Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Product Rave: Lunch Crock Pot


This portable lunch crock pot has been one of the best buys of 2013 for me. I sing its praises, and I love this so much! No more going to the lunch cafeteria. No more waiting in lines at the communal microwave. By the time lunch rolls near, your food is at your desk, all warmed up, and ready to be eaten. So far, I've used it to heat up soups, chili, stews, meatloaf/green beans, baked spaghetti, lasagna, and mac & cheese.... I think I have used it daily at work.

Let's talk about the basics: It holds 20-oz (that's even enough for my hearty-eating Darin) of food. The lunch crock pot is like a miniature crock pot with a handle. It comes with 3 things:
1. Exterior crock pot with attached plug/cord
2. Metal insert (holds 20-oz of food)
3. Lid for the metal insert

How do you use it?
1. Add food to your metal insert; securely place the lid to avoid leaks and spills.
2. Place the metal insert (with lid still on) into the crock pot.
3. Plug it in- food is warm within 1-1.5 hours
You can tell the power is on by the orange light

What makes this EVEN BETTER is that you don't need to bring home the entire crock pot home daily. Just remove the metal insert and lid, and bring that home with you. Wash it, refill it with food, and then place it back in the crock pot the next day! (I just leave my crock pot at work.)

Note:
  • Use already cooked meat (no cooking raw meat here)
  • The lid on the inner container usually pops off after 10 minutes of warming. The instructions did note this might happen and to not try to put the lid back on.
  • The food container's push-down / pull-up lid does not provide a really tight cover, so when you're transporting foods with liquids or sauces, make sure you keep the container in a secure, upright position (I forgot about this, and my chicken stew leaked all over my backpack- yuck)
  • You can buy extra removable metal inserts from Crockpot's website for $5- perfect since I foresee myself using this daily during the winter/cold months and don't want to rewash it it nightly
  • This is a WARMER (not a cooker)
Pros:
  • Warms up food in 1.5 hours
  • Keep the warming base at work; bring the bowl/lid home (less to carry)
  • Compact, light
  • No smell from the food (perfect for cubicles/desks in proximity to others)
  • Inner bowl gets cool quickly- I keep it plugged in until I'm ready to eat. Once I'm done eating, the inner metal bowl is cool enough for me to touch
  • No work microwave!
  • Healthier and saves money
  • Don't need to add liquid!
Cons:
  • Short cord
  • Need to remember to plug it
  • Need to remember to unplug it (no timer/auto-shut off feature)
I bought mine at Target for $20, but you can also buy it on Amazon for $20. (Here is a PDF of instructions.)

I hope you love this as much as I have!

4 comments:

Dawn said...

I am so excited! CVS has these on sale for $5 so I grabbed one!

Sara said...

Dawn- What an awesome deal! I am going to call CVS to see if I can get an additional one for $5 :)

Thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

I know it's for warming, but does it cook anything? For example, adding canned coup or some water with flavoring, but then adding instant (or parboiled) rice, udon noodles, dry pasta, canned diced potatoes/veggies? I am willing to wait 3-4 hours if it will get the job done. It seems like other small crockpots are not good for keeping the smell confined...which is what I need for a cubicle.

Sara said...

It doesn't cook anything- just warms things up. Adding dry noodles *may* work if you let it stay in for 3-4 hours, but I don't think it actually "cooks" like a crockpot.

 
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