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For chili con carne, can you brown the ground beef, onions, peppers, etc in a crockpot (without the lid on) and then add the other ingredients to finish by slow cooking?

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    I can in my crock pot because it has a 'saute' setting. Does yours? – brhans Mar 21 at 17:51
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It is possible, but only if you have the right type of crock-pot. Most crock-pots are not designed for searing and as such do not get hot enough, quickly enough to sear the meat properly. You also run the risk of cracking the ceramic pot due to uneven heating/cooling as you add the meat.

There are specific models of crock pot with a sear function. If you were to try, I would recommend that you get one of these.

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    You seem to be stressing the 'yes', but I'd argue it's 'no'. The ones that sear are typically sold as a 'multi-cooker' with a 'slow cook' function. Any that are primarily marketed as a 'crock pot' will not have this functionality. (as if they have a stone crock, they can't brown meat). – Joe Mar 21 at 20:17
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    I agree, I have edited my post. – bob1 Mar 21 at 21:17
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Another option I've owned in the past is a slow cooker in which the inner removable pan is non stick metal. This was specifically designed to be used on the stove for browning before slow cooking.

Overall I prefer the traditional ceramic pot as the heat is much more even in normal use; the lack of a handle on the metal pot was also annoying for browning.

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    I have one with a metal insert - it's irritating to have to do the browning wearing oven gloves, but I'll take that for the result & for not having to use two pans to get it started ;) – Tetsujin Mar 22 at 7:13
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I have several crockpots and none will brown ground beef, onions, or peppers. I recommend using a frying pan instead.

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