As a food consultant, I have tested small (and large) kitchen appliances throughout my career. One of my most memorable experiences was toaster testing. I toasted so many slices of bread, bagels, English muffins, and waffles, I ended up with several garbage bags full of the leftovers!
Testing a product before it hits the market is an important step to make sure it performs well for consumers. And, I really can see a difference when testing products side by side.
You can imagine my excitement when the makers of the Hold & Go™ Slow Cooker contacted me to try out their product in my home. Here is their Web site – https://holdandgo.com. (I’m not getting credit for purchases; I just wanted to share this product with you because I like it.)
Since this product is already on the market, my “testing” in this case was not technical testing. Rather, I had the pleasure of informally trying out the slow cooker in my own kitchen with some of our favorite recipes.
Have you seen this slow cooker? I spotted it on the Rachael Ray show a few months ago.
It features a built-in handle, making it perfect for carrying hot dishes to potlucks. The oval-shaped, removable 5-quart ceramic crock helps makes clean up easier. The control knob on the front offers settings for Keep Warm, Low, and High. Slow cooker recipes typically call for the Low or the High setting. Keep Warm is only used after a recipe is fully cooked.
The handle is attached to the slow cooker and clamps into place over the lid. To open, you simply release the clips and slide the handle back. From there you can remove the lid. I was a little hesitant the first time I clamped down the handle (for fear of damaging the lid), but it worked really well.
Overall, I was impressed. I felt like the slow cooker cooked my favorite recipes as expected, and the addition of the smart handle design is a bonus. I will reach for this slow cooker often — especially whenever I am going to a church potluck or carrying a meal to a family gathering.
I typically use my slow cooker for slow simmered recipes such as soups, pulled pork, and pot roast. Once in awhile I make desserts or drinks, such as mulled cider. It is so nice to start a recipe in the slow cooker in the morning and have a warm meal ready when you walk in the door in the evening.
Recently I made my sister, Sharon’s, Slow Cooker BBQ Beef. It is one of my favorite recipes for feeding a crowd.
When the roast is cooked and ready to be shredded, I use my stand mixer with the flat beater to quickly shred it. It literally takes 15 seconds. So easy!
When I make this recipe for just my husband and me, it yields enough for three meals. I love that! Usually, we serve our BBQ Beef 3 Ways:
Sandwiches – We enjoy eating our BBQ beef in a classic sandwich. Traditional hamburger buns or hoagie buns work well. Sometimes I butter the buns lightly and toast them under the broiler before serving. Recently, we’ve also been enjoying the 100 calorie multi-grain pita pockets.
Pizza – Simply spread a little of your favorite BBQ sauce over the pizza crust instead of pizza sauce, and then add a generous layer of BBQ beef. Top with shredded Colby-Jack cheese and bake. Before serving, sprinkle on some chopped cilantro or parsley.
Quesadillas – Place some BBQ beef on half of a soft flour tortilla and add some chopped roasted red peppers, if desired. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and fold the unfilled side of the tortilla over the filled side (creating a half moon). Brush the outside of the tortilla with vegetable oil. Toast both sides of the tortilla in a skillet until lightly browned and the cheese it melted. Cut into wedges to serve.
What is your favorite thing to serve in a slow cooker?
Here is the Slow Cooker BBQ Beef recipe (below) if you’d like to give it a try. I used a 2.3 lb. beef chuck roast the last time I made this, and I kept the amount of sauce the same. It was a bit saucer but we just used a slotted spoon when serving it.