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Calphalon - 5.3qt Digital Sauté Slow Cooker - Dark Stainless Steel-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars with 37 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A refinement of a classic appliance

    Posted
    CraigB
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    Pros Attractive design stands out from other slow cookers Sears without requiring separate cookware Stovetop and Oven Safe Rubber gasket prevents messy leaks from edge Small vent hole keeps pressure down and moisture in Plastic handles keep heat from your hands Digital display is very easy to read Finish makes cleanup easy Cons Has less features than others at the price point Rotary knob squeaks All metal construction with no ceramic means outside is very hot Lid has a non-removable piece where moisture can collection Not dishwasher safe With all the slow cookers, pressure cookers, and multi-purpose cookers on the market it is becoming hard to know what is best. The Calphalon 5.3qt Digital Slow cooker was designed not to follow the crowds by adding tons of features but rather refine a traditional slow cooker. Besides simplicity, the focus was on providing a different style to the normal round or oval slow cookers of the past. Design The Digital Slow Cooker has a very simple design. It has a digital screen to set the cook time and show time remaining, 3 faux metal buttons for setting or canceling cooking, and a faux metal knob to set the temperature. The digital display has bright blue numbering that is very easy to see. The finish is called dark stainless steel and the description seems accurate. It isn’t painted but looks like bare steel with what appears to be a natural black finish. The nobs, buttons, and handles are all faux metal which might make you feel you are getting less for your money. During regular use those plastic parts prove useful. The reason why they plastic is because the pot itself is all metal with only a ceramic coating for the cooking surface. This means during cooking the outside gets hotter than other slow cookers. This also unfortunately is a downside in that the pot is not dishwasher safe. The plus to this is the removal of the cooking pot is less of a strain as it is much lighter and whatever type of ceramic coating is used makes cleanup easy. There is no need to scrub burnt in food on the sides like a traditional ceramic slower cooker. The bottom of the pot looks just like the bottom of a regular cooking pot because it can be used on a stovetop or oven to combine options like searing with slow cooking without switching cookware. The lid is flat instead of domed like others and has a rubber seal around the edge and a vent hole on the lid to allow steam to escape in a controlled fashion. Performance Usage is a simple as it gets. If you have a recipe where you need to sear the meat first, then just place the pot on the stove and sear it. Once you are done searing just place it bake in the base and add the rest of your ingredients and set your slow cook temp and time. Need to finish off a recipe in the oven? No problem. Again, just take out the pot and put it right in the oven. Options for heat include high, low, and warm which you select via a dial. Strangely for what is overall an expensive looking appliance, the dial squeaks when turned. It doesn’t in any way affect the operation but just seems a bit odd to have an appliance focus on style but then make such a sound. Beyond that oddity the cooker performed with even less fuss than a regular slow cooker. Because of the design of the lid pressure escapes from a small well placed hole on the lid instead of boiling over the rim in the middle of the night. No more waking up in the middle of the night to hissing sounds only to realize your slow cooker is covered in a layer of food that is nearly impossible to clean off. What’s even better is between the rubber seal and small vent hole you get improved cleanup, less messes, and best of all more juicy food. On a normal slow cooker throughout the night some of the juices cook off and are lost on the sides of the cooker, or worse yet, the counter. There was always the option to add water to keep meat from drying out but that dilutes the flavor. Soups sometimes would come out overly thick. With the Calphalon Digital Slow Cooker’s design very little natural juices are lost. You can safely leave it cooking over night without waking up to a mess. In fact, you wake up to a meal moist and ready to eat. It’s a small difference in the design but it really makes a difference in the outcome. The overall shape of the pot internally might seem a little odd compared to old designs in that is it large at the top and narrows to the bottom. At first this seems only for looks but after several uses everyone agreed it really helps with getting the last bit of food out. When using a ladle, you can get nearly everything out instead of scraping around the side trying to get the last bit hiding at the bottom corner. The design change seems so small, but everyone agreed it made picking up food much easier. Conclusion Of course, you can get much cheaper slow cookers. The question is if you value a traditional design that solves some of the little annoyances slow cookers have had for years without complicating things? Do you want an appliance that looks more sophisticated? If so the Calphalon 5.3qt Digital Slow Cooker might be for you.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great looking and functioning slow cooker!

