The Crock-Pot CSC026 is a gloss white 220 watt rated slow cooker, with a 20 hour digital timer, a hob-safe pot and three heat settings. We use this slow cooker for developing many of our recipes; this is our long term review after nearly a year of use.
Design of the Crock-Pot DuraCeramic CSC026
The CSC026 comes in any colour you want, as long as it’s gloss white – but that’s OK with us as it’s a great looking slow cooker. The front of the slow cooker is home to a large control panel that contains a digital display and buttons to control cooking time and temperature.
The cooking pot is a light grey, and has handles on both sides embossed with Crock-Pot’s “DuraCeramic” logo.
The lid is glass with a rubber grey handle (embossed with a fetching Crock-Pot logo), so before it steams over with condensation you can peer into the slow cooker to stare lovingly at whatever it is you’ve decided to cook for dinner.
Crock-Pot CSC026 Features
We really like the digital controls on the Crock-Pot. It’s very simple to turn on the slow cooker, select a heat setting, as well as set a cooking time should you choose to. The timer allows you to select a time period between 30 minutes and 20 hours, in 30 minute increments. Once the chosen time has elapsed the CSC026 automatically switches to “warm” mode.
The Crock-Pot’s lightweight aluminium pot is coated in their “DuraCeramic” non-stick coating. The coating is supposedly “four times more durable than other standard products”.
We’re not sure what that really means, or how it was measured. In practice the non-stick coating works really well – but it is starting to show some small chips in the bottom of the pot after a year of use.
We love that the cooking pot is hob-safe, meaning if a recipe requires pre-cooking or searing ingredients (for example a slow cooker roast beef) – you don’t need to use a separate pan! Once your preparation step is complete you can simply lift the pot into the slow cooker. Sadly there are no rubber handles on the cooking pot, so you’ll need oven gloves to transfer the pot from the hob to the slow cooker.
The lid is made of glass and has a small steam hole. This is a neat little touch as it prevents the lid from rattling like we’ve seen in some cheaper slow cookers. We’re starting to see a little grime build up between the handle and the lid, but the handle is removable with a couple of screws and easily cleaned.
When it comes to cleaning, the non-stick coating helps when removing cooked-on ingredients. Usually soaking with some warm water and soap is sufficient. Curiously, the glass lid is dishwasher safe, whereas the cooking pot is not.
Despite the pot being an odd shape – round, 25cm (10 inches) at the top, which tapers to about 20cm (8 inches) half way down – we really like the size of the CSC026. The pot will hold five litres when filled right to the brim, but more realistically will comfortably hold around three litres.
This is a really nice “in-between” size – not so enormous that you have to cook a curry for 10 people every time you use it, but also not so small that you can only cook for two.
The fact it’s round is great if you’re planning on baking in your slow cooker (for example a slow cooker Gingerbread Cake) – no strange oval shaped cakes here!
Crock-Pot CSC026 Temperature
As part of our slow cooker tests, we check the peak temperature of each of the slow cooker’s settings, and how long it takes to reach that temperature.
The CSC026 has three settings – high, low and warm. We filled it with two litres of water then tested each of the settings in turn.
On high, the Crock-Pot takes approximately two and a half hours to reach a full temperature of 101C (214F), and maintains that temperature steadily throughout cooking.
On low, it reaches nearly the same temperature – 97C, but takes four hours to get there.
If you’re using the timer, the slow cooker will switch to its warm setting once the cooking time has elapsed. It takes approximately an hour and three quarters to cool down to 73C (163F), and then sticks at that temperature until you turn it off.
Power usage hovers between 215-220 watts, which is what we’d expect for a 220 watt rated slow cooker. The CSC026 uses the same peak power on all settings, but turns off the power to the heating element for differing amounts of time to achieve it’s high, low and warm settings.
Should I Buy The Crock-Pot CSC026?
If you’re after a smart, easy to use and versatile slow cooker, then the Crock-Pot DuraCeramic CSC026 is a great choice. It’s at the pricier end of slow cookers, but the digital controls, timer, and pot that you can put straight onto the hob make it a good buy.
Crock-Pot CSC026 DuraCeramic Saute Slow Cooker
We love the design of the Crock-Pot CSC026, it’ll definitely look great in any kitchen. It has lots of features including digital controls, timer, and a hob-safe pot. It’s also the perfect size for a 4 person family. The non-stick could be harder wearing, and we’d like to see greater variation in the different temperature settings, but these are minor niggles – you can’t go wrong with the CSC026 for an excellent all-round slow cooker.