Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 33461 Review

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com
A good choice for frugal cooks, this 6-quart manual slow cooker boasts accurate heat settings and features designed for portability.

Pros: The Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 33461 (, Amazon) is a portable and manual slow cooker. In reviews by more than 750 users on Amazon and BestBuy.com combined, it garners praise for a variety of virtues, ranging from price, functionality, and simplicity to design features and performance.

Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 33461 reviews say the two cook settings are accurate and the contents stay warm whether resting in the kitchen or in transit to an event. One user crows that the results offer proof of nascent cooking skills, and another keeps one in a camper to cook up beef stew and pulled pork while out and about. Others value the comfortable handles and latched lid, which let them carry a full, 6-quart cooker to potlucks without worry about spills. And many tell of affirmatively choosing a no-frills manual model partly for the price and partly because, well, who needs all that digital functionality? Equally important, reviewers appreciate being able to prepare low-cost and low-effort meals for their families.

Cons: Like the other cheap slow cookers we researched, the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 33461 presents its share of flaws. The lid should remain unlatched while food is cooking, according to the user's manual, but reviewers say it doesn't sit tightly otherwise. Some also caution that a huge head of steam pours out when opening the hinged lid. A few insist that the cooker runs too hot and burns the edges of the contents even when the heat is set to low, and a handful grumble about the gasket retaining odors.

Features: This model, like most slow cookers in its 6-quart class, is oval-shaped and can accommodate a 4-pound roast or 6-pound chicken. Designed to travel, it has a single clip that latches over the lid to secure it to the base and then holds it open for serving. Stay-cool handles snap up for carrying and fold down for storage. The three manual settings, controlled by a dial in the front, are high, low, and warm; users can also select off. The stoneware insert and lid are dishwasher-safe.

Takeaway: Basic, dependable, and user-friendly is the consensus among reviewers on this manual slow cooker. Several have acquired multiple Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 33461 units over the years, sometimes to replace a worn-out one and sometimes just for the extra capacity. For the price, it's hard to go wrong.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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