In my second appliance appraisal, seen here, I showed what I use to make great applesauce. But what do I use to get each apple peeled, cored, and cut to be put in the crock-pot in the first place?...Well, I've used a variety of gadgets in order to cut down on time. Some I've used with success, some with moderate success, and some when the apples are just perfect.
I must admit, though, that I have a love-hate relationship with this appliance. If the apples are perfectly shaped, this gadget can work like a charm. Unfortunately, I don't usually find the most perfect apples, and then I'm left with a mess and end up cutting/peeling what didn't work after I've already put the apple through the gadget. Another cause for frustration is that sometimes I'll use it with great success for a couple of apples (and wonder why I never use it) and then the rest of them come-out all crooked. Which, again, defeats the whole purpose. Somehow, I have been given two of these gadgets, but I end up rarely using them. Let me know if you would like to borrow one and give me insight on the magic formula for it's usage! So, my honest opinion is: "to be used when necessary"...meaning, when the apples are perfect.
The next step down from this gadget, is just a hand-held corer and slicer, all in one. I think this could be a great tool, if one doesn't need to peel the apples, in the first place. If peeling isn't necessary, then it would be pretty easy to find the center of any given apple and come-up with nice cuts to be thrown into the crock-pot. For me, personally, I need to peel all of my apples. So, once I peel them, I don't save much time in using this gadget, as I end up wanting to re-cut some of the slices into smaller slices anyways. Final opinion: "meh, my hands do a better job".