What size slow cooker should I get? What about a rice cooker? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-08-2008, 04:27 PM
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I see there are a few threads on slow cookers / crockpots, but I didn't come across any discussion on the best size to buy.



My plan is to use it for soups (with leftovers for the freezer) as well as cooking beans.



Also, anyone have a rice cooker?
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#2 Old 11-09-2008, 07:23 PM
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We have a Zojirushi rice cooker. I love it. Here is a link to the one we have - it is the 5.5 cup one. http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts...rs/ns_zcc.html



We make rice at least once a week and I think it tastes better than what we might get going out to eat.



We normally use jasmine or basmati rice.



As far as crock pots, we have one. It is 3.5 quarts, oval in shape... it's a Sunbeam. It is a good size for our family of 4 usually with a serving or two of leftovers. Two of those servings would be smaller as we have two kids and they don't always eat a lot.
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#3 Old 11-09-2008, 07:44 PM
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I have the larger model Zojirushi and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Makes the most awesome, fluffy rice with NO effort on my part and never sticks!! I think everyone should have a rice cooker. You can make small amounts in a larger cooker, but I think the smaller models work just fine for smaller families/singles/couples...



Don't know about slow cookers. Mine is so old, it's like the original. They didn't MAKE bigger or smaller ones when I got it.
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#4 Old 11-09-2008, 08:03 PM
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I want to buy a small slow cooker for me but i cant find any SMALL ones, they're all big...



I found a few small rice cookers tho, are they the same thing? I didnt buy one b/c it didnt say they were the same, or taht I could use it for a slow cooker...



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#5 Old 11-09-2008, 08:33 PM
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Oh you can't use them for the same things - they work on totally different concepts.
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#6 Old 11-09-2008, 09:00 PM
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Slow cookers and rice cookers are NOT the same thing. You're going to get some badly ruined food if you try to use one in place of the other.



I mostly use my slow cooker for cooking dried beans, after they've soaked over night. I also use it for soup when I don't feel like watching the pot. I got mine second hand so I wasn't picky about the size.



My rice cooker I use to cook rice and sometimes to steam vegetables. I have a large one but probably would be fine with a smaller one. You don't need one, but once you're used to it you won't want to give it up.
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#7 Old 11-09-2008, 09:21 PM
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Yea i didn't buy it b/c I didnt know if they would be the same.. i usually just cook rice on the stove, so ill be fine without one lol... I need a slow cooker though b/c I am the only vegetarian in the house and i have all my soups without any broth or meat flavourings... or bacon



So my soups have to be cooked a day early than everyone else's b/c they all have dead animal parts in their soup... It would save my partner's mom time, and the hassle of making two teas when she does the cooking... when i cook I make enough for all of us and not just me... hmmm, her choice i guess.
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#8 Old 11-10-2008, 02:42 AM
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If it's just for you I'd get a medium one so you can freeze leftovers. The only other thing I'd look for is one with a timer. I didn't do that and now I'm realizing I'm going to have to get a wall/ plug timer thing cause sometimes the recipes are for 4 hours and I'm gone longer than that. They can be expensive but don't have to be. Mine works very well and was about $20.



When you start cooking with it, let us know what you make
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#9 Old 11-10-2008, 03:06 AM
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I have a pampered chef rice cooker that I initially bought because I didn't want to leave the party without purchasing SOMETHING...and the proceeds went to charity. I ended up loving it! It was $20 and works in the microwave. I make rice at least 2-3 times a week. And it works great with quinoa too!
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#10 Old 11-10-2008, 06:37 AM
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I own 3 different crockpots:

4 quart

5.5 quart

6 quart



We are a family of 4-2 adults & 2 teenagers.

One thing to remember when cooking with a crockpot, leave some head space and do not fill it all the way to the top. Most users manuals recommend filling 3/4 of the way full.

It cooks more evenly and doesn't take as long to start cooking.



No matter what I cook in mine-Soups, beans, pasta sauce, etc. I *always* have plenty for leftovers or to freeze some for later.

Once you buy one and cook in it a couple of times to get the hang of it, you will come to love it.

I use one of my 3 crockpots about 2-3 times per week and sometimes I will have all of them going at one time, with different items.



I try to have at least one bean cooking day per month, where I cook 3 different types of beans and then I will freeze them to use later on in recipes.

If you do this, turn the beans off while they are still a little undercooked, if you plan to freeze them.

That way they won't get mushy after you've added them to your other recipes.



No rice cooker, I cook my own on top of the stove and it turns out good every time.



