As it says in the site description, this site is dedicated to all things Rival crock pot, and as such I don't expect to be discussing other companies and their products all that regularly on here. I recently came across a particular brand of slow cooker that seems quite unique and that had me thinking that if it's twist on slow cooking an entire multi-course meal in just one slow cooker catches on, then Rival might want to take notice and consider adopting some of these ideas with its own slow cooker appliances.
The appliance in question is a relatively new slow cooker called the Slow Cooker Mate, created, developed and finally made available for sale to the public earlier this year by Diana York, which looks at a first glance to just be a basic slow cooker with touch button controls; however, once you take the lid off you can see that it is kind of unique among slow cookers. It has a multi-component feature that allows the user to prepare an entire meal with just the one slow cooker all at once. I'll let the creator of the Slow cooker Mate describe this unique feature in her own words:
The Slow Cooker Mate offers several components that give it its unique abilities! The Slow Cooker Mate allows you to cook an entire meal with one appliance. The large capacity base crock is removable for easy serving and clean-up. The unique stoneware divided insert (found ONLY in the Slow Cooker Mate) allows you to cook two more items at the same time. Cook vegetables, warm dips or sauces and much more. The lid and stoneware crocks are all microwave and dishwasher safe.
(slow cooker mate website)
The basic gist of this new slow cooker is that you can use it in various combinations to either prepare the several components of a meal at the same time, or just use it as a regular slow cooker by using only the primary stoneware insert to slow cook whatever main entre you want for your meal. The product's website has a good depiction of the different components that I have included below to help give a clearer idea of how the pieces of this slow cooker jigsaw come together.
With regards to the slow cooker itself, it seems to offer some pretty decent features that most people would likely want in a standard slow cooker nowadays: a see-thru and removable glass lid, a removable top level divided stoneware insert that is good for preparing side dishes, and that can also double as a serving dish after cooking, if so desired, a main removable stoneware crock with a larger 6L capacity, and finally a base unit that features a brushed steel outer shell and touch screen button technology. The lid and the stoneware crock inserts are all claimed to be dishwasher and microwave safe, while both of the stoneware crock inserts are also supposed to be oven safe.
The Slow Cooker Mate so far seems for the most part to only be available online from the creator of the appliance's website. The presentation of the product on there is pretty straight forward and matter of fact, however there seems to be no mention on there of whether or not you can purchase the appliance at any other retail outlets. (from my own digging around I am pretty much convinced that you cannot find it regularly anywhere else right now since it seemed out of stock on most other websites that had carried it earlier this year) s well, I could not find any mention anywhere on her site regarding the subject of slow cooker mate maintenance or slow cooker mate replacement parts if you should end up needing them. I suppose she needs to sell a few more of them before maintaining the appliance becomes much of an issue.
The website has also made available a number of easy enough slow cooker recipes designed specifically for use with the Slow Cooker Mate. These recipes include:
Stuffed Bell Peppers, Sweet Peas & Red Cabbage
Meatloaf, Cheesy Potatoes & Asparagus
Stuffed Turkey Loaf, Cauliflower & Lima Beans
Pork Roast with Mango, Corn Casserole & Zucchini
Vegetarian Bean Medley, Creamed Spinach & Sweet Potatoes
One of the reasons that I am even mentioning this competitor product here on a site about Rival slow cooker appliances is because I think it makes for an interesting micro-example of how innivation and competition often work: most of the time it takes the advancement of design by one company to spur on ther competition. In this above example, we have an obvious slow cooker afficienado who has taken their interest in slow cookers to the next step and ended up producing an appliance which offers an alternative that they obviously believe was not really available before and offering the consumer an alternative means of preparing their meals with a slow cooker. True the Rival 3780 Duet Divided Slow Cooker offers the user a divided main stoneware insert (with the divisions of the liner being of differing sizes), and I believe that the Rival Mini Dipper offers adivided liner which is good for heating sauces, but this slow cooker mate appliance takes that idea one step further. I wonder how long it will take Rival to release a slow cooker onto the market that offers a similar division of stoneware layers? Probably they will just wait and see if this competitors product takes any kind of hold in the marketplace and then respond accordingly. For now, if you are interested in checking out the new Slow cooker Mate just click either the picture above or the link below.
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