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Just Got Nesco 6 Quart Roaster Oven (4946-10), Uses vs Slow Cooker

For the past few months I've done some modest crock-pot/slow cooker cooking, learning how to make chili (I'm a guy of course, ha ha), jalapeno chicken chili, lasagna, and a pot roast. I also learned how to make chicken by putting in there for 4 hours on high, with half-water/half BBQ sauce. I've used either the "vintage" Crock Pots (round, settings of Off-Low-High) or the Hamilton Beach oval one you can get at WalMart for $16 or so (has keep warm-low-high settings).

Just yesterday I got a Nesco 4946-10 6 quart roaster over, paid $4 for it at a garage sale. It looks exactly like this one (http://www.shoppingnexus.com/for-the-...) except mine has the model number of 4946-10. It came with the insert & the lid, no metal grate etc as I've seen in other photos of the model (where it's sold online etc). It has a removable cord that looks a lot like removable cords I've seen on older kitchen appliances.

I'm excited about getting this because (1) my old Crock Pots seem to heat at lower temperatures than the new Hamilton Beach, which is apparently desirable, but they don't have a "keep warm" setting and I never bothered with a "Crock-O-Stat" and conversely (2) the Hamilton Beach has a "keep warm" setting but seems to run hotter on low-high than the older models, as many people have observed. As this roaster oven has a continuously-adjustable temperature knob, I should be able to tell it exactly how to behave.

My questions:

(1) What temperature settings on the knob should I shoot for to replicate the typical keep warm, low and high settings, and I assume it's better to replicate the "vintage" models vs the newer ones that run hotter. Or am I misguided in trying to replicate those settings, is that not the proper way to go about using this?

(2) Being that it has settings up to 400'F, I assume that for "oven" uses such as, say, heating up a ham (say it calls for 350'F for 30 minutes), I can do the same thing in this instead?

(3) If this can replicate a slow cooker as I think it can, frankly I wonder what's the point of even having any of the slow cookers around? (I have 1 "new style" Hamilton Beach 6 quart, 1 "new style" Proctor Silex 4 quart, 2 of the "vintage" round Crock Pots (5 quart?), and 1 really small older Crock Pot that holds about 2 bowls or so and is permanently set to "low" you just plug it in).

What other tips-suggestions regarding roaster ovens such as this?

Apr 15, 2013
larrytxeast in Cookware

Old Vs New Slow-Cookers (Hotter): How Do I Check Mine?

This is my first-ever post. I'm not a "hard core" cook by any means, I've recently just started doing a very small amount of "real" slow-cooking after liking how the Banquet Slow Cooker Meals tasted. Also, someone had made taco soup once and they shared the recipe with me, my method was to brown the meat, throw all of the ingredients (corn, hominy, taco seasoning, tomatoes, beans) into the slow cooker on high for 2-odd hours then dialing it back to low for an hour or so, then assuming a "keep warm" stance (or turning it off). From there, I've been looking at new recipes to start making more new types of food.

In my digging aro und, I was reading some posts in here (found via a Google search) & have just now tonight learned about how, apparently, older slow cookers don't cook at as hot of a temperature as newer models (apparently since 2004) and thus do a better job, not being as prone to "scalding" the food.

What's funny is that I have 2 Crock Pots, a 3045 and a 3355, the former I just got at a yard sale for $1. I also bought a Hamilton beach 33155, a $16.88 model frequently sold at WalMart, because it has a "keep warm" setting that my 2 Crock Pots didn't have. I was about to give the 3045 away figuring I didn't need 3 CrockPots, when I learned of this phenomenon and I changed my mind; in fact, the 3045 SEEMS to be a bit less hot to the touch than the 3355.

Now, having learned of this phenomenon, I want to address it.

The original post I found (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758912) spoke of this and one person described how their "non-hot" CrockPot had "flowery designs" on it. Both of mine do. The 3045 has "little flowers" bordering around the top, larger ones on the bottom. The 3355 has big flowers bordering the top, none on the bottom. The ceramic is removable with both, the cord is fixed.

This article (http://busycooks.about.com/library/weekly/aa022103a.htm) spoke of how to check for how hot your slow cooker heats up to, saying it should hit about 185'F on low. This article (http://www.delcollo.us/icp/crockostat...) spoke of how to build a "Crock-O-Stat."

Now, my questions.

(1) I searched for information on my 2 Crock Pots, the 3045 and 3355, but I could find nothing about them in terms of the date of manufacturer & their temperature behaviors. How do I find this information out? (For what it's worth, the 3355, which I've had for sometime, has been what I used for those Banquet Slow Cooker "meal in bag" thingies & it seems on-target, although it burns the food on low if I keep it there too long, my Hamilton Beach--I can't tell yet how it COOKS, but in terms of keeping food warm without burning, the "Keep Warm" setting seems to do that.

(2) The link I mentioned describes how to check the temperatures on "low," and states to look for 185'F or so, but says nothing of the targets to shoot for regarding "high." What temperatures should I be looking for?

(3) The new Hamilton Beach 33155, the $16.88 one at WalMart, has anyone heard of the behavior of that model?

(4) I am very new at this, and any recipes I've found have been recent ones at websites. Are those apt to be assuming the new hotter behaviors, and if so, what's the point of dialing back to "vintage" behaviors to begin with?

Nov 25, 2012
larrytxeast in Cookware