    Posted
    Cupra
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    We've used several slow cookers over the years and typically purchased the $30 versions. Didn't really think we needed anything more than that. Along comes the Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker. First off, it's one of the nicest looking slow cooker (or crock pot) that I've seen. You won't be ashamed to have this one left out on your countertop. The dark stainless steel helps it to blend in a lot with other items in the kitchen, but also stand out as something sleek and stylish. The rotary knob on the front is plastic, but has a good weighted feel to it as you rotate it through 'off, warm, low and high'. The timer buttons (+/- and cancel) actually have an 'automotive' feel to them, like well made switchgear. I was nicely surprised by that. The digital display looks a little more bespoke and in keeping with the design, rather than an off the shelf afterthought as well. The timer advances in 15 min increments, and if you press and hold, you can advance by the hour as well. Overall, a very nice design. Our previous slow cooker is a 6 QT oval. This one is 5.3 QT and round. So far we haven't missed that extra 0.7 QT, as this Calphalon Slow Cooker appears deeper than our previous one. The weight of the cooker overall is very light and manageable. The heating unit itself is incredibly light. The interior liner, the main cooking part is aluminum with a non-stick coating. It is a metallic dark grey, which compliments the main unit nicely. Being aluminum and non-stick coated (all over) means that it can be used in more than just the slow cooker. You can put it on the stove to sauté meat before turning on the slow cooker. You can put it in the oven after you've made something like sweet potato casserole, so that you can brown the marshmallows on top. It's very versatile indeed which sets it apart from other slow cookers. Just make sure to use wooden or plastic utensils in it, otherwise you may scratch off that important non-stick coating. After making sweet potato casserole and browning the marshmallows, I was concerned about cleaning any of the burnt marshmallows off of the side of the liner, but as a nice surprise, it cleaned up incredibly easily. Almost wipe clean in fact. Very nice, as our previous ceramic one was a lot tougher to clean after cooking something like that. One thing we did notice is that the liner (the aluminum non-stick part) did seem to hold onto some odors from the previous meal that was cooked, so we took to storing it with the lid off, just to make sure it aired out. It never transferred anything to the next meal, but the odor was something we noticed, even after a thorough cleaning. Another thing to note is that being metal, it does get very hot, so you can't just go pick it up after your meal has cooked without some oven gloves or protection for your hands. Also, if you are browning, the lid is NOT oven safe, so you can't cover it using the lid in the oven. The timer is accurate, and works well. Give a short audible notice when the time is up and it reverts to the warming function for an additional 4 hours when the time is up. After that, as a safety precaution, it will turn off. We left it on all day yesterday cooking chicken for 'Taco Tuesday' and when we got home, it was in the warm setting, the chicken was so soft and succulent and just shredded perfectly as soon as you touched it. Very pleased overall with this Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker, it's functionality and design set it apart from other slow cookers.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Really nice slow cooker! Fantastic looks & saute!

    Posted
    Shaunh20
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Slow cookers - can you ever have enough of them? I know I can't. I remember seeing my dad's collection and thinking how ridiculous it was but after years of cooking I have came to realize just how helpful it is to have more of them, especially for holidays. This one caught my eye because of the name brand and how it will also do saute'ing. Upon receiving it my first impression was that it was pretty small. I was planning to use this on Thanksgiving for a big helping of macaroni and cheese and wasn't sure if it was large enough to hold it all. Well my wife convinced me to try it and I guess its looks are deceiving because it handled it with great ease, leaving enough room that I could have made even more. I think the reason it looks small is that the bottom is made for a stove and thus something you may want to be aware of if you're planning to cook like a large roast in it (I think it might fit but maybe not lie flush in the bottom due to the design). The entire slow cooker is really sharp looking and was easy enough to get up and running after a quick, warm rinse. The display is large and easy to read, which is a big deal for some of us older folks who tend to use these things. The top is made of glass with a great rubber seal once you sit it down. Because it's glass it sits a little heavier and doesn't move around which is great for those of us who may accidentally bump it in the midst of a cooking frenzy. The digital display clearly shows the time remaining and once the time runs out it will dutifully change to the warm setting and then a few hours later, I believe 4, will turn off completely. This thing will still retain a lot of heat even when its turned off and that is good if you need to put this in the car and take it to anothers household, you can rest assured your food will stay warm until you can get to their house and find a plug. Now for clean up, how'd it do? Well we all know mac and cheese is a fantastic dish but can be a bear to clean up with some pieces getting stuck on the sides and bottom but this thing handled it like a champ after soaking for a couple of hours in Dawn and some warm water. It wiped down and was cleaned up and ready to go again in no time flat. Nothing really sticks to this material so clean up is about as easy as it gets. All in all I think this is a fantastic slow cooker. Sure it's like a lot of others out there but the looks of the unit and its large and easy to read display, combined with the ability to saute', which many other slow cookers do not have, put it over the top and means I highly recommend it this Christmas. Consider this for a gift to a family or friend who likes to cook or maybe put it under the tree for yourself from Santa..shhh, no one will know! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Stylish, Smart, and Versatile. Cooks Well Too!

