Karen Wiggins on July 22, 2016 0 Comments Table of Contents Get to Know the Unit List of Features Customer Reviews What I Liked About It What I Didn’t Like About It Hands-On With Cuisinart’s 3-in-1 Cook Central Slow Cooker When you think about a slow cooker, you may think about all the prep work that goes into creating a single dish. This is something that puts a lot of people off, causing them to avoid this type of cooking appliance altogether and instead stick to something they consider to be quicker and easier. And if this works better for you and you’re family, there’s nothing wrong with doing that. However, there are many benefits to using a slow cooker, especially once you identify a unit that fits your lifestyle. By design, all slow cookers can handle a variety of cooking tasks, all while saving you time, energy and adding convenience to your already hectic lifestyle. From steaming, roasting to sauteing, these cooking devices require minimal effort and time from you, but still provide your family with a nutritional and healthy meal. I recently got the opportunity to test out the Cuisinart MSC-600 slow cooker, described as “The Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker,” which promised to be a multi-functional appliance designed to make slow and savory cooking easy for everyone. Yeah, yeah… I’ve heard it before. So, I took it out of the box, dusted it off and I started testing it out. Below is my full review and all of my thoughts after using it. Find The Best Price: Meet the Cuisinart MSC-600 Upon taking it out of the box, I quickly noticed that the Cuisinart MSC-600 slow cooker is a small, yet surprisingly heavy, little device. I received this at the same time I was reviewing the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S slow cooker, and the difference in their dimensions were striking, considering they are both 6-Quart slow cookers. For comparison sake, the Crock-Pot was a bit longer on my countertop, as well as about six inches taller in height. The Cuisinart MSC-600 still has the prominent oval shape that we come to expect in a slow cooker, but it was more of a pronounced rectangular vessel that wasn’t as deep as you would expect. While not as long or tall as the Crock-Pot cooker, it was much wider. Another very noticeable difference was the weight. The Cuisinart MSC-600 cooker was much heavier with a more durable feel to it, weighing about 16lbs, whereas the Crock-Pot cooker weighs about half that. Ok, before this review morphs into a product comparison, let’s shift focus back to the MSC-600. After using it for the first time, it was clear to see why it was such a popular unit. It’s sorta like having a robot chef in your own home that has the ability to do function as a multi-cooker to help you create true culinary delights. It browns meats, sautés ingredients, and made a mean chili that my husband loved. Like most slow cookers, you can create all your favorite meals using just this one pot. With a modest 6-quart capacity, you have the opportunity to cook a wide variety of different meals. I tested out the MSC-600 by making chili, pot roast and my favorite beef stew. All of them were easy to do with the digital control panel, came out as expected and were a hit with my family. And I didn’t even use the manual to cook any of these. Designed to easily brown your meat and sauté your vegetables, it comes with the typical oval design and nonstick coating on the inner pot. Once the cooking is done, the device automatically switched over to “warm” mode. I like this feature, as I can walk away without worrying about over-cooking my meal, or having to reheat anything. It keeps it warm and ready to serve. The non-stick coating on the removable pot makes cleaning a breeze. On top of that, the Cuisinart MSC-600 is dishwasher safe, including the removable pot, glass lid and the steaming rack. So all I needed to do was rinse it off in the sink and then load in my dishwasher. Simple. When you actually use it as a slow cooker, you can choose between the high, low, and simmer settings. The simmer setting is actually pretty unique as very few slow cookers offer this feature. With this setting, you can easily cook a whole host of different recipes. It even comes with a 24-hour delay timer, so if something needs cooking for 10 hours, but you don’t want to get up in the middle of the night to start it, you can simply set the timer. The timer and auto-warm are really two must-have features for slow cookers, especially if you have an active and busy lifestyle. While I didn’t get to use it before writing this review, I like that this Cuisinart slow cooker came with its own steaming rack. This opens the door to making even more recipes. From steaming veggies to seafood dishes, all you have to do is add two quarts of a liquid of your choosing, close the pot, and let it steam away. List of Features: It allows you to cook a number of recipes, even if different ingredients require special treatment. The 6-quart capacity stoneware pot is easy to remove and clean. It has a timer and temperature readouts on the blue LCD display. The glass lid has cool-touch handles, so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself. It comes with a three-year, limited-period warranty. Can cook up to 400°F. Customer Reviews No matter what site you look on, the Cuisinart MSC-600 slow cooker has received a ton of reviews from customers. The vast majority of these reviews are overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people mention how they are surprised that a cooking appliance finally lives up to the hype and its marketing promises. It seems that many people often find that crock-pots and slow cookers are either hit or miss, particularly because it is difficult, if not impossible, to set the temperature at something other than high or low. This is an understandable complaint as most recipes do specify the need for a specific temperature. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for some slow cooker recipes to require you to prepare some of the ingredients on your stove-top first. With this Cuisinart slow cooker, however, you can control the temperatures and prep everything right inside the device. No only does this save you time, but it also reduces waste and is more energy-efficient. The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Slow Cooker A lot of people have also mentioned that they found the cooking temperature to be pretty accurate. It’s hard to tell whether they used a thermostat to confirm that the temperatures were indeed accurate, but that seemed to be a common theme in the reviews. But, don’t take my word for it, see what others customers are saying. At the date I write my own hands-on review, there are over 1,500 reviews listed by customers, with 84% of reviewers giving it either 4 or 5 stars. Click here to read all of the customer reviews on Amazon. What I Liked About the Cuisinart MSC-600: It is very easy to use with simple controls and an elegant LCD display. At 6 quarts, it has the capacity to make large meals and is a good size for your average family. The lid is glass, which means you can see through it while you cook. It comes with a steaming rack! Incredibly easy to clean and all the parts are dishwasher safe. The simmer setting is much better than the low-heat temperature, ensuring food remains at the right temperature without overcooking it. The 24-hour timer is my personal favorite because it means you can cook dishes that take hours to prepare without having to get up early in the morning or eat very late. Plus, the timer can help you keep things warm. It comes with a slow cooker recipe book with over 50 recipes. The dishes I made were simple and a hit with my family. Do make sure you try the beef stew! What I Didn’t Like About the Cuisinart MSC-600: It is not the most affordable slow cooker. The price, while still modest for smaller cooking appliances, will be higher than many other slow cookers available to you. This price is partly based on the 6-quart capacity, as well as the multi-cooker features built into it. While it is marketed as dishwasher safe, the larger width of the internal bowl is a little difficult to fit into my dishwasher. I prefer to wash this by hand. Some people have complained about receiving poor customer care, particularly if they have some more in-depth questions. I did not personally experience ths, but it is worth noting for anyone thinking of buying the MSC-600. It is not possible to set a time for the device to automatically switch from high to low or simmer. The Final Verdict I love a good slow cooker recipe. They are great for my family, as I can have healthy meals ready to serve throughout the week, and I can cut down on the amount of time I spend cooking. I have my recipe handy, add all the ingredients into the pot, pop the lid on, set the timer, and I walk away. It really is that easy. The Cuisinart MSC-600 does set a pretty high bar for all slow cookers by being a multi-cooker at the same time. If you’re looking to cook a lot of meals with a slow cooker, then this is definitely one you should consider. However, due to its higher price tag, this may not be the best slow cooker for anyone that won’t be using it frequently or taking advantage of all the features it has. There’s no doubt in my mind, that this is a great device. But, is it the best one for you? With this Cuisinart slow cooker, you can cut down on the amount of time you spend cooking in the kitchen, as well as cut down on how much time you spend cleaning up. It is versatile and packed with features. Finally, we have a device that makes slow cooking as easy as it looks!