Did you know that a slow cooker not only keeps your food nutrient packed, but can actually save (preparation) time?
The Cuisinart Slow Cooker is a programmable appliance made of stainless steel, and it comes with an oval ceramic cooking pot.
In this article, I will go through the following points:
- Things to consider before buying a slow cooker.
- Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker review.
- Features and benefits of this Cuisinart model.
- Which is the best slow cooker?
Is it worth the investment? Read my Cuisinart Slow Cooker review to find out!
Things To Consider Before Buying a Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is a great kitchen appliance for the health-conscious home chef who wants to cook meals with ease. A slow cooking process locks in nutrients, and allows you prepare your food in advance without it getting cold.
You can save some money as well since a slow cooker uses moist heat to make even cheap cuts of meat juicy and filled with flavor.
If you prefer food that browns on top or more of a fried flavor, a slow cooker might not be right for you. Slow-cooked meals do not brown as they don’t get as hot.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when buying slow cookers.
The inner pot of a slow cooker can be made of metal or ceramic.
Metal inner pots are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum does not rust and withstands corrosion even when exposed to water and air. Stainless steel also has high corrosion resistance, making it durable. Pots made of metal can get very hot, though, so be careful when handling them.
Some metal slow cookers have a non-stick coating that’s made from Teflon. This material has a toxic chemical compound, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE.) While there’s not enough research to show that PTFE is harmful to humans, it’s better to be on the safe side and avoid it if possible.
Ceramic inner pots shouldn’t have a non-stick coating as the ceramic is normally naturally non-stick. Confusingly, though, some metal cookers have non stick ceramic coating, which can have PTFE. The ceramic slow cookers are easy to clean but also heavier than the metal cookers.
There’s different views on how safe PTFE is, this video explains one point of view:
Worth mentioning is that the stated internal capacities of slow cookers tend to be a little misleading. A 3 quart (2.8 liters) inner pot probably has a cooking space closer to 2 (1.9 liters) or 2.5 quarts (2.4 liters.)
With that mentioned, how many people do you cook for regularly? Do you cook for yourself or your family? Do you entertain a lot and cook for guests? You should ask yourself these questions when deciding on what size slow cooker to buy.
If you’re a family of four, opt for a cooker with a 3-5 quart (3-5 liters) capacity. For a household of one or two, a 3 quart (2.8 liters) pot is enough. Note that there won’t be any leftovers. If you have a larger family or are cooking for guests, choose a cooker that’s 5+ quarts (4.7 liters). Most cookers do not exceed 8 quarts (7.6 liters) capacity.
Once you’ve decided on the size, see what shape you want your slow cooker to be. The options are typically either round or oval-shaped slow cookers. Oval inner pots are made specifically to fit whole chickens or roasts. Choose an oval shape if you want your slow cooker mostly for this reason.
Smaller slow cookers are usually round, and since they probably can’t fit whole chickens anyway, it doesn’t really matter.
Higher-end slow cookers usually have various pre-set cooking modes that you can start by just pressing a button. These one-touch programs conveniently adjust the heat and time for the type of food you’re cooking.
The Cuisinart PSC Slow Cooker has a 6.5 quart (6.2 liters) cooking capacity and comes with a removable, oval-shaped ceramic pot that’s PTFE-free. It has a touchpad control panel with four different one-touch pre-set cooking modes: warm, simmer, low, and high. It also includes a Keep Warm setting.
While the inner crockpot is ceramic, the body of the Cuisinart is made of stainless steel. It has a glass lid, which is a nice touch that allows you to see your food cooking inside the pot and gives you more oversight into the cooking process.
Both the lid and the pot are dishwasher-safe, making the clean-up process convenient. The appliance also has a retractable cord, which is a nice feature that makes storing easier.
Even though the Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker is advertised to hit up to 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), there have been reports of the cooker not reaching boiling temperature even when using the high heat setting.
Also, the lid is quite light, causing it to sometimes vibrate up and down after a few hours on the high heat setting.
The handles on the inner pot, as well as the lid knob, are made of plastic with a chrome finish. They do not hold the same high-quality standard as the rest of the slow cooker and seem to be quite fragile.
- Oval-shaped pot, great for roasts or whole chickens
- Four one-touch pre-set cooking modes
- PTFE-free ceramic cooking pot
- Glass lid allows you to look into the pot
- Retractable cord
- Easy to use
- Reported not to hit high enough temperatures to boil
- The light lid can vibrate at high temperatures
- Flimsy plastic side handles and lid knob
Features and Benefits
Let’s take an in-depth look at the features and benefits of the Cuisinart Slow Cooker.
This slow cooker comes with an oval-shaped ceramic crockpot, a glass lid, a cooking rack, a recipe book, and an instruction book.
An oval-shaped pot makes cooking roasts and whole chickens way easier than with a round one. Also, the cooking rack is great for bakeware, and the recipe book includes 70 recipes ranging from basic to gourmet.
Look and Maintenance
The steel body of the Cuisinart is durable due to the high corrosion resistance properties of the material. It also looks sleek and stylish and is easy to wipe down if needed.
