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.
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.
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