The Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967 is a programmable slow cooker with many of the useful features found in models that cost more than twice as much. Its built-in temperature probe can cook meat to its perfect internal temperature, and other foods can be set to cook for a certain time with the unit's programmable timer. An automatic warming feature switches the cooker to its "keep warm" setting when food is done. Expert reviewers praise the Set'N Forget's performance and its digital touchpad controls, while owners appreciate its 6-quart capacity, ease of use, three temperature settings and clip-tight lid with built-in spoon rest. The biggest drawback of this slow cooker is it takes more than three hours to heat food to 160 degrees Fahrenheit on its low setting, according to one professional test. This means food might spend too much time between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, at which temperatures bacteria can grow. Nonetheless, the Set'N Forget 33967 earns more positive feedback from owners than the much more expensive Cuisinart PSC-650 (*Est. $95) , which gets mediocre scores for cooking ability, and the All-Clad 99009 (*Est. $180) , which shows problems with reliability. People who have use for multiple crock sizes may prefer the versatile Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 33135 (*Est. $65) , which is similar in price but includes 2-, 4- and 6-quart crocks.
The best professional review of the Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967 comes from ConsumerReports.org, which conducted a detailed test of 15 slow cookers (11 electronic and four manual). The Good Housekeeping Research Institute thoroughly tested 13 models but doesn't provide a comprehensive review of the Set'N Forget 33967; it only explains that this model isn't recommended. We found favorable reviews from owners at Amazon.com and Viewpoints.com. About.com guide Linda Larsen includes this model in her list of top-five slow cookers, but it isn't clear whether she actually tested it. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Editors of ConsumerReports.org evaluate and rank 15 slow cookers, including the Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967, all with 6- to 7-quart capacities. They test the same four recipes in each one to ensure that results reflect the true capabilities of each cooker.
Review: Slow Cookers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Oct. 2008
2. Good Housekeeping
Experts at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute test 13 slow cookers by preparing beef stew in each one, as well as checking its heating time, features and the quality of the manufacturer's customer service. The Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967 is one of six models not recommended because it takes too long to heat water to 160 degrees Fahrenheit on the low setting, which means foods cooked on low could remain at unsafe temperatures for too long.
Review: Best Slow Cookers, Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Not dated
In about 560 user reviews at Amazon.com, the Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967 earns an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Owners say it cooks well and is easy to use. They praise its cooking probe, auto-warming feature and clip-tight lid. The few who dislike it say their machines broke within a few months or they found the controls hard to use (which can result in the cooker shutting itself off early because of improper programming).
Review: Hamilton Beach 33967 Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Nov. 2011
More than 100 owner-written reviews at Viewpoints.com give the Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967 an average of 4.62 stars out of 5, and 98 percent of reviewers say they'd recommend it. Users like its ease of use, 6-quart capacity and auto-warming feature. The only problem they mention is the snug-fitting lid can be hard to remove.
Review: Hamilton Beach 33967 Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of Nov. 2011
Linda Larsen, About.com's guide to busy cooks, places the Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967 at the top of her list of the five best slow cookers because of its temperature probe and large capacity. However, it doesn't appear that she personally tested this model. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 5 Crockpots, Linda Larsen, Not dated