Best Slow Cookers

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 29, 2017
Don’t fancy going out every evening to have a tea, but have no energy for cooking at home after a hard working day in the office? Then a slow cooker is definitely a solution for you. The food cooked in a slow cooker has a richer buffet of tastes.  ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Food Capacity
Longevity
Extra Functions
 
PROS
A capacious 3-in-1 slow cooker with one touch switches modes for combined cooking of all your favourite recipes with ease and comfort.
CONS
The cooking insert is compatible neither with a stove nor with an oven.
OUR VERDICT
A profitable investment into a household that would last for years and maintain a healthy and nutritious diet of the whole family.
detailed parameters
Type
Programmable with LCD screen, Timer, Auto shut-off function
Food Capacity
6-Quart
Longevity
Stainless-steel, Non-stick aluminum, 3-year limited warranty
Extra Functions
Steam function, Central Cook function, "Keep Warm" function, Steaming rack
PROS
Unlike many other slow cookers, this model allows you to set the cooking temperature. You can always check the temperature of the dish with a probe, the measurement result is shown on an LCD display. Clip-on spoon is very comfortable during the cooking.
CONS
Stainless steel housing of the unit gets quite hot, so you'd better not touch it.
OUR VERDICT
This is a superb pick for those who want to feed a family of 6-7 persons. You can effortlessly cook healthy dishes owing to fantastic features of this slow cooker.
detailed parameters
Type
Programmable digital controls, LCD screen, Timer, Auto shut-off function
Food Capacity
6-Quart
Longevity
Stainless steel, Non-stick ceramic stoneware, Tempered glass
Extra Functions
Probe, Program and Manual cook settings, Keep warm setting, Power interruption protection, Removable oval stoneware pot, Rubberized handles, Clip-tight lid, Additional lid sealing gasket, Clip-on spoon on lid handle.
PROS
Large capacity is designed to cook for 7 people, so thisslow cooker is perfect for large families. The lid has special gaskets that allow you to seal it and carry the whole stoneware pot with a dish inside.
CONS
This slow cooker isn't suited for some dishes that require low-temperature cooking.
OUR VERDICT
This is the best pick for a large family which can also be used at a picnic since you can carry a pot owing to a locking lid.
detailed parameters
Type
Programmable digital controls, LCD screen, Auto shut-off, Timer
Food Capacity
6-Quart
Longevity
Stainless steel, Stoneware, Porcelain stoneware, 1-year limited warranty
Extra Functions
Removable oval stoneware pot, Additional lid gaskets, Lid locking, Warm setting
PROS
A damask-patterned stoneware crock pot with 4,5-Quart capacity to serve for 4-5 people at one go. A simple manual unit with incredible practicality options and overall durability.
CONS
The device doesn’t have a timer and doesn’t automatically shut off. However, the solution may be to shift to the Low mode and turn it off by yourself the time you’re back home.
OUR VERDICT
This is a unique combination of quality, simplicity and affordability that is definitely worth a praise. Great in operation and unbeaten in durability.
detailed parameters
Type
Manual
Food Capacity
4,5-Quart
Longevity
Stainless-steel, Glass, Stoneware, 1-year limited warranty
Extra Functions
Removable stoneware pot
PROS
Cleaning a cooking pot and a lid is effortless since they both are dishwasher-friendly. The slow cooker has large cool-touch handles for easy carrying. The unit boasts high production quality and simple controls.
CONS
The housing is easily soiled, so be careful when cooking.
OUR VERDICT
This amazing slow cooker is capable of making enough healthy food for a family of 5-6. The unit saves your time and includes a handy recipe book.
detailed parameters
Type
Programmable digital controls, 2 auto cooking modes, Oval shape of the pot
Food Capacity
5-Quart
Longevity
Polished stainless steel, Tempered glass lid, Removable stoneware pot, 2-year limited warranty
Extra Functions
Warm setting keeps your food's temperature, Removable oval stoneware cooking pot, Programmable timer (30 min. - 20 h.)

What is a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is a handy countertop kitchen appliance, designed for cooking at low temperatures for several hours successively. It’s not too much expensive, it’s economical in energy consumption and it’s great for making a variety of meals. From simple rice to casserole, it is made to cope with any cooking task with ease. The main idea of using a slow cooker is to be able to load the ingredients in a crock early in the morning and have a meal done on coming back from the office late in the evening. Isn’t it a great device for business people who are always limited in time to keep at a hand? The cooking abilities of slow cookers are often compared to multi-cookers. They are capable of cooking literally everything - stewing vegetables, making porridge and rice, tenderising meat, preparing soup, making mulled wine and much more. It’s also well suitable for making lasagne and some exclusive desserts that do require a long period of cooking time. If you’re still contemplating an idea of whether to buy or not to buy a slow cooker, keep on reading our review and get assured that this is a great thing for your kitchen to keep for years of use.

