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I just moved into my new place. While making sure valuable items like my TV, bed, and electronics came to my new place unscathed, I also kept a watchful eye on one cardboard box labeled “Kitchen.” Why? It contained my 6-quart Hamilton Beach Crock-Pot. The crock-pot is the best culinary innovation I’ve ever used and the most vital kitchen tool in any mid-20 bachelor’s (or any age, for that matter) life. It’s an amazing cooking creation that boasts simplicity, savory, and you-can’t-mess-this-up appeal, and so it shocks me when I see how little it is used by all of my other single friends. Here’s a quick run-down of why you should you get one as soon as humanly possible regardless of your living situation.
It’s shockingly easy.
Some people get easily intimidated by kitchen appliances, but the crock-pot is light years easier to use than a stove or oven – plus, you won’t be at risk of burning your place down. Don’t you dare bring up that blasphemous This is Us scene. All you have to do is throw in some hunks of chicken, a few veggies and a bit of stock, and you got a stew going.
There’s really two settings on this thing – low and high heat – which means you’re at little risk of messing things up, giving yourself salmonella, or burning your dinner to a crisp. Basically, you can pop this on low-heat, leave for a full eight hours of work, and come back to a delicious home-cooked meal that would make Gordon Ramsay proud. My personal favorite is waking up early on NFL Sundays (like 7 a.m., don’t get crazy), throwing in some beans, salsa, and meat on high heat, and making a delicious chili that’s ready by Noon kickoff. It’s shockingly simple and completely hands-off after some very light prep work. Pro-tip: Busch’s Baked Beans with honey are a game-changer in chilis.
It Pays for itself.
Frankly, these things are incredibly reasonably priced. You can get a standard small crock-pot for like 20 bucks. The bigger version, which I recommend, costs around $40 or so. These things are always on sale, though, so you’ll be able to score a cheap one during any typical Black Friday event or even Amazon Prime Day. And while they may be cheap, these things are built to last. I’ve had my Hamilton Beach for 5+ years. No cracks, no electrical failures, and no poor cooking sessions. This thing performs its job, every time, no questions asked.
After you spend your $25-35 on a standard unit, one or two full runs of your crock-pot will basically pay back its initial price in full compared to the takeout and late night dinners you’d be buying instead. With my 6-quart, I can comfortably make ten filling meals in one run, which usually gets me lunch and dinner from Sunday night to Friday lunch. I get that some people don’t like that type of monotony in their food so feel free to mix it up and freeze a few Tupperware containers, this stuff lasts for a long time. Plus, knowing you have a solid, home-cooked meal you can pull out of your freezer or fridge at any time is a great feeling – and your wallet will like it too.
I’ve yet to make something non-edible.
I cook a decent amount of my meals, but I’m not a great cook. I’d say I’m pretty average. I’ve totally ruined plates, pans, and full meals by overcooking things or leaving something in the oven for too long. But I never have to worry about any of that when I use my crock-pot. Unlike a grill or stove, cooking chicken in a crock-pot is incredibly easy and produces some really juicy, tender meat that any level of cook would be impressed with. Sprinkle in some garlic and a random assortment of spices, and you’re basically Bobby Flay. You would have to try really, really hard to screw things up in this porcelain-heated wonder device – trust me. .