So....with the Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker "put to bed" and due in the stores in March or April, I've turned my attention to another slow cooker book. I'm trying to create recipes from simple ingredients with a minimum of prep time, but that still qualify as being something special and that don't involve the use of canned cream of mushroom soup. And I've found new, favorite "tool": the All Clad slow cooker with an anodized aluminum insert. Anyone who has read my previous slow cooker books knows that I've always been a big fan of using inexpensive slow cookers that can be found at places like Home Depot, Walmart, Target and their ilk, but I'm changing my tune.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that Melissa Palmer at All Clad sent me the "latest model" in which to test my recipes, but I didn't expect to fall in love! One of the perks of the All Clad is that the anodized aluminum insert is designed for use on the stovetop as well as in the slow cooker. This cuts short the complaints I hear from people about having to use too many pots. I've taken to browning onions and garlic, for instance, right on the top of the stove, then moving the insert into its casing and finishing the dish in the slow cooker. Very convenient, but with an added and unexpected perk: the cleanup is amazing. The insert is probably the easiest piece of cookware I've ever cleaned. I have to work a little harder at the stainless steel casing because, well, it is after all, stainless steel.
If you can afford to splurge and you do a lot of slow cooking, I'd spring for this one! And if not, I'd still be happy with the inexpensive slow cookers from one of those big stores because they do the job....just not with quite the same panache as the shiny, slick new All Clad.