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Old 04-19-2010, 04:04 PM   #1
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Slow Cookers..... please help me surprise her.

I want to surprise my bride. What kind of slow cookers do you use when camping and why? Gas, electric? Size? Brand?

She has a couple large ones around here, but they seem too large and heavy.

When it comes to my bride of 38 wonderful years, money is never an object.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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There are 12v Slow Cookers that seem to be popular with the trucking crowd. Most are small and hold maybe a quart.

We use a standard issue $15 Regal Crockpot (115v). Hnady as you can be gone all day fooling around and come home and dinner is ready.

That pretty much covers the gamut.

mike
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
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There are alot of options only limited by your preferences and camping style.

We love our thermal cooker for travel days and when we are away for the day. We don't like leaving things plugged in and turned on when we are away for extended time periods or when we are rolling.

For times when we are on shore power or boondocking with our solar setup, we use the Hamilton Beach Oval 2-in-1. The oval shape is seems to be more versatile by enabling items like pork chops, chicken breast, etc to be placed side by side avoiding having to stack them . It has crock inserts in 2 qt. and 4 qt. which meets our needs for two. The 2-in-1 setup is a space saving feature.


I also purchased the " Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook for Two" to assist me in downsizing our meals. I can cook for 6 or 60 without a problem, but was challenged when it came to cooking for 1 or 2.

These work well for us. Others will probably chime in with lots of other options.

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Old 04-19-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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fr8tshaker,
Pardon my ignorance on this subject but, what is a thermal cooker? Please explain, it seems like I have been missing out on a special device and never knew it.
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:03 PM   #5
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fr8tshaker,
Pardon my ignorance on this subject but, what is a thermal cooker? Please explain, it seems like I have been missing out on a special device and never knew it.
I started a thread on the subject under the Stella's Kitchen Section and have a review posted on Amazon regarding the thermal cooker.

I won't repeat it all here. Take a look see and let me know your thoughts.

'shaker
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:15 PM   #6
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We use a standard issue, smallish crockpot only when we are parked for a couple of days with electricity. Great for meatloaf, swiss steak, pot roast, etc., for the meat-and-potatoes man in our house.

Very important to have a removable crock, which most are these days. She'll love whatever you get her, I'm sure.

Maggie
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:20 PM   #7
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We have a small electric we use. It has a removable crock also, but I have found I really like the Reynolds crock pot bags. Makes clean up a breeze. Susan
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:25 PM   #8
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I started a thread on the subject under the Stella's Kitchen Section and have a review posted on Amazon regarding the thermal cooker.

I won't repeat it all here. Take a look see and let me know your thoughts.

'shaker

Thanks, I'll check it out. I had no idea it was a topic of discussion before. I don't fequent the Kitchen, but I might start.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:33 PM   #9
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I will be buying one before this weekend.

Thank you folks for your ideas and comments.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #10
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I consider a Dutch Oven to be the ideal slow cooker - and I'll bet it would function as a thermal cooker if wrapped in an insulating blanket.

baked beans.... mmmmm!

Stews, meatloaf, soup, that's slow cookin'...

Bakery stuff too?

I usually use Kingsford -started with pinecones, but it will work on a low flame on the range or in a slow oven. Just keeping the legs from getting entangled is a chore.

Go search out the Dutch Oven thread.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:55 PM   #11
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notes from CR

The faster the pace of your life, the better slow cookers look. What's not to like about stirring together ingredients in the morning, attending to other tasks while the slow cooker bubbles away on the kitchen counter, and spooning out a completed dinner come evening?

The 15 slow cookers that we tested (all with a 6- to 7-quart capacity) turned out tasty spare ribs, pulled pork, honey chicken wings, and apple brown Betty.

Prices, which ranged from $40 for some Hamilton Beach and Rival models to $250 for the All-Clad 99005, didn't predict performance.

The differences were in the details.

The $70 Hamilton Beach Set 'N Forget 33967 offers the best combination of features for the money. Other worthy choices include the $50 Rival Crock-Pot SCVC604H-SS, a CR Best Buy.

For those who like mechanical models, pick the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 33162H, $40.

Features that count

Electronic controls let you program a dish, usually in 30-minute intervals, and automatically switch to “warm” when cooking is done. While a mechanical model is simpler to use, you must manually turn it to warm mode.
You can place an oven-safe pot in the oven for quick reheating.

