4. West Bend Versatility Cooker
This 6-quart cooker falls into the multiuse category, with digital controls and a modular design that lets the heating unit do double duty as a griddle. Rather than being surrounded by heating coils like the other models in this test, this metal pot sits on top of the griddle surface. Despite this, our stew cooked evenly. But none of the three pieces (pot, lid, and griddle unit) lock together, which makes both cooking and storage a bit trickier.
get-gadget: 5-pound metal pot is durable and can also go directly onto the stove for browning meat.
Tired: Nonsubmersible heating unit. Made a clicking sound whenever we left it on for more than a few hours. $80, West Bend