    Posted
    Wraith
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    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    How much for a slow-cooker?!? If that is the first thing you ask yourself when you see this Calphalon slow cooker, I'm sure you will be in good company. I know it was the first thing I thought. The second was, 'Wow, that's a really nice slow-cooker.' And my thought after using it for Thanksgiving was, 'OK, maybe it actually is worth that.' If you just need a slow cooker to keep queso warm, or to warm up Swedish meatballs, this is not the slow-cooker for you. You can find a ton of them for $30 and they will be fine. If you are in the market for a new slow-cooker to use for what I see as a bit of a slow-cooker renaissance (there are some fantastic new recipes that are easy, delicious, and even elegant), then this is most definitely the slow-cooker for you. I have to say that the defining feature of this Calphalon slow-cooker is the cooking pot being able to go from stove to slow-cooker. Some other slow-cookers may have had that in the past, but if so, they sure didn't make a big deal about it. This is an outstanding feature and really elevates the game when using a slow-cooker. It was just the wife and I this Thanksgiving and we didn't want to do the whole Turkey and sides thing just for us. We instead decided to try a new yankee pot roast recipe that I had been dying to try. The key to this particular recipe was the searing of the roast prior with some herbs. Now normally, you would have to do this in a separate pan, you would get fat/oil splatters everywhere, and then you would have to transfer it the slow cooker. With this slow cooker, I was able to do everything in the cooking pot on the stove and the high sides kept all the splatters in. I then was able to just pick up the whole thing and drop it into the main cooker and let it go along with the veggies. It was the best roast I have ever done (and I'm a pretty good cook). I also had a lot less items to clean, which is always a plus. What cleanup that I did do (the cooking pot), was incredibly easy. Even with my old slow cooker and the bags that I would use to supposedly keep me from having to clean, they always would leak and I would have to clean the pot anyway. I liked this so much that this weekend I decided to do my famous slow-cooker chili but this time, instead of browning the meat and onions in a separate pan and then doing the transfer, I did it all again in the cooking pot. While it did take a little longer because the cooking surface of this pan isn't is big as the pan I would normally use, it wasn't that much longer. And again, it was all in one pot which made clean-up a breeze. I have liked cooking with this thing so much that I have been on the hunt for new and interesting recipes to try out. One of the things I have always loved about slow-cooking is the fact that it makes the whole house smell great as it's cooking (though it also makes you really hungry as it gets closer and closer to being done, hence the hangry wife, she is small but fierce; kinda like a badger). The Calphalon slow-cooker is also really easy to set and leave. It also looks great on the counter just doing its thing. We have a really nice kitchen and it goes nicely with the decor. Oh, I almost forgot. One of my favorite things about this cooker is the silicone/rubber rim around the lid that makes it so nice and quiet and gives it a nice solid connection to the pot. So, in a nut-shell, is this slow-cooker expensive? Yes it is. Is is worth it? To me, yes it is, and I think you will agree as well once you give it a try. I have lots of cooking tools that have far cheaper equivalents, but you do get what you pay for (for the most part). I mean, if all I cared about was price, I'd just have hot-plate on the counter, or heck just cook over an open fire. If you are looking to up your cooking game and make your life a little bit easier in the process, you should really give this slow-cooker a try.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice option for slow cooking

