My Review: West Bend Slow Cooker, 6 Quart, Programmable Model 84966 - Food, Fun, and Happiness

My Review: West Bend Slow Cooker, 6 Quart, Programmable Model 84966

I recently purchased a new slow cooker to replace the one we've had for years. This time around, I opted for the West Bend Slow Cooker 84966. At 6 quarts, it's bigger than we had previously which was only 4 quarts. Being programmable is also an immense improvement from our old manual slow cooker.  I'm new to West Bend since our previous slow cooker was made by Crock Pot.

Nowadays, there are two primary designs available for slow cookers. The first is the type with combined cooking pot and built-in heater. This is what we had and it served us for years until it finally brokedown. It also seems to be more common.

West Bend Slow Cooker Model 84966
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The second is the type where the cooking pot is separated from the base heating unit. This is what we have now, the West Bend 84966 Slow Cooker. There are two main reasons why I prefer this unit:
  • Flexible. The West Bend slow cooker is flexible because the base unit can double as a griddle if I so need while cooking other things on the stove.
  • Convenient. This slow cooker is also more convenient for serving since the pot can be moved to the dinner table and back to the where it was set aside to stay plugged in to stay warm. There's no need to plug and unplug which could be tedious if the electrical socket is down on the floor. I suppose that a bigger dinner table could avoid all that hassle, but we don't have that set up at the moment. Additionally, you can store leftovers in cooking pot and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. It's just so versatile.

West Bend 84966 Slow Cooker 6 Quart Programmable Model
Base unit of West Bend Slow Cooker 84966 can act as a griddle

Of course, this West Bend slow cooker is programmable and that helps so much. This is mainly attributed to upgrading from what we had to what's available now. In particular, I like being able to choose temperature digitally and having an automatic shutdown after 24 hours. Some recipes I've seen set cooking temperatures at precise numbers. I'd like to follow those numbers the best I can and the digital setting lets me do that more accurately. The automatic shut-off helps through my peace of mind although I've never been forgetful in the past with leaving our old slow cooker plugged in throughout the day.

Other benefits that I appreciate are the cool touch handles and see-through glass lid. Again, resulting more from upgrading, having handles that remain cool to the touch makes it more convenient to serve with West Bend slow cooker. Previously, we always had to have cooking mitts available nearby. Now, we don't have to. It's just one less thing to worry about when hosting a dinner party.

The same goes with the glass lid. It's great to be able to check on the status of the food without having to lift the cover.

We bought the 6-quart version. But West Bend also offers other sizes such as 4, 5, and 7 quarts.

Two things to keep in mind when using the West Bend Slow Cooker:
  • Follow instructions to condition the non-stick surface of the cooking pot. There are three situations that will require conditioning such as when the "cooking pot is 1) cleaned in an automatic dishwasher; 2) the finish is treated with a special cleaner; 3) the finish is cleaned with lemon juice or vinegar to remove a mineral film; or 4) when sticking becomes a problem during use."
  • Follow instructions to condition the non-stick surface of the heating unit when used as a griddle.
I believe that following the above instructions will help the slow cooker last longer. And that is always a big plus.

Now, I've read the Amazon reviews on the West Bend 84966 slow cooker and they're not all positive. Some say that it overcooks and that it's too hot at the low setting. While others say that the pot and heating surface are easily damaged. Though I haven't experience these issues yet (**knock on wood**), you ought to do the same and research for your own benefit. Here's the direct link to the reviews.

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