Top 10 Best Slow Cookers Reviews and Buying Guide
Table of Contents
A slow cooker is a popular kitchen appliance that helps in simmering broths or other liquids consistently at a temperature lower than usual to facilitate hours of unattended cooking. It has a heating unit, a cooking bowl, and a lid, and the entire unit will be controlled using temperature control.
As the slow-cooking method is considered healthy and nutritious, a slow cooker will be an asset for any kitchen. Slow cookers usually support one-pot meals, which helps save a considerable amount of time. It is also estimated that a slow cooker uses comparatively less power than an oven.
1. Instant Pot 7-in-1 Electric Slow Cooker
This is a truly multi-functional slow cooker. It can carry out seven functions: pressure cooking, rice cooking, steaming, sautéing, etc. So, it simply saves a great deal of storage space. Numerous pre-set cooking programs come in handy when in a hurry. It heats up quickly and also supplies heat uniformly across the surface. Even hard food articles like potatoes take less than 15 minutes to cook thoroughly.
The cooking control is not very intuitive, and it takes several tries to understand the functioning finally. The keep-warm function is beneficial and retains warmth for up to 10 hours. The LED display helps in monitoring the vitals while cooking.
- 5.6-liters capacity
- 13 pre-set programs
- 70% faster cooking
- Dishwasher-friendly and fingerprint-resistant
- Built-in cord rack and condensation collector
- No glass lid to monitor the cooking
- Initial uses generate a burning odor
2. Crock-Pot Stainless Steel Slow Cooker, SCCPVL610
This is a slow cooker with impressively high capacity. The sleek design with its big handles and locking lid is very convenient. The cooking bowl is detachable; thus, you can even put it in the microwave or any other cooking tool to reheat later. As it is dishwasher-friendly, cleaning is not a major concern either.
It can cook for up to a whopping twenty hours. The dial control is very intuitive to use. The lid automatically latches onto the bowl, sealing the top, which efficiently traps the flavor inside. The built-in timer is also easily programmable. The design is modern and sharp, suiting any modern kitchen.
- Can cook enough food to serve up to seven people
- The timer can be set between thirty minutes to twenty hours
- The locking lid makes it highly portable without any spillage
- A rubber gasket is available for an extra seal
- No indicator lights or alarms to flag the completion of cooking
- The keep-warm setting does not automatically switch on, but you’ll have to enable it manually.
3. Hamilton Beach 33869 Portable Slow Cooker
This slow cooker features a classic design and essential features. It does not have a modern look to it, nor does it have any advanced features. But it functions very well, especially regarding heat retention. The lids get extra security using the lid clips, which help you carry the cooker along without spilling any content.
The spoon rest is an intelligent design choice. It helps you keep the spoon or spatula without spoiling the countertop. The display panel and the button control are average and less intuitive. The design could have been a bit compact or detachable, so the device storage issues would have been avoided.
- It comes with an efficient temperature probe.
- You can set the timer between 30 minutes and twenty-four hours
- You can set the temperature between high, low, and warm
- Supports defrosting
- Six-quart capacity
- The display and button panel are pretty confusing. Sometimes, you must press the buttons at least six times to pick your desired cooking function.
4. KitchenAid KSC6223SS Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
This is an easily programmable slow cooker. It has a large cooking vessel, enough to feed a large family. The 24-hour programmability is an excellent addition to convenience. The stainless-steel exterior has a glossy and sophisticated finish, but unfortunately, it is prone to fingerprints and stains.
The glass lid helps you monitor the cooking without having to open the lid. The button panel and display screen are very user-friendly and easy to read. There is a dedicated spot beneath the device to store the cord conveniently. But the lid does not have a locking feature, and thus, portability is not something that this device can claim.
- 5.6-liters capacity
- Removable cooking vessel
- You can set the timer between 30 minutes and 24 hours
- Automatic keep-warm mode
- The keep-warm mode only retains heat for four hours
- Not fingerprint-resistant
5. Hamilton Beach Extra Large 33195 Slow Cooker
This is an extra-large slow cooker. Despite the big size, the cooker is lightweight and handy. The handles come with a full grip that ensures that the larger quantity does not cause the cooker to slip. The three heat settings on this cooker, high, low, and keep-warm, are simple yet highly effective.
The heat retention capabilities of the cooker are impressive. The lid has a clip feature, enabling you to use the cooker as a takeaway vessel without causing spillage. But it has to be said that the clip is not the easiest to use. At times, it is very challenging to fasten the clip on the lid.