    Posted
    nickcal
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    One of my favorite ways to cook is using our slow cooker. The only issue I have is not having a wide variety of recipes to use with it. The slow cooker I have is a hand-me-down and I was very excited to get this Digital Saute Slow Cooker from Calphalon. It was a decent upgrade from the previous model I had been using, but it still provides the same conveniences and simplicity that other slow cookers do. One of the things I noticed right away about this slow cooker was its size. First of all, it’s round in shape and not oblong like my previous device. The inside lining of the slow cooker can be used on a stovetop for sautéing or other prep work before you start the slow cooking process. This diameter of the inside liner is only about 7 inches, which isn’t very large for a family-size piece of meat like a roast. We usually cook a chuck roast in our slow cooker and it lays flat in my oval slow cooker, but in this case, the meat stuck up into the bowl more than I liked. I do really like that the insert can be used for cooking outside the slow cooker. That’s a new concept to me as in the past I’ve only used the insert as a part of the slow cooker and not a separate cooking utensil. As a cohesive unit, the slow cooker looks very sleek. It’s lightweight, which is a welcome change from my previous cooker, which has a very heavy ceramic bowl insert. The handles are lined with a heavy rubber, which is also very nice because it’s easy to transport even after it’s been used to cook. Even though it’s not a snap-into-place lid, the lid is made from glass and has a rubber lining that holds it in place when it’s placed into the recess of the insert. The Calphalon slow cooker does a great job of cooking meals. You do have to be aware of its size when you make plans to use it because you don’t want to end up with more food than it can properly handle. It’s perfect for soups and casseroles, but meat dishes like roast might need a different sized/shaped cooking surface. The name of the product is a little misleading as it makes you think that you will be able to sauté foods in the slow cooker when in fact you have to remove the insert and use it to cook on a stovetop before the slow cooking process. All in all, it’s a really nice device and it makes a great meal.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Exceptional Slow Cooker!

    Posted
    Janine
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    5 enthusiastic stars! I can’t say enough about this Calphalon 5.3qt Digital Sauté Slow Cooker. Talk about awesome! The dark stainless steel exterior of this slow cooker is super sleek, modern, and while sitting out on my kitchen countertop, fit in well with my stainless steel appliances. Talk about versatile! The beautiful ceramic-coated cooking pot (which is practically non-stick) can be used on most stove tops (gas/electric/induction), and can even go in the oven; although the lid cannot. Being able to sauté and sear your food with the cooking pot right on your stove top, before placing it within the heating base for slow cooking, is not only convenient, but really practical, as well. The programmable digital controls make this Calphalon slow cooker super easy to use, too! There are the usual cooking modes - low, high, and warm. A feature I particularly liked was the automatic ‘keep-warm’ function which will engage once the set cooking time has been reached. Another feature I appreciated, was that the timer setting counts up in 15 minute increments for more accurate, customizable, cooking times. This Calphalon 5.3qt Digital Sauté Slow Cooker is indeed a well-made small kitchen appliance. You can certainly see the quality inherent in its design. The apparently ‘tempered glass’ lid, while not oven safe, is sturdy, with a vent for steam and a silicone type seal around the lid’s outer edge. The handles, on both the lid and the heating base, are heavy duty, too. Of course, the exterior of the slow cooker (while in use) will get warm, but that’s to be expected. As always, I encourage my fellow consumers to read over the included User Manual, so as to be aware of those important safeguards and usage instructions. I was most definitely impressed with the incredible performance of this Calphalon 5.3qt Digital Sauté Slow Cooker, and can wholeheartedly recommend. In my opinion, the cost of this appliance is most assuredly worth it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Slow Cooker, Quickly Impressed!

    Posted
    Kelby
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    ---- Summary ---- Pros: - Easy to clean - Lightweight - Digital display - Auto keep warm mode Cons: - None ---- Review ---- Design: The Calphalon Digital Sauté might be the best looking slow cooker that I have seen. It has a nice stainless steel finish with a modern LED-lit screen and simplistic controls. This slow cooker is impressively lightweight but also well built, and transporting, moving or storing it is relatively easy. I think it is also worth mentioning that the nonstick ceramic coating makes cleaning simple. Overall, this is a very well designed slow cooker that I am happy to have seen on my kitchen countertop. Features: One of my favorite features of the Calphalon Digital Sauté is the ability to remove the pot for use on a stove or in the oven. This is not a feature specific to only this slow cooker, but I would say it is the easiest and most effective out of others I have tried, and that adds to the versatility. There are four modes controlled by the rotary dial, and those are “OFF”, “WARM”, “LOW” and “HIGH”. Once the cooking time that is shown on the LED screen is up, the slow cooker will default to the “WARM” setting. The ability to sear, sauté and slow cook all in one device is fantastic. When it comes to features, there is nothing more I could ask for. Performance: I have tried a few different recipes, and they have both turned out perfectly. The timer and the different cooking modes are accurate, and food seems to cook evenly every time. There is a lot that can be done in this Calphalon slow cooker, and I have yet to have a bad cooking experience with it. Verdict: The Calphalon Digital Sauté is a slow cooker I have recommended to friends and family, and I would recommend it to anyone reading this. I do not think you will find a better designed or better performing slow cooker out there, and the features like auto keep warm mode and digital display are the icing on the cake.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Unique and Easy Clean Up

