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Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget Review

This cooker offers reliable performance at a very approachable price and is deserving of a place on the counter for any cooking enthusiast
Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget
Credit: Amazon
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $70 List
Pros:  Set and forget feature, probe is a great component, lid locks for transport, excellent cooking performance
Cons:  Latches are handy but overall the unit is heavy and bulky to transport
Manufacturer:   Hamilton Beach
By Genaveve Bradshaw and Ruth Bruckbauer  ⋅  Jul 25, 2022
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • User Friendliness - 35% 7.0
  • Cooking Performance - 30% 9.0
  • Cooking Features - 25% 8.0
  • Ease of Cleaning - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget is a high-value programmable slow cooker with excellent cooking performance. It's incredibly easy to set and gives consistent results every time. This was a favorite of ours for those meals you throw in the pot in the morning and let cook all day while you are busy working or playing. No matter what we put in the Set & Forget — meat, beans and rice, whole dinners — the meat came out tender and juicy, and the veggies were done to perfection. We did find that the sidewalls get hot, and this 6-quarter is heavy to transport, especially with a four-pound roast inside. But if you love your barbeque, this is the pot for you.

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Price $70 List$80 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Set and forget feature, probe is a great component, lid locks for transport, excellent cooking performanceTimer is easy to use, nice large size, lid locksGood latch design, small profile, portable, fun aestheticSmall, simple, affordable, has an on/off lightCan use the base as a griddle and sauté in pan, comes with an insulated travel bag
Cons Latches are handy but overall the unit is heavy and bulky to transportHeavy, sides get hotPot is shallow, not many featuresLid rattles, no featuresMediocre cooking performance, lid does not lock, no indicator lights, very limited settings
Bottom Line This cooker offers reliable performance at a very approachable price and is deserving of a place on the counter for any cooking enthusiastThis model boasts intuitive programming, high-quality performance, and enough capacity to feed everyone at your next potluckThis small, portable slow cooker is perfect to tote along and put on display at your next picnicSmall enough to incorporate into any kitchen, this model is great for cooking simple side dishesCompact size, simplicity, and functionality are standout features, but this cooker isn't for those looking for superior cooking performance or extensive interface options
Rating Categories Hamilton Beach 6-Qu... Crock-Pot 6-Quart C... Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart... Elite Gourmet 1.5-Q... WestBend 5-Quart Ob...
User Friendliness (35%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Cooking Performance (30%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Cooking Features (25%)
8.0
6.0
4.0
3.0
6.0
Ease of Cleaning (10%)
7.0
7.0
5.0
10.0
9.0
Specs Hamilton Beach 6-Qu... Crock-Pot 6-Quart C... Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart... Elite Gourmet 1.5-Q... WestBend 5-Quart Ob...
Pot Material Stoneware Stoneware Stoneware Stoneware Nonstick Aluminum
Capacity 6 qt 6 qt 2.5 qt 1.5 qt 6 qt
Programmable? Yes Yes No No No
Locking Lid? Yes Yes Yes No No
Lid with Gasket? Yes Yes Yes No No
Steam Release Valve in Lid? Yes Yes Yes No No
Features Programmable time (30 min increments) and temp (high/low); manual mode; probe mode; ability to set desired temp (°F and °C); auto warm; auto shut off after 14 hours; beeps to indicate on/off/start Programmable time (30min increments) and temp (high/low); auto warm setting None None 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

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget retails for an impressive price and is chock-full of great features without going overboard. The temperature probe lets you know when your meat is done, and the user interface is easy to understand. The lack of multiple buttons keeps everything simpler because you just cycle through the programs for the setting you want, and if you get stuck (unlikely), the user guide is very easy and clear. We love easy and clear. We also love that this cooker is perfect for low-and-slow meals like barbeque, pot roasts, Italian beef, Philly cheesesteak… are you hungry yet?

Performance Comparison


Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - the hamilton beach 6-quart set & forget made tender and tasty pot...
The Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget made tender and tasty pot roast.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

User Friendliness


We all have things at home that seemed like a good idea when we bought them but then don't turn out as easy or wonderful as we thought. Because of that, this is an important metric for us — an appliance is only valuable if you actually use it. The highest-rated slow cooker isn't worth a penny if it just sits in the cabinet because you can't get it to work. We broke this metric down into four separate sections: Temperature Settings, Timer, Ease of Programing, and Cook n' Carry.


The temperature settings on the Set & Forget include High, Low, and Warm in the Program Mode, and you can set the temperature in the Probe Mode. The buttons also allow you to set your time in 30-minute increments, and the auto-warm feature will keep your food toasty for up to 14 hours. Have an invitation to go out for a drink after work? No problem. Your food won't burn and will still be hot and ready to eat even if you're a few hours late. This cooker also has a beeper that lets you know when the timer is finished.

