Your trusty Rival Crock Pot Slow Cooker has quite the storied history; this site is a place to learn more about its surprising history, from the earliest basic Crock Pot design to the most recent advanced innovations such as the Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit and Rival Versaware and the expanding choice of many other Rival slow cooker features, as well as to take a look at the rise in popularity of such things as Rival Crock Pot replacement parts and other sundry Crock Pot accessories.

The Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit cooker: A review of an indoor alternative to the outdoor or balcony BBQ

Last time I offered up a new Rival Elume Crock Pot review, this time around I want to take a look at an equally new and unique kind of rival appliance: the Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit cooker.

There is no question that the well known Rival crock Pot brand of slow cooker has long since become a cornerstone appliance in many North American homes, however it is very likely that a majority of Crock Pot users are only vaguely aware at best of one of the most recent Rival slow cooker inventions: the Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit. It is probably no surprise to hear that the BBQ Pit crock pot comes with its own learning curve; this is one Rival appliance that you probably don't want to try and use straight out of the box without at least a cursory perusal of the included instruction manual/cookbook. It is also a good idea to make use of the included meat rack as well as to make sure that you are using dry meats before you begin to achieve better barbecue style results with your cooking efforts. If you should decide to cook any foods without using the included rack expect your results to be more stew-like in nature.

There are a few positive and negative features about the BBQ Pit Crock.

First the positives; The counter-top design of the appliance means that it is quite easy to use indoors. Obviously this is a big selling point for the appliance: the ability to perform barbeque-style cooking inside of the home. Another plus is the included rack which is adjustable to two positions depending on whether you are going to be cooking something like ribs or other types of meats. One more positive feature of the indoor BBQ Pit is that it comes with a removable stoneware liner that is both dishwasher safe as well as oven safe, a feature that is becoming more noticable with some of the most recently released Rival Crock Pots.

Of course I also said that there are some less desirable, or negative, features to this appliance. Although the unit is promoted as an indoor barbequing solution, it is a rather large appliance (by neccessity) and as a result it will require more extensive storage space than most other appliances that you might own but not have out at all times. Also, you might find it is rather challenging to completely remove some burned on foods from the surface of the stoneware when cleaning it. There are also no handles on the bottom of the heating unit of the BBQ Crock Pot, so you have to make sure that you place it carefully before you start barbequing, because you won't be wanting to move it once the unit has started cooking.

If you should have a larger-sized dishwasher in your home, then it would be a more desirable method of cleaning your BBQ crock pot's stoneware insert. If instead you should decide to wash any burned on foods off of the insert by hand it will take quite an effort due to its larger size. I have heard others suggest that spraying cooking oil on the insert before using it will make clean up much easier. I have also heard that using a paste of water and baking soda is an effective-yet less abrasive way of cleaning tough stains off of the insert.

The entire Crock Pot BBQ unit measures in at around 20 by 16 inches, so you better plan on making some room to store it. The unit has no handles on the base heating unit, so don't try to move it once it has heated up. However, there are handles attached to the stoneware crock insert. Really, the bottom line here is that the Crock Pot BBQ Pit won't end up replacing your traditional gas or charcoal barbecuing methods, but it will offer you a convenient and effective indoor alternative for those occasions when barbecuing outdoors is just not a feasible option.

**Update: On a side note, I have recently come across a gourmet recipes site called The Recessionproof Gourmet that offers a killer gourmet steak recipe that you might feel up to the challenge of preparing in the BBQ Pit cooker. whether or not you feel up to trying that recipe with the cooker, I really encourage you to give the site a look through because the other recipes that have been posted on there so far are equally intriguing. The site is quite new so there are only a few recipes on there so far but with more coming in the future...

Touch screen slow cooking has arrived: A review of the Rival Elume Programmable Crock Pot

Last time I offered up a review, it was for the unusual Rival Crock Pot Trio: this time around we get to take a look at another unique Rival slow cooker...

An acquaintance of mine who is employed in a kitchenwares store was recently telling me about having the opportunity to try out the new Rival Elume Programmable Crock Pot slow cooker; She was quite impressed with it and was quite willing to make aseries of notes outlining the pros and cons of this shiny new Rival Crock Pot. The Rival Elume is an awfully appealing kitchen appliance. The stainless steel exterior is quite something and seems awfully easy to keep free of any smudges or fingerprints. Rival added a nice touch by means of the eLume's handles: they seem to be constructed of metal but include a silicone veneer that renders them easier to hold and safer than with earlier models of similar size Rival crock pot slowcookers. My friend told me that the black stoneware crock liner is enormously painless to wash and doesn't seem to leave any residue after cleaning. She said that that has been a problem with other black crock liners that she has used in the past.
The digital programmable attribute is uncomplicated to use and set and lets you select the hours and minutes for every offered temperature setting; as soon as the eLume crockpot auto-switches to the warm setting, it begins to countdown from 4 hours to allow you to distinguish just how long your food has been kept on the warm setting. Some kitchen cooks might be frustrated by the reality that you must turn the eLume slow cooker off and subsequently back on once more to switch from the High to Low setting however this isn't in actuality a big deal. The eLume's digital touch controls make it less of a task to keep the front of the unit spotless, yet, as is common with digital controls on any appliance, they are rather difficult to see in a brightly lit area. Frankly though, you will almost certainly find this to be a insignificant annoyance taking into account how lustrous the Rival elume appears along with how handy the touch controls make it to work the appliance. I am not aware if there is yet any support for this Crock Pot, meaning I don't know if there are yet any rival crock pot replacement parts made available for those owners who want to maintain their Elume Crocks.