    Posted
    LindaCT
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    Features: My favorite feature of this slow cooker is that the insert can be used on your stove top (gas or electric) or in the oven. I sautéed onions and seared a roast on the stovetop before putting it in the slow cooker base...then when it was done I removed the roast and took all the juices in the insert and put it on the stove to make the gravy. It certainly saves on clean up after cooking a big meal. The insert is even suitable for an induction plate. It is 5.3 quarts and just fit a 5 lb roast nicely with a few potatoes and carrots. The flat, outside bottom of this insert (that would make contact with your induction element) is 6 1/2" in diameter. Another great feature: The lid is glass! And the glass lid has a rubbery gasket around its circumference! The lid stays in place and doesn’t shift around like my old one does and it holds in the steam better for even quicker cooking. This might be the reason for the odd flare on toward the top. The condensation/juices easily run back down into the pot. OF NOTE: The lid is not oven safe, so be sure to remove it before putting it in the oven. Style: It is a very attractive with its outer shape, style and color. Timer: You can use the slow cooker with or without setting the timer, but if you use the timer it will automatically go to the warm setting when the timer runs out. It will stay on warm for 4 hours and then turn off, unless you turn it off before that. I could have used this feature when my crock pot was forgotten for too long and spilled out and off the counter and onto the floor. The cooking pot has about the thickness of a good quality pan. It's not thick ceramic or anything like that and it will scratch. It actually reminds me of my Calphalon cookware set as far as the thickness and the texture of the non-stick coating. I've never had a slow cooker with this type of insert. I feel like it cooked a bit faster than my old one, and just better overall. I did use non-stick spray when cooking and everything literally just rinsed right off the pan. Clean up is so easy and so much nicer than the ceramic inserts and easier to handle as well because it is not thick and bulky or heavy. It’s very easy to use and clean up was a breeze. What I like the most is the overall look. This is one of those appliances I would not mind leaving out on the counter it just looks that nice. Quick Review: The display is easy to read. Controls are simple. Lid is snug with a comfortable handle. The liner is light by itself, but it has its own handles and that makes the difference on handling it for clean up, etc. It couldn't be easier to clean. It seems to have very even heat. The insert can be used independently on a stovetop or in the oven for prepping any meal you put it in the slow cooker insert for searing, sautee, etc. Recommendation: I love this slow cooker and all the uniqueness that it comes with. It is highly recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good basic cooker that cleans up easily.

    Posted
    enem156
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The first thing that struck me about this slow cooker was the size. It's on the small side, and on top of that, it's round. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you need a slow cooker for cooking roasts or things of that nature you're either going to have to look for very small roasts or look for a larger cooker. But if you want a smaller one to to do things like Chile or keep side dishes warm, this is a good choice. It has a very nice look to it, and the handles on the body and on the lid are comfortable to use. Dark gray, very Calphalon-esque look. Lighted controls look good and are easy to read. What it does well is cook smaller dishes. The removable pot seems to be made from aluminum and is coated with non-stick coating. Because it's made this way, you're able to put the pot right on a range top and brown meat in it, then put it in the cooker and finish the slow cooking. The metal pot is a different feature and does work well, however having a non-stick coating does present other issues like taking care with the utensils that you use with it (wood or plastic only). I like the flat lid and it is vented. The rubber seal around the outer edge just fits well without having to pay much attention to getting it on there exactly right. The controls are basic but give you the options you need to cook anything you want to. There's a rotary knob that selects the Warm, Low and High settings, and then there are some nice switch controls above it that allow you to set the cooking time in half hour intervals. While I really liked the feel of the temperature switches, the rotary dial felt a bit flimsy. They could have stepped the quality level up if they had made this knob metal instead of plastic, but that's a very common cost saver these days I guess. Clean up was very fast and easy and because the pot isn't the normal ceramic found on most slow cookers, it's very light weight as well. Both the pot and the lid clean up with no trouble and are easily dried. I would imagine it could go in the dishwasher, but it was really easy to clean by hand and I tend to hand wash this type of thing anyway. All in all, I would say that if you're looking to have a single slow cooker in your house, while this one is nice, it's pretty small, so you probably would want to look for a larger one, but as a second slow cooker, it's perfect. It performed very well and cleaned up easily.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Takes the “crock” out of crock-pot

