Today we are going to take a look at the slow cookers with temperature control.
You might be thinking that it is as clear as a day since all slow cookers have some sort of at least low and high setting.
Well, hold on there partner. It is not as easy as it looks.
By temperature control, I mean proper temperature control. You know, the one that allows you to set the exact temp, so you are cooking the way you want and not in the way that someone forced you to.
You most likely do remember from my article about what temperature does slow cookers cook at that temperature of cooking is something you should not be taken lightly.
So if you’re interested in a little bit more complex slow cookers, buckle up and read on.
For the eager ones amongst us, the slow cooker that fits the profile the best is:
For the rest of us let’s have some more detailed look into the whole temperature control business.
What’s the big deal?
You might be saying to yourself: Who cares if the temperature is 150°F (65.5°C) or 200+°F (93.3+°C) it will get the job done anyway right? Maybe I will have to wait a bit longer, but the meal will be done.
On one hand, you are correct, on the other, if you are looking for perfection then you need exact temperature for a specific period of time.
For example, you are cooking beef and you want to get it to that fancy perfect state when it is cooked with layers of perfection going from dark brown to pink and most importantly moist inside.
What a dream, right?
You certainly can do it just by guessing and sheer luck, or you can use precise temperature, skill, experience, and if you feel fancy maybe even a probe.
Yep, there are slow cookers not only with temperature display, but also with a meat probe, so you know the temperature inside your meat and you are eliminating the guessing out completely.
What are the options?
Funny enough there are not so many.
When I first started to get into the whole temperature slow cooker business I thought there would be plenty of brands and types to choose from.
Ohh how much I was mistaken. The option of precise cooking seems so far-fetched for most brands that the only one has created something that would fit the bill.
We might only have one, but it fulfills our purpose on a level we have all dreamt about.
The one I am talking about is Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker.
What’s so great about it?
Well apart from our main obvious goal – the ability to set exact temperature – it comes pre-equipped with a meat probe.
And you might have thought that greatness is unreachable outside of the professional five-star restaurant.
Its 6-quart (5.6 liters) size provides enough space for your family-size meal.
Of course, it comes with all the industry-standard settings like high, low, and keep warm programs.
The pot itself and the lid are dishwasher safe, but I would still vote against that. Nothing beats love, elbow grease, and a bit of hard work when taking care of something you like.
The cool part and the thing we are getting this for ourselves is the fact that this slow cooker allows us to set exact cooking temperatures. You set the time, the desired temperature, and when the process finishes it auto-switches to keep the warm setting.
As one great man loved to say: Excelsior!
But the thing that completely changes the game is a probe.
This baby is one of the best parts of this slow cooker. As it allows you to monitor the temperature inside your meat or ingredient of choice, but let’s be honest you will use it mainly for meat, as it is the thing that is the hardest to get right.
Is there a catch?
Now you might be thinking:
If it has a way to stick a probe in, doesn’t it mean that you will have a lot of heat escaping the pot when you are not using the probe, thus lowering the temperature inside and not getting an even cook?
Well yes and no.
Yes, there is a tiny bit of steam escaping, especially if you are cooking on high. But that is something that you cannot prevent in any model. Heat, steam, and pressure are things that will build up and they have to go somewhere. Remember the older slow cookers, which recommended putting a towel underneath the cover to catch some extra moisture escaping the pot.
And no, the producer states that the little hole acts as a vent. Think about it. It is actually beneficial. You are losing a bit of steam, but getting better taste in a trade-off. When you are making any kind of soups or sauce, you are always losing a bit of moisture, but what you are getting back is a better, denser, and stronger product and taste.
So you are winning big with this one.
You are getting a bang for your buck. You can wow anyone with your state-of-the-art cooking, while at the same time feel like a pro.
In my opinion, this is a great choice, if you don’t have time for sous vide, but at the same time want to enjoy some expertly cooked food.
I do hope that I have helped you in finding the slow cooker with temperature control that will not only help you to feel like a king but most importantly fill your belly with some delicious, moist, mouth-watering meat.
Until next time I wish you happy and easy cooking.