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View Full Version : Slow cookers: round vs. oval...



ctychick
12-29-2008, 05:30 PM
Please weigh in!!

I own a 6 qt. (might even be more!) ROUND slow cooker. I really only use it a few times a year for chili and split pea soup. I hate that it is so deep and really want to make brisket, chicken etc., but haven't experimented b/c I just feel like the shape/depth is not ideal for whole meats. I also wanted something a little smaller because I love the idea of having hot oatmeal ready for my kids every morning. So...

After some research I ordered and just received the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 2-, 4-, 6 qt. slow cooker. It got great reviews here and on Amazon and I love the versatility. I didn't realize, however, that the bowls are round. I'm now debating if I should return it for a 5 1/2 qt. (or so) OVAL crockpot and give up the flexibility of the three different sizes.

If you have a ROUND crockpot, do you make whole chickens, slabs of meat, etc. or do I really need an oval crockpot for this? The three crocks in the 3-in-1 seem to narrow as they get to the bottom, which concerns me. The largest one seems deeper than it is wide, which is also a concern.

Because I don't have much experience cooking with whole cuts of meat, it's possible that I'm underestimating the capacity of these bowls. I don't know. Can anyone speak from experience?

Thanks!!!

cocoa'smom
12-29-2008, 06:21 PM
I have a 6+ quart Round crock pot, too. I've made brisket, pot roast, and pork shoulders for bbq pork and it is fine. If the piece of meat is too big, I just cut it half and fit it in. I know what you mean, though, about an oval. It just seems like roasts & chickens would fit better in an oval, but the round works fine. The idea of a 3-in-1 sounds great (I haven't seen them), but if they are narrower at the bottom, it sounds like you wouldn't be happy with them. I rarely seem to have a need for a smaller one, except maybe for cheese dip or something.

tea4one
12-29-2008, 11:21 PM
I have rival Crock-Pot 6-Quart Smart-Set. The lid has a hinge on it that is not lined up properly and it irritates me that it can't be used. Other than this it works out great in fact I made chicken noodle soup in it and also chicken broth and it worked out great for those two things. I am going to make a beef roast in it next week already planned for it. If I remember about this thread next week I will let you know how it works out.

brykate
12-30-2008, 01:01 AM
mmm, fresh hot oatmeal in the morning!! :)

Yep, I could just say ditto to most of what "cocoa'smom" said. My round crockpot has been used for **everything** I don't even know what size it is, it just works for me. If a roast or chicken is a little big I cut it or squash. I think the 'for best results' recommendation is to have it at least half full to do its best cooking. For big roasts I've occasionally tried to be conscientious and turned the meat over sometime in the cooking process, thinking that maybe the bottom end might be getting "soggier" than the top end. Although the moisture always seems fine and even when I don't flip it too.

The Hamilton Beach brand isn't my favorite (had one given to me once and it didn't last), but since you have it you could try your new set out for a year or whatever and if you don't like either pass it on or re-sell it online! I've never heard of the 3-in-1 but it sounds neat!

shscharles
12-30-2008, 10:43 AM
Probably not much help to you, but there are only two of us here (except when the family descends en masse) so I have a 6 qt. oval and a 3 qt. round. Seems to be all I need.

I agree about the oval and large pieces of meat...you could cut them up for a round shape, but if you have the choice, the oval seems ideal for that.

ctychick
12-30-2008, 04:14 PM
Thanks for the input!

I have the 3-in-1 still in the packaging, ready to return, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It gets such fabulous reviews and I feel like it does serve a purpose - it's just not as multi-purpose as I first thought. So...

I decided to keep it AND buy an oval slow cooker. Am I crazy??? Now what size oval do I buy? I feel like 4 would be too small, but the thought of a giant 6 qt. would be a waste. I'm mostly cooking for my family of four. I'm thinking a 5 or 1 1/2 qt. Model suggestions? How many of you have multiple crockpots?

LakeMartinGal
12-30-2008, 05:00 PM
How many of you have multiple crockpots?I have 3 -- one is very small -- 1 qt I think? The next biggest is a 4 qt, but it's a pot that sits on a heating element. This is my favorite, because I can brown the meat in it on the stove, then set it on the heat element! Only 1 pan!!! The 3rd is a 6 qt, and I never use it unless we're having a mob of folks -- just too big for the 3 of us!;)

cocoa'smom
12-30-2008, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the input!

I have the 3-in-1 still in the packaging, ready to return, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It gets such fabulous reviews and I feel like it does serve a purpose - it's just not as multi-purpose as I first thought. So...

I decided to keep it AND buy an oval slow cooker. Am I crazy??? Now what size oval do I buy? I feel like 4 would be too small, but the thought of a giant 6 qt. would be a waste. I'm mostly cooking for my family of four. I'm thinking a 5 or 1 1/2 qt. Model suggestions? How many of you have multiple crockpots?

So you'd own 5 crockpots :eek:!! That might be a little much (unless you have a whole lot of cabinet space!). It sounds like between your 6 quart round and your 3-in-1 you should be pretty much covered. I don't think you'd gain all that much by buying an oval.

ctychick
12-30-2008, 07:35 PM
So you'd own 5 crockpots :eek:!!

Ooops - I forgot to mention that I'd be ditching my old round, too deep 6 Qt. Believe me - I think the 3-in-1 plus an oval is a little overkill, but I do have tried and true recipes that work well in various size crocks, so I know they'll all get some play. Plus, as my kids get older I plan on doing a lot more entertaining and the crocks - especially the 3-in1 - will be worth it for those ocassions alone.

Peweh
12-30-2008, 10:45 PM
I have a 6-qt oval and recently got a 4-qt round which I use much more often. I cook for just DH and myself and found I really only used the big one for batches of sauce or chili; you really do need to be cooking a large cut of meat to fill the oval one up enough so the meat doesn't dry out & burn, and I don't tend to want anything bigger than 3 lbs due to too many leftovers. But I don't do whole chickens in the slow cooker, that might be a reason for the oval. I would play around with the 3-in-1 before you get the oval, you might find you don't really need one.

tea4one
01-11-2009, 01:41 AM
I thought I would update on the use of the oval crockpot. It works great. I have it going right now so in the morning when I wake up lunch will be ready to be dished out for work. I had cut 4 onions in half and lined the bottom of the crockpot and then cut up the carrots and added them and the meat went on top of that without having to squeeze it into the thing. I still wish my lid was able to be used properly though.