    Posted
    mkcar1
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    If you are tired of being afraid of chipping or cracking your current crock insert, its excessive weight and having to use another pan to brown anything before putting in your crock – this product is for you! We have used Calphalon pans for over 30 years and still have/use our original set so when we saw they were expanding into small appliances we were looking forward to checking them out. We were not dis-appointed with this slow cooker. In the box; VERY skimpy manual Glass lid – not oven safe but can be put in dishwasher Ceramic coated cook (“crock”) pot – can be used in oven and on stove top (gas, electric or induction). Dishwasher safe also. Heating base has nice built in handles, time display (add/subtract) , cancel buttons as well as a rotary control dial. Actual use; What’s not to like? You can use for all your slow cooking needs and be able to do them using just the cooking pot. Controls were easy to learn after a couple of uses. Rotary dial used to control heat – Off, High, Low and Warm settings. Timer counts in 15-minute increments and used to also cancel cooking. Defaults to keep warm once cooking cycle has completed. Clean up is a breeze with non-stick (and light weight) cooking pot. Anything we used it for came out great. No real downsides other than; The cooking pot is not symmetrical. It is kind of shaped like a funnel in that about 1/3 of the way down it gets smaller by maybe 15%/. Not sure why as this results in the bottom volume being less than the top would seem to indicate. Would highly recommend if you are tired of the weight and cleanup of a “real” crock pot….

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Less crock, more pot

    Posted
    FlyingC
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    This slow cooker is relatively expensive (maybe 5x more) compared to the cheapest 5 quart slow cooker you might buy. Is it five times better? Everyone may have a different opinion, but I think the Calphalon is worth the extra cost. The first big improvement you get is the non-stick pot. A regular slow cooker can accumulate a lot of stains with use, and can be a bear to clean up even after soaking. This one does not have any issue like that. Being steel, you also don't have to worry about breaking it while moving it to and from the sink while cleaning it. We've lost several crock pots over the years to sink mishaps. Again, not an issue with this cooker. Next, the lid fits flat and very securely on the pot. The rubber trim around the lid also makes it quiet when you open it to check on things and then replace the lid. The secure fit, though, is especially nice when transporting what you've cooked to grandma's house in the car. I always worried about the lid sliding off the cheap crock pots, but that's not a worry now. The other features aren't quite as important, but they are nice to have. The rubberized handles are great both for gripping and keeping it cool on your fingers. The temperature dial is easy to grip and turn. Having the ability to put the pot on the stove or in the oven is probably not something I'll use very much, but it is nice to have that option. For example, if that chili isn't heating up quite as fast as you'd hoped, now you can put the pot on the stove with some higher heat under it to speed things up. So, yes, it's more expensive but I think the features are worth it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The Perfect Slow Cooker

    Posted
    DaveG
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Growing up, I wasn't ever a fan of slow cookers. It seemed like cheating. Dump a bunch of food in a pot, turn it on, return 8 hours later and have a hot vat of food waiting for you. As an adult, I've learned to appreciate the convenience of the slow cooker as well as some of the benefits of using meats I wouldn't normally use (here's looking at you pork shoulder). With busy lives and not everyone always being able to eat together, it's nice to have the flexibility. So let's talk about what makes the Calphalon Digital Saute special. First, it's nice to look at. I'm a big fan of black stainless. I'm sure there are some who aren't, but it works well. The interior liner is removable, which gives you many benefits - easy clean up, it's stovetop safe for browning meat, it's oven safe if you want to toss it in the oven for whatever reason (melt cheese over top). It's non-stick. Let's be honest, sometimes things get a little hot and stick to the bottom and sides. This will make for much easier clean up and less food stuck in the pan means more food in your belly. The best feature...is the timer. No need to worry about setting the temperature too high for too long. With the Digital Saute, you can set it to high and enable the timer for as long as you need. Once it reaches the time limit, it automatically changes the temperature to warm. Genius. All in all, it is wonderful and replaced our trusty slow cooker which had been broken and glued back together many times over (never get a stoneware slow cooker) My wife even liked it, which I can't say is true for all of my Best Buy purchases.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Much More than Just Looks

