Are you a busy parent? Are you constantly on the go and have little or no time to prepare complete meals? Then all you need is a best slow cooker. Slow cookers cook food slow and low over the course of the day. The appliance supports a complete hands-off cooking process and they are built with superb security features. Slow cookers are completely safe, and can be left on all day or night. In addition, best slow cookers exhibit unparalleled cooking versatility. They are the ultimate devices that can be relied on to handle all meal preparations. Selecting the good slow cooker can be a daunting task especially if your knowledge about these appliances is not deep enough. Our slow cooker reviews will help you make an informed buying decision. We have spent days in researching and consulting experts to prepare this insightful guide.
Best Slow Cookers Comparison Table
Things to Consider before buying a Slow Cooker:
A slow cooker is a convenient countertop appliance that provides incredible ways of making delicious meals. Whether you are new to slow cooking or are just looking to up your game, you must adopt the perfect buying criterion. Here are some things to consider when deciding on slow cookers.
When buying a slow cooker one of the most important aspects to consider is the size. The size of the slow cooker determines its effectiveness in meeting your meal prep needs. For your appliance to be practical, its size must match your family size. The grand rule is that your slow cooker should be at least half full but not more than three-quarters full.
So what determines the size of the slow cooker? What works best for you is hinged on the size of your family. For a small family (one or two family members), the best size is 2 to 3 quart. On the other hand, a family of 3 to 4 members will be best served by a 4-quart slow cooker. For large families (four to six members) a 6-quart slow cooker makes sense.
In general, a small slow cooker (1 to 3 quart) is an excellent choice for serving hot drinks, appetizers, and small baking tasks. Large slow cookers (6 to 7 quart) can handle the big meal prep tasks like cooking a whole chicken or turkey breast.
Is it important to consider the shape of the slow cooker? Standard slow cookers come in two shapes; oval or round. What works best for you is dictated by your cooking needs. If you constantly cook whole chicken, ribs, or briskets, an oval-shaped slow cooker will work magic for you. On the other hand, if all you want is an appliance to help you prepare chili, stews, and soups, a round shaped slow cooker is an excellent option.
The difference is that oval-shaped slow cookers have more surface area. For this reason, they cook food faster than their rounded cousins. In addition, the oval appliances have more room and can fit a huge amount of foods.
What material is used to construct the insert? Most of the slow cooker are made of porcelain or ceramic material. These are great materials capable of conducting heat evenly. Both can serve the tasks and what is best for you is hugely hinged on personal preference.
The most important factor to consider here is whether the crock is removable or not. A removable crock makes it easy to clean the appliance. Besides, the inserts or liner can be used to serve food, hence you will have a dish less to wash. The best insert should feature a wide rim sloping inward slightly. This allows the liquid that accumulates from the steam to drip into the crock.
A slow cooker lid can be made of glass, metal or plastic material. These devices utilize the principle of pressure cooking. Therefore, constantly opening the lid lets out pressure and heat thereby extending the cooking time. What is the best lid material?
Glass lids provide two noteworthy benefits. Because glass is transparent, it allows you to keep an eye on your meals without opening the cooker. In addition, glass is heavier than the other materials, and it retains more heat in.
Additionally, some slow cookers’ lids are designed with gaskets. This is an important feature that enables the appliance to retain more heat in. The gasket seals the lid perfectly thereby preventing spills. However, there is a downside to the gaskets; they make the cleanup difficult. If you are the lazy type, go for lids without the gaskets.
Programmable or Manual:
Traditional slow cookers were predominantly manual. They featured a control knob or button with 3 or 4 functions including: off, on, low, and high. The appliances were started manually and continued cooking until they were turned off. They provided limited cooking precision and were not safe.
The modern era is marked by programmable slow cookers. These appliances offer more control and precision in cooking. They feature digital controls which allow you to set an exact cooking time. They also give you the freedom to set when they are turned on and off. You can even set the slow cooker to switch to warm function when cooking time is over. They simply offer optimal control and flexibility to deliver the perfect meal.
Each type of slow cooker has its pros and cons. For instance, manual slow cookers offer limited control, but are easy to use and less expensive. When using the manual slow cooker and power goes out, the appliance will resume cooking when power is back.
On the other hand, programmable slow cookers offer unlimited flexibility and control. However, they can be complicated to use especially when you are getting started. Also, when the power goes off, programmable slow cookers will reset and won’t continue cooking when power is back.
