You can also precisely adjust the temperature and pressure level (from 1.5 to 12 Psi, one of the biggest ranges we've seen) or select pre-programmed settings for vegetables, rice, risotto, soup, stock, beans, poultry, meat, bone-in meat, chili and stew, dessert and custom. We also found the LCD screen and knobs were super intuitive and easy to use, and like that the cooking insert is dishwasher safe.
Don't worry about cleaning up because the insert and lid are both dishwasher safe, and with a five-year warranty, Wolf is standing by their product. It can also be used to sauté, simmer, steam, cook rice or quinoa, or make yogurt.
It will take a bit of experimentation to figure out which setting is right for your recipe, but once you find the correct temperature you'll be using this stainless steel cooker with 6-quart capacity for every meal. This Cuisinart Programmable Slowpoke automatically switches to the keep warm setting after cooking and remains there for up to eight hours.
It also includes a “simmer” setting that's great for hearty cuts of meats like brisket that need to cook all day. It holds up to six quarts, automatically switches to Keep Warm, and has a stoneware cooking insert that is dishwasher and oven safe.
Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping Institute Senior Testing Editor & Producer Nicole is a recipe developer trained in classic culinary arts and culinary nutrition who specializes in testing and developing kitchen appliances; she currently runs the Good Housekeeping Kitchen Appliances Lab. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
It requires at least a little of liquid to prevent the bottom from burning, although most slow cooked foods are more liquid like a soup, stew, or chili. We checked for good temperature control and consistency during cooking and evaluated each slow cooker ’s design, safety, and ease of use without the help of an instruction manual.
We also assessed keep warm features, meat tenderness, and flavor development of dishes. Pressure cooker models that have slow cook features did well also, but with slightly lower results.
Based on our Kitchen Appliances Lab tests, here are our top picks for the best slow cookers of 2020: Some slow cookers also have a keep warm setting (165 °F), which is above the food-safe temperature of 145 °F without overcooking the food.
This is very handy, but we don’t recommend using this feature for longer than two hours, especially when cooking with meat; according to the FDA, when food sits out at room temperature for more than two hours, bacteria starts to increase exponentially, putting you at risk for illness. Simply throw all your ingredients in and allow the slow and low heating process to bring out all the flavors of your dish.
But the world of slow cookers has expanded in recent years with the introduction of time-saving multi-cookers like the viral Instant Pot. All recipes expert product tester, Rachel Johnson, put the best slow cookers on the market to the test.
To start, we rounded up the top-rated slow cookers on the market from brands like Cuisinart, Crock Pot, and Hamilton Beach. From basic manual slow cookers to programmable multi-cookers, Rachel tested them all.
For this test, Rachel prepared Chef John's Slowpoke Beef Pot Roast, to put the searing, meat tenderizing, and overall slow cooking abilities of each slow cooker to work. A basic slow cooker is made up of three elements: the base, the cooking vessel, and the lid.
The base contains the thin metal liner that conducts heat, which is then transferred to the cooking vessel. They also help bring out the flavor in your ingredients, and depending on the size, they can allow you to cook large portions of food all in one pot.
Cuisinart takes best in show with their multi cooker that allows for slow cooking, browning, and steaming all in one. The cooking base on this multi cooker is shallow and wide, which gives you a more even distribution of heat.
Although this is the highest priced slow cooker of all those we tested, it's at the top of the list for its browning and steaming abilities, plus its unique flat and wide design. Hamilton Beach is known for providing reliable kitchen equipment at affordable prices, and this slow cooker is no exception.
The digital screen allows you to cycle through preferred heat settings and your desired cooking time, before automatically switching to warm when it's done. Rachel found the digital control panel to be somewhat confusing, but easy enough to understand after one use.
Buy It: Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Programmable Slowpoke, $45; Amazon Ideal for small apartments or anyone with limited storage, this no-frills slow cooker will give you the perfect portions every time.
Because of its size, this slow cooker is a breeze to store and clean (the lid and ceramic insert pot easily fit in any dishwasher). Its high sided ceramic pot allows food to be fully submerged in liquid, for moist, flavorful dishes.
To be expected at such a low price point, this slow cooker must be manually shut off and does not feature a timer. For the price, this is a reliable slow cooker that makes just the right amount of food for individuals or small families.
Perfect for tailgates or potlucks, this slow cooker from Crock-Pot has a locking lid and wide handles for easy transport. At a reasonable price, this slow cooker earns high marks for both functionality and portability.
Buy It: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slowpoke with Digital Timer, $45; Amazon One of the standout features is the lid that locks into place, preventing virtually any heat or steam from escaping during the cooking process.
Rachel says, “In the nature of a true 'multi- cooker ', the Instant Pot allows for the entire cooking process to be completed inside the unit. From searing to slow cooking, the Instant Pot adapts relatively well to any situation.
However, this slow cooker does have a sleek design with a user-friendly control pad that will countdown cooking time to the second. Its tall sides are great for stews, soups, or any foods that are submerged in liquid.
At a reasonable price point, this slow cooker is definitely a top contender when it comes to design and functionality. No longer just for cooking stews and tough cuts of meat, slow cookers are used to make everything from overnight oats to authentic Indian curries.
Slow cookers do not allow for the liquid to evaporate, as the crock is closed throughout the cooking process. Keep in mind, using this method will put the vegetables super close to the heat source, located at the bottom of the machine, so you'll want to choose something hearty (or firm) that can withstand the heat over a longer period of time.
There’s nothing better than easily prepped, fix-it-and-forget-it slow cooker dishes that make everything from weeknight dinners to weekend entertaining a breeze. While there is so much to love about this handy appliance, there's also an overwhelming array of new slow cooker styles, fun designs, and brand-new tricks out there.
To help you narrow down the selections and aid your search for the perfect companion for your cooking style and needs, we've gathered the best of the best. The lockable lid, rubber gasket seal, and sturdy handles help your food stay put if you're on-the-go.
It’s also a good option for those who like to make dips and appetizers regularly, but don’t require buckets of them. This whopping 10-quart slow cooker is for the tailgating professional, the church potluck matriarch, and the freezable-leftovers enthusiast.
Throw large roasts and briskets in for a cookout main dish that won’t dare run out. Clips on the lid allow it to be securely closed to prevent spills while food is being transported.
Ten smart program settings allow you to start cooking all of your favorite foods with just the touch of a button. In addition to slow cooking, this multi- cooker also has one-touch settings for roast, bake, steam, sear/sauté, rice, yogurt, and keeping warm.
The 8-quart capacity is large enough to hold larger cuts of meat including roasts and is also big enough for special occasions. Get dinner on the table and brighten up the kitchen with this cheery printed slow cooker from The Pioneer Woman.
It’s an ideal 3-quart size for family weeknight dinners, and the pretty print will make you want to use it every week.