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Slow cooking with a griddle

The West Bend Versatility Oval-Shaped 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker offers the convenience of two popular appliances all in one package.

What to make: breakfast or dinner? Amazon

Griddles are extremely convenient to have set up and ready to go. Just turn it on, crack an egg or whip up some pancake batter, and off you go. The flat, evenly heated cooking surface will do the rest. Another convenient appliance is the slow cooker. Again, minimal amount of work is required: place protein, veggies, spices, and liquid in the pot and wait (after turning it on, that is). If only the two appliances were combined.

This isn't the first griddle/slow cooker we've seen, but West Bend seems to be stepping it up a notch. The Versatility Oval-Shaped 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker (Model 84966) offers the features one would expect to see out of a modern slow cooker, along with the convenience of having a griddle. With four temperature settings (high, low, warm, and griddle), along with a programmable timer, the slow cooker makes it easy to create delicious meals with a minimal amount of effort. For further versatility, the cooking vessel can even be used on the stovetop to brown meats--creating a layer of flavor--before the long cooking time.

Measuring about 10 inches by 14.5 inches by 9.5 inches, the base of the unit offers a decent amount of real estate when functioning as a griddle. In slow cooker mode, it could be said the footprint is reasonable in size for a 6-quart slow cooker. By leaving the combination appliance out on the countertop, having a griddle at the ready can finally be as easy as turning it on. (Except, now you can prep dinner while you're at it.)