    Posted
    jailoliv
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    With so many options to choose from, I usually do not expect much of a slow cooker since most of them are just small varieties of the same ugly thing. With a tendency to pay attention to design and looks, I must say that it did not disappoint me in neither of those categories. We are proud to display it in our counter. It is also practical, of high quality and lightweight. Often, you have to go through many pots just to get your food ready for the cooker but this Calphalon Digital Sauté is not one of those. Searing and browning a roast for an extra flavor and juice before letting it cook slowly is the best thing to do for that perfect result. You just use it to sauté your food on the cooktop and put it back into the cooker. I was afraid that the removable pot was not compatible with my induction cooktop but it is. The only “issue” I found was that the word Sauté in its name is misleading. At first, I thought it would actually Sauté in the cooker but you need to use your stovetop for that. Luckily, the pot is removable and as I mentioned earlier, it is compatible with electrical, gas and induction stoves. Still much better than using multiple pots. The digital controls do not have many bells and whistles but they are simple to read and use. No time wasted trying to figure it out how it works. You start the timer and when it runs out, it automatically goes to warm mode. I just wish it had a swappable pot for smaller dishes. I ended up making too much food for the size of the family living in the house. You just need to keep that in mind before filling it up. Cleaning is extremely easy: no scrubbing necessary and takes literally less than a minute. Highly recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Slow Cooker and my chicken stew recipe

    Posted
    dharr18
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    I really like this slow cooker. The first thing I attempted was a Chicken and Dumpling Stew. To give you an idea on how much this can hold I will list the ingredients and share the directions: 3 Chicken breasts cubed 1 small bag of baby carrots 2 potatoes skinned and cubed 3 cans of condensed chicken broth 2 cans of water 1 tsp spoon of thyme ( adjust to taste ) salt and pepper to taste. I browned the chicken on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes and thyme for another 10 minutes. With hot mitts, move the pot into the slow cooker base and add the condensed broth and 2 cans of water. Let cook for 3 hours on low. Dumplings: 1 cup of Bisquick 1/3ish cups of milk Move the stew to the stovetop on medium heat. Add 1 tsp drops of the dumpling mix and let cook uncovered for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy. Leftovers can be stored in the pot with the lid and reheated on stovetop the next day. The stew turned out great, I had to adjust the dumpling directions as they don't turn out as well cooking in the slow cooker. But the main contents turned out great and the adjusted dumplings turned out great on the second attempt. The best part of this cooker is being able to jump from one heat source to another. Just remember to use hot mitts when moving it. The only drawback was no recipes were included.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Beautful high-end slow cooker with unique features

    Posted
    iconoclast
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The Calphalon 5.3-quart digital saute slow cooker is beautifully designed. Its removable, lightweight ceramic liner is safe for use on the stove or in the oven. The heat setting dial is easy to use, with warm, low and high cooking temperatures. The digital timer is also easy to use, with large, clear numbers. You can set the timer to 15-minute increments by pressing down on the lever. You can use this slow cooker for soups, stews, rice, roasts, and casseroles. I made chicken and sausage gumbo, first cooking the roux and then sauteeing the vegetables on my cooktop before placing the liner into the "shell." I cooked my usual stovetop recipe in the slow cooker on high for almost 4 hours; it tasted delicious and the chicken and sausage were a little more tender than I'd like. Pros: lightweight, strong ceramic liner is safe for all types of cooktops. Use for searing or sauteeing ingredients on your cooktop before adding other ingredients. Beautiful design; black stainless steel looks almost like my anodized Calphalon Dutch Oven. Sturdy. Very easy to use and easy to clean, unlike many multifunction pots and slow cookers with heavy crock inserts. Cons: high-end pricing, which you might expect from Calphalon. You can buy a multi-pot appliance for the same price, or less, than this single-function slow cooker.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Slow cooking sensation

