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My kitchen cabinets are full of nonstick pans, multi-tasking strainers, and Dutch ovens. In fact, in my line of work, it’s practically impossible to evade the influence of my coworkers as they share the un-missable essentials they stock their drawers, fridges, and pantries with. From this vouched-for, space-saving dish rack to the Dyson review that convinced me to snag my own, there’s no doubt that Kitchn is a dangerous place to work if you’re interesting in opening a kitchen cabinet without at least one gadget tumbling out (I guess that’s what for kitchen organizers are for!).
Recently, though, I’ve been in the market for a slow cooker. Between the snow, rain, and ice accumulating outside my window to the slew of utterly delicious-sounding recipes I can’t wait to try, there’s no better time to invest in the tried-and-true device than now. The only problem: There’s absolutely no space for one of those things in my apartment. They’re cumbersome and uni-functional, which goes against my philosophy when purchasing new kitchen essentials. So, I’ve been sticking to my Dutch oven, but my oven is unpredictable, and I’m in and out of my apartment enough to worry about fire safety. This is where 360 Cookware’s Slow Cooker comes in.
This 4-Quart Slow Cooker is like nothing I’ve ever seen before — it’s completely brilliant in my opinion. The invention combines a top-notch stainless-steel stockpot with an electric base, essentially recreating the function of a slow cooker, but in two compact and totally storable pieces. So, not only can you use the pot atop the Slow Cooker Base, but you can also pop it on the stovetop or in the oven for a variety of uses.
While you can match the base with most brands of stainless-steel stockpots (the compatibility is contingent on the thickness of the pot’s bottom), I particularly love 360’s 4-Quart. It’s wider and shallower than other size-comparable pieces, making it a lovely choice for a variety of cooking methods like sautéing, braising, and frying. Plus, its domed lid fits snugly on the rim and works to capture condensation, making for succulent dishes when used in the oven or as intended, on the base.
When using the duo as a slow cooker, just dump your ingredients in the pot, choose between the four different cooking settings, and forget about it until you smell the enticing aroma of brisket, chili, or chicken verde. Sometimes I’ll prep the meal midday, head out to run errands (the set up is totally safe to leave plugged in while you’re out, BTW), and come back to the smell of a home cooked meal, all while putting in close to no work at all. Oh, and the best part, over the holidays or when hosting dinner parties, I’ve found that this comes in extra-handy. Because you can set the base to a low temp (turn the knob to “1”), it doubles as a hot plate and will keep your food warm long enough for seconds or thirds.
Long story short, whether as a stock pot, sauté pan, slow cooker, food warmer, Dutch oven, or any of its other uses, I’ve been relying on this handy device almost daily. And, after steady, multi-functioning use, I’m left with just one question: Who needs a traditional slow cooker these days?