My Rival Crock Pot Dream Kitchen!
So, just what is the Rival Crock Pot Dream Kitchen and why am I sharing it with you here? The “Dream Kitchen” is a collection of some of the fancier Rival Crock Pots that I have seen out in the marketplace and which I think it would be really neat to own – kind of like how we all used to browse through those Christmas toy catalogs when we were kids and think about all of the neat toys we wanted from them. The reason I am sharing this list here is because I only recently became aware of some of these different crock pot slow cooker models myself and I am guessing that maybe, just maybe, there are a few of you out there who are also mostly unaware of some of these more uncommon Rival slow cookers.
You know, this is a post that has been a while in the making. It’s not that there was really any research or product testing to do,(lol) or lots and lots of writing to do. Nope, the reason I kept delaying and putting off posting this list is because every-time I thought I was ready to share it, I would become aware of yet another distinctly different and interesting crock pot that is out there.
Okay, now without any further ado I present to you my own personal Rival Crock Pot Dream Kitchen!
The Rival Elume Crock Pot
Okay, I thought I would start with one of the less ‘weird-looking’ of the ‘unusual’ Crock Pots out there.(Huh? Wha? lol) Honestly, if it wasn’t for the touchscreen faceplate on the elume slow cooker you might not think it much different from any other crock pot out there. Really, when you take a look at the Elume it doesn’t look that different from most other brushed stainless steel slow cookers. Of course the fact that it has a fully-operational touchscreen control panel sets it apart right away. Also, it has some kind of silicone coating on the handles that makes the unit much easier to ‘handle’ while it is in use. From what I have heard, the Elume crock pot works pretty smoothly and includes a very handy digital timer built into the front panel which lets you know how much cooking time is left(in hours and minutes) and after the cooking cycle is complete, it lets you know how much time is left in the four hour standby/keep warm setting. Apparently there is at least one drawback with the unit since you cannot switch between the ‘high’ and ‘low’ cooking settings without turning the unit off and on again, but whatever, that is something I think I could learn to live with if the trade off is a touchscreen display panel.
The Rival 5 Quart Versaware Crock Pot
Anyway, the Versaware slow cooker is one of those kitchen counter appliances that has that whole weird vibe thing happening right off the bat! When you first look at it, it looks like some kind of strange alien robot with its big spider-like legs, sent to scour the kitchens of Earth and then report back to its alien masters. Yeesh! Seriously though, this is one cool appliance. It is a prime example of some of the more recent developments in crock pot technology and it seems to have been gaining in popularity somewhat since its release a few years back. I think part of this popularity might come from the fact that it is supposed to be much lighter than many other similarly sized (5 quart) slow cookers. It also does not hurt that the Versaware’s crock liner is made of lightweight Extreme Temperature Cookware (ETC), and also called VersaWare, which is a stoneware so versatile it can apparently be used on a stovetop, in an oven, under a broiler, and in a microwave. The lid is also apparently made of this ETC, so you can throw the lid on the crock insert and then use it to bake your meal in the oven! I would also assume that any leftovers could be left in the crock and stored safely in the fridge or freezer. Very convenient. When I had a chance to browse the Versaware’s product sheet I noticed that it did in fact play up the product’s versatility by claiming that it could “Sauté, Cook, Serve, Store and Reheat all in one pot!” They could probably call this product Damn-convenientware, but yeah, I guess Versaware has a nicer ring to it.
By the way, I should mention that from what I have read and heard, there are at least a couple of sticking points with the Versaware; for one, it has been suggested that despite Rival’s claims, it does not make for a very effective saute surface since it is not supposed to be directly on a very high heat. As well, the ETC crock surface is apparently somewhat susceptible to being easily scratched by the use of metal utensils, so anyone with a habit of using metal utensils with their slow cookers: watch out!
The Rival Crock Pot Trio Cook & Serve
With this next Rival slow cooker, visually, we are straying a bit further from the Crock Pot norm. The Rival Crock Pot Trio definitely has a different look to it. This time however, it is not the look of the actual crock pot itself that is unusual,(like with the Rival Versaware) rather it is the fact that we are looking at three slow cookers brought together and presented as one unit. The Trio offers us three black 2.5 quart crock pots all together on one extended base unit that measures out to a length of 32″. What is also handy about this set up is that each of the crock pots has independent controls so that they can be used independently of one another with regards to temperature settings, cooking time, etc. I can see how this unique crock pot set up would be useful when preparing a meal for either a larger get together or for a smaller family; you could either use the multiple crocks to prepare several servings of the same food item or instead use the Trio to prepare the different parts for one meal, such as a soup in one pot, a side vegetable dish in another and the entree in the third.
The Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit Cooker
This last slow cooker is unusual to me as much for the kind of cooking that it is intended to replicate as it is for its unusual appearance. Actually, to be fair, the Crock Pot BBQ Pit cooker does not look all that strange from the outside(when the lid is closed) . It is only once you open it up and see what is inside that you get an appreciation for just how different it is. When you look inside the BBQ Pit Cooker, the first thing you are going to notice (at least I did) is the included adjustable meat rack! I am pretty sure that if I were to go and get me one of these monsters, I would be very hesitant to start using it without at least a cursury glance at whatever instruction booklet comes with the unit: in other words, I am pretty sure that this is one Crock Pot that comes with its own definite learning curve. It is probably a pretty safe bet to say that this BBQ Crock Pot will never replace the backyard barbecue for most people that own this particular slow cooker, but it is likely going to become a nice alternative for having access to a barbecue-style meal once the Seasons have changed and the weather is no longer very hospitable to firing up the backyard grill.
So there we have it, a small collection of some of the more interesting Rival Crock Pot slow cookers out on the market. They all share in common a more unusual appearance or design but also the fact that they are all Crock Pots that would be fun to have in my kitchen.(just in case anyone out there is listening…)
*Updated October 2016*
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