This $70 slow cooker lets you cook 3 dishes at once and keep food warm at parties — here’s how it works

source
Amazon

Slow cookers are a convenient way to make delicious home-cooked meals. As a work-from-home dad who does most of the cooking, it’s nice to be able to prepare supper before sitting down to work for the day. Slow cookers give me the flexibility to adjust dinner time to meet everyone’s busy schedules. Once the meal is ready, it can stay in a “keep warm” holding pattern until we can all sit down together.

The Chefman Triple Slow Cookeradds a new dimension to an old favorite. With the traditional single cooker, your entrée and sides would either be tossed together into one pot or you’d have to make the sides separately. With the triple cooker, you can create three distinct dishes at once. And, it doubles as a buffet server. Below, I’ll share my experiences with the triple slow cooker and let you know who would likely benefit from it most.

Specs:

The triple slow cookerhas three identical 1.5-quart oval stoneware crocks that each have separate controls. There are four settings on each knob: off, low, high, and warm. Each crock has a glass lid with a stay-cool plastic handle, and the center of the unit features a lid holder. It also comes with lid locks, which keep the lids in place on top of the crocks when in transit.

The crocks measure 9.5 inches long, 6.5 inches wide, and 5 inches deep. And, the overall size of the unit is approximately 16 inches in diameter and 8 inches high with the lid holder in place. The body of the cooker has an attractive stainless-steel finish.

In its marketing materials, Chefman says this cooker has a one-year “hassle-free” warranty, but the small print suggests that the warranty is more of the traditional “limited” variety.

Set-up process:

The set-up is intuitive and a breeze – I had everything ready to go within five minutes. Chefman recommends that you put a quart of water in each crock and run them on high for half an hour before the first use. Let the water cool for about 20 minutes, then remove the crocks and empty the water. You’ll then want to wash everything. After that, you are ready to try out your first recipe.

Chefman Triple Slow Cooker

source
Amazon

What makes the slow cooker stand out:

I really liked the recipes that came with the slow cooker. There are two: Chinese pork chops with brown rice and herbed mushrooms and BBQ chicken with baked potato casserole and cheesy corn. Both recipes were easy to follow, and I could set them up and go about my day. When dinner time rolled around, they were ready.

The slow cooker only comes with two recipes, but with the access code on the back of the user manual, you can get more recipes through Club Chefman. However, you need to create an account, and the recipes are geared more toward your traditional one-pot slow cookers. You’ll need to do a little math to adjust for the smaller crocks of the triple cooker.

My family celebrates “Taco Tuesday,” and the triple slow cooker kept the meat, beans, and sautéed vegetables warm as we set up our own little taco bar. This was also useful when we hosted parties, where people would graze on dips and other food over the course of hours. It basically filled the role of three chafing dishes.

Lastly, the triple slow cooker comes in handy when you are putting together a meal for individuals with dietary restrictions. We have good friends who are vegetarian and gluten-free. When making my famous beer chili, I can leave the meat out of one of the pots, leave the beer out of another, and have one pot with all the good stuff.

Sometimes, food debris can really get caked onto the sides of stoneware. That’s why I like to wash the pots of slow cookers in the dishwasher. Unfortunately, when you’re using one large pot, it’s hard to fit it in your washer. With the Chefman Triple Slow Cooker, I didn’t have a problem fitting the crocks and lids into my dishwasher. And, they came out clean after one cycle.

Cons to consider:

The biggest downfall of the triple slow cooker is that it isn’t practical for most people. It’s mainly designed for people who regularly host parties or attend potlucks. It might also be useful if you have a larger family and want to make easy meals with distinct side dishes, or batch-prep meals for your family that can be popped in the freezer for later.

A minor issue I had with this appliance is the positioning of the lid holder. When installed, the lid holder gets in the way as you try to remove the pots. Consequently, you have to remove the lid holder to take a crock out. In many instances, this makes the lid holder useless. Other than that, I really liked the lid holder and hope future models correct this positioning problem.

This might just be a personal problem, but I kept overfilling my pots and making a mess. The user manual cautions against filling the crocks more than three-quarters full. It would be wise to take this advice. Who would have thought that heat makes food expand?

The bottom line:

Pros: The triple cooker is helpful in a variety of situations, has a handy lid holder for easy serving, and you can use it with little instruction.

Cons: The cooker may not be useful if you don’t cook for groups very often, and the lid holder is poorly positioned.

Overall, I like having this appliance in my repertoire of hosting tools. I have plenty of room in my home so I can store it easily when it’s not in use. The three crocks operate as advertised and keep flavor and ingredients separated. And, my family enjoyed the balanced meals I produced with it. Whether you want to create set-it-and-forget-it meals or are looking for an affordable chafing dish alternative that can handle three items at once, the Chefman Triple Slow Cooker is an excellent solution.

Buy the Chefman Triple Slow Cooker & Buffet Server at Best Buy for $69.99