For those who love to eat tasty and healthy food but lack time for cooking, we recommend turning their eyes to Pressure Cookers.

What Features to Compare

If you’ve already made your mind to buy a slow cooker, here are some practical tips on how to choose a perfect crock for a kitchen that not only would impress you with cooking results, but also serve for many years and please all households with overall performance. slow cookers vary on different parameters, so you need to know for sure what mainly you’d like to use it for and move from there.

The first thing that will definitely strike your eye is a difference in Design of different models. Some crock pots are really tiny in size and useful only for making a meal for two persons while others offer a capacious insert to accommodate a good portion of food. If you love cooking a lot or just don’t fancy doing it on a daily basis, it may be a good idea to go for a bigger size and double recipes. However, if you run a small household, you may be quite happy with a small slow cooker with no leftovers, but just a one-off meal for a dinner or supper. The material of the construction may also differ. Some of the popular crocks are made either from ceramic or porcelain, but you can also find a metal pot. They may be a bit better in heat conduction than ceramic and porcelain models, but not as much to base your choice only on this factor. You’ll also see that slow cookers are differently shaped. Some models are produced in round while others come in oval shapes. Which one would better work you? The answer totally depends on what you’d like to cook in it. The round shape will ideally go for making soups, simmering vegetables, beans, cooking porridge while the oval shape will better work for stewing chickens and ribs. However, as practice shows, most consumers prefer to choose a model that better fits their working counter.

The Cooking Insert is another criterion you should be interested in when looking for a slow cooker. Usually, most crock pots have a non-stick cooking insert. This is a perfect cover for preparing a great lot of dishes during a long period of time without any bits sticking to the surface. Make sure to check whether a non-stick cover goes throughout the entire inwards of the pot and ensures comfortable cooking and easy cleaning. You may also want to learn suitability of a cooking insert with gas and electric cooktops. Quite often, if a cooking insert is removable, it can be used on its own for cooking one-pot dishes.

We would also like to draw your attention to the Method of Heating that a slow cooker uses. Frequently, the heating element is positioned right at the bottom. That’s not bad, but a better option would be to find a crock pot with a heating element spread up to the side of the bottom so that distribution of the heat is even and consistent.

Those were the basic characteristics to give you understanding of what you should look for. However, what drastically differ one model from another is a variety of Additional Functions available. The fact that they are mentioned the last in the list just explains their not paramount importance. Most of the features are there to simplify our life. A timer, for example, will automatically turn a slow cooker off so you don’t need to rush home and do it yourself. A warming function will hold the meal at a warm function. Some slow cooks have got a sear function, but usually, it’s a zest of more expensive models.

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Cuisinart MSC-600

Design

An oblong shape of Cuisinart slow cooker makes it look pretty petite, but its look is quite deceiving. It can easily prepare a big meal for a whole family and hold the right temperature up to the time everyone is ready to eat. A removable pot sits in a sleek brushed stainless-steel base equipped with a large LCD programming control panel and comes with cold touch handles so you can drag the pot out of the base right after the meal has been cooked and serve it for a table. All removable parts of a crock pot are dishwasher safe, but even if you decide to wash it by hands, it should be a breeze. The food debris doesn’t stick to inner walls of the pot and is easily washed out with water and without scrubbing.

Cooking Insert

The outstanding thing about Cuisinart slow cooker is its all-through non-stick BPA-free inner cover. Such peculiarity of a cooking pot makes it perfect for browning meat, sauteing onions, making soups and more with consistent even heat distribution during all the cooking time. While the pot itself is removable, yet, it cannot be used on top of a stove or in the oven. However, it shouldn’t be an issue at all with a wide range of programming settings available. Cuisinart slow cooker is capable of cooking a great variety of dishes and becoming your best companion in the kitchen.

Method of Heating

Cuisinart slow cooker features a large LCD screen and programmable cooking settings that will let you shift the modes whenever the recipe requires a combination of cooking. Not only will it let you set the desired cooking time, it will also give you an option to vary the temperature directionals up to 400 degrees in 25-degree increments. If you’re not sure what temperature to apply for a certain cooking process though, you can always use the default values preset in a slow cooker. The highest temperatures are usually set for sauteing and programmable from 350 degrees up to 400 degrees. The Keep Warm function works at 165 degrees. The simmering process is usually performed at a temperature a little bit lower than the LOW mode, but also variable. So, once you nail the process, you should be able to adapt the temperatures to the recipes pretty well by yourself. Cuisinart programming settings give you plenty of choice.