Slow Cooker Reviews
Crock-Pot Wemo Slow Cooker (Stainless Steel)
If you want a smart slow cooker that you can control from anywhere, Crock-Pot WeMo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker is what you are looking for. This smart device is a combined project of Crock-Pot (the first and most well known manufacturer of slow cooker) and Belkin (the developer of WeMo) and gives you remote access to all its cooking functions through WeMo app which you can install on your phone. You have the option of controlling it from the application or directly on the device.
The Crockpot offers a generous 6- quart capacity which is sufficient to accommodate large family meals. It has an oval shape to allow you to prepare roasts and large cuts of meat easily without having to cut the meat into smaller pieces. You won’t have to think twice before using our best rated slow cooker since its removable dishwasher safe stoneware offers such easy clean up. An additional attractive feature is the built-in cord storage that ensures safe and compact storage of the device.
Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker (Silver)
If you are looking for a cheap slow cooker that provides the best homemade meals without any supervision, Hamilton Beach Programmable Slow Cooker is a perfect choice. With its programmable control you can easily schedule the cooking time ranging from half an hour to 18 hours and adjust the heat setting to either high or low depending on the requirements. The innovative design of the slow cooker with wraparound element provides uniform heating of the food eliminating the need for supervision or even stirring.
After preparing the meal, it automatically switches to ‘keep warm’ setting to keep your meal fresh and warm until you are ready to eat. Another attractive feature is the removable stoneware and glass lid that are both dishwasher safe to provide easy clean up. This impressive 7-quart oval slow cooker is the ideal choice for you if you have a large family or plan on cooking roasts or large cuts of meat often.
Elite Platinum Programmable Slow Cooker
If you are on tight budget and searching for an inexpensive slow cooker to provide convenient meal preparation for a large family, Elite Platinum Cooker is the right choice for you. Its spacious 8.5 quarts removable, dishwasher safe cooking pot can accommodate food for a large family and also prepare a large turkey breast, whole chicken and beef roast without any trouble.
You can set the cooking time and temperature to meet your preferences through its easy-to-use digital touchpad with LED display. The programmable digital control allows you to select between high, low and warm settings and time to a maximum of 20 hours. Another feature worth mentioning is its dishwasher safe lid made with tempered glass to prevent the moisture and flavor from escaping the meal. This 280 watt, UL certified slow cooker with 1 year manufacturer’s warranty is a good choice to prepare delicious healthy meals with ease and peace of mind.
NutriChef Digital Multi-Cooker
Being the best slow cooker under $100 on our list, NutriChef PKPC35 makes cooking very easy and prepares delicious meals while preserving most of the vitamins, minerals and natural flavors of the ingredients. This one-of-a-kind multi-functional device is not just a slow cooker but provides 11 different functionalities including slow cooking, rice cooking, sauté, roast, steaming, yogurt making, stew, baking and warming.
Easy-to-operate touchpad and digital LCD display provide complete control over temperature and timer settings. One of the notable features is the dishwasher safe, removable aluminum cooking pot with a capacity of 6.5 quarts and non-stick coating to provide easy clean up. The tempered glass lid that covers the cooking pot traps all the moisture, flavor and aroma inside the meal. What makes it stand out among other brands of slow cookers is its wide temperature range and 72 hours cooking time duration which adds further flexibility and convenience to cooking. Along with the multi-cooker, the packing also includes a sous vide rack and a roasting rack.
GoWISE USA Programmable Electric Cooker/Slow Cooker
GoWISE USA Programmable Cooker is a multi-functional cooker that provides 10 unique pre-set functionalities: steam, rice, grains, porridge, soup, sauté, beans, meat, yogurt and chicken. With these pre-set functions you have the option of pressure cooking or slow cooking with a timer for up to 20 hours and a 24 hour delay function. This programmable control is provided through a convenient touch-pad and digital LCD display.
The multi-cooker features a durable, removable, PTFE and PFOA free ceramic cooking pot that offers easy clean up. Its generous 12 quarts capacity makes it an ideal choice for daily cooking for a large family or when you have guests over. Heating plate for rice, rice spoon and measuring cup included in the packing further add convenience and perfection to your cooking experience. The outer body is a modern, impressive design made with stainless steel and includes cool touch handles for safe handling by the user. The multi-cooker is an ideal choice if you want a range of functionalities including pressure cooking and slow cooking for a large family.
