Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Review
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Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry
$69.99 at Amazon
$74.99 at Amazon
$74.21 at Amazon
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|Pros||Timer is easy to use, nice large size, lid locks||Temperature probe, locking lid, excellent cooking performance||Locking lid, temperature probe, easy to use||Good latch design, small profile, portable, fun aesthetic||Small, simple, affordable, has an on/off light|
|Cons||Heavy, sides get hot||Handles rattle, heavy||Heavy, mediocre cooking performance||Pot is shallow, not many features||Lid rattles, no features|
|Bottom Line||This model boasts intuitive programming, high-quality performance, and enough capacity to feed everyone at your next potluck||A strong performer with an accessible price point and the convenient option to cook and carry||A large and hefty option that does a solid job but doesn't always perform consistently||This small, portable slow cooker is perfect to tote along and put on display at your next picnic||Small enough to incorporate into any kitchen, this model is great for cooking simple side dishes|
|Rating Categories||Crock-Pot 6-Quart C...||Hamilton Beach Temp...||Black+Decker 7-Quar...||Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart...||Elite Gourmet 1.5-Q...|
|User Friendliness (35%)|
|Cooking Performance (30%)|
|Cooking Features (25%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (10%)|
|Specs||Crock-Pot 6-Quart C...||Hamilton Beach Temp...||Black+Decker 7-Quar...||Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart...||Elite Gourmet 1.5-Q...|
|Pot Material||Stoneware||Nonstick Aluminum||Stoneware||Stoneware||Nonstick Aluminum|
|Capacity||6 qt||6 qt||6 qt||2.5 qt||6 qt|
|Lid with Gasket?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Steam Release Valve in Lid?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Features||Programmable time (30min increments) and temp (high/low); auto warm setting||4 manual heat settings; cooking vessel can be used in the oven, on the stovetop, and in the fridge and freezer; cooking base can be used as a griddle; comes with a travel (nonlocking) lid and a thermal carrying case||Four probe locations, probe storage area, set and maintain temp for up to 24 hours, Keep Warm or Hold Temp feature (adjustable setting) for after cooking timer goes off, digital screen to display selected settings, temp from probe, or timer count-down. Beeps to indicate on/off/finish. Four locations for probe.||None||Slow cooker, sauté, and steam functions (includes steaming rack); programmable time and temp (50°F increments); manual setting, sleep mode; auto warm; auto shut off after 8 hours; beeps to indicate on/off/start|
Our Analysis and Test Results
More than any of the other slow cookers we tested, the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry won our hearts with its refreshing ease in setting the controls and cooking food. A super simple button allows you to cycle between heat settings, and the up/down button allows you to adjust the time. And the meals came out great — especially grains, rice, and veggies. Programmable, a locking lid with a steam vent, and a very reasonable price make the Cook & Carry a favorite for serving up a yummy batch of food.
We're at the end of a long day, and we stumble into the house and are met with a heavenly smell and the knowledge that dinner is all prepared and ready to be eaten. And the best thing? The Cook & Carry that holds your yummy dinner is inexpensive and easy to use, so you can feel good about spending your money on it instead of getting take-out. This is probably the easiest slow cooker to use that you can find. You just drop the food in, select which heat setting you want using one button, and select the time of cooking with another button. That's all! The lid fits securely on the crock and latches into place with a gasket so that the burning steam cannot escape, and it also has a steam vent. But be careful getting too close to the sides of the unit while it is in use because they get very hot.
The Cook & Carry is very reasonably priced and outscored many higher-priced slow cookers. We tested every model in our review side-by-side, so we have plenty of real-life experience to draw from. The controls for the Cook & Carry are High/Low and Warm, with the time set in 30-minute increments. When the unit comes to the end of its cooking cycle, it automatically switches to Warm and has an automatic shut-off. So if you're out doing errands and traffic is bad, your food should still be warm and ready to eat when you get home.
We tested many meals in our slow cookers, but the main dishes used for testing were some kind of meat dish, just vegetables, and grains with beans. We did a beef brisket low and slow for the meat meal, and it was done perfectly — tender and juicy with plenty of flavor. For the vegetable meal, we cooked potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and celery. We used those veggies because they all cook at different speeds, and we looked for hard or mushy foods. The Cook & Carry did a great job cooking the veggies. They were perfectly stewed with a bit of crunch left in the carrots, and none of them decomposed to a mushy mess, even the celery, zucchini, and onion.
Since the Cook & Carry has a larger crock, we found that trying to cook just one cup of rice didn't work so well. The beans came out really well, but the rice began to brown around the rim after cooking, even on Warm. But if you are looking at this cooker, you will most likely be cooking for a larger group with more than just one cup of rice. We ended up adding a bit more liquid to our test meal after a few hours, and that worked well.
Let's get down to the nitty-gritty. We all know that we can buy a top-of-the-line slow cooker, but you might not like it if it's too complicated to use. We've said before how we really like the ease of using and settings on the Cook & Carry. But there is something to note. The timer is easy, yes, but it only moves in 30-minute increments, so you may have to guess a little about the time if you aren't going to be home. But aside from that, this cooker has one of the best lid locking mechanisms of any of the models we tested. The lid fits closely, the gasket seals it into place, and the clips lock the lid on so there is no danger of spills or burns.
Finally, the Cook & Carry has extra long handles on the sides, so no one gets their finger burned, plus it has an automatic shut-off. And the screen clearly displays the time, while LED lights display the temperature settings. Plus, the numbers and letters are a little larger for those among us who are a bit more seasoned.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning up after dinner is one of the least favorite jobs, but the Cook & Carry helps you out by being dishwasher safe, including the lid. You may have to soak and scrub the stoneware crock, depending on what you served, but that seems to be par for the course for stoneware crocks. Some people have found using cooking spray in the crock before adding the food helps a lot with clean-up afterward.
The stoneware crock is heavier than most, so be careful while handling It. When wet or hot, it can slip out of your hands and break, which would end more of those simple, yummy, easy-to-prepare meals.
Should You Buy the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry?
This slow cooker is inexpensive and super easy to use. It's a great, basic, dependable device that will give years of use to someone with a big family or to someone who likes to cook big batches of soups and stews to share with neighbors or coworkers — all without emptying your wallet. There are more feature-rich options, but the Cook & Carry wins our vote for the easiest, least expensive, and most dependable to use.
What Other Slow Cookers Should You Consider?
Have concerns that maybe the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry isn't exactly what you want, but you don't really know what that would be? Check out our review for the Hamilton Beach Temp Tracker 6-Quart for a feature-loaded and also very reasonably priced option. Or, if you want more features, then the Cuisinart 6-Quart 3-In-1 Cook Central is a real gem. Sure, it's more expensive, but the things you can do with just this one piece of kitchen equipment are amazing. Happy cooking!
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