Additional Functions

Cuisinart crock pot is frequently compared to a Multi-cooker due to its numerous cooking capabilities. The unit is equipped with three cooking functions that can be used for preparing any of your favourite recipes with ease and comfort. No need to stand at the stovetop for hours and monitor the cooking. Cuisinart slow cooker can do the job for you at a breeze. Load all the ingredients into the pot and turn the Slow cook function on. The Steaming function will let you prepare a delicious salmon and a portion of veggies to go as a side dish, just make sure to fill the pot with some water and use the rack, included in the box. The Cook Central is a universal prep function, used for cooking a variety of gourmet dishes and even desserts. This is surely an amazing and versatile thing that most households would like to keep at their kitchen. It’s not the cheapest model in our review though, but the high price totally justifies its multi-functionality.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Cuisinart 3-in-1 Cook Central® (MSC-600) Demo Video
 

Hamilton Beach 33967A

Design

Hamilton Beach slow cooker has an oval shape and a stainless steel body, which is very easy-to-wash and durable. The body has a couple of convenient heat-resistant rubberized handles, so carrying the unit is simple. The insert is made of ceramic stoneware with a high heat conductivity. The tempered glass lid is large and transparent, so you can easily control the process of cooking. The lid has a handle and an integrated clip-on spoon that you can use for stirring the dish.

Cooking Insert

As we've already mentioned, this best slow cooker has an oval ceramic stoneware inner pot. Thanks to the shape of the insert, you can easily cook the whole chicken and make a fantastic meal for your family or guests. No need to mention, the pot helps you cook a variety of delicious dishes that require slow cooking. For example, you can cook a soup, stew, seafood, sauce, and many other dishes. Apart from that, you can place a full ham (~7 lbs), add additional ingredients, set an appropriate temperature (usually, no less than 150 F) and you will be able to enjoy this juicy dish in 3-5 hours! However, don't try slow cooking any frozen food (no matter if it's meat or vegetables).

Method of Heating

Hamilton Beach slow cooker has programmable controls, so you can pick the cooking settings yourself without any problems. There are 3 automatic cooking choices available: probe, program and manual. Probe is designed for cooking meat - once the desired temperature is reached, the appliance automatically shifts into Keep Warm mode. If you pick Program, you will be able to choose the cooking time. And if you choose Manual, you will be able to choose the high, low, and keep warm temperature by yourself. The probe makes cooking meat a piece of cake - it lets you know the inside temperature of meat.

Additional Functions

This Hamilton Beach slow cooker has a clip-tight lid with some additional sealing which helps maintain the high temperature inside a cooking cavity. The lid has a couple of vents for releasing excessive steam. Next, the design of the lid allows you to clip the spoon on, so it's always at hand if you need to stir your dish. The thermometer probe can be unplugged if you don't need to use it. Finally, this model comes with a power interruption protection system. Why is it important? Imagine a power outage occurs - your slow cooker should be able to resume cooking properly, without resetting to default settings. And don't forget that both a lid and a stoneware pot are 100% dishwasher-safe, so you don't need to bother yourself cleaning them.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Oval Programmable Slow Cooker Review and Spicy Stew Recipe
 

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S

Design

Crock-Pot slow cooker has an oval body which is made of stainless steel which makes this kitchen appliance very reliable and durable. The unit has large handles on both sides of the body so it's easy to сarry the whole slow cooker. The cooking insert is made of porcelain stoneware. It's easy to remove this cooking pot and serve a fresh dish right in it. The stainless steel body is smooth and you can easily wipe it or wash it with a sponge. Also, the cooking insert is dishwasher-friendly and you won't face any difficulties in removing grease after cooking a delicious stew.

Cooking Insert

This kitchen appliance is excellent for slow cooking. A removable stoneware pot conducts heat perfectly and ensures an even heat distribution, so that a dish doesn't burn on the bottom. Stoneware is a fantastic material for stewing and making all kinds of dishes that require slow cooking. Therefore, you will be able to cook a truly delicious food for all members of your family.

Method of Heating

This Crock-Pot slow cooker has digital controls which allow you to choose the right cooking option without any troubles. You can pick one of four standard settings with a single push of a button. It saves your time and allows you to start cooking right away. The heating element distributes the temperature evenly all over the surface of the stoneware, so the same degree of preparation is maintained in all parts of the pot.

