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First Look: Don't be fooled by the Frigidaire Professional

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First Look: Don't be fooled by the Frigidaire Professional

2:35 /

This shiny slow cooker looks a lot better than it cooks

Hey, I'm CNET's Ry Crist, and I'm standing next to the Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. Now, this is a very fancy looking device. It's got this really classy, stainless steel finish on the outside and these glossy chrome handles, and this nice glass lid here. It's a very attractive-looking device. It looks good, and it's meant to sort of class up the humble slow cooker, and they have accomplished that. I give my kudos to the Frigidaire design team, and this is a good-looking appliance. But I have to say the design is not terribly user friendly. Take the handles. They look good, but there's nothing separating them from the really hot exterior of the slow cooker, so when you're grabbing it, your fingers don't really fit all the way in, to begin with, and they're getting it bunched up and get burnt. Several times I had to pick up this unit while it was hot, and I burnt the back of my fingers and my knuckle. I didn't have that problem with other slow cookers that all seemed to figure out that you needed to have a small little patch of plastic or something protecting you there from getting burnt when you pick it up. On top of that, this slow cooker just lacks a lot of the type of features we would look for in an upgraded unit, something you're paying more than 50 bucks for. This costs $99. That's a lot for a slow cooker, and it doesn't have a vent for a meat thermometer. It doesn't have locks in the lids. You can't travel with it. There's no place to wrap the cord in the back. There's just a lot of things that are missing that I wish that it had. As for the features that the Frigidaire Professional does have, I'm not sure of when I would use them. For instance, take a look at the presets in the front of the machine, you've got Low, Medium, High and Super modes. Now, I guess Medium makes sense as an extra if your Low is too low or your High is too high, but still, that's kind of pushing it. And then, I don't know that I need a dedicated Super mode. On top of that, you've also got Warm and Buffet modes. Those are two separate modes that both just keep your food warm as opposed to cooking it. Do you really need two of those? The bottom line is that this is a good-looking appliance that just doesn't really have a lot of depth. It doesn't have a lot of smart features or thoughtful design. It just looks nice. And it does basic slow cooking fine, but so does a 20-dollar slow cooker. So, you don't really need to splurge on this thing. I'd rather have that much more affordable slow cooker than this. Now if you don't want that 20-dollar slow cooker, if you want something a little nicer, I say the sweet spot is somewhere around 60 bucks where we found the Hamilton Beach slow cooker that we tested and the Crock-Pot. Both of those were great and they worked well. They're also more affordable than this. If you want something really nice, you can go for the Ninja 3-in-1 Cooker which will double as an oven or a stovetop. I've gotten mixed results in our tests, but it's more to look. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.

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