starting off, I recommend going with the 8-quart.  Not only will it allow you to cook in abundance for a large gathering, it will also give you the ability to layer containers within it.  Next slow cooker post I will share slow cooker layering tips and tricks.

Happy sloooooow cooking!

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.

13 comments:

  1. We use the 8 quart for cooking beans...it is the perfect size and the bean soup lasts all week.

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  2. Love my slow cooker. I use it on the days the kids have after school activities and I'm not home during dinner making time.

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    1. It is the perfect time-management tool!

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  3. How funny is it that I just got a new slow cooker...and had to decide what size! the one I had was really big, knobs and hinges were broken and just plain a mess! I was debating on getting a medium one since it is just the 2 of us now and I have a smallish that is good for 2 people (a feature on my rice cooker). But I decided on the 7 quart larger size so I can cook whole chickens in. So, I got my new slow cooker and cooked a chicken (yum) and then made chicken broth from the bones--let them cook for 24 hours in the slow cooker! I'm going to make a nice soup tomorrow.

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    1. Look at you, Miss Foodie! Keep me posted!

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  4. I have 2 (down from 3) at home plus a 3 in 1 electric pressure cooker and 2 at the lake. Do I need intervention? Three of my fav slow cooker cookbooks are: Williams Sonoma Slow Cooker, Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever, and Make It Fast, Cook It Slow but I have scads more! The slow cooker was always my go-to device when I was working. I'm often asked why I use it so much now that I am retired. Actually, there are many foods that just taste better with that long, slow cooking process. Plus, I'm a cooker, not a slave to the stove:) I'm gonna' love this series you are doing:)

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    1. Oooo... I sooo want that electric pressure cooker at William-Sonoma stocks.

      Debbie, you should write your own slow cooker cookbook! Bakespace.com is the place to do it via their Cookbook Cafe app. I see your own series in cookbooks!!

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    2. Mine is a Fagor - love it. Bienville makes a good one as well. I have not looked at WS. Indulge yourself:)

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    3. I'm waiting for Le Crueset or Staub to make a pretty one!! Never heard of Fagor... I'll go check it out, thanks!

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  5. Have I told you how much I do not like those verification things - she said with a big smiley face. Those numbers are always so hard to read. There is a really mean person lurking somewhere who makes those up:) xoxoxo

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    1. Amen!

      I had a friend/reader tell me that her security word was "no hell us" once when she went to leave a comment. Funny!

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