The Kitchen Gourmet 1.5qt Slow Cooker is sold at retail through Walgreens, and can also be ordered from their website. At only ten dollars, it is about the cheapest option on the market for a new slow cooker. At this size however, it is really only good for stews, pot roasts, chili and whatever else you care to prepare for no more than two people.
The unit is completely without accessories, as should be expected for ten dollars. The ceramic pot liner is removable to double as a serving dish, and a glass lid allows you to keep an eye on things as they bubble up. The unit has two good-sized hand grips on the exterior, but the ceramic liner has only two tiny grips at the lip, which are a bit small to be adequate and require one to wear oven mitts or some other protective gear if they intend to remove the liner immediately after cooking.
The unit is fairly solid and well-constructed for ten dollars, however, and unless you put it through untoward rigors I can see it lasting for years. As with seemingly all Kitchen Gourmet cookware, however, the power cord is a bit shorter than most would like, measuring only about three feet.
Cooking is even throughout the dish, and the performance is adequate. However, the “slow” in the title is truly a case of accurate advertising here. The unit has three temperature settings – High, Low and Warm, but I found little difference between the Low and Warm settings, as both just seem to maintain the present temperature. The High setting is needed for thorough cooking, and even at this setting expect light dishes such as a pot of chili to take upwards of an hour, and something thicker like a roast can potentially take several hours. The unit seems to be safe to leave unattended, however; the ultra-slow heating seems to preclude any bubbling and spatter.
Lead in crock pots and slow cookers has become a concern as of late. I have found no reports of testing either way on this particular unit for lead in the liner. However, Walgreens is generally good about listing any potential lead in any of their cookware on their website, since they do so much business in California and the state has strict laws about notifying consumers of lead exposure. The Walgreens site goes so far as to warn you when the cookware has lead in the power cord, let alone in the cooking area, and they have nothing listed on their website under this unit for warnings, so I personally take that as enough of sign that it’s safe to use. As always, your mileage may vary, especially if children will be eating from it.
All-in-all, I’m pretty happy with this unit as a budget choice for making single meals for one or two people. It probably isn’t going to be quite big enough to prepare dinner for a family, however, and I can see where the minimal power cord length would be really annoying in certain kitchen settings.