Our Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker Review (In Depth!)
Product Description: The Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Programmable Slow Cooker, with its many cooking modes or options is a true kitchen genius. Just put your meal together in the cooker, set the cooking mode and time and literally walk away – which is why it is called stay or go! When you come back at dinner time, your perfectly cooked meal will be ready and waiting, in ‘warm’ mode. Ingenious! And perfect for the vegan traveler.
Cooking Modes: The Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker has three separate cooking modes that enable you to use either traditional (manual) slow cooking, programmable (timed automatic) slow cooking, or temperature probe automatic slow cooking.
Cooking Mode: Programmable, select from three cooking modes: manual, program or probe.
Auto Warm Function? Yes
Cooking Time: Programmable, with easy to use LED digital control panel.
Product Physical Description
Exterior: This Slow Cooker has a polished stainless steel with black accents exterior.
Insert: The oval removable stoneware insert is dishwasher-proof.
Handles: The two metal side handles have plastic end grips that stay cool even when unit is in use.
Lid: The tempered glass lid has a rubber gasket which gives you rattle-free cooking, and plastic cool touch handle. The dishwasher-proof lid can be secured (for moving it when full) with folding stainless steel clips. There is also a serving spoon that clips easily on to the lid.
Capacity: 6 Quart
How does it work? Cooking modes and timer are accessed with the digital touchpad control panel. This model has an additional feature of an ingenious temperature probe that monitors the internal temperature of large cuts of meat such as beef, pork, lamb or turkey which ensure both doneness, with meat cooked to perfection and also ensure food safety. Family holiday dinners just got easier – at least there will be room to cook other things in the oven now the main meat for the meal in is the slow cooker!
More about temperature probe automatic slow cooking: For food safety, and to ensure meat is not over or undercooked, large roasts are best cooked to an optimum internal temperature. The Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker has an automatic cooking mode with a probe thermometer that is operated by inserting the metal probe through the hole in the lid, and pushing it into the middle or most dense part of the meat.
The probe allows the temperature to be monitored in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, which is displayed in the digital screen, and when the programmed temperature is reached the cooker automatically switches to warm mode. The thermometer takes the guess work out of when the meat is cooked, and is especially handy when cooking a roast when you are not home to keep checking it.
More Special Features:
Power interrupt protection: If a power surge cuts your power for 5 seconds or less, this unit will retain it’s settings and resume when the power comes back on.
Lid design: If you take your Beach slow cooker out in the car or even carry it to the neighbors, you will really appreciated the clip-on stirring or serving spoon and the clip-tight lid and stay cool side handles for safer, spill-free transportation.
Care & Cleaning: Be sure to handle the potentially breakable parts of your Beach crock pot with care, especially when washing, as they cannot be used again once chipped, cracked or broken. Only use gentle cleansers like baking soda and don’t use harsh scouring pads. Avoid sudden changes in temperature, for example, do not fill hot crock with cold water or place it on a wet surface. Do no place crock on any unprotected surface or counter top, it may scratch or scorch the surface. The stoneware crock is microwave and oven safe, but is not designed for stove top use. It can however be placed in a dishwasher, but shouldn’t be necessary.
What’s In The Box: Your instruction manual comes with a recipe book to get you started and this cooker has a 1 year limited warranty.
Customer Reviews: At the time of writing there were over 150 Customer Reviews available on the Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker it is was the best selling programmable crock pot available on Amazon, and 85% of customer reviewers had awarded this Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker with 4 Stars or more. One of the biggest competitors that is also a great machine can be found at Cuisinart slow cooker reviews.
Pros & Cons: Programmable timer, automatic cooking and then switch to warm, automatic cooking using temperature probe, lid-latch, lid gasket (stop lid from rattling). Digital display. Cons: Control panel needs care when using, pays to check it before you skip out the door, to make sure you’ve got it set how you want it. Only once have I come home to a uncooked meal because I failed to check I’d turned it on correctly… please learn from my mistake!
