Thread Number: 66806  /  Tag: Small Appliances
I finally found a Hamilton Beach slow cooker w/ auto shift.
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Post# 894831   8/20/2016 at 17:48 (1,556 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Today there was a small estate sale just 2 blocks up the street from our house so I decided to take a look.  Well, I didn't need any rosaries, but the woman must have had about 3 dozen or so.  But, amongst other things on the kitchen counter was this lovely.  It looks very pristine, and apparently was well taken care of.  I've never used a slow cooker with the auto shift feature.  I know some of you have them and use them.  Pros & cons?  Any opinions on this option?


The box and all of the original paperwork came with it along with a few paperback slow cooker recipe books.  The paperwork shows the year 1976 on it.

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Post# 894837 , Reply# 1   8/20/2016 at 18:11 (1,556 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Isn't that a 4 qt capacity?  If so, my mom had the exact same unit.  She liked the auto shift because it would start on high and then shift. 

Post# 894838 , Reply# 2   8/20/2016 at 18:39 (1,556 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Yes, 4qt version.

Post# 894846 , Reply# 3   8/20/2016 at 20:17 (1,556 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Yay!!!    w1Think of me when you use it.  Yesterday would have been my mom's 93rd birthday. 

Post# 894849 , Reply# 4   8/20/2016 at 21:55 (1,556 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Nice vintage slow cooker; congratulations!

A question: Does it shift from high to low or from high (or low) to hold warm?
If it shifts to hold warm, it's a wonderful feature. I've come home a few hours late a number of times and the hold warm feature kept the food at a safe temp without drying it out.

Rosaries: My mom was a Catholic from Italy who prayed the rosary every day. She had a bunch of them, too, her favorite being one with white beads that she wore around her neck while seven months pregnant when she and my Dad came to America on a Red Cross boat in 1946.

Post# 894853 , Reply# 5   8/20/2016 at 22:05 (1,556 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Nice catch!

Really nice, Tim!

I have a slow cooker with auto shift, with the "Corning Electrics" brand. I almost always use the auto shift setting with it. So handy.

Mine just shifts once, from high to low.


Post# 894860 , Reply# 6   8/20/2016 at 23:18 (1,555 days old) by Petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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It looks a lot like my first slow cooker which had auto shift but cant for the life of me remember if iT was an HB or not. Auto shift is something of a food safety feature. it heats the food up more quickly to lessen the chance of bacterial growth then shifts to low to slow cook

Post# 894918 , Reply# 7   8/21/2016 at 12:40 (1,555 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I rarely use

my slow cooker. I don't prefer the under browning of meat from it.

Post# 894925 , Reply# 8   8/21/2016 at 13:04 (1,555 days old) by appnut (TX)        
I don't prefer the under browning of meat from it.

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Per directions, that's why I brown my roasts and beef stew and sometimes chicken pieces before putting them in the crock pot.  I do the same thing when I do roasts or other beef in my pressure cooker. 

Post# 894931 , Reply# 9   8/21/2016 at 14:34 (1,555 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
So if I'm

lifting my cast iron dutch oven up out of the cabinet to brown the meat, I'm cooking the entire dish in it. largest burner on almost low, and let it slow simmer a few hours. Deliciousness uncompared from the deglazing with wine after browning the meat, then sautéing the mir et' pois or trinity of carrots, onion, celery, and or peppers.
Julia Child never made casoulet in a slow cooker.

Post# 894932 , Reply# 10   8/21/2016 at 14:40 (1,555 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

I made Spanish Pallela for the family. Halibut, shrimp, chicken, Portuguese sausage, bomba rice, little neck clams. Onion, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, saffron.

Post# 894943 , Reply# 11   8/21/2016 at 16:00 (1,555 days old) by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

I brown my meats on the grill before popping them in the slow cooker. The grill's always out and available so it's handy that way.


Post# 894948 , Reply# 12   8/21/2016 at 16:19 (1,555 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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we have the identical HB Auto-Shift slow cooker, only difference ours has a brick pattern on the outside, otherwise the same. We bought it a couple years ago from an older couple who'd only used it a couple of times. Unfortunately they had lost all the paperwork so I don't know the timing when the shift goes from Hi to Lo temp, but it seems to work very well, we like it!

Post# 894951 , Reply# 13   8/21/2016 at 16:52 (1,555 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I, too, seldom use a slow cooker. Make that "almost never." My mother was just about as bad--she used her slow cooker more than I use mine, but it was only used to make vegetable soup. Thus, during a period she wasn't making soup for whatever reason, it collected dust in the cupboard.

I keep thinking I should try to use one more. But I'm programmed to use regular pots and pans, and much of the time these days my eating seems to be get something made and served fast.

Post# 894952 , Reply# 14   8/21/2016 at 16:57 (1,555 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
has a brick pattern on the outside

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I've seen those, at least in photos and maybe in person. I have to admit mixed feelings. I guess I personally prefer simple, understated design these days. But those certainly have 1970s flair to them! Indeed, as I think of it, 1970s design was--in general--a bit much, but at least there was some content there that I really don't see in most of today's appliances.