About its performance, the eLume cooked marvelously, according to the kitchenwares' gal, and the slightly larger 6.5 Qt size of the crock was suitable enough for him to prepare a 4lb meatloaf and even a whole chicken. The eLume came with a recipe booklet with over 80 recipes, hints and tips. If I recall, my friend told me that she tried out the Lemon roasted whole chicken recipe as well as a fish recipe and a beef stew recipe. All of these turned out very nicely. By and large, the Rival eLume slowcooker was a joy to use and would be a stellar addition to any home kitchen.

The Rival Crock Pot Trio Cook & Serve: A review of a three-headed kitchen workhorse

Following on the heels of my recent review of the innovative new Rival Versaware Crock Pot, I have yet another Crock Pot assessment for you. A short time ago I was at the home of a friend and had the opportunity to toy around with a new kitchen appliance that he had just purchased; the appliance in question was the latest Crockpot from the Rival corporation, the Rival Crock Pot Trio Cook & Serve. If you are like me you might not have heard much concerning this one so far - in reality I am not yet certain that it will become popular in the run of the mill family residence setting, more likely it will be fashionable with those planning to plan meals for a bigger crowd of company. I am told that the crockpot trio is an impressive appliance and can make cooking for a group a more pleasant experience. It would not be excess to use it to organize a whole supper for just a a small number of individuals too.

The Crock Pot Trio in actuality appears very inspiring with its three black 2.5 qt stoneware pots, with each one having its own separate controls all on the same station. You can opt to cook in any one, two or all three crockpots at once. The unit comes with a set of three plastic serving spoons. It also comes with a little recipe book.

My acquaintance told me that the Trio operated pretty competently when he tried a couple of the recipes from the included recipe booklet; the chili recipe and the herbed vegetables recipes, I believe. The array is really anticipated to be a buffet server and would probably do the job well enough for somebody cooking for a family gathering or comparable sized group. For an individual catering for a family, the Trio could be functional as a way to with no trouble prepare a complete supper: for instance you may perhaps cook some soup in one pot, a few veggies inside the second pot and an entre in the third pot. The Trio is not programmable but you can set varying cooking times for each pot that you might have in use. As well you are able to make use of one pot as a warmer whilst cooking with the others. As well it could operate as a heated beverage serving station designed for drinks such as apple cider or hot chocolate.

This crock pot appliance is pretty simple to clean up: the base component wipes up with no trouble and the stoneware crock pot liners and brushed steel lids are all dishwasher compliant. The appliance includes a notched section for you to support the spoons for the duration of meal preparation but the spoon balance is somewhat dubious when used since they have a tendaency to tip once the crockpot cover is removed. The appliance could be one thing that you have got to put in storage when not using in your home, as it takes up a fair bit of room, measuring out to a length of 32".

The Rival Versaware Crock Pot: A possible glimpse of the future of slow cookers.

Manufacturer's description:

This extremely versatile, five-quart-capacity slow cooker is great for cooking up family meals. The all-temperature, removable stoneware can be used for cooking or reheating on the stovetop or microwave oven; for baking, roasting, or broiling in the oven; or for chilling or freezing in the refrigerator or freezer. The elegant, brushed stainless steel and gray design and the detachable cord make this slow cooker ideal for tabletop serving. The stoneware is dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup. Enjoy the Beauty and Convenience of the Rival 5 Quart Round VersaWare CrockPot/Slow Cooker.

My Review:

  More than just another rival crock pot 5 quart slow cooker...

One of the more recent developments in crock pot technology and styling is represented by the Rival 5 quart Versaware crock pot, a slow cooker that has been gaining steadily in popularity since its release. Unlike the heavier stoneware crocks found in many slow cookers, this one is made of lightweight Extreme Temperature Cookware (ETC), also called VersaWare, a stoneware so versatile it can be used on a stovetop, in an oven, under a broiler, and in a microwave. The lid is also made of ETC, which makes the five-quart pot ideal for storing pre-assembled foods in the freezer or refrigerator, and baking covered dishes in the oven. The concept is an intriguing one to be sure: a removable stoneware crock liner or insert that you could use on top of the range to "Sauté, Cook, Serve, Store and Reheat all in one pot!" according to the product sheet. The reality has not been everything the manufacturer's promo material promised, but on the whole the product is solid in more than one way and makes for a refreshing and novel approach to slow cooking.

