February 10, 2019
We have owned, and frequently operated, our Cosori, 6 Quart, Slow Cooker for three months now. Over the past three months, we have braised meat, cooked stews, cooked soups, cooked several versions of pot roast, cooked beans, and made bone broth. In some respects, it is a great appliance. In others it is definitely the Ugly.
The good: The Cosori slow cooker is extremely versatile, easy to use, and reliable in function. It has several, built-in cooking cycles, actually enough to cover just about any cooking need. Additionally, it provides the option of operator-selected temperature and time cycles. The controls are easily understandable and intuitive to use. During early runs, I used an instantaneous, digital thermometer, inserted through the vent holes in the lid, to verify the temperatures reported on the control panel. In every case, they were right on. Not only is temperature control accurate, but heating is fairly even, throughout the cooking vessel. I haven't tried to cook corn bread, custard, or any form of cake, so my assessment of the evenness of heating may be premature. The only functional shortcoming I can address is the lack of multi-step programming. I found that, when cooking beans they come out better if brought to a boil before engaging any of the slow cook cycles. For hands-off cooking, it would be great to be able to program a ten-minute boil (that's about what it takes to make a difference) then switch to one of the slow-cook cycles. What this means, in real terms, is that to have beans for breakfast, one must start the cooker about three hours before the meal. This is an inconvenience, more than anything else, but multi-step programming would be a wonderful improvement. Overall, the functionality of this cooker is very good.
The Band and The Ugly: Cleaning this appliance is miserable. I will start with the least of the cleaning problems, the lid seal. The lid comes equipped with a removable, silicone rubber gasket. To begin with, this gasket is not impermeable to cooking odors. Once you've cooked onions in the cooker, the gasket smells like onions forever. The second is what appear to be decorative reveals on the top side of the gasket. These collect debris, which is difficult to remove completely. Finally, the gasket is a small pain to install. With all that said, issues with the lid gasket are mere annoyances, the real issue is the cooking vessel itself. The quality of the "non-stick" surface is poor in the least. Virtually everything, I've cooked, leaves a residue on the surface. So far, this residue has been impossible to remove. After the first cooking cycle, the vessel acquired the smells of stale food, which persist to this day. Following a pork loin and vegetables, the vessel was washed and scrubbed. After cleaning, I noticed a white residue. I scrubbed it again, but the residue would not come off. After four days of no use, I took the lid off to start a batch of beans and was appalled to find mold growing on the food residue. Additionally, the non-stick surface is beginning to pit and blister. Even though the operator's manual says you can sear meat, in this cooker, I haven't attempted to do so. I am aware that many non-stick surfaces begin to break down at temperatures just above those required to sear meat. What I am trying to say is that, what appears to be the beginning of, the non-stick surface failure is not the result of overheating the vessel. If the cooking surface of the vessel fails, the appliance becomes useless and is bound for the landfill. Unfortunately, issues with the cooking vessel far offset the pros associated with this cooker.
Before writing this review, I gave this matter a great deal of thought. I really appreciate the ease of use and functionality of the cooker. On the other hand, failure of the cooking vessel renders the appliance useless. If the issues with the cooking vessel were resolved, this would be an excellent cooker. With the addition of multi-step programming, it would be the perfect cooker.