Post# 894954 , Reply# 15   8/21/2016 at 17:02 (1,555 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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>Auto shift is something of a food safety feature. it heats the food up more quickly to lessen the chance of bacterial growth then shifts to low to slow cook

A point worth considering. I know slow cookers of yesteryear have been targeted as potentially unsafe in that they might not heat up fast enough on the low setting to a temperature that will kill the germs. I'm not an expert, but it seems like a auto shift system would help address this issue.

Of course, I've seen the suggestion that one's old faithful slow cooker should be retired in favor of a new slow cooker. Which is made in China, and may poison one with bad glaze for all I know. Or burn the house down with bad electrical components. (Plus one wonders if the "experts" suggesting a new slow cooker work for a slow cooker manufacturer...)

Post# 894992 , Reply# 16   8/21/2016 at 23:32 (1,554 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Oh congratulations. I have the same one. I use it a few times a month. I usually brown the meat before popping it in. Love mine.

Post# 895017 , Reply# 17   8/22/2016 at 06:07 (1,554 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Roger "Firedome", the instruction booklet says that it when using Auto-Shift it switches from Hi to Lo after about 1 ¾ hours.


John "LordKenmore", I was very happy that this cooker had what the box calls "Harvest Wheat" as the pattern on it.


I'm going to give the crock & cover a good washing in the dishwasher and then I think a nice beef stew may be on the menu now that the temps have a definite Fall feel to them. 

Post# 895115 , Reply# 18   8/22/2016 at 18:18 (1,554 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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For that info Tim!

Post# 895150 , Reply# 19   8/22/2016 at 21:11 (1,554 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

That model is exactly what I remember from childhood, wheat and all. 


For a couple of decades, I refused to even look at a crockpot, because they sort of took over the world for a while, and it seemed like there wasn’t a meal on earth that hadn’t been cooked to death in one of those things. I felt the same way about casseroles.  Crockpots and casseroles both promised one-dish culinary glory, and frankly, life just isn’t that easy.  The last straw for the casseroles was a bubbling hot lab-sample of canned asparagus, potted meat, and mayonnaise.  That’s a childhood trauma that no therapist can cure.  I’m not sure what soured me on crockpots; probably a slopped-up mass of pulped carrots from a beef stew gone wrong.


But about 10 years ago, I took another look at crockpots, and I’ve come to love them for a lot of the foods that really demand and deserve that type of cooking: old hens and tough, gristly meat, both of which are full of flavor but short on tenderness.  After several hours in the crock, they make a remarkable meal.


I don’t brown anything before crocking it.  I love and embrace the concept of bouilli and bouillon, the wonderful boiled meats and real broth in the truest sense of the word.  A hen in a pot with some onion, garlic, celery, peppercorns, a sprinkle of thyme, a bay leaf and a clove will be ready to go after 5 hours on high, and it is fantastic; browning just isn’t necessary.  That’s all you need for a great soup; but the flesh makes a fantastic chicken salad, too.


If you like real Mexican food, then you’ll love cochinita pibil and barbacoa cooked in a crockpot—again, with no browning, which would not be authentic.  Just a very long, very slow steamy stew.


And by the way, La Julia did use a crockpot.  She loved it for New England baked beans!!

Post# 895208 , Reply# 20   8/23/2016 at 06:16 (1,553 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Julia Childs father

never liked cassoulet` much anyhow. Must have been the beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot. Or you can take Beano.
The rest of the dish is heavenly in the French country tradition of shecrutery.
Pork, poultry, or rabbit, a nice boudane or andouie sausage, onion, carrots, a bit of garlic, wine. I even add celery, or fennel bulb.
If it were any better, it would be coque` au' vin. Of course you can add cogniac to the former too if you like.
Top it with nice fresh bread crumb when it's done, and under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp them up.
Upon serving, breaking the crust with a spoon, and the delicious broth beneath softens them. Peasanty yes, but I like it too.
In a city founded by the French, not one good French restaurant around. Sad. I had to have my first rabbit stew to find out I liked it in Montreal.

Post# 895576 , Reply# 21   8/24/2016 at 19:36 (1,552 days old) by paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
A tip

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Mable Hoffman's "Crockery Cookery" cookbook (1975) discusses this crock-pot and others with some detail.
It is a 176 page soft-bound cookbook with an orange Rival Crock Pot on the cover.

Post# 895579 , Reply# 22   8/24/2016 at 20:25 (1,552 days old) by appnut (TX)        
I believe I have that "Crockery Cookery"

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It's kind of fallen apart over the years.  It was a stocking stuffer to accompany the crock pot of that same color I got as a Christmas present 1975.  College roomates had several recipes in that book they came to love.

