Hamilton Beach 33249 Review

Hamilton Beach 33249 Review 

Hamilton Beach 33249 Summary

4.2 out of 5

The Hamilton Beach 33249 truly goes back-to-basics in terms of slow cooking. Boasting a rather traditional design, this particular model is well suited for a lively home environment where regular cooking is essential. With simple and easy-to-use controls, even Grandma or Grandpa can get their head around the Hamilton Beach 33249.

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Hamilton Beach 33249 Introduction

When slow cookers were first introduced by Crock Pot they were straightforward and simple. As time progressed and technology developed the trend became to add more and more features to the slow cookers to be enable them to be promoted as more versatile. The problem is as more of these features get added (and it seems some are added because they can – not because they are particularly useful) what started out as simple became quite complex.

With the added complexity, of course the price was added to as well. The truth of the matter is that some people like things to stay simple and easy to use, where you don’t need to keep referring to a complex user’s manual every time you want to use the appliance. Some manufacturers are recognizing this and the Hamilton Beach 33249 4 quart slow cooker is a good example of producing a good quality easy to use kitchen appliance. It does not have a LCD control panel with several different programs, there is no timer to allow for delayed start – there is just one control knob that allows you to set the Hamilton Beach 33249 to high, low or keep warm.

Because this is a basic slow cooker does not mean that corners have been cut in manufacturing. The Hamilton Beach 33249 carries the same 1 year limited warranty as all Hamilton Beach slow cookers. In addition to being a straightforward to use slow cooker the Hamilton Beach 33249 has some additional features that make it great to take to potluck parties.

The Hamilton Beach 33249 is part of Hamilton Beach’s ‘Stay or Go’ range. This means that it has a lid that can be sealed with clips to ensure that it does not spill any contents while being transported. There are 2 handles on the side to make carrying the slow cooker easier.

Our Hamilton Beach 33249 Review

The Hamilton Beach 33249 is oval in shape meaning that is easier to store in the kitchen. It measures 9.4 inches x 14.9 inches x 10.2 inches high. It weighs 7.5 lbs. when empty of contents. This is a relatively small capacity slow cooker which will take a 4 lb. chicken or a 2 lb. roasting joint. It is perfect for single people or couples or small families. It is also useful to have as a secondary slow cooker for when you are cooking different menus.

In the user manual 1 page is devoted to instructing you how to use the Hamilton Beach 33249. Basically, add the contents to the stoneware cooking pot, put the lid on (do not secure), plug the unit in, switch to either high or low to cook, turn off or switch to warm when cooked. For transportation, secure locking clips. And that is it. There is a caution about not using the warming setting to cook or re-heat food as it does not reach a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria.

In keeping with the abbreviated instructions there are only 3 recipes included with the manual, roast chicken, chili and pot roast. There are, however, more recipes on the Hamilton Beach web site as well as numerous slow cooking cookery books to provide ideas and inspiration. The important question though is how well does this inexpensive simple to operate slow cooker cook?

Looking on the Hamilton Beach web page for slow cooking recipes it was noted that although the recipes give a contents list they do not say how many servings are available from any recipe nor whether the quantities will fit in this 4 quart cooking pot. For example comparing the recipe for chili on the web site to that in the user manual, the quantities in the user manual are far less. The recipes on the website are probably better for providing inspiration and ideas rather than following them precisely.

As an added word of warning the pictures that they show of the food in slow cookers are over filled. If you cook with too much in the pot, over about ¾ filled with liquid it can boil over and create a mess. In summary the Hamilton Beach 33249 cooks an Irish stew as well as any slow cooker, the meat (even from less expensive cuts) comes out nice and tender and, if cooked on low, a few extra hours adds to the taste rather than over cooks.

When the stew was cooked the lid was clipped in to place and the contents tested for leaking when the Hamilton Beach 33249 was moved about. In a car trip over an unpaved road the lid seal worked very well. There are a few drawbacks with this simplified slow cooker though. The outside can get hot when cooking over a period of time. When cooking with ingredients that can get over cooked like pasta and rice a timer to switch over to the warming setting would be useful.

As with many of the less expensive Hamilton Beach slow cookers if you should happen to break the stoneware bowl, a replacement from the manufacturer can cost about 60% of the cost of a complete new Hamilton Beach 33249.

Hamilton Beach 33249 Specifications & Pros/Cons



Key Features

  • Simple, straightforward and easy to use single control knob.
  • Lockable lid for easy transporting to potluck parties or family gatherings.
  • 4 quart capacity which ideal for single people up to smaller families.
  • 1 year limited Hamilton Beach warranty.
  • Stoneware cooking pot with glass lid.
  • Dish washer safe – the stoneware pot and the glass lid can both be washed in the dish washer.
  • Rubber easy carry handles for transporting the Hamilton Beach 33249.
  • Stainless steel and black plastic finish.
  • Outside does get quite hot during use. 
  • Spare cooking pot and lid are relatively expensive (although the stoneware pot and glass lid are very durable).
  • Easy to use – the Hamilton Beach 33249 is a very simple to use slow cooker, no complicated electronic programs to work your way through before you can cook.
  • Lockable lid – for easy transportation to potluck parties or similar get together, the lid clips in place and there is a rubber gasket to prevent contents leaking out when in transit.
  • Rubber carrying handles – to make carrying a full Hamilton Beach 33249 easy, even with hot contents.
  • Single switch control – there is just 1 switch on the Hamilton Beach 33249, with an off position, Keep Warm, Low and High cooking positions.
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • 4 quart capacity – ideal for single people, couples or small families.
  • Dish washer safe – the stoneware cooking pot and the glass lid are safe to wash in the dish washer after use.
  • Stoneware cooking pot doubles as an attractive serving bowl.
  • Stainless steel finish – the outside of the Hamilton Beach 33249 is finished in stainless steel and black plastic.
  • Compact size for easy storage – the Hamilton Beach 33249 measures only 9.4 inches x 14.9 inches x 10.2 inches high. It weighs 7.5 lbs. when empty. The oval shape allows it to fit in more confined spaces in a kitchen with limited space.

Community Reviews

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Our Final Conclusion For The Hamilton Beach 33249

If what you want is a simple to operate slow cooker that isn’t loaded with multiple programs that you need a computer science degree to understand then the Hamilton Beach 33249 is an ideal cooker for you. Although it lacks all the complicated electronic timing systems, the Hamilton Beach 33249 cooks as well as even to most complex and expensive cooker.

The small footprint of only 9.5 inches x 14.9 inches and 10.2 inches high and the oval shape, make it an ideal size to fit in a compact kitchen or one where space is at a premium. For slow cookers to cook efficiently they need to be at about ½ full. Whereas with the larger slow cookers this means that it is impossible to make a meal for just one or two people, the Hamilton Beach 33249 is ideal for those smaller quantities.

The Hamilton Beach 33249 is not perfect, the outside of the cooker does get hot when is use and spare stoneware cooking pots are expensive when compared with the cost of the whole cooker (including stoneware pot).