The things that I've noticed with cooking rice:

1 part rice to 2 parts water

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and once you reduce the heat, do not stir

Cover with a lid

I shake my saucepan, while holding the lid on, while cooking instead of stirring

Let cook for around 12-15 minutes (This is for either white/jasmine rice)



I can tell if my rice is done, by taking a butter knife and inserting it into the rice, if the bottom of the pan is dry and a little sticky, then it's done (Yes, this is my own method, but it works every time for me)

Remove the lid from the pan and leave on the burner for another 5 minutes

DO NOT STIR

Take your butter knife and run it through and around the rice to "fluff" it.

Do not replace the lid for about 10 minutes after done, this allows the rice to dry out just a bit without having to fluff it too much

Before serving, take your butter knife again and stir & "fluff" well

Then your ready to serve



Yes, this sound like alot of work, but if you do it once, you will realize how simple & quick it is

I cook rice on average about twice a week.





I have only heard wonderful things about the Zojirushi rice cookers, but I cannot justify spending that kind of money on one?

But if rice is something that you eat alot of and can afford a Zojirushi, then I would definately think it would be worth it.



Let us know what you end up purchasing and how you like your new toys!
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#11 Old 11-10-2008, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lirpa1 View Post

I want to buy a small slow cooker for me but i cant find any SMALL ones, they're all big...






I was in Target the other day and spotted a little slow cooker that seems like it would be good for a single person or even a couple. It's the first one on the page.



http://www.target.com/Elite-Cuisine-...cuisine&page=1



I have a Hamilton Beach 3 in 1 slow cooker which has different sized crocks that can be changed out depending on how much I'm making. I like it because the crocks can also be used in the oven to reheat or in a microwave. It doesn't have a timer but I generally just use it on the weekend when that isn't an issue.

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#12 Old 11-10-2008, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I'm hoping Santa will bring me one of each for Christmas.



For those of you who cook dried beans, about how many do you put in the slow cooker? How much water? And what size slow cooker do you use?



I have read you aren't supposed to fill more than 3/4 full, but is less ok?
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#13 Old 11-10-2008, 08:20 PM
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I never measure, but add about 4 X as much water as dry beans... This may be too much for some cookers but is what works with mine...



I also cook dry beans, unsoaked, overnight on low (which on my cooker is oretty low) and they are PERFECT in the AM.



I think I have a slow cooker from the 60's or 70's though. Seriously.



My rice cooker has a timer and I use that setting almost every time - fresh, hot, perfect rice (quinoa, barley, wheat kernals, etc) when I get home... Plus I never EVER made rice on the stove that turned out...
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#14 Old 11-11-2008, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggielady View Post

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I'm hoping Santa will bring me one of each for Christmas.



For those of you who cook dried beans, about how many do you put in the slow cooker? How much water? And what size slow cooker do you use?



I have read you aren't supposed to fill more than 3/4 full, but is less ok?



You must have been a VERRRY good girl this year!



Um lets see, about the beans. You can make as many as you want/need.

I've made as much as 4-5 cups or as little as 1.5 cups.

But when I do my bean cooking day, I usually try for around 3-4 cups.



I always pick through mine the night before, wash them, throw them into a bowl and cover with water with about 4 inches more.

In the morning, I pour off the soak water, rinse again and then add them into the crock with about 4 inches or so above the beans.

I like to also cook mine on low for about 3 hours or so.



As for filling it, yes less is always a good thing. Unless of course you only have about an inch in the bottom and then you have the chance of scorching whatever is your cooking.
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#15 Old 11-12-2008, 12:33 PM
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I own a 6 quart and love it. If you are going to be making soups this will be the best one for you.



They say make sure you are able to fill the slow cooker at least halfway if you decide to go with a bigger one. I haven't ran into a recipe where I wasn't able to do this.
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#16 Old 11-12-2008, 12:47 PM
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I have a rice cooker.



I love it.
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#17 Old 11-12-2008, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshinegal View Post

I own a 6 quart and love it. If you are going to be making soups this will be the best one for you.



That's pretty much the conclusion I've come to, as whenever I make soup, I need a large pot.
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#18 Old 11-12-2008, 05:22 PM
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We have two rice cookers and a slow cooker. Both of the rice cookers we got second hand. We don't use the big one, anymore. It takes up too much space in our cramped kitchen. Besides, there's only 3 of us, so the small one cooks plenty for us.



The crock pot we have is great. It's a big one. I think it's a 6-quart one. I typically use it for cooking soups or stews. I always have canned beans on hand and I'm not so good at planning ahead for what I'm making the next day, so I've only cooked beans in it a few times. I let my in-laws borrow it once to make chocolates that they made as a wedding party favor and they loved it. It melted a huge amount of chocolate, kept it melted, and didn't burn it, which saved them a lot of time because they didn't have to do small amounts in a double boiler on the stove. I need to use it more now that the weather is cooler. I'll have to pull it out of storage and dust it off (I don't use it in the warmer months).
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#19 Old 11-16-2008, 08:50 PM
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does anyone know whether the timers on slow cookers are set to turn on at a set time or off at a set time?

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