Summary: This roomy, oval Hamilton Beach 6 qt slow cooker easily takes up to a 7 pound roast, a turkey or ham; or will cook up to 9 servings of soup, mac n cheese, curry, chili, casserole or chocolate fudge pudding. This is an ideal size for a larger family or a cook that likes to have left overs to freeze.
I also recommend you consider this size for smaller families and singles to, as long as you have a little freezer space. I find it a major time and cost saver to be able to get a meal out of the freezer to reheat for dinner that night, than cook one from scratch.
When I have the inclination, which is usually fueled by purchasing a quantity of discounted meat or other ingredients, I batch cook chicken casseroles, curries and spaghetti sauce etc so I have some for now and some to freeze for later. I always find they taste is better when reheated too.
Conclusion: Personally, I think the ‘bonus’ of the thermometer probe is one of the most outstanding features and reasons to buy the Hamilton Beach Set and Forget Slow Cooker, many customer reviewers mention it, but even more mention the keep warm at the end of the cooking cycle and the clip tight lid for traveling with.
Overall, this slowcooker an extremely good buy. It has everything the majority of cooks need and a few useful special features, and it is available for a very reasonable price. For a worry free purchase, buy online and then if you have any warranty related issues, Amazon’s exceptional customer service will be there to help you.
Slow Cooker Safety
Check the Plugs before anything else! Make sure your slow cooker is sitting on a dry, stable surface. Don’t let it lean on the wall, touch the wall in any way, or let it be in contact with other items on your kitchen bench.
Before plugging in, have a good look at the plug and cord. Make sure there are no frays. Plug it firmly, and directly, into the outlet, try and avoid extension cords.
Before adding foodstuff, check the inside of the cooker. Don’t use it if there are any chips, cracks or breaks.
If you plan on adding hot food to your slow cooker, make sure you prewarm the crock with some hot water.
Unplug by holding the plug in your hand and removing it firmly from the outlet. Never yank on an electric cord.
Refrigerate perishable foods until preparation time
Food Safety – Raw Meat
- If you plan to be home during the first hour of cooking, turn your slow cooker to high for the first hour to quickly elevate raw meat and liquid temperatures to safe levels.
- Subtract one hour from the slow cooking time you originally planned to do on low.
- Most large cuts of meat require at least eight hours of cooking on low.
- Always cook minced (ground) meats in a frying pan before adding them to your cooker.
Food Safety – Frozen Meat
- Always thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker.
- Use whatever safe method you choose to thaw the meat.
- If you’re using a commercially frozen slow cooker meal, you have to prepare it according to the instructions. Don’t take short cuts, it’s not worth it.
If the Power goes out
- If the power suddenly goes out while you’re not at home during the entire slow-cooking process, throw away the food!
- It might appear to be cooked but the dangers of food poisoning from a half-cooked meal are far too high.
- If you’re at home and the power goes out, immediately finish cooking all the ingredients in some other fashion. Use the gas stove or your barbecue.
- If you’re at home, and if the food was completely cooked before the power went out, then it will remain safe for up to two hours in the slow cooker without any power. Make sure you keep the lid on of course 🙂
Use Correct Amount and Placement of Food
Don’t have your slow cooker less than half full, but don’t pack it up more than two-thirds full.
Put your vegetables in first. They cook more slowly than meat and poultry, so place them at the bottom, and around the sides.
Then add the meat and cover the food with liquid, like water, stock, broth, or a sauce of your choice.
Keep the lid in place, and don’t take it off unless you really have to stir the food or to check if it’s thoroughly cooked.
Five Quick Tips for Slow Cooking
- Trim roasts and other large cuts of meat to fit in your slow cooker
- Remove skin from poultry and trim excess fat from other meats before cooking
- Put fresh root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, onions in the bottom of the pot, under the meat
- Don’t add Cheeses until near the end of cooking time
- Don’t add Fish and Seafood until near the end of cooking time