Pros / It offers a basic timer and automatically switches to warm when done cooking.
Cons / This device doesn't have a display to show you exactly how much longer your food will cook.
Verdict / The Proctor Silex 33442 is a great device for any small family as it provides delicious meals, 4 quarts of space and basic built-in conveniences. However, the price seems a little high considering that it doesn't show you precise cooking times.
Proctor Silex 33442 is a four-quart slow cooker that offers a basic timer and settings interface. While it doesn't show you the exact cooking time, it gives you a general idea of how much longer your food needs to cook for. This is the perfect device for a small family who's looking for a slow cooker on a budget. It provides some of the costlier conveniences while still being relatively inexpensive.
Our testers liked the beef stew this slow cooker created. Many told us that the flavor was more full while the beef fell apart in their mouths. In our evaporation test, the slow cooker lost 13% of its moisture when left on high for four hours which is pretty average. When left on low for four hours, the device lost only 4% moisture which is hardly any. These results mean that the device should help keep your food from drying out while cooking as long as a decent amount of liquid accompanies your cooking.
We also measured the exterior of the device to see how hot it got. Just above the settings interface, we recorded the temperature at 136 degrees, which isn't as hot as some but definitely hotter than others. Near the handles the temperature reached 176 degrees, which is definitely on the warmer side. In fact, when we were cooking, we noticed that while the handles themselves remained fairly cool, the base of the handles touching the sides of the slow cooker were painfully hot. You will want to be careful when carrying and moving this slow cooker as its sides reach very hot temperatures.
While it does offer a timer, it isn't digital like the BELLA 13973W. You can set the cooking time to two, four, six, eight or 10 hours, but there is not digital display to show you exactly how much time is left. The indicator light does move down from one time setting to another to give you a general idea of you remaining time. For example, we set this slow cooker to cook for six hours. When we checked in on the devices three hours later, the red indicator light had moved from the six-hour setting to the four-hour setting. When we checked in again, there was less than two hours left, the indicator had moved down to the two-hour setting. We were pleased to see that this unit switched to the warm setting on its own once it was done cooking.
Four quarts can cook recipes that feed three to five people depending on the portion sizes and the type of food you cook. We measured the cord on this unit as 27-inches long, which made it easier for us to reach our outlets without straining the cord. This device only weighs 8.4 pounds when empty so it should be easier to carry around and lift when full. It doesn't come with any accessories or any recipes. The manufacturer only covers this slow cooker with a one-year warranty, which is average for this kind of device but not the best.
Proctor Silex 33442 offers simple cooking conveniences that can help you create meals for up to five people. The device works well to retain moisture, so as long as you place a good amount of liquid inside, you won't have to worry about your food drying out during cooking. The timer is basic, but offers a decent amount of convenience despite its shortcomings. The price is a little steep, especially since it doesn't come with a fully visible timer, but it can still help you prepare delicious meals.