8 Quart Crock Pot: A Versatile and Affordable Slow Cooker
There are many kitchen gadgets to help you cook fantastic food, and one of those is the slow cooker. It’s the most suitable piece of cooking equipment for stew dishes. You only need to throw all of the ingredients in the pot with minimal fuss. What’s better than having your favorite dish cooking while you’re free to tackle other tasks?
Like any other home appliance, a slow cooker comes with a wide range of models; finding the right one for you depends on your user habits. Given this, in this 8 quart Crock Pot review, I’ll take you through all of the nuts and bolts of the Crock Pot 8 quart slow cooker.
I’ll also share with you useful tips on choosing the perfect cooker that you’ll happily use for many years to come. Let’s go through an overview of Crock-Pot and slow cookers first before diving in deeper.
Good food brings us good times with our friends and family. Crock-Pot understands this and has developed and innovated their kitchen equipment over the years to serve their customers the most delicious meals. Their line of slow cookers has been irreplaceable in countless gatherings and get-togethers of many U.S. families.
Crock-Pot has sold millions of slow cookers, and customers love them for their convenience. It is such a familiar brand name that many people associate a Crock-Pot with a slow cooker. When a brand name becomes a synonym for a product type, you can tell how successful it is.
Before going into an in-depth review, I believe an overview of what a slow cooker is and tips for purchasing a good one would be helpful for all readers.
1. What is a slow cooker, and how does it work?
A slow cooker uses gentle heat to cook liquid-based dishes at a low and steady temperature over a few hours or more. The most common slow-cooked foods are soups or stews, although a modern-style slow cooker like the Crock-Pot 8-quart programmable can cook many more types of dishes.
A reliable slow cooker can help us cook many good dishes
Slow cooking is quite similar to braising in an oven or on a stovetop. A slow cooker includes three main components: the base (where the heating element is attached to a liner), the vessel, and the lid. Heat is created in the base and then transferred evenly up the vessel's sides to heat the food evenly. You can set the temperature to high or low the same way you do on a stovetop.
2. Key considerations when buying a slow cooker
- Your family size
As with many other cooking appliances, choosing the right size is imperative. Slow cookers vary in size; you can find models as small as 2 quarts to larger ones of 10 quarts. If you’re cooking for two people, a one to three-quart slow cooker should be sufficient. A four to six-quart model is made for a family of three to five people. If you’re feeding five to seven people, choose a Crock Pot size of 7 quarts or 8 quarts.
It’s also worth noting that a slow cooker works best when you fill it at least half full - considering which size is the best for you before clicking the purchase button. I would recommend you go for the size that is a bit larger than what you need rather than owning a small one and then regretting it afterward. Slow cooking gives you the most tender and flavourful stews, casseroles, curries, and much more, so having some delicious leftovers for another day is a great idea.
The material of the lid
When you cook with a traditional method on the stovetop or in the oven, you usually open the lid to stir the contents inside or check how your food is doing. However, when slow cooking, you want to avoid opening the lid to prevent heat from escaping, thus extending cooking time.
Given this, it’s best to choose a slow cooker with a glass lid instead of an opaque or plastic version. This way, you can see what is going on without opening the lid too many times.
Slow cookers usually come in either round or oval shapes. If you’re wondering which one would be better, the answer is that it depends on what you plan to cook in your Crock-Pot.
If you usually cook soups with beans or stews and your kitchen counter area is small, a round shape would be a better choice. If you love to eat chicken, brisket, or ribs, an oval shape would better fit your cooking style.
A timer is a great convenience. If you’re 6 hours away from home and want your slow cooker to stew your ribs for 4 or 5 hours, this feature is a game-changer. You are free to do your normal routine without worrying that your food will be overcooked or turned to mush.
8 quart Crock Pot review
I bought my 8 quart digital Crock Pot about five months ago to replace my old slow cooker. In this part of the review, I will share my experience using this cooking pot with you. I’ll first start with the basics - specifications, pros, and cons, then go into its key features and performance.
Specs, pros, and cons
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 15.3 x 15.4 inches
- Weight: 15.6 pounds
- Cord length: 24’’
- Three manual settings: low, high, and warm
- Stainless steel exterior
- Glass lid
- Can serve up to 10 people
- The stoneware and lid are dishwasher safe
- The stoneware is microwave safe
- Easy to clean
- Uneven heating
Convenient and time-saving
Convenience is what sets the 8 quart Crock Pot SCCPVFC800 DS apart from other cooking appliances.