The crockpot itself is ceramic, making it naturally free from PTFE. However, if you’re used to non stick coating, cooking with a ceramic pot has a learning curve. You need to make sure that food doesn’t stick to the bottom.
The positive is that there’s no non stick coating that can chip off, which allows for the use of all kinds of utensils.
The cooking pot and glass lid are dishwasher-safe, making cleaning up after your meal a breeze.
Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker comes with a glass lid, which allows you to look into the pot while your food is cooking. This feature enables you to see how the cooking process is going without opening the lid and letting the heat escape.
The lid is quite lightweight. According to some reports, this causes it to vibrate when the cooker reaches boiling point, preventing it from trapping steam completely.
The handles and the knob on the glass lid are made of plastic. This prevents heat from spreading from the pot to your hands—since plastic has low thermal conductivity—and stops heat from transferring between materials.
Note that some customers find the handles quite flimsy and have a lower quality than the rest of the pot.
The cord is also retractable. This makes storing the Cuisinart Slow Cooker way easier when you’re not using it. Some customers wish the plug would also retract and not stick out at the back of the winding cooker.
The Cuisinart Slow Cooker comes in two sizes: 6.5 quart (6.2 liters) and 4 quart (3.8 liters.)
Cuisinart 6.5 Quart Slow Cooker
The 6.5 quart (6.2 liters) version of the Cuisinart has an oval shape that’s great for cooking roasts and preparing food for four people or more. The 6.5 quart cooker is the perfect size for a hearty beef stew.
Cuisinart 4 Quart Slow Cooker
The 4 quart (3.8 liters) version has a round shape instead of an oval one. It has less cooking capacity, making it a good option if you’re mainly cooking for one or two people.
This slow cooker is a little pricier than some of its competitors. However, the design is pretty to look at, and the crockpot has a whole 6.5 quart (6.2 liters) liter cooking capacity. The materials also seem to be of high quality, and the cooker performs well in most cases.
All in all, my verdict is that the Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker is worth the investment.
Alternative Slow Cookers
Now I will present some top competitors of the Cuisinart Slow Cooker to see how they compare.
This is a multi cooker that can slow cook food, but also steam and sauté. The MSC 600 is pricier than the Cuisinart Slow Cooker, but it also has added functions.
Like the slow cooker, the Cuisinart MSC 600 is made from stainless steel and looks elegant on the countertop. However, the inner pot of the multi cooker is non stick with PTFE. According to customers, the non stick coating bubbles and flakes off after some time.
The Cuisinart MSC 600 multi cooker is available in three sizes: 4 quart (3.8 liters), 6 quart (5.7 liters), and 8 quart (7.6 liters). It comes in a bigger size than the Cuisinart PSC Slow Cooker.
- Multi-cooker that slow cooks, sautés, and steams food.
- Available in 4, 6, and 8 quart sizes.
- Non stick pan potentially has PTFE (Teflon active ingredient).
- The non stick coating comes off quite easily.
The MSC 600 is a good option if you’re looking for a slow cooker that also steams and sautés.
All-Clad is a super premium brand that produces high-quality cookware. This also makes this slow cooker the most expensive on my list.
It’s made from stainless steel with a ceramic inner pot, and as the Cuisinart Slow Cooker, the cooking capacity is also 6.5 quart (6.2 liters.) It also comes in 4 (3.8 liters) and 7 quart (6.6 liters) versions.
The handles are sturdier on this cooker than on the Cuisinart Slow Cooker since they’re also made of steel. However, customers find that the lid of the All-Clad Slow Cooker doesn’t fit properly.
- High-quality, premium All-Clad crockpot.
- Sturdy handles.
- Lid doesn’t fit perfectly.
If you want to splurge and buy a high-performing slow cooker for yourself, this is the one.
This is a great budget option made from stainless steel with a ceramic, PTFE-free crock pot. It has high, low, and warm heat settings and has more functions that the Cuisinart Slow Cooker has.
The Hamilton Beach cooker only comes in a 4 quart (3.8 liters) size.
According to some customer reports, the Hamilton Slow Cooker can occasionally overheat and dry your food out. There have also been complaints of the handles melting.
One good feature is that the Hamilton cooker automatically switches to a Keep Warm setting when your food is finished cooking.
- The cheapest option on my list.
- Ceramic pot free from PTFE.
- Tends to overheat.
- Reports of the handle melting.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, it’s the Hamilton Slow Cooker!
Which Is the Best Slow Cooker?
After going through the pros and cons of these cookers, I believe that the best one is the Cuisinart Slow Cooker.
This is a high-quality crock pot for a reasonable price and has four different pre-set cooking modes. It’s PTFE-free, comes with a glass lid, and several of its components are machine-washable. The oval-shaped form is great for cooking roasts, and it comes in different sizes depending on your needs.
Cooking healthy becomes effortless with this kitchenware. Based on my Cuisinart Slow Cooker review, this appliance is a great addition to your kitchen.