Best programmable slow cooker for a vegetarian? Do any exist which will _start_ cooking at a predefined time? Anybody care to comment on the Hamilton Beach programmable slow cooker?
We decided to get a slow cooker. I looked around and decided to get a programmable Hamilton Beach "Set and Forget" 6-qt model. However, "programmable" just means it switches to "warm" mode after a predefined period of time, or when the temperature probe reaches a certain temperature.
I was hoping to be able to soak (pre-washed) beans, then start cooking them in the same water in the middle of the night. Does anyone know of any models which will start cooking at a preset time? Obviously this wouldn't be great for cooking meat, but for me it could be quite handy.
Also - any vegetarians have experience with using a temperature probe? Is this useful at all, maybe if you wanted to cook stuff until a certain amount of liquid has evaporated?
Finally, we have a cookbook
which seems to advocate buying a slow cooker which comes with more than one inner crockery part, so you can use a different-sized insert depending on the recipe. I haven't seen anything like this. Have you?
The Consumer Reports ratings (I got a web subscription) aren't very helpful, unfortunately.
Thanks for any comments!