Before going to work in the morning, you can prepare the ingredients for your dish and layer it in the stoneware pot. Simply plug it in, and set it on low temperature for 5 or 6 hours. Once you get home from work, you’ve got a luscious chicken dinner or beef pot roast to enjoy with your family.
The Crock-Pot 8 quart slow cooker is easy and convenient to use
I also noticed that the Crock Pot8 qt black stainless digital slow cooker could save time by eliminating regular trips to the stores or supermarkets. After getting off from work, I used to stop at the store to grab a few ingredients for dinner. These daily stops at the store is a serious waste of time and money. It is better to plan ahead and enjoy better meals.
Since I bought my Crockpot, I only take one or two trips to the grocery store to buy all I need for the whole week. Planning several meals at once has become much more manageable. I only need to pop a meal in the Crock-Pot every morning and then go straight home to a warm, homemade meal after a long day at work.
The traditional cooking method takes time since we usually need to keep watching for our pots to boil, always stirring soups and sauces. For those foods that stick to the bottom of the pot, it would even take more time standing at the stove. On the other hand, slow cooking requires much less time from you as it’s a one-pot cooking style. You do not need to stand over it while it cooks. Time is money, so when we save our time, we’re saving our money.
Low power consumption
Many people assume that a slow cooker uses lots of energy as it takes hours to cook. However, slow cooking significantly cuts your electricity bill down as it consumes much less power than other traditional cooking methods. While an electric oven uses 2400 to 3000 watts, a slow cooker uses only between 75-150 watts of electricity on a low setting and between 150-210 watts on a high setting. In comparison, its energy consumption is similar to that of a light bulb.
The less energy your home appliances use, the less you’ll have to spend on your monthly electricity bill. But a slow cooker does not only save your money because of its low power consumption. It is also cost-effective thanks to its slow cooking process. Read more as I explain how it does so.
Cost-effectiveness is where the 8 quart digital Crock Pot truly shines. Since the slow cooking method can tenderize less expensive cuts of meat, you can save a lot on your monthly expenditure on foods. Instead of buying ribeye, top sirloin, or beef tenderloin, you can choose the front shoulder or the back muscle. These tough cuts are well-worked muscles with connective tissue; hence, they’re perfect for making great stew. Using a Crock-Pot is the best cooking method.
Using the Crock pot 8-quart slow cooker is cost-effective
Instead of cooking these budget cuts of meat in the oven, you can slow cook them. The tissue breaks down nicely when being slow-cooked; the meat will fall right off the bone, so you can easily cut it with a fork.
Even though I love cooking, my partner and I had to eat takeout, delivery, or at a restaurant several days per week. Sometimes our hectic workload doesn’t allow us to rush into the kitchen to prepare dinners. However, this habit has changed recently. My Crock Pot8 quart slow cooker has helped me plan better for making our homemade dinners. I only need to put the ingredients into the pot in the morning and then come home to find a meal already prepared, hot and ready for dinner.
We’re a small-sized family of four, myself, my partner, our little toddler, and Beau, our Golden Retriever, so when I bought an 8-quart slow cooker, my parents and my friends were surprised. They all thought that I had selected the wrong size.
I prefer cooking larger portions and then dividing them up for several meals. This way, my partner and I do not have to spend extra for lunches at work. Our slow cooker has saved us real time and money, and we only wished we started doing it earlier.
While some of the best pressure cooker reviews might not include the 8 quart digital Crock Pot’s portability feature in their articles, I believe it’s worth a mention here. I’ve organized barbecue parties with slow-cooked beef stews and soups before, and my friends all loved these dishes.
A slow cooker like the Crock-Pot8 quart is ideal for backyard barbecues, outdoor cookouts, family get-togethers, summer parties, or graduation celebrations. It’s conveniently portable with travel features, so you can cook the food at home and transport it warm to your party location.
The Crock Pot 8 quart slow cooker weighs just a little more than 15 pounds, so carrying it to the party location is not a difficult task. Also, it is equipped with a warming function that can hold foods warm, but not piping hot–ideal for parties.
Crock-Pot slow cookers are easy to maintain. You only need to wash it clean right after each use and follow a few simple below steps to ensure its longevity:
1. Clean the outside surface with a damp cloth, but remember to unplug the appliance before cleaning. When you open it, be sure to check your cord for any damage as well. Also, it’s best to use mild cleaning liquid only, as harsh ones can damage your appliance's finish.
The 8-quart Crock pot is easy to use
2. Use baking soda to tackle any stains on the exterior. If you find any crumbs lodged underneath the appliance, use a brush to remove them.
