slow cooker

Hi everyone,

My stove top safe slow cooker got badly scratched at a party the other day, so I am in the market for a replacement. Most have ceramic inserts, so they are not safe to use on the stove top for browning meat/onions prior to putting it on the appliance to finish cooking. I'm accustomed to be able to do it all in one pot (including cooking off excess liquid when I get home should I need to) but I assume there must be some benefit to the ceramic kind since that is what the majority of the ones on the market are made of -? It seems like a lot of excess dishes to me. Any insights?

The dishwasher safe thing is not an issue for me because we don't use the dishwasher for any pots or pans anyway, and I am looking for an actual slow cooker appliance, not an instant pot (I already have a stove-top pressure cooker) or a dutch oven (I have two and a braising pan). I need something that can prepare food when I return to full-time work in the fall and have it ready to feed a family of six when I come through the door :)




SMSF August 20, 2018
Slow cookers with a browning function are meant to be used with the cooker itself doing the browning, so there's no need to use the stove. You will want to look specifically for a model with browning function.
The All-Clad models I've seen have a coated aluminum insert that can be used to brown first either in the cooker itself or on the stove.
Here's a link with some good info, including recommendations for in-cooker searing as well as stovetop searing:

Catherine August 21, 2018
For the price that you pay for one with the searing feature built in, I think I would rather just sear and transfer on the principle of the thing :p
BerryBaby August 19, 2018
Mine is an oblong Hamilton Beach.
Have always had great success with their appliances.
Catherine August 20, 2018
Is it a stone insert or the stove-safe model?
Stephanie G. August 18, 2018
I have an All Clad slow cooker and it has a browning function. I really enjoy it...maybe it might suit your needs.
Catherine August 18, 2018
Thank you for your reply! Can you use the insert to reduce the sauce when the cooking is done? I looked through the manual for an All Clad with the browning function but it doesn't seem to be stovetop or oven safe.

I found a model that is stove and oven safe by Crockpot and another by Breville, but if there is some reason that the stone/ceramic is the dominant option in the slow cooker market I would love to know why.
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