We found the programming buttons on the Set & Forget very easy to use, but if you happen to go past the setting you want, you have to cycle through the whole range again. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and the user guide is a quick read and is clear and concise, so it's almost impossible to screw up. Besides, once you set everything up a couple of times and are used to the system, you'll be good to go.

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - the screen of this slow cooker is not lit like many others, so...
The screen of this slow cooker is not lit like many others, so you'll have to bend down to see it.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

One thing to watch for, though, is that the sidewalls get very warm, like many of the slow cookers we tested. They won't scald your fingers, but they are hot, so be careful. Another thing to consider is that the screen is not lit, so you'll have to bend down to counter level to program it.

The latched handle is a great feature as we've all had the frustration of having our food spill while traveling. But, you'll get your upper-body workout in carrying this around, as it is heavy. As in you-won't-have-to-go-to-the-gym that day kind of heavy.

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - the latched lid made transporting meals easy, though this cooker is...
The latched lid made transporting meals easy, though this cooker is hefty.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Cooking Performance


To assess cooking performance across all our slow cookers, we cooked meat, grains, beans, and veggies. If you love your meats, then the Set & Forget is a great choice. Every kind of meat we tested came out tender and tasty without being burned. The included probe was a big help for our low-and-slow pot roast test, and it's accurate to 5°F, which is surprising for such an inexpensive slow cooker.


When we tested rice and beans in the Set & Forget, we found that the rice was singed around the edges and stuck to the bottom and sides more than the other slow cookers, but that may be because we cooked such a small amount. This may not be the cooker to choose if you regularly make small servings of rice.

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - we cooked rice and beans in each of the slow cookers we tested, and...
We cooked rice and beans in each of the slow cookers we tested, and the meal came out really good.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

With our veggie test, we looked for them to be done without getting mushy, as disintegrated zucchini is just not good. The Set & Forget cooker has a gasket on the top and dual steam release vents, which made for some pretty great steamed veggies that were evenly done.

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - this slow cooker made great steamed veggies that were evenly done...
This slow cooker made great steamed veggies that were evenly done, with not a mushy zucchini in sight.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Cooking Features


Here we looked at what kind of features each slow cooker has — is it programable? How easy is it to set the programming? What about safety: will I burn myself taking the lid off?


Old slow cookers used a simple turn dial for choosing your desired setting, but those days are long gone. Most slow cookers, the Set & Forget included, now have screens with computerized features. They vary in terms of user-friendliness, but the one on this cooker, despite not being well-lit, is easy to use.

With the included probe, you can excel at meat dishes like barbeque that need hours of cooking at a very low temperature. We really appreciate that the probe temp can be set to 5°F increments for those low-and-slow meals. And once the probe temperature is reached, the slow cooker automatically sets to auto warm so the meat won't get overdone.

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - the increased capability of an integrated probe thermometer makes...
The increased capability of an integrated probe thermometer makes this the perfect choice for cooking meats of any cut and variety.
Credit: Aaron Rice

While getting ready to eat our excellent barbeque, we checked out the lid of the Set & Forget slow cooker. Because it has a locking lid with a gasket and dual steam valves, you shouldn't get burned, and your food is much less likely to overcook. We already mentioned that the screen is not lit, but useful beeps will help you decipher what's going on with your meal. The screen indicates time, settings, and temperature, and there is a beep when starting to cook and when cooking is stopped. There is another beep for on/off/warm that is so loud it might wake a housemate. But you can apologize by sharing some of that yummy barbeque you made.

Ease of Cleaning


Ah, cleaning up after dinner. It's unlikely that anyone really likes cleaning up, but the Set & Forget slow cooker is pretty easy to clean.


Both the lid and crock fit in the bottom rack of the dishwasher, helping to make cleanup that much easier. But be careful when the crock is wet because it's slippery. And, as we mentioned, heavy.

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - the non-stick crock made this very easy to clean.
The non-stick crock made this very easy to clean.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Should You Buy the Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget?


The Set & Forget is a great addition to any kitchen. The features are easy to use, and the meals come out perfectly every time, all for a very reasonable price. New and veteran cooks alike will enjoy the programable probe and the locking lid, which has the added benefit of keeping fingers from sneaking a taste. This is a high value product and one we don't hesitate to recommend for the slow cook enthusiast.

What Other Slow Cookers Should You Consider?


If you are on the hunt for a slow cooker that will treat your meats the right way, the Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker can't be beat. This cooker is a favorite because of the included probe, setting it apart from all the others we tested. That said, if you think you might want to do more than just slow cook, the Instant Pot Duo will allow you to also pressure cook, steam, sauté, and more. And if you're flying solo and these all seem to big, the Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole is simple but light, portable, and very cute.

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Set & Forget slow cooker - what will you cook with your new slow cooker?
What will you cook with your new slow cooker?
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Genaveve Bradshaw and Ruth Bruckbauer

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