All recipes expert product tester, Rachel Johnson, put the best slow cookers on the market to the test. Read on for our picks of the best slow cookers for the next time you want to cook low and slow.
To start, we rounded up the top-rated slow cookers on the market from brands like Cuisinart, Crock Pot, and Hamilton Beach. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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. The stoneware and glass lid are dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup.
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. Not only are slow cookers convenient, but they’re also incredibly versatile, cooking everything from soups, stews, and meats to all kinds of fun desserts and drinks.
Most modern slow cookers come with a few standard features, including low, high, and warming settings, a sturdy inner pot, and a glass lid. A small 2- or 3-quart slow cooker is usually recommended for two or three people, while larger models are ideal for big families or frequent hosts.
This style of slow cooker is ideal if you plan to leave it running while you ’re at work, as it ensures your meal is never overcooked. Toucan also find slow cookers with locking lids for easy transport, self-stirring systems, temperature-monitoring probes, searing and browning abilities, and more.
It will automatically switch to warm or hold the selected temperature when your desired level of oneness is reached, ensuring your food is never over- or undercooked. In addition to the probe, this Hamilton Beach Slowpoke features a digital display with a countdown timer and temperature reading.
This petite model has a manual design, meaning you have to monitor its progress, but toucan ’t beat its super-low price. Reviewers say the Elite Gourmet Slowpoke holds around 4 cups of liquid, and many notes it’s perfect for small households with limited storage space.
In addition to its high, low, and warm settings, this slow cooker from Hamilton Beach has full-grip handles and a dishwasher-safe crock and lid. For shoppers who most frequently cook for just one or two people, the Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole Slowpoke is an adorable compact and budget-friendly model.
This manual slow cooker has a fun diamond pattern on the exterior, and it even includes locking lid clips in case you need to transport it somewhere. According to reviewers, the highlights of this product include its fun pattern, compact form, and reliable performance.
If you plan to leave your slow cooker on while you ’re at work or out of the house, you ’ll want a programmable model such as the top-rated De’Longhi Livonia. The De’Longhi slow cooker has a stove top- and oven-safe inner pot, allowing you to sear or braise meat right in the crock before setting it to cook.
The unit’s Trustees technology is designed to hold the temperature steady throughout cooking, but the one downside is you have to wash the inner pot and lid by hand. It’s an age-old dilemma: You want to whip up a meal in the slow cooker while you ’re gone for the day, but the recipe says the ingredients need to be stirred periodically.
This programmable slow cooker features a digital countdown timer allows you to set cooking time anywhere between 30 minutes to 20 hours. The stir feature works with any time settings, and it will even continue stirring once the unit has switched over to warm mode.
Additionally, this Crock-Pot’s bowl, lid, and stirring paddles are all dishwasher friendly, and many reviewers say it’s worth the price for the auto-stir feature alone. It features a 6-quart nonstick aluminum cooking pot, as well as a glass lid with a cool-touch handle and steaming rack.
This programmable model comes equipped with an easy-to-use locking lid that features a gasket to create a tight seal, helping to prevent spills while traveling. This slow cooker features manual controls and three heat settings, and each of the three inserts includes a tempered glass lid that lets your guests see what’s inside.
This modern appliance boasts sleek lines and a matte gray exterior, as well as a variety of features to help you whip up delicious dishes.