An easy-to-clean pot and lid can go into the dishwasher. Touchpad controls are easier to clean than knobs and buttons. Slow cookers with a stainless-steel exterior might look sleek but can be more work to keep shiny.

A locking lid helps keep food from spilling during transport, say, to a potluck supper. Some slow cookers have a serving ladle that fits snugly into a notch in the lid.

Overall dimensions vary, even among models with similar capacities. Bulky models are more difficult to store and transport and take up more counter space.


Other helpful features

Before slow-cooking, you can brown meat in a stovetop-safe pot, as some recipes require.

A hinged lid is attached to the unit so that you don't have to set it on the counter to mix or serve food. The lid is removable for cleaning.

The replacement cost of a broken pot and lid can rival the cost of a new cooker, so you might want to check replacement-part pricing before choosing a model.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:48 PM   #12
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Electronic controls is definitely the way to go. Set the number of cooking hours (mine will do 15 hours max) and then it will go to 'warm' until I shut it off. Crock Pot has a couple of great sizes that are oval, removable pots with see thru glass lids with clips for locking the top on for transpot. Love em!
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:15 PM   #13
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Check out the thread from a while back..... "Propane slow cookers" .....
Great ideas for boondockers and others.
I use my oven set on low with a covered oven-proof dish. This method works no matter where you are and what hookups you may or may not have. And you, being from western WA, (I lived on the Oregon coast for 18 years) could almost always enjoy a little heat in the trailer. No need for an extra "device" to add weight and need storage. And it is ridiculously simple to use.
It is up to you to explain why you didn't want to spend a lot of money for some fancy appliance. A covered glass dish is not a very exciting surprise, but I am sure you could enhance it somehow. As for me, my bride of 37 years is overjoyed when I do the cooking.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:39 PM   #14
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What about using slow cookers in bear country?

I would be afraid Smokey or Yogi might come on by and open up my Airstream like a tin can for a little picinicsnack...
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:12 AM   #15
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What about using slow cookers in bear country?

I would be afraid Smokey or Yogi might come on by and open up my Airstream like a tin can for a little picinicsnack...
Funny! I had that same concern in gator country!

We like to put ours out on the picnic table, so that the odors of pot roast, etc., don't permeate and adhere to everything inside. The only critters the crockpot drew were feral cats.

Maggie
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:25 AM   #16
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I have a Presto Kitchen Kettle that I use at home. I have two other crock-pots but I always seem to grab this one so it must be my favorite. I do not have all the accessories as mine was a hand-me-down. Just the pot, lid, crock and cord.

This would be a great choice for camping as it is a multi-use utensil. You can use it with the crock as a slow cooker. Without the crock it is like an electric skillet; you can brown meat or scramble eggs in it.
It also comes with baskets that allow you to steam or fry(if your into that sort of thing)

You can also wash the pot with the same ease as an electric skillet.
It takes up less space than a standard crock-pot of similar capacity as it is not insulated.

The minuses would be:
The electric skillet cord with dial controls.
It is not insulated. The pot is the heat source so there is no cool surface like a regular crock-pot.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:30 AM   #17
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Hmm...
Maybe they don't come with the crock any more.
It hasn't been too many years that I was looking to purchase a shiny new replacement at Walmart and they had the crock then. The current photo and description does not list the crock.

Guess if you wanted one like mine you would have to go the yard sale route.
I have seen several in my travels.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:53 AM   #18
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I would ditto the Reynolds crockpot liner suggestion. The bags are quite large so I will cut one up the middle and tuck the corner into my smallish crockpot....two for the price of one! Cleanup is painless.

Paula
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:09 AM   #19
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Thumbs up Surprise Her

You might consider a small electric skillet along with the crock pot. After full-timing for the last 6 years, my wife has never had propane burners on the cooktop lit. She uses the electric skillet and an electric burner like the chefs on TV use. Space for a cooktop and oven is wasted in our unit, but the convection microwave gets a work out. I do a lot of cooking in the smoker and the propane grill outside too.
Mike
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:06 AM   #20
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Interesting take.

As for me cooking... LOL

I can bake a chicken, BBQ anything, guard a crock pot and fry an egg, but other than that, I don't cook. I love doing things for her, especially outdoors, but cooking isn't one of them.

Oh, I forgot.... I make a great peanut butter sandwich. ;>) When we spend a couple of weeks on our boat, she packs a great menu, I just make sure we have a fresh jar of peanut butter and crackers onboard. ;>)
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