A slow cooker will allow you the convenience to kick back and relax instead of staying on your feet prepping dinner all night after work. But the greatest part about a slow cooker is that no matter how easy the process is for you, there is no flavor sacrificed in the process.
If you are trying to save time by prepping meals ahead, throwing them in a slow cooker, and then going on about your business while you create a delicious meal, we have the list for you. We have compiled the best slow cooker options so that you can have yummy, easy meals all the time. Even if you are not yet sure what to look for in slow cooker options, we will lay it out for you in this article along with eight amazing examples so that you feel prepared to start slow cooking.
1. What Is a Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers take the cooking process to a whole new level. They take way longer for your food to cook than cooking in other methods, such as on the stove top or in the oven. Instead of cooking at higher temperatures, the temperature is kept low and the ingredients get to simmer together for much longer.
2. How Long Do Slow Cookers Take?
One of the most convenient parts about slow cookers is how long they can take. Even though that sounds counterintuitive, it's actually a nice benefit because you can prepare some ingredients, throw them in the slow cooker, and go to bed for the night or go out to work for the day and come back to a hot and delicious meal.
By contrast, cooking things on the stove takes about an hour, usually requiring stirring and maintenance, while cooking in the oven takes time to preheat plus the baking time. The best slow cooker will allow you to work around your busy schedule to make your life more convenient.
3. How Do Slow Cookers Work?
Slow cookers have an inner vessel which is the part you put the ingredients in. On the base is where you can control the temperature and settings for the slow cooker. To ensure your food is cooked evenly for that delicious flavor and tenderness, the heat comes through the bottom of the vessel and rises up the sides to cook your food from all directions. Slow cookers cook your food at much lower temperatures than the oven or a stove top, and this is what allows you to just leave the food alone for so long.
4. Where Can You Buy Slow Cookers?
You can purchase slow cookers in the home goods section of department stores such as Macy's. You can also buy slow cookers in home supply stores like Home Depot, or in large supermarkets like Target. Cooking stores such as Williams-Sonoma also sell slow cookers. If you would rather purchase your best slow cooker online, you can order them from Amazon. You can also order your slow cooker from the website of the brand of your choice.
How We Reviewed
We understand that it is difficult to choose which appliances to buy, especially when there are so many out there with different features to consider. To make your life easier, we compiled this list of the eight best slow cooker options for you to choose from. We are unbiased in our reviews, and we provide the features of each for you along with pros, cons, and the price so that you can make an informed decision when it is time for you to purchase.
While everyone has their own individual preferences to consider when deciding which is the best, we still determine the overall slow cooker at the end of this article for you to have an idea of where to start.
What We Reviewed
Black+Decker 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker with Chalkboard Surface, Slate, SCD4007
- Chalkboard Surface - Get creative! The exterior of the slow cooker is a chalkboard, perfect for drawing on and for...
- Chalk Included - You get two sticks of chalk with the slow cooker. Plus the surface works with any traditional...
- Locking Wires - The locking system lets you take your favorite food to potlucks and tailgates. Plus, it stays out...
This 7 qt slow cooker not only has a huge capacity for large portions (and get-togethers), but the outside of it is actually a chalkboard exterior. You would never know since it looks so sleek, but this fun feature means you can label it when you bring your slow cooker with you full of delicious food.
KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt. Slow Cooker with Standard Lid - Stainless Steel
This stainless steel slow cooker is designed for convenience with its 24-hour programmability, allowing you to start cooking your favorite dishes at all hours of the day. This way, your meals will be prepared just in time for when you need them, instead of sitting around getting cold.
Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker, Dark Stainless Steel
- Conveniently sear, brown, sauté, & slow cook all in one pot for maximum flavor
- Cooking pot is oven safe and compatible with electric, gas, and induction cooktops
- Ceramic cooking surface is 11x more durable* and provides 20% more even heat (*Compared to standard nonstick)
This dark stainless steel slow cooker would look gorgeous on any countertop. Its ceramic surface makes it easy to clean. It also has the amazing feature of being able to cook with the inner pot on any electric, gas, or induction cooking devices. This means you can saute something in the pot and then transfer it to the slow cooker base seamlessly.
Crock-Pot SCCPVI600-S 6-Quart Countdown Programmable Oval Slow Cooker with Stove-Top Browning, Stainless Finish
- Ceramic-coated pot can be used for stove-top browning and then placed in the slow cooker
- Digital timer counts down cooking time; program cooking time from 30 minutes to 20 hours
- 6-quart slow cooker serves 6+ people
This slow cooker is great for serving groups of 6 people. It makes clean up and serving dinner a breeze with its removable inner pot. This, like the previous slow cooker, can be cooked on the stove for any pre-cooking you have to do in order to keep it all in one dish.
Hamilton Beach Professional Sous Vide Water Oven & Slow Cooker, 6 Quart Programmable, Stainless Steel (33970)
- Dual functionality, twice the versatility
- Sous vide uses precise temperature control to cook food evenly and perfectly throughout
- Slow cooking gently cooks food over a long period of time, retaining its flavor and moisture
This slow cooker is perfect for any chef who wants some versatility in the kitchen. This device actually doubles as a sousvide water oven, ensuring that no matter which way you choose to cook your meals, they will be tender and cooked to the ideal temperature.
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
- Upgrade from duo: Instant Pot Duo plus is the updated duo. Duo plus upgrades include the easyseal lid to...
- Cooks fast & saves time: The Instant Pot Duo plus Multi-Cooker combines 9 Appliances in one: pressure cooker, slow...
- Consistently delicious: 15 one-touch smart programs put cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts...
This slow cooker is great for anyone who wants convenience and ease. With a ton of one button options and the ability to connect to Alexa so you can even be hands-off, this slow cooker integrates technology seamlessly into the cooking experience.
All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert and Glass Lid, 6.5-Quart, Silver
- 6.5-quart, oval-shaped, stainless-steel slow cooker with removable black ceramic insert, large enough to cook food...
- 4-20 hours cooking times with a complete cycle time of up to 26 hours for preparing home-cooked meals on any...
- Easy to read digital display and large push-button controls for intuitive use to easily find your perfect programs
This slow cooker can be programmed for up to a whopping 26-hour schedule of cooking. That allows for even the busiest person to have a chance to cook the perfect meal.
Elite Gourmet MST-250XS Electric Slow Cooker, Adjustable Temp, Entrees, Sauces, Stews & Dips, Dishwasher Glass Lid & Ceramic Pot,1.5Qt Capacity, Silver
- 1.5 Quart removable inner stoneware pot
- Convenient LOW / HIGH / KEEP WARM settings
- Attractive stainless steel finish and tempered clear glass lid
This compact little cooker is good for one person who just needs a small portion to be made in the cooker. At its low cost, this slow cooker is great for anyone living alone who wants the flexibility of a slow cooker.
The Verdict - Best Slow Cooker
While every single slow cooker on this list is high quality compared to others on the market, we have determined our best slow cooker choice to be the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer. At about more than average price, it runs pretty much middle of the road in terms of price.
It also comes with a free app that has recipes and it can sync up with Alexa too for those of you who are tech-savvy. With the 7 different functions it provides, who wouldn't want such a capable slow cooker at such a reasonable price?
Even if you have different specific needs in your kitchen, now that you've read this article you should feel more informed about making the decision. Now all you have to do is find some ingredients you can toss in a pot and let simmer for as long as you like!