Additional Functions

Crock-Pot slow cooker has a built-in timer that allows you to pre-set a cooking time from 30 minutes to 20 hours. This feature is very important since it allows you to add the ingredients, set the timer up and the cooking will start when you choose it. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy fresh meals when you come back home after a long working day. Also, there's an automatic Warm Setting - when the food is ready, the slow cooker will maintain the temperature. Finally, this Crock-Pot model is amazing for people who like picnics - you can take the appliance with a prepared food with you and the food won't spread all over your trunk, because you can lock the lid (it has 2 gaskets for effective spill-free sealing). This way, you can cook a tasty stew and take it to your friends and relatives who, no doubt, will be happy to enjoy such a meal.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Crock Pot 6 Quart Slow Cooker Little Dipper Combo Recipe
 

Crock Pot SCR450-PT

Design

Looking for something small, compact, functional and attractive on the bill? Why not to consider buying the Crock Pot manual slow cooker for this purpose? With no bells and whistles, its functionality is reduced to the main thing - preparing a variety of healthy slow recipes for a few hours successively and coming out with hot delicious meals by the time you’re ready to eat. The removable stoneware pot offers 4,5-Quart capacity that’s more than enough for a one-off meal for a family of 4-5 people. The body of a crock has got a brushed stainless-steel housing and a beautiful black damask pattern that will surely go with any interior of a modern kitchen. It’s definitely a worthy crock pot to consider if you’re inclined to choose a simple and durable kitchen gadget over expensive multi-cookers.

Cooking Insert

The stoneware cooking insert is known to perfectly well withstand high-temperatures and cook a variety of meals sticking-free. But what we like the most about stoneware cooking surface are its practicality options and durability. Quite often the lifetime of a stoneware insert turns out to be considerably longer than the lifetime of some more expensive insert coatings. It might conduct less heat when compared to metal crocks, but would you really doubt the readiness of a meal after it's being there in the pot for up to 7 hours? On using the Crock Pot slow cooker, we’d recommend you to not overfill it with water. The excess liquid in the pot may create too hot environment and result in food mushing.

Method of Heating

Crock Pot slow cooker is designed to cook all your favourite meals at a constant heat generated through boiling the water. This method of heating is called a source method, one of the popular ways of cooking food in basic pots. The main condition to follow when coming to preparation of food is adding about ⅔ of water in the device. This amount of liquid is just perfect for making a decent meal, that would neither turn into mush nor get burnt.

Additional Functions

There is not a big load of features offered by Crock-Pot. This particular model has been designed with practicality in mind so it should suit most average families who don’t hunt for advanced features, but stick to basics and traditions. The unit features a stoneware removable pot and a glass lid, both safe to wash in a dishwashing machine. Alas, it doesn’t have a timer which means you’d have to turn the thing off yourself and it doesn’t have an On/Off function. Surprised to hear? Well, for most it’s not an issue at all. Plug the device into the power outlet to get the crock to work and simply unplug it when the cooking is complete. Despite a scarce amount of features, a slow cooker from Crock-Pot is definitely worth a buy for its durability, output and a low price.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

BELLA BLA13973

Design

Both the housing and cooking pot of BELLA slow cooker have an oval shape and are made of polished durable stainless steel. The plastic handles on both sides are cool-touch and solid so that you can yank the cooking pot and dish up seconds later after the meal's been cooked. BELLA slow cooker has a tempered see-through glass lid that is able to withstand really high temperatures. The lid of the kind won't crack or break but let you maintain the heat inside the pot for much longer and view the cooking process.

Cooking Insert

As we've previously mentioned, the cooking insert has an oval shape so it's quite big - 5 Quarts. Such capacity allows you to cook a lot of flavored food for the whole family and, for example, for your guests. You can prepare lots of dishes - from chicken stew to vegetable stew. Actually, the unit comes with a handy recipe book where you will find lots of new amazing meals. The pot is removable and dishwasher-safe, so you can easily wash it and make no efforts at all.

Method of Heating

BELLA slow cooker has an efficient heating element designed to be used with an oval cooking pot. The unit is programmable and you can choose one of the following settings: low, high, and warm. Also, this excellent slow cooker has a countdown timer that you can program from 30 minutes to 20 hours. Therefore, you can add all ingredients, set the right time - and do what you want while the cooker will be preparing the meal for you.

Additional Functions

This slow cooker automatically switches to a Keep Warm mode as soon as cooking is over. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy a hot dish at the time you choose without a need to re-heat the food. This kitchen appliance also includes a Bella recipe book with lots of dishes and detailed instructions on how to cook them. If you think you can't cook well - BELLA slow cooker will prove you wrong. What you need are a helpful and easy-to-use slow cooker and a set of required ingredients at hand!

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 
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