First, to make this as balanced a review of the Versaware Crock Pot as I can, allow me to bring up the product's downside. (sorry for the pun) Sorry, but I have to say that there is no way that this unit sautés properly; Yes, you can put the Versaware liner on top of the range, but it's not supposed to be over a high heat, and if, like many people, you use electric the insert must sit on top of a diffuser. Realistically, no high heat means no saute – and that's just by definition of the technique of saute cooking. Another problem with the versaware is that you cannott use regular metal utensils inside of it without using extreme caution. (better not to attempt using them with it in the first place) For those who are use to always using metal utensils and feel the urge to use them in the kitchen regardless of the situation would probably find themselves walking on egg shells throughout the cooking process.

In all honestly, however, these drawbacks are not enough to get a thumbs down on this Crock Pot. Although it is not meant for intense heat, the Versaware insert is good on top of the stove, in a microwave, or (and here I am just guessing) atop a hot plate to keep the contents warm enough while sitting out on the table. Curiously enough, the crock liner also rests in the slow cooker base with an unusual cradle design, and sports a design that features four metal legs with rubber stopper feet. I was able to fit an entire roast inside it without having to cut it up ahead of time, and I think you could easily get a four-pound whole chicken in the unit. I like the selection of high or low cooking settings (the former about twice as quick as the latter) and the warm setting to keep things hot when the cooking is done. A single knob sets the cooker at low, high, and maintain warm, a handy setting for maintaining cuisine at just the suitable serving temperature. With these aforesaid two cook settings, low and high, this crock pot can slow cook a large variety of stews, roasts, and soups, recipes for which are written in an included 79-page recipe brochure. Meats can be braised at the outset on the stovetop, and casseroles can be browned below the broiler just prior to serving. While the basic unit is $59.99, I’d say pay out the extra $20 for the automatic, which switches to warm when the built-in timer (you set it in half-hour increments) has completed its countdown. Both the base and crock sport loop-style handles for easy lifting. Measuring 9 by 13 by 10-1/2 inches, with internal dimensions of 9-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches, the slow cooker comes with a short, 32-inch cord that removes from the base unit for storing and lets the intact unit stand alone on a serving buffet. The crock and lid go right into the dishwasher for clean-up. If you choose to wash the versaware crock by hand, don't be surprised if you find that the weight of the insert and cover make washing more difficult. Rival covers the slow cooker with a one-year warranty. I am not aware if there is much selection out there yet for anyone needing to find the appropriate crock pot replacement parts to replace any parts of the Versaware crock pot, such as its lid or liner. Overall, the Rival Versaware crock pot is an user-friendly slow cooker with an exemplary degree of control that sports a number of handy features. If their versaware is a precursor of wherever the crockpot is going, in that case the prospect for Rival cookware is looking pretty positive.

A look forward to all things Rival Crock Pot (and one last look back at those Rival Crock Pot parts!)

I have to admit that this blog has been somewhat lacking in the new post department recently, and of course that is no one's fault but my own. As well, I realize that my last few posts on here have been maybe somewhat too focused on such things as Rival crock pot replacement parts. For example, concerning myself with such things as finding a Rival crock pot lid or a knob or even an entire Rival crock pot replacement when, despite your best efforts, your current slow cooker has given up the ghost. I was already aware that there is so much more that could and should be covered in this aspect of cooking and I am finally ready to make an effort in exploring some of those areas here with this site. In the future, I would like to take alook at some of the different kinds of crock pot slow cookers that are out there, such as the Versaware Crock Pot, the Crock Pot Elume, that comes with its own lcd touchpad, the Crock Pot Trio Cook and Serve, which is a double Crock Pot slow cooking appliance (ie. two crock pots mounted on one base) suitable for use when cooking for larger groups, as well as maybe even taking a look at the Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit cooking appliance. I might possibly even go way off the beaten path of looking solely at the Rival Crock Pot slow cooker, and maybe take a brief look at the old-time stoneware crock. Then again maybe not, but wait and see, right?

Another idea I have toyed with and have even covered somewhat in a post on here a while ago, is the posting of some easy beginner crock pot recipes that are user friendly for the true beginner Crock Pot user. ( I was going to say for the beginner slow cooker cook, but that just reads like a typo, lol) One last thing I thought I would mention is the following observation: I know I have been one to harp on increasing general awareness of Rival Crockpot replacement parts recently, however i do feel some vindication for this habit when I consider the current instability of the World Economy of late; With most individuals feeling the pinch, so to speak, now more than ever people are looking for ways to save money wherever and however they can. This includes finding ways to make the things we have last longer instead of coughing up our hard earned dollars for a shiny new version of whatever. A look at the advertisements on this very site is an example of this; where last year we saw ads that were all over the place, we now are seeing more ads usually more targeted for the subject of this blog when it is discussing crock pot parts. Google likes to target its ads towards the content of a web page whenever possible. When in the past my posts on here that discussed replacement crock pot parts had as many non crock pot related ads as relevant crock pot parts ads it told me that there were probably not enough advertisers targeting those kinds of keywords; now however, I am noticing many more relevant ads on those same pages which tells me that there are more advertisers targeting such things as crock pots and crock pot parts, and since advertisers primarily follow demand, this suggests that people are looking more towards maintaining than replacing. A small bit of vindication, I would say.
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