You'll have to move fast if you want to save some money on a slow cooker during Sears' Black Friday sale. Two slow cookers are among the doorbuster deals that are advertised in Sears' leaked circular (remember, items and prices contained therein have not been officially confirmed): the Euro-Pro 6-quart Slow Cooker (*Est. $18) and the Hamilton Beach 4-quart Slow Cooker (*Est. $10). If you'd rather sleep in, Sears is also advertising sale prices on two other slow cookers all day Friday and Saturday: the Rival 5-quart Slow Cooker (*Est. $20) and the Kenmore Black Slow Cooker (*Est. $30).
Are any of these prices worth braving the crowds?
The Hamilton Beach 4-quart Slow Cooker is definitely a deal. ConsumerSearch names this model a runner-up in our most recent slow cooker report update. It earns a rating of 4.5 stars out of five at Sears.com, but there's no indication of how many people may have rated this slow cooker and we could find no posted reviews. However, this Hamilton Beach slow cooker also earns a strong average rating from about 100 users at Amazon.com, a strong endorsement. A handful of owners complain that the handles or knobs broke off of the unit, but the vast majority of reviews are positive. And for $10, you simply can't beat the price, which is almost half of the regular price at both Sears (*Est. $18) and more than half off the Amazon price (*Est. $23).
Reviews are scant for the Euro-Pro slow cooker. Just a couple of users leave comments on the Sears website -- although they're positive, they're also vague. A handful of owner reviews at Amazon.com, however, are strongly negative. All say the Euro-Pro runs far too hot, overcooking foods even on low. The price is certainly reasonable, almost half off its normal price at Sears.com (*Est. $35), and certainly less than other comparably sized models. But given the mixed reviews, this is one bargain that may not be worth rising early for.
The other two slow cookers that Sears lists in its Black Friday circular are also lukewarm deals. The Rival 5-quart Slow Cooker is priced right, but it doesn't receive any user reviews at the Sears website. It's worth noting that a similar Rival slow cooker sold at Amazon.com earns very poor reviews from more than 100 users, many of whom complain that the Rival cooks at too high a temperature, ruining food. As we detail in our full report, Rival slow cookers in general are criticized by users and professionals alike for this very problem. Although it's a quart smaller, the aforementioned Hamilton Beach is a better product.
Likewise, the Kenmore Black Slow Cooker has no reviews on the Sears website, nor is the slow cooker's capacity listed. Although the sale price is good for a slow cooker, we're leery of recommending a product with no user feedback. For about $10 more, you could buy a 6-quart Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go 33162 slow cooker, (*Est. $40), a ConsumerSearch Best Reviewed pick, and be assured that you're getting a quality appliance.