Karen Wiggins on July 21, 2016 0 Comments For generations now, many families turn to their slow cookers when they are expecting company, want to serve large crowds, or just want to prepare meals that will last for several days. Slow cooker meals can be made with just about any ingredients and there are thousands of savory recipes available for you to choose from. Making large batches of family favorites, such as roasts, stews, chili and soups that can last for days, is easy with a slow cooker. You can let teens serve themselves, make easy hot meals for long winter nights — excellent when nursing kids with colds — or just have plenty of per-prepared meals ready to heat up. Leftovers can be used in sandwiches after a holiday meal, and best of all — you’ll save money on groceries with this extremely economical way to prepare food for the whole family any time of year. Cuisinart slow cookers are ideal for this kind of food preparation. Many people automatically think of coffee makers, blenders and toaster ovens when they think of Cuisinart. But this one-of-a kind kitchen appliance manufacturer also produces a very popular line of slow cookers. Available in a wide range of prices, sizes and cooking features, this brand is easily making some of the best slow cookers available to consumers. They are sturdy, well-built and reliable. With only basic cleaning and care, you can expect to pass your Cuisinart slow cooker down to your children and grandchildren. A Brief History of Cuisinart Cuisinart is a home appliance manufacturer based in the United States and owned by the Conair Company. Cuisinart opened its doors in 1971, founded by Carl Sontheimer, who had a dream of making high-quality, affordable cookware and advanced culinary devices available to the general public. Cuisinart’s first commercial product, the “food processor,” which was unveiled in 1973 at the Chicago National Housewares Exposition, was released in Canada in 1975. The company’s name became synonymous with blenders when, in 1986, they released their famous grinder and chopper, the Mini-Mate. They have since expanded their line of products to include pretty much every kitchen and cooking device you can imagine, including a series of venerable slow cooking appliances. Features You Will Find In A Cuisinart Slow Cooker When it comes to using a slow cooker to prepare meals for your family, no matter which unit you buy, they will all have the same fundamental features and cooking abilities. These would include the ability to roast, steam and slowly cook a variety of meals. What makes Cuisinart stand out, is their slow cookers are not only easy to use and clean, but they typically offer more cooking settings than other slow cookers. Simply add your favorite ingredients, adjust the settings on the appliance to the requirements of your recipe, and turn it on. That’s it. Walk away and let it do its thing. When cooking is finished, your Cuisinart slow cooker will automatically switch over to “warm” setting and keep your food at an ideal serving temperature until you’re ready to serve it. Common Features Include: Fully programmable cook settings: Slow Cook Brown / Saute Roast Steam Slow cook on a high setting, low setting, warm or simmer for up to 24 hours. Temperature settings range between 0° and 500°F. Auto “warm” function ensures your food remains ready to serve hot as long as you need. Steaming function allows for steaming up to 90 minutes. Large removable 7-quart cast aluminum, nonstick lid and pot are safe for any standard dishwasher. Large blue back-lit LCD displays enable you to check the cooking temp and time easily from across the room. Glass lid handles that remain cool to the touch even after long operation. Reversible steaming / roasting rack. Cuisinart’s Best-Selling Slow Cooker While Cuisinart has dozens of slow cookers available, the most popular unit is the 6-Quart Cook Central 3-in-1 Multicooker. With all the features listed above, the Cuisinart MSC-600 3-in-1 multicooker can brown, saute or steam food. It can easily cook chicken, ribs, steak and large roasts, all cooked to perfection with no hot spots or scorching. This Cuisinart slow cooker features a programmable timer that can be set to cook your food for as long as 24 hours, after which time it will automatically switch over to the “keep warm” setting to keep your food hot, fresh and ready to serve whenever is most convenient for you. Reviewers say they love that it is light, easy to clean, and that its practically unbreakable cast-metal insert has several outstanding features. These include large easy-to-use handles, an ideal oval shape that makes stirring the contents simple and a clear lid, which allows you to view your food without losing heat. In addition, it features a user-friendly digital control panel that is easy to understand and can be used by anyone. The steam and brown/saute functions work reliably, as promised — and the browning setting comes with an adjustable temperature control ranging between 150°F to 400°F and allows you to sear your food before cooking, giving you that ideal ever-so-slightly carbonized surface that truly brings out the savory flavor of meat. After searing, set the cooker to slow-cook mode or reduce sauces without having to dirty any additional cookware. If a 6-Quart slow cooker is not the right size for you, this model, along with all its features, is also available in 4-Quart or 7-Quart. Cuisinart Slow Cookers: Finding a Home With Millennial Families Most families have a slow cooker or at least a large crock-pot buried somewhere deep under the kitchen counters. These items are not known for their aesthetic qualities, with a few exceptions. Cuisinart slow cookers are among the exceptions. This innovative kitchen appliance company has really hit the mark with their sleek and elegant cookers with a retro-styled glass-top and blue back-lit digital screen. The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Slow Cooker Instead of storing it away when not in use, you may actually find that many of the slow cookers from Cuisinart are worth keeping on top of the kitchen counter as they are reminiscent of those old 1950s silver diners, with their potent, almost classic sci-fi, flashback presence. These well-built and hugely practical items have found a place in the hearts of Millennials who are just now coming into their own, graduating college and putting together households in their unique style. Cuisinart slow cookers are ideal for modern lifestyles in which so many things are automatic, fast and place a premium on style. Very little comes off the store shelves these days if it doesn’t fit into a 24-hour cycle of fast-paced information and multitasking. For all these reasons, what had once been the sole purview of house-bound homemakers is now the go-to convenience appliance for young heads of families who are on the go all the time. Today, there’s an entire foodie subculture that’s dedicated to exploring the possibilities of these versatile cooking devices. You’ll find slow cooker cookbooks, foodie blogs and YouTube channels that devote large portions, if not all, of their content to topics related to all the many things that a Cuisinart slow cooker can produce. Some focus on turning out prize-winning chili. Others prefer to push the boundaries of slow roasting and how to prepare the best meals for families. For some, slow cooking is just a part of a longer process in which the slow cooker provides a way to create tender and succulent ingredients for other confections such as meat pies and thrice-baked potatoes. The possibilities really do seem endless, and as the summer outdoor cookware comes out for backyard BBQ, a whole new range of cookout competition is emerging from under the kitchen cupboard. It’s hard to guess whether or not the Cuisinart company predicted this growing trend in kitchen cookery or if they just fell into it naturally. Either way, the slow cooker has received a full makeover and upgrade for 2016 — and you can be sure that these marvelous appliances are going to continue to be a central feature in kitchens from coast to coast for many years to come.