Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum MST-900 Review

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Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com
Think Twice
This slow cooker earns decent user reviews, but most families will find its 8.5-quart capacity too large for frequent use.

Consumers who regularly feed a family the size of a sports team or attend potlucks every week will find plenty to like in the Elite Platinum MST-900 by Maxi-Matic (starting at $29, Amazon). Everyone else may find it a bit too much.

Pros: This giant 8.5-quart manual slow cooker garners an average of 4 stars from more than 400 reviews on Amazon and Walmart.com, where users share enthusiasm for its capacity and performance. There are a lot of "love it" and "great" comments sprinkled throughout. One reviewer tells of loading the pot with a 4-pound roast, 5 pounds of potatoes, and plenty of carrots and onions. Others simply say the Elite Platinum MST-900 turns out a mean stew and everything else a slow cooker is designed to make. One reviewer claims to have tested the temperatures on the warm, low, and high settings and pronounced them to be on the mark, at 160, 210, and 225 degrees.

Cons: On the other hand, a vocal minority complain about both performance and build quality. A number of posts grouse about the absence of a gasket on the lid, which may be related to comments about lids not fitting properly. Liquid contents and condensation leak out over the top and from under the lid, reviews say, which not only makes a mess but also leads to parched results. Another group of gripes concerns excessive heat, both inside and outside the slow cooker. The first circumstance causes a dish to dry out, critics write, and the second makes the small handles way too hot to touch despite specs that call them cool-touch. A handful say the metal shell feels tinny, the cooking crock cracks, and durability is limited.

Features: Nothing fancy or unusual here. The Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum MST-900 is a basic, entry-level, manual slow cooker with the usual warm, low, high, and off settings. The 8.5-quart model is oval-shaped and comes in both a red, brushed stainless steel (MST-900R) and a sometimes slightly less expensive silver (MST-900D). The cooking insert is stoneware and the lid is made of tempered glass. Both the crock and lid are dishwasher-safe.

Takeaway: The Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum MST-900 is no doubt a good buy at its starting price. But consumers should think twice before placing it in their shopping cart, either in a store or online. Absent a very large family, the 8.5-quart capacity makes it impractical for frequent use. Slow cookers are at their best when at least half full with raw ingredients; trying to prepare smaller amounts of food is guaranteed to produce disappointing results.

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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