    Posted
    JStory17
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Other than seeing slow cookers at Thanksgiving and the occasional potluck lunch at work, this is my first slow cooker I've used in my adult life. My first thought over this slow cooker was, "well, what's changed in slow cooking technology?" The answer: alot! First impression: It looks nothing like the old crock pot mom had. Next impression: Wow, it's light for a slow cooker. My wife and I used it to make a vegetable beef stew. Once everything was in the pot, and placed the lid, we sat down and watched TV. Something was missing...the boiling/simmering of the pot and the sound of a lid lifting up and down of the pot. We checked it numerous times to make sure the cooker was still on....that's how quiet the slow cooker is. You saw the lid was steamed up and felt heat from the outside of the cooker, but no actual boiling bubbles from the cooker. We stirred the pot and the meat appeared to be cooking. This was just a new experience for us. Long story short, the stew was perfect despite our concerns for lack of noise based on previous experiences from yesteryear. The timer on the slow cooker is great and loud enough to hear from any room in the house. And the easiest cleaning appliance in the house by far. This slow cooker will be in heavy rotation.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    I bought it cause it looked nice

    Posted
    TechNerd
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    So I already own a slow cooker but its that older style that everyone and their grandmother has. I only bought this because it actually looked nice and the form factor fit a lot better than my old one. To my surprise this thing was a lot better than I expected. Out of the box, the slow cooker looks pretty small compared to my old slow cooker but it was actually the same size just a smaller form. I like the timer function, my old slow cooker didn't have a timer feature so I just either waited to come home or did it when I could be there to change the settings. With the timer function I can set how long I wanted it to be on high. Perfect timing, I'm slow cooking turkey from thanksgiving and making meals out of them. I like the function and the clear LED time display. I'd recommend this for anyone that's looking for a slow cooker.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Smaller, but worked great

    Posted
    Zunderwood
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The Calphalon 5.3qt Digital Sauté Slow Cooker replaces a much older unit that was at least ten years old. While our older unit was very heavy, the Calphalon is very light. It consists of the base unit – which includes the power cord and heating elements, the cooking pot – which is non-stick ceramic and can be used to sear meat and is usable for stove-top and inside the oven cooking, and the top. At 5.3 quarts, it is on the smaller size. For our first meal, we cooked a whole (although small) chicken, and included cooked rice and carrots, and with liquids and all, it was as full as it could get. With only two of us eating, it’s essentially perfect for what we need. The unit has a cooking dial with four settings, e.g. Off, Low, Med, and High, and a timer that can be set in 15 -minute increments. We set the unit on high and in no time it had the liquids bubbling. Relative to our older cooker, it got a lot hotter a lot quicker. Cleaning up after cooking was a breeze thanks to the ceramic finish. All in all, we’re happy with how this cooker performed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Pricey

    Posted
    Buffalorose
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    This is a nice slow cooker. It looks nice with a contemporary, sleek dark finish with a bright blue digital timer. First thing I did was remove the internal pot and try it on my induction stove. It boiled water quickly and fit the burner nicely. Not all cookware is compatible with induction and this works perfectly. I love that if the recipe calls for browning first, no need to dirty another pan. It is also non stick which, again, helps with clean up. One of my favorite aspects is that it is lightweight. The older I get, the more I appreciate that feature. I tried a cheesy chicken recipe for my first meal using the slow cooker. I added the ingredients and set the digital timer. I like that the display is large and bright enough to easily read. During the cook time, it was nice not to hear the rattling of the lid like my traditional slow cookers. This lid fits tightly with a steam vent. Finally, when the set time finished, the alert beep sounded and it switched to warm, automatically. The food cooked to perfection.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Slow Cooker I've used

    Posted
    niteryder
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    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    Had the chance to cook three meals in this cooker and all I can say is, it's very good. I was using a slow cooker we've had for over 25 years, the Calphalon is light years ahead. The shape is a bit different than what most are used to, this is more round than the old oval shaped cookers. It will also go from the cooker to the stove top or the oven, if need be. But I specifically use it for slow cooking. Just set it and forget it, with easy to use controls. It will not over cook your roast and will witch from high to low at the end of the cooking cycle. Ive cooked a pot roast, beef stew and a pork roast and all three were cooked to perfection. I was concerned that the round shape would affect what would fit, but I easily put a 4 LB roast in it with potatoes and carrots with no issues at all. My next project is a slow cooked Prime Rib that's coming for Christmas. Yes get out of the stone age and upgrade to this modern slow cooker, you wont regret it.

    I would recommend this to a friend