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Small Appliances: A great slow cooker with limited appeal

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Small Appliances: A great slow cooker with limited appeal

2:54 /

This $130 Crock-Pot slow cooker impressed, but few will pay for its smart features.

[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Megan Wollerton for CNET Appliances here with the Crock-Pot WeMo smart slow cooker. This Crock-Pot isn't available yet in stores, but it's coming soon and will retail for $130. At first glance, it looks like a plain old Crock-Pot. It has the stainless steel finish, the see-through lid and the stoneware crock inside. Pretty basic. But is has something that no other Crock-Pot in the world has: WiFi connectivity. It doesn't really bring new features, but it changes the way you use them, and when you can use them. So, instead of having the timer and the adjusters only available on the display, all of that is transferred to the WeMo app. The name WeMo may sound familiar, that's because it's a partnership between the Belkin WeMo home automation products, and Jarden Brands, who makes Crock-Pots. So actually the functionality on the display has been toned down. I really like that. A lot of traditional Crock-Pots look kind of dated and cluttered. This one has a single button, and that button turns it from off to high to low, and then back to warm. So basically all the other features are available on the WeMo app. You can set a timer, receive notifications when your food is done, and make adjustments to the temperature whenever you want. It works over WiFi, 3G, and 4G, so basically, wherever you are with your phone or tablet, you should be able to control your Crock-Pot. The one problem I had is that the app can't distinguish between a power outage and an issue with your WiFi, so if there's a blip in your home WiFi, you're gonna get a notification that says, this Crock-Pot may be off, your food may be spoiled. There's really no way of knowing if it was a power outage, or just a WiFi issue. So, while everything worked well, I really liked the WeMo app, it was accessible, and easy to use, this really may not be for everyone. I really liked that I can put food in my $40 Crock-Pot in the morning, and let it go all day, and not worry about it at all, not have to check in on it. That's part of the beauty of it for me, and I'm willing to trade a little bit of food quality for the convenience of being able to just leave it all day and not have to bother with it, but if you're someone who likes to check in and have more control, and say you're running late getting home, this is pretty cool. You can go right on your app from wherever you are, change it to warm so it doesn't overcook or whatever, and then you're good. One surprising thing I noticed is that IFTTT's compatibility isn't available for this Crock-Pot. Now, it may be coming in the future, but right now it's not available. But then again, do you really wanna set custom recipes for your Crock-Pot? It may not be necessary. It might be one of those times when this compatibility really won't improve your home automation experience. Over all though, it's great. It looks nice. It's sleek and streamlined. It's a little bit expensive at $130, but if you want that control, it's a great option. Thanks for watching, I'm Megan Wollerton for CNET Appliances. [MUSIC]

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