With easy and delicious instant pot chicken stew recipes and more available it really is no wonder that more and more families are opting for an instant pot. Heck, single men, single women, and teens all across the world are buying slow cookers. This is because they come packed with tons of benefits. There are even specific models available for the seeing-impaired. These devices beep and pair up with smartphone apps so that they can easily be used. Simply put, slow cookers or crockpots could revolutionize what you are doing in the kitchen. Of course, choosing the right pot for your specific needs is crucial. And, that is exactly what you are going to learn here today.
Consider Your Budget
It probably goes without saying that budget planning is going to be the first obstacle for most people. That being said, choosing a budget is much more than just picking a number that you are willing to spend and sticking with it. You need to know that there are all kinds of crockpots available today. There are models that brown, there are models that will stir your soup for you, and there are even models that will talk to you. However, as you’ve probably guessed, these features come with a price. Don’t worry if you are on a limited budget because there are tons of models available with great features that are still affordable. You might have to size down to get all the features that you want, but you’ll get the features that you’re looking for.
Know The Right Size
Speaking of size, you want to be careful not to go too small cause you’ll severely restrict your cooking limits. It would be recommended to go with at least a 6-quart or larger. There are 4-quart models available that will handle most common recipes, but you can do more than you’d imagine with that 2 extra quarts. And, the price won’t be that noticeable. In fact, you probably won’t even notice it. There are even some models available that allow you to adjust the size, but as you’ve probably guessed, these models will be more expensive because of this very feature.
However, it is a neat feature to have access to. Size might also play a role when it comes to storage and use. If you are limited on the cabinet and counter space, then you’ll obviously need a smaller model. These are all just things that you’ll want to consider beforehand. It will not only make your shopping easier, but it will help you refine your entire search. And, anything that you can do to refine your search will speed up the entire process via a process of elimination.
Consider The Materials
This is probably another obvious for most sensible consumers. You’ll have to consider the material that the slow cooker is constructed of. That being said, this doesn’t just constitute for the material of that the pot itself is constructed of. No, you’ll have to consider everything from the pot itself to the heating coil, and the dials. Obviously stainless steel and ceramic are going to be your two best options and provide the most longevity, but is this what you are looking for? Maybe you just need a crockpot for an upcoming event. Maybe you are investing in the future.
Whatever the situation is, this will make an impact on your final decision. If you are on a limited budget, you can go with less durable grades of stainless steel and ceramic to save some money, but just know that this will take away from the overall lifespan of the unit. However, the way these things are made today, you’ll more than get your money worth from the unit. So, if you have to end up replacing it, your initial purchase wouldn’t have been futile.
Features And Settings
The features and settings are without a doubt going to factor in as well. As was mentioned above, you can get pretty technical with the models available today or you can keep things as simple as you want. And, if you are on a budget, that might be the best way to go. All you really need is a durable dial that will let you adjust the heat from low to medium or high. Anything other than this would be considered extra. A timer might come in handy if you are going to be cooking while you are away. You’ll need to factor safety features into this equation as well. You’ve no doubt likely heard a horror story or two about a crockpot burning down someone’s home or catching on fire.
Crockpots have been the cause of some major disasters in the past, but a lot of the time the issues were contributed to user error or poor wiring. Of course, the doesn’t by any means mean that you should skimp on safety features. Most basic models will include temperature and pressure switches that shut the unit down in the event the temps or pressures get too low or high. This is really all you need, but it never hurts to go with a model that includes some kind of surge protector. In fact, your kitchen outlets should probably already include a similar feature. If this is the case, you can go ahead and mark this one off the list and save yourself some cash.
Looks And Style
Just like everything else, the models available today also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Once you know the size, you can pretty much go from there. Do you want a model that matches your kitchen? Maybe you are going to be using the unit in an area where customers can see. Once again, this is something that will need to be considered when shopping. However, even today’s most basic models with the lowest grade of stainless steel look great. These units really are a godsend!
Shopping for a crockpot isn’t as simple as going to the store and grabbing the first affordable model that you come across. Of course, this might work, and you might even get lucky, but it is highly unlikely. In order to get the most from the unit and the experience, you’re going to want to weigh all the information above and apply it to your specific scenario.