Post# 905653 , Reply# 23   11/6/2016 at 08:08 (1,478 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Here's a couple of pics taken this morning with the "new to me" Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker in action with a pot of beef stew.  I think I'm going to bake a pan of "Johnny Cake" to go with it for tonight's supper.


Correction to Reply #17:  the pattern on the cooker is called "Herb Garden".

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This post was last edited 11/06/2016 at 08:35
Post# 1087597 , Reply# 24   9/2/2020 at 05:56 by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Post# 1087604 , Reply# 25   9/2/2020 at 06:17 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Seems like the latest cooking rage is all "Instapot" and similar devices. Basically electric self-contained pressure cookers with a variety of specialized options.


I got my 6 qt Instapot about a year ago, and have been using it to make brown rice, and also soup bone stock - chicken or beef. It works quite well for both, and is something of a relief from the hours I used to cook bone broth on the gas cooktop.  One of these days I'll have to thaw out a chunk of pork butt and make some pulled pork in the Instapot with that. If it will fit! In the past I've done that with a big oval slow cooker.



Post# 1094465 , Reply# 26   10/25/2020 at 11:09 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Haven't tried it but I think you can cook from frozen in the IP, of course it will take longer.
I use mine a lot for quick soups and cooking potatoes and carrots. rather than boiling them.. Just put a couple of cups of water in.. then pile all your 1/4 chunked potatoes on a steam rack or basket above the water... and cook under pressure for 8 minutes, quick release, done.. No hovering around the stove to check if they're done.

Post# 1094470 , Reply# 27   10/25/2020 at 11:30 by appnut (TX)        

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I've had my IP for a year now and love it. I made my first stock on Friday, from last Christmas' turkey carcas that was at the bottom of the chest freezer double sealed in freezer bags. If you can fit the frozen state pork butt in the pot it can work I suppose. But in frozen state you cannot sear it easily I'm sure. I've discovered making pulled pork by cooking the pork butt in my convection oven at 300F for like 4 or 5 hours. The internal tempo goal is 190 to 200F. Have done it 3 times and it was perfect. From what I researched, the perfect pulled pork needs this internal temp of 190 to 200. I discovered this by simply wanting to convection roast the pork butt and this was one of the approaches discovered. I also use the IP to make brown rice, but I use the ot in a pot cooking method. Also use my IP weekly to make about 2 quarts of plain Greek yogurt. I serve it over frozen blueberries as my nightly sweet treat. Sometimes use the yogurt as a dipping sauce for sliced apples. Got some bacon ends & pieces Friday and will us that as part of my components for making IP Boston Baked Beans in conjunction with our first real cold front on Tuesday. And make a beef vegetable, barley soup tomorrow too. I love my IP.

Post# 1094480 , Reply# 28   10/25/2020 at 12:35 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        
IP from frozen

I throw a frozen corned beef in the IP- 40 min high pressure, quick release. Then I add the potatoes (halved if too big), big chunks of carrots, and 1/4ered cabbage and pop it on for 8min high pressure, natural release.


Making beef stew in the IP for dinner tonight!


Rich (suds), I too appreciate the ease and speed of making stock in the IP! Not to mention it draws out every morsel of flavor from the bones! I'll never make it on the stovetop or in the slow-cooker again! My poor slow-cooker... I haven't used it once since getting the IP. It used to be my go-to for stock and corned beef among other things. 



Post# 1094511 , Reply# 29   10/25/2020 at 18:35 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I don't own an instant pot, but do have a few stove-top pressure cookers in sizes varying from 4 to 10 quarts.


I won't make turkey or chicken stock any other way than in a pressure cooker.  The end product is superior in every way to plain old simmering all day.


I was surprised to read in the OP that the "Auto Shift" bumps down to low after 1 3/4 hours, although that makes perfect sense to me.  I wonder if my Farberware slow cooker has an issue.  It bumps down after about 20 minutes, which seems way too soon and entirely ineffective.

Post# 1094552 , Reply# 30   10/25/2020 at 20:48 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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By slow cooker, do we mean crock pot?

Post# 1094567 , Reply# 31   10/25/2020 at 22:05 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Crock Pot is the registered brand name of that manufacturer for their brand of slow cookers.. like Kleenex and facial tissue

Post# 1094598 , Reply# 32   10/26/2020 at 03:06 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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OK, wasn't sure.

I have a semi-automatic Hamilton Beach I got about 18 years ago. Worked great, but haven't used it for many years now. Might have to pull it out of the lower cabinet to do some pork butt. Which won't fit in the IP.

Post# 1096228 , Reply# 33   11/7/2020 at 12:51 by rll70sman (Hastings, Minnesota)        
Vintage Hamilton Beach slow cooker

Tim, I have that same slow cooker except that it is a Sears Countercraft in harvest gold. It was made in September 1977 by Hamilton Beach. I have never come across another manufacturer of vintage slow cookers that had the auto-shift feature. It is handy when recipes call for high heat to begin with and then lower heat after a while. Just like many vintage small kitchen appliances from that era, you should get many years of reliable service from it.

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