West Bend Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker
This best budget slow cooker on our list, provides all the functions of a top quality slow cooker and more for a fairer price! What’s unique about the device is that it can be used on stove top or inside the oven depending on your requirements and the base can be used both as a griddle or warming tray. This programmable slow cooker offers digital touch pad control with 4 temperature settings to choose from: high, low, warm and griddle. The device will automatically shut off after 24 hours to prevent any harm even if you forget to turn it off.
Another useful feature is the dishwasher safe cooking insert and glass lid to prevent any tedious clean up after the cooking is done. Its oval shape and large 6 quart capacity makes it an ideal choice for family meals and large roasts. 1 year warranty provided by the manufacturer gives you a peace of mind while using it.
Souvia 8 in 1 Multi Slow Cooker
If you need is a versatile appliance that can help you in a variety of kitchen tasks besides slow cooking, Souvia 8 Preset Functions Slow Cooker by Magic Mill is the best fit for you. This impressive but affordable appliance offers you with 8 different pre-programmed settings for steaming, baking, grilling, roasting, sauté, yogurt making and defrosting.
Its removable, dishwasher safe 7 – quart cooking insert with non-stick coating makes cleaning up a breeze. Its ‘keep warm’ setting makes it an ideal choice for buffets and family meals where you might not be serving the meal as soon as it is ready. The multi-cooker will keep your food fresh and warm until the family or the guests are ready to be served. You can rest assured for a safe and peaceful cooking experience with this ETL listed multi-cooker that abides by all the necessary safety standards. For additional safety, the cooker features non-slip feet and a locking system for its tempered glass lid for safe travel. To sum up, this multi-cooker is the key to healthy delicious meals for a large busy family who do not have much time to waste in the kitchen.
KitchenAid Multi-Cooker – Stainless Steel
With its impressive set of 10 different cooking functions and unlimited cooking versatility, it is safe to say that KitchenAid Multi-Cooker is a kitchen workhorse. This top rated slow cooker is a complete kitchen assistant that helps with cooking tasks like searing, simmering, rice making, risotto, soup, yogurt, steaming, slow cooking and warming.
With the slow cooker, you have complete control over the cooking cycle by selecting the cooking function and the temperature setting to achieve the desired results. In addition, you are provided with added convenience and guidance through a digital display that displays step-by-step instructions along with the temperature and timer. An additional interesting feature that you might find helpful is the pour spout on its 4 – quart dishwasher safe, PTFE/PFOA free non-stick cooking insert. A steamer basket is included in the accessories which can double as a roasting rack. This outstanding all-in-one kitchen appliance is a superb choice for making everyday family meals or occasional masterpieces.
Breville The Fast Slow Pro Cooker
With Breville you can rest assured of the quality and results as it is a reputable company that has been manufacturing multi-cookers for many years now. Breville Fast Pro Cooker is one of the best slow cooker in the market that in addition to slow cooking, offers 11 different cooking programs to select from. You might find ‘keep warm’ setting a helpful feature to keep your meals fresh and warm after they are cooked, until you are ready to eat.
A distinguishing feature is its color changing LCD display which indicates whether the cooker is pressurizing, pressure cooking or releasing steam. You can rest assured of your safety and that of the surroundings with its 3-fold safety scheme including locking lid, automatic pressure release and safety valve. The removable, dishwasher safe 4.5 quart cooking insert is made with PFOA/PTFE free ceramic coating and offers quick and easy clean up. And that’s not all, because the packing also includes a steamer basket, a stainless steel rack and a recipe booklet over 41 recipes to choose from.
360 Cookware Gourmet Slow Cooker
360 Cookware slow cooker is a great choice for busy families as it adds convenience and versatility to cooking. What is different about its 4 quart cooking pot is that it is made from stainless steel unlike other slow cookers which are made with ceramic. Stainless steel construction allows it to be used over multiple heat sources including oven, slow cooker plate and even stove top.
Its innovative vapor seal technology makes it possible to cook food using the moisture from the ingredients itself eliminating the need of water or oil to cook food. This cooking technique preserves more nutrients and flavor of food than by other conventional cooking methods. The slow cooker is made in the USA and the manufacturer offers an impressive lifetime warranty with the product. If you are looking for a durable and versatile appliance that can be used as a slow cooker or for usual stovetop cooking, this is the one you want.