3. Clean the stoneware in the dishwasher. If regular dishwashing liquid doesn’t work with tough food, you can fill the stoneware with water, heat it for 15 to 20 minutes, and then put it in the dishwasher again. If your slow cooker stoneware is damaged, purchasing a Crock-Pot8-quart replacement stoneware is easy as it’s available on Amazon.
4. Clean the interior of the slow cooker base. Ensure that you only clean it when it’s cool and never submerge it in water, as the interior also includes the appliance's electrical components.
5. Clean lids, handles, and knobs with warm, soapy water and leave them to dry before the next use.
1. Crock-Pot 8-quart express crock XL - An alternative that combines the functions of a slow cooker and a pressure cooker
A pressure cooker uses steaming or boiling to cook for a short time. On the contrary, the slow cooker is the opposite of the pressure cooker. It uses slow and low heat instead of fast and high heat. Slow cooking lets you simmer meals over five to six hours or even half a day.
Each type of cooking equipment is suitable for different cooking styles and requirements. If you’re looking for an appliance that combines both functions, the Crock-Pot 8-quart express crock xl could be an ideal choice. It’s an all-in-one appliance that allows you to pressure cook, slow cook, brown, steam, boil, simmer, and sauté.
Crock Pot 8-quart express crock XL
This multi-use Crock-Pot has a measurement of 15.5’’ x 14.5’’ x 13.75’’ and weighs 17.56 pounds, so it will take a little more space in your kitchen than the Crock-Pot 8-quart slow cooker. However, it’s worth it because you can make various quick and healthy meals with a touch of a button thanks to its convenient one-touch meal settings.
The Crock-Pot 8-quart express crock xl lets you cook for up to 10 people, making it a time-saving appliance for larger families or parties and get-togethers. It features the manual pressure function, which means you can set any cooking time, either fast or slow, depending on your customized recipes.
This versatile Crock-Pot is equipped with a nonstick cooking pot, making it easy to clean. Its airtight locking lid, control pressure safety valve, and non-slip base ensure that you can cook your most delicious meals without any safety concerns. More importantly, its optional glass lid lets you easily check in on your food when you set it on non-pressurized modes.
You probably think that this all-in-one cooking pot must be expensive to purchase because it includes so many functions. Fret not! It costs only around $100, which is reasonable for everything that it offers.
2. Ninja FD401 Foodi 8-Quart 9-in-1 Deluxe XL - An unsurpassed multifunctional cooker
If you’re looking for a premium, well-designed, and versatile cooking appliance, the Ninja FD401 8-quart 9-in-1 Deluxe won’t disappoint you. Its versatility will impress anyone. You can pressure cook, slow cook, air fry, steam, sauté, roast/bake, broil, dehydrate, and make yogurt - all within a short window of time.
Cooking with this Ninja Deluxe XL is fun and easy. Do you want delicious and healthy meals in under half an hour? That’s what 1760 watts of power can give you. Users just need to toss a few ingredients in it, press a few buttons, and your meal will be ready in no time.
Ninja FD401 Foodi 8-Quart 9-in-1 Deluxe XL
With a stainless steel finish, the Ninja FD401 Deluxe XL Cooker and Air Fryer have a sturdy and classy feel. Its capacity is 8 quarts - similar to the 8 quart digital Crock Pot and a bit larger than the 9 quart Crock Pot.
The Ninja Foodi can give you crisp and tender foods thanks to two lids: one detachable pressure cooking lid for tenderness and one non-removable for crispness. The crisping lid (or the air fryer lid) is hinged, not removable, so you’ll need a spacious kitchen area for this lid to be open. The pressure cooking lid is removable, so you’ll need room in your pantry to store it.
The Ninja FD401 is an unsurpassed all-in-one product. However, if you have a small kitchen, this is probably not the right model for you as it’s quite large (16.1 x 14.57 x 14.2 inches) and heavy (26 pounds).
I hope that my 8 quart Crock Pot review has provided you with some useful information to decide whether you should add this Crock-Pot to your list of kitchen appliances. This 8 quart digital Crock Pot is an energy and time-saving slow cooker that lets you cook a whole roasted chicken, braised beef ragu, mashed potatoes, or Texas chili con carne within a short time.
If you are interested in an all-in-one model that combines several different functions into one, head over to the Alternative section above. I carefully selected and briefly reviewed two cooking appliances that let you cook a wide variety of dishes with different functions. No matter which one you decide to buy, it’s best to pick the one with a suitable size and that fits your cooking habits.
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