Boring Prelude: My wife and I both work crazy schedules and decided to get into crock potting and lay off the cereal for dinner idea (sorry Cap'n Crunch). After 10 years of marriage, the wedding gift crock pot was needing a change. After a couple days of researching our options we decided to go with the Hamilton Beach Probe Slow Cooker. Value: This model can go as much as $100.00 (see Amazon) but can also be purchased at nearly half that price (see Amazon, Walmart.com). With Walmart's free shipping on Site to Store option and comparable price to Amazon's lowest price available, it was a no brainer. Function: We have owned this product for a couple months now and have used it for no less than 30 meals. It has a locking lid, a steam vent, handles to easily move the entire pot without hot pads or testing the heat strength of your hand calluses, and clean up is easy. Warm soap and water, 5 minutes or less, put it back in the pantry. Its digital, so if you can push a button you can figure out how to make it work. Like most modern crock pots, once the timer has ended it switches from cook mode (high or low) to keep warm mode, an excellent feature for those of us who work late on occasion and don't want to come home to an overcooked disaster. Concerns: There is a small rubberized/foam strip on the inside lip of the lid. I imagine over time this may break down. Because we have had this product for such a short period of time, it has shown no signs of wear thus far, but time will tell. As this is the only potential concern to date, i see no reason to avoid this product based on this one factor. I love this product, it has exceeded our expectations. Unless your budget is $200 - $300 dollars and you want the super duper Martha Stewart brand name blah, blah, blah with solar powered pressure cooking option, this Pressure Cooker by Hamilton Beach is a great buy.
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