1) CUISINART PSC-350 3.5-QUART SLOW COOKER
(The Entertainer) UPSIDE Ideal size for soups, beans, dips, oatmeal and even cakes; LCD screen shows countdown; programmable timer; automatic keep-warm setting. DOWNSIDE Expensive for its small capacity; hard-to-hear cooking completion signal; hard-to-read temperature indicator.
2) HAMILTON BEACH SET 'N FORGET 6-QUART PROGRAMMABLE SLOW COOKER WITH SPOON/LID
(The Frequent Potluck Attendee) UPSIDE Easy-to-read LCD screen; thermometer probe for setting meat temperatures; automatic keep-warm setting; tight seal on lid, with side clips and extended handles for safe and easy transport. DOWNSIDE Probe can be awkward to position; bulky for storage; short cord.
3) CROCK-POT 7-QUART SLOW COOKER
(The Big Family on a Budget) UPSIDE Inexpensive for its capacity, which can feed up to 10 people and hold up to a 7-pound roast; includes travel bag. DOWNSIDE Short cord.
4) PROCTOR SILEX 4-QUART ROUND SLOW COOKER
(The College Cook) $25, proctorsilex.com
UPSIDE Inexpensive; compact; ideal size for soups, beans, dips, oatmeal and even cakes. DOWNSIDE No "on" indicator light; short cord.
5) WEST BEND 4-QUART CROCKERY COOKER
(The Small Frugal Family) UPSIDE Inexpensive; stay-cool plastic handles for carrying; oval shape is compact, yet can fit a whole chicken. DOWNSIDE Inner crock is not ovenproof like the other winners.
USE YOUR SLOW COOKER TO MAKE THIS...
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*Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in March 2010.