Reviewing Slow Cookers and excluding the Rival Crock-PotŪ is like reviewing facial tissue and excluding Kleenex or reviewing adhesive strips and excluding Band-Aids. The reason this category isn't called crock pots -- because Rival holds the copyright.
Recommend this product?
I won my 3.5 quart Rival Crock-PotŪ, a device almost exactly the same as the our mothers started using over 25 years ago, at a company picnic. I had a choice of prizes, but thought the Crock-PotŪ would make a great addition to my kitchen. Being a single male, If I set the Crock-PotŪ up last thing before I went to bed, or first thing in the morning, I would have a fabulous nutritional dinner waiting for me when I got home, and my apartment would be filled with those wonderful smells.
Crock-PotsŪ are perfect for singles, single parents, two income families, and traditional families whose "cook" is otherwise occupied (probably writing Epinions, LOL). There are internet sites and cookbooks devoted entirely to Crock-PotŪ cooking, but I've never been much of a cookbook kind of guy. The thing I love about Crock-PotŪ , if you have the knack. seemingly nothing you toss in the crock pot tastes bad.
Todays lunch and dinner were courtesy of my Rivalnet Crock-PotŪ: I was pulling together dinner on my Foreman Grill yesterday (http://cycleodyssey.epinions.com/hmgd-review-7868-A11DA06-3824A33E-bd1)
when I came across several items that needed to be cooked or tossed.
Since I haven't been in the mood to cook much, I took the safe path and started cutting them up while I way preparing last nights dinner. I threw a couple of potatoes, some baby carrots, and one "tree" of broccoli in my Crock-PotŪ along with a couple cups of water, some rice and long grain rice, a can of tomato paste, an envelope of Vegetable Soup stock, some herbs and spices, and an onion. I didn't much feel like staying vegetarian, and I thought about the old lady in the 1980's Wendy's commercials when I remembered the two skinned & headed whole catfish frozen solid in the freezer. I had never made (or tried) catfish stew, but with great confidence in my Crock-Potting skills, threw them in as is, turned the pot to high just long enough to get the contents cooking, and then shifted the control to low. This Catfish Creole(?) cooked through the night and throughout the day. Lunch & dinner were superb.
This model (3100) is the basic model from all those years ago, except the glass lid has been replaced with plastic. Like the old model the Stoneware is NOT removable, and therefore the Crock-PotŪ cannot be dishwashed. There is a three position heat control:
Low (75 Watts), and
High (150 Watts)
For an extra ten bucks, model 3150 has removable Stoneware and therefore is dishwasher safe. Rival Crock-PotsŪ come in various sizes from the 16 oz "Little Dipper" to the 6 Quart jumbo Crock Pot.
p.s. My world famous Con Queso stays at just the right temp for hours in my Crock-Pot at 75 Watts.