I am thinking of buying a slow cooker for my husband for his birthday. I have never wanted one, but ever since I read about how useful they are for making duck confit, I thought that it would be something that he would enjoy, especially since confit season approaches.
First, I looked at the All-Clad version sold by Williams-Sonoma for about $279. A lot of money, but it is very handsome. Then I looked at the All-Clad one at Sur La Table for about $179. Still a lot of money. Both of these slow cookers are very handsome, but both of these slow cookers have a lot of problematic reviews: For $279 you get a non-stick coated insert that some users claim peels very easily. For $179, some users claim the ceramic insert develops cracks.
Recently, I began looking at some Crock Pot versions, which seem to be made of stainless steel, and are much nicer looking than they used to be. For $50, commenters seem to be quite happy. Likewise, for the Hamilton Beach model that is $50, and is also stainless.
I will admit to being somewhat of a cookware snob, so I would love to hear from hounds about any experiences that they have had, positive or negative, about any of these slow cookers.
I am aware that some people feel that the old slow cookers are best, but I have no intention of giving a used slow cooker as a birthday gift!