Per usual, all the appliances and tools in my kitchen take a beating. My slow cooker is at least a decade old (possibly two!) and has been through the ringer. The BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe + Precision Sous-Vide gave new life to my kitchen and some fun cooking ensued.
The appliance comes with a few pieces: the slow cooker, stoneware pot, lid, temperature probe, sous vide rack, two disposable bags and a recipe booklet. The lid has three small holes where the temperature probe can be inserted. Whether you’re checking the temperature on a slow-cooked roast or maintaining an exact temperature for sous vide, I found this feature to be very handy. You also can set a target temperature for a food, and the appliance will switch heat cycles to hold food at that temperature. No more food safety questions or stress!
The digital control panel is extremely helpful and very easy to use. It automatically chooses a time (eight hours for low slow cook setting and four hours for high slow cook setting), but it can be set up to 20 hours. Once the specified time ends, it alerts you and automatically switches over to warm mode for four hours.
The removable stoneware crock is surprisingly lightweight and easy to clean. The locking lid mechanism ensures it is secure and cannot be removed during cooking. There’s even a built-in lid holder on either side of the handles. As someone who often sets dirty lids on counters or tries to prop them up, this was super helpful.
I tried out a few different recipes using the slow cooker function. In every case, the heat seemed to be evenly distributed and there were no hot spots or burned or overcooked areas. The brisket, chicken stock and beans all came out beautifully with no issues.
The sous vide function is a fun way to try out this trendy cooking method. The set includes a sous vide rack and two bags to start (you also can use resealable plastic bags), making it is simple to try sous vide. How it works: The sous vide function brings the water, and therefore the food, to the exact temperature specified. The temperature probe monitors the water surrounding the resealable bags of food continuously so that it remains invariable. It was easy to place steak in each bag and set in the rack, keeping it in place during the entire cooking process.
This durable, easy to use slow cooker plus sous vide appliance has become a much loved and highly used item in my home!