January 2011


Two Consumer Questions: Crock Pots and Headphones

I have two questions about things I want to, or need to, buy in the next week or two.

First, my brother has asked if I have a Crock Pot. I don’t. However I’m willing to invest in one provided it’s not too expensive and it comes with recommendations. Do any of my German/European readers have a Crock Pot? Do you like the one you own? Is there anything I should be looking for in a Crock Pot?

I assume that I can find standard ones at Saturn or Media Markt, but are there other places I should look? I honestly have no clues when it comes to Crock Pots.

Secondly, I love and adore my iPhone 4. Apple’s GSM iPhone is wonderful and fits my lifestyle perfectly. However Apple’s headphones both suck and are outrageously expensive. My main problem with the iPhone headphones is that as they age, I have to crank the volume more and more—to the point where I max out the volume and cannot hear the audio easily. I know it’s the headphones because when I buy new headphones I turn the volume way down and hear just fine.

Can anybody recommend ear-bud style headphones that come with the built-in volume controls and microphone? I love using the remote controls on the headsets as it lets me pause what I am listening to, talk on the phone, and do other things without having to take the phone out of my pocket—which is great on cold days.

For this I am willing to wait until I am State-side, but if somebody could recommend a reasonably priced option in Germany that would be great. I always find myself overwhelmed when looking at headphone displays at Saturn.

My only other preference, in addition to being ear-bud styles, is that they don’t come with the custom fit things to put over the part that you put in the ear. In my experience the soft flexible part is going to come loose from the headphones and be lost in the street, book bag, or, in the worst case scenario, my ear.

10 comments to Two Consumer Questions: Crock Pots and Headphones

  • As far as I know, crock parts are not a standard German appliance and you won’t find one at any store. We picked one up on eBay a few years ago, and as far as we can tell they took a British crock pot and put a German plug on it. Not sure how safe that is, but we use it only occasionally (chile and Glühwein) (not at the same time).

    Can’t help you with the earbuds. I’m an in-ear man, and the first thing I do with any Apple product I buy is toss out the earbuds. 🙂

  • We originally got our crockpot here:

    They were running under the domain crockpot.de or crockpots.de or something similar until they got hit with a cease and desist order from Rival&trade. Not sure if their pricing is competitive; at the time (think 2005 or so) they were the only place I could find real slow cooker stuff in Germany.

    Lesson learned: don’t ever put your crock on a direct heat source, such as the stove. We brought mashed potatoes to a Thanksgiving potluck one year in our crockpot crock because it was the largest food transport vessel we had. Thought nothing of reheating said mashed on low heat on the stove, until we heard it crack.

    Can’t help you on the headphones tip; Sarah and I both hate earbuds and absolutely require the in-ear style with the little rubbery ear canal cushions…even if they do occasionally go missing in a backpack.

  • B.

    We bought this one and I love love LOVE it: http://www.amazon.de/Bartscher-Warmhaltetopf-oval-6-5Liter/dp/B000X2NKH0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294866033&sr=1-1

    It’s probably way too big for you, but perfect for a family of 4. I’d recommend the brand (Bartscher) though as ours has been great.

    Ebay.de is also an excellent place to look. You can search on crockpot, slow cooker or Warmhaltetopf and find plenty to pick from. As far as Media Markt goes, here in Dresden they have them in store. We almost bought one when we first moved back but wanted something a little bigger… hence the 6,5 liter Amazon purchase.

    • Jentry

      This is the one that I’ve got (The bartscher one). It is HUGE, so probably, like B. said, a bit too big for you, BUT, you can always freeze the leftovers. 🙂

  • Plenty of crack pots down around Cotti…

  • If you buy a CrockPot, you will have to surrender your Gay Card.

  • koko

    crock pots are awesome!!! make great, easy meals! definitely get one 🙂

  • Michele J

    Could you not approximate a crock pot with a good stoneware casserole on the stove on the lowest setting? Something like this: http://www.google.de/images?um=1&hl=de&safe=off&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=le+creuset+casserole
    Or is the appeal of the crockpot that you can set it to automatically turn and off? Can’t some stoves do that?

    I’m also confused about the headphone thing. Aren’t ear buds the in-ear kind already? Cliff’s post seems to imply they’re different, but I’ve only ever seen those plastic fitting things on the in-ear kind, which you on the other hand seem to refer to as ear buds.

  • I understand ear buds to be the headphones you kinda wedge into your ears (never comfortably into mine) and look like tiny speakers.

    In-ear style headphones look more like earplugs, and not like speakers at all. I am pretty sure, after wearing my in-ear headphones all day at work, that I stay warmer that way. I am not allowing natural heat sinks to breathe. But I have to drown out the “Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking! How may I direct your call?”

  • Scott – I have to say that the image of chili and Glühwein cooking together made me gag a little — and smile.

    cliff1976 – Thanks for the tip. I will probably end up not buying one. I’m not convinced of the utility for just one, versus the price. My brother tells me that they can be bought for 20$ in the US. The prices here seem a lot higher.

    B. – Thanks for the guidance. I probably won’t buy one, but I might go look — I’m not sure if I am ready to invest in one if its too big for just me or two people.

    Irish Berliner – I said CrOck pot, not CrAck pot… and it’s Kotti, unless you have somewhere else in mind…. 😉

    Headbang8 – but my brother’s gay!

    koko – I’m not convinced that I’d use it often enough to make it worth while…

    Michele J – the heavy pot will probably be the answer. My brother has to do all the cooking while he’s here as I don’t want to have to work around his allergies. He’s even baking bread…

    Cliff – Thank you for the clarification. I’m definitely an ear bud person — I want to hear what’s going on around me. I also like the fact that they don’t take up that much space. I do have over the ear fitted ear buds for the gym — I sweat a lot and I suspect the normal ones would fall out after about 5 minutes of working out, while the over the ear fitted ones don’t go anywhere. My hearing isn’t sophisticated enough to need expensive ones. I have 12€ ones for the gym and the sound is great–at least for me.