- 10-quarts capacity
- Glass lid
- Oval shape to fit bigger pieces of protein
- 450 watts
- It gets too hot after a while, which causes the contents to reduce faster
6. All-Clad SD700350 7-Quart Slow Cooker
This reasonably big slow cooker can cook for up to twenty hours. As it can accommodate large meals, it would be perfect as a family slow cooker. The cooking bowl/insert quickly picks up the heat and retains it well. The bowl is removable and is compatible with stovetops.
One of the highlights is that you can transform it into a serving dish, thanks to its built-in handles. The dishwasher compatibility makes cleaning much easier with this cooker. One major downside is the size and build. It is not a sleek or compact cooker and, thus, occupies a great deal of counter space.
- 7-quarts capacity
- Four cooking modes
- Push button controls have an intuitive design
- 210 Watts
- Cast aluminum insert
- The handles also get hot while in use
- Repeated washing would cause discoloration on the aluminum base
7. Cuisinart MSC-600 Slow Cooker
This is an easy-to-use slow cooker. The cooking timer supports even the longest slow cooking for up to twenty-four hours. The controls and display are very easy to read and manage. The lid and the cooking insert can be easily cleaned with a dishwasher or using simple soap water.
The 16 pounds weight can be a downside for many, but it feels like the weight adds to the stability of the cooker. The keep-warm function effectively switches on automatically once the cooking is over. The glass lid provides a convenient opportunity to monitor the cooking without opening the lid and losing steam.
- One-touch operational interface
- The backlit display makes it easy to read
- Cool touch handles
- 6-quarts capacity
- Quite expensive
8. West Bend 87905 Non-stick Slow Cooker
This is a highly versatile slow cooker. It weighs relatively less and, thus, is highly portable. The low weight is due to its low capacity, which is a downside. The cooking surface is non-stick and easy to clean.
The glass lid is very useful in monitoring the cooking process. The keep-warm option is a great resort to keep the food warm for hours.
- It comes with a heat-retaining carrying bag.
- The insert is compatible with stove tops, ovens, refrigerators, etc.
- The thick bottom supports other cooking methods like frying, shallow frying, etc.
- 500 Watts
- No digital timer
9. Ninja MC1001 8-in-1 Non-stick Slow Cooker
This aluminum non-stick slow cooker serves the functions of around fourteen kitchen appliances. You can steam, roast, slow cook, bake, etc., in this very convenient cooker. It is highly versatile and can even use the insert for cooking in an oven.
The food cooks relatively uniformly in this cooker. You can feel that the heat supplies from the two sides and the bottom of the cooker for even cooking.
- Eight cooking functions
- The thick bottom supports sautéing and frying
- 8.5-quarts capacity
- Cooks 30% quicker than the counterparts
- Built-in utensil rest
- High power consumption of 1200 Watts
10. Elite Gourmet MST-900D Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
This stainless-steel slow cooker comes in a range of two-color choices. The sturdy handles are an advantage regarding portability. You can easily program the timer for up to twenty hours.
The cooking pot is quite large and supports uniform cooking. You can control the temperature settings between low, medium, and high. The glass lid works very well in trapping moisture and providing a peek during the cooking process.
- 8.5-quarts capacity
- 280 Watts
- Cool touch handles
- The exterior also gets hot after a while of cooking
How to Choose the Best Slow Cooker?
You can choose the best slow cooker by paying attention to the following features.
Capacity is very crucial for a slow cooker. It is advisable to have a capacity between 6 to 7 quarts to carry out most essential-cooking recipes. As slow cooking involves consistent simmering and gradual reduction, it is essential to accommodate a reasonable amount of liquid to have the desired consistency.
Pre-set Cooking Functions
Although it may seem that additional cooking modes are not necessary for a slow cooker, they will be great convenient features for the user. A pre-set cooking function can save significant time for the user, especially for a beginner. You need not worry about finding the right temperature for a particular cooking function if it is available in the device.
The primary requirement with the lid of a slow cooker is that it should be able to lock. A lockable lid can only prevent any possible spillage. Many cooker models transform into serving vessels also. For such make-shift vessels, a lockable lid is also inevitable for safe transportation. The lid should close tight enough that the heat can effectively trap inside the cooking dish and fasten up the cooking. A glass lid is ideal for monitoring the cooking too.
Although not that common, many slow cooker models support sautéing, frying, and other cooking functions within the same dish. Multi-functional capabilities enable the user to save significant money and counter space.
An adjustable timer is a must-have for any slow cooker. The user should be able to program the timer according to the recipe to achieve the right texture. It would be appreciable if the timer had a mild alarm indicating that the cooking was over.
An efficient slow cooker helps to cook healthy in any kitchen. Amongst numerous competent slow cooker models, the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Electric Slow Cooker comes at the top for its reasonable capacity, multi-functional capabilities, quick cooking, pre-set functions, and many more.