The crockpot to end all crockpots

I know that I’m not the only one who loves a little slow cooking action. Last year, however, I purchased a CrockPot brand unit and had to return it for a very unexpected issue. When the ceramic (glaze coated) inset… you know, the part the food cooks in… became heated, the glaze liquified. Little beads of glaze could be literally wiped off the surface, only to form again when reheated. Can you say lead?

Of course, it was foreign made (Not naming any names here country that begins with C and ends with an a)… but I had quite enough of risky products from over there. That set me on the hunt for a crockpot that could not contain a lead infused glaze. This quest was way harder than you might expect, as there are only a few manufacturers… and all had had some kind of lead based recall at some point. Thus entered the idea, why isn’t there a crockpot made of metal?

Of course metal can have issues too, but overall its a safer vessel (there are zero crockpots made in the US, btw). That’s when we discovered the All-Clad crockpot. It’s not cheap by any means, instead its like investing in a really nice piece of kitchen awesomeness.

I’ve had the unit for almost a year and absolutely love it. The reason I mention it now though is because it’s on sale for the lowest price I’ve yet seen (but the sale ends tonight!):

I make all the typical slow cooker stuff in it… but then I can also take out the inset, place it on the stove and cook like a large stock pot. When I make meat sauce for lasagna… I cook it all in that insert and never use the actual heating part! It’s non-stick and I have yet to find any food that doesn’t just wipe off. It’s that impressive.

So if you’re in the market for a new crockpot… or need a really nice gift idea for a cook in your life, this is an amazing choice. enjoy!

update, DON’T purchase this crock pot

As of today, I am no longer the owner of an All-Clad crock pot, in fact, I managed to return it to William Sonoma for a store credit, even after all this time. As it turns out, the metal insert begins to degrade over time and becomes pitted. I did get All-Clad to send me a new insert by explaining that I know metal impurities when I see them (pits were caused by lower melting temp junk that buckled the non-stick coating). They made it like they were doing me this huge favor by mailing it to me… turns out a bunch of people have the same issue now and All-Clad has replacement inserts ‘on back-order’ for months.

Well… I got my insert, should be ok, right? Heh… no. I have about 25 lbs of apples sitting in my dinning room waiting to be turned into Apple Butter. I got through 2 batches, and on the third, the unit decides it wants to shut off whenever the frack it wants (but the display keeps counting down). I’m done… called Willy-Som this morning.

  • If you happen to own this appliance, here is what you need to know and how to resolve it:

-There are three known defects: -pitting pealing insert - A display that won’t work - random unit shut offs while display keeps working.
If you experience any of these issues, don’t bother with All-Clad, they are awful, even if you are out of warranty. This unit was a Willy-Som exclusive and they will work with you.

If you purchased it in a store, you will need to return it to a retail location -but- the managers in the stores will not want to accept the return. What I did was to call the 800 number on their website, ask for a supervisor, and then explain that the unit suffers from a known defect. If you get a rockstar rep like I did, she will call the nearest store and hash things out with the manager on your behalf. They can not offer a refund if you have had the unit awhile, but they can issue a store credit or exchange. They prefer that you use your credit at the same time you make the return, but I just gave the manager the look -.o and she gave me my gift card and off I went.

Bottom line, don’t buy this thing. If you have and experience issues, get to the right rep and get your store credit. Need more detail? Read the 1 star reviews popping up lately and/or PM me. And before you ask, no I don’t have a good crock-pot recommendation. They are all questionable, cheap junk as far as 3 hours of research last night revealed. Should any of you have good experience with a large capacity unit (6+ qt size), please share /desperate.

I do love my slow cooker, but recently I was told my life would be changed by this:

It is a programmable pressure cooker, slow cooker and rice cooker in one!

I have had it for less than a week and it has already earned a spot on the countertop next to the Blendtec (hey, in a condo that’s a big deal!) It will have paid for itself in less than a month in my house. I have already used it 3 times. Black beans (dried, unsoaked) cooked to perfection in 25 min.

Used it to make lentils this weekend and this recipe is a 10/10, 5 stars, A+, etc.

When you chop up the lentils in the FP, they look just like ground beef and you can season them however you like (use brown lentils!). CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP, tastes AMAZING (my family are strict carnivores and they loved it!) and no Lipitor chaser required after eating :wink:

I’m really glad you posted this, Scullie! A pressure cooker was a purchase I planned to make before September. Here’s the big questions I’m hoping you can answer:

though I really want to cook in this sucker (and I totally want the lentils tasting like meat recipe!), the big reason I want to buy one is for safer canning. I make apple butter, apple sauce, BBQ sauce, and some other goodies throughout the year and though the waterbath canning has gotten me by, I’d rather be super safe. Could you possible check the manual at your leisure and see if you are able to can with it, and if so, what is the capacity?

Thanks a TON! =D

The “manual” is about 1/4" thick but that’s only because the same few pages are repeated in every language known to man.

Here’s an excerpt from the “instructions”

  1. Never boil laminated foods (e.g. laver, kelp, etc) and shattered food (e.g. corn residue and oatmeal).

I will have to do some research. I have never done canning so I’m not sure what to look for. Let me know what info would help me answer this question.

I found this on their website:
Jennifer says:
November 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm
Can this be used for Canning or is it strictly for cooking?

Instant Pot Staff Reply:
November 8th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Hi Jennifer,

The cooking temperature is way over 100C/212F. So Instant Pot is good for canning too. The nice thing is that you can program it to steam for a specified number of minutes.

Thanks for looking this up for me! =D

I think the right question then would be the capacity. Does your unit list the internal dimensions? I bet Amazon has this info though, so don’t go nuts on my account! Really, I’m just being admittedly lazy due to packing and the fact that I really want to buy one now hehe.

From their website:

Can I do canning with Instant Pot?

The short answer is Yes. Low-acid foods (e.g. vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood) must be sterilization at a temperature of 240°F (115°C) or higher. Instant Pot’s working temperature is in the range of 115°C~118°C or 239°F~244°F, which is sufficient for canning purpose. If your jars are under 7 inch or 17.5cm tall, they fit inside Instant Pot. When canning the jars, you should close the jar lid entirely. The trick is to tighten the jar lid and then turn it open a quarter turn. You can use the Steam function to set pressure keeping time on your canning recipe.

Inner pot size: 16x22x24 (Height x Inner rim diameter x outer rim diameter cm)