The Best Slow Cookers

Table of Contents

A slow cooker is a busy home cook’s best friend. Easy and convenient, you can fill it with ingredients, turn it on, and leave it to do all the work. This is especially great if you work all day because you can home to a fully cooked meal in the evening.

A slow cooker cooks food on a low heat for several hours until the meal of your choice is tender and delicious.. Everything from roasts and chicken to meat loaf and soup comes out perfect and evenly cooked. There are a variety of different slow cookers you can buy and some are available in a variety of sizes to suit different cooking styles and appetites.

Read more about the different slow cookers you can purchase online to make an informed choice when shopping for one for yourself.

1. Editor's Pick: Crock-Pot Programmable 4-Qt. Slow Cooker

1. Editor's Pick: Crock-Pot Programmable 4-Qt. Slow Cooker
  • Programmable with four cook settings
  • Automatic warm option when cooking is done
  • 4 qt. capacity
  • Lid and interior stoneware pot are dishwasher safe
  • Flat digital panel offers easy to use one-touch digital controls
  • Inflexible Cook-time Settings

Key Specs

Brand: Crock-Pot
Model Number: SCCPVP400S-033
Product Dimensions: 29.85 x 21.92 x 30.48 cm
Special Features: Dishwasher Safe, Programmable
Item Weight: 4.01 kg

As the original slow cooker, the Crock-Pot brand brings a level of reliability and expertise to the table. Because of its long history in perfecting the art of slow cooking, we have included this mid-sized model in the list, since it meets the needs of the average-sized family.

This slow cooker is the epitome of ease. With the programmable operations pad, cooking delicious hot meals is as simple as putting the ingredients into the interior stoneware pot, adding some liquid, putting on the lid, and choosing a high or low heating speed. When it’s done, the Crock Pot will automatically shift to warm to keep the food heated, so if you’re late coming home there’s no worry that the food will burn, dry out, or be cold.

Other features include: four time settings — high with four or six-hour options and low with eight or 10-hour options; a dishwasher-safe lid; and, a removable stoneware pot.

2. Best Small Size: Maxi-Matic MST-250XS Elite Gourmet 1-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker

2. Best Small Size: Maxi-Matic MST-250XS Elite Gourmet 1-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker
  • Small capacity for one or two people
  • Lightweight
  • Tempered glass lid
  • Cool touch handles and knobs
  • Three settings
  • Small capacity
  • High setting can run hot

Key Specs

Brand: Maxi-Matic
Model Number: MST-250XS
Product Dimension: 22.35 x 22.35 x 15.24 cm
Capacity: 1.42L
Item Weight: 1.97 kg

Many people say it’s hard to cook for one person. But with a small slow cooker, making delicious meals for one or two people suddenly becomes a great solution to endless nights of canned soup, a sandwich, or re-heated frozen pizza. This 1.5-quart slow cooker opens the culinary door to an endless array of delicious meals that take little energy to make but pack a powerful punch in taste.

The inner stoneware pot in this slow cooker is removable for easy cleaning, or to take to the table for serving. it has a sleek, stainless steel design that will not take up much real estate on the counter or stored away in the cupboard and it easy to use, with three settings — low, high and warm — that are perfect for slow cooking meats, poultry, fish, rice, beans and more. Other convenient features include: a tempered glass lid; cool-touch handles and knobs; and, a temperature probe.

3. Best Large Capacity: Hamilton-Beach Programmable 7 qt. Slow Cooker

3. Best Large Capacity: Hamilton-Beach Programmable 7 qt. Slow Cooker
  • Gasket lid used with lid latch strap prevents spills
  • Removable, dishwasher safe stoneware and lid
  • Automatically shifts to Keep Warm when cooking time is up
  • Large size fits a seven-pound chicken or five-pound roast
  • Multiple programming options, including Mix and match temperatures with cooking times
  • Large capacity too big for some needs

Key Specs

Brand: Hamilton Beach
Model Number: 33474
Product Dimensions: 29.72 x 44.7 x 25.15 cm
Capacity: 7 Quarts
Item Weight: 5.58 kg

Cooking for a large family, crowd or special event can take a lot of time, energy, and pretty much all the appliances in the kitchen. Especially convenient when the conventional oven is being used, this large capacity slow cooker is ideal for adding more food to the menu without having to wait for the oven or stovetop to be available.

This slow cooker is not just about its capacity, though, even if there is something to be said about being able to fit a large five-pound roast or seven-pound chicken into the smart pot. The slow cooker has various programmable options to suit different needs — mix and match temperatures with a choice of cooking times to customize each meal. No need to watch or stir the contents; when it’s done, it will automatically switch to the keep warm option when the cooking time is up. As an added feature, this slow cooker comes with a lid latch strap so the pot can be safely transported or brought to another location without the fear of the contents leaking or spilling out.

4. Best Multi-Functional: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Slow Cooker

4. Best Multi-Functional: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Slow Cooker
  • Multi-functional with 14 built-in smart programs
  • Uses less energy than regular cooking devices
  • UL certification
  • Three-ply bottom stainless steel inner pot with brushed stainless steel exterior
  • Comes with accessories
  • May have functions of no interest to some people
  • More expensive than a regular slow cooker

Key Specs

Brand: Instant Pot
Model Number: IP-DUO60
Product Dimensions: 33.99 x 30.99 x 31.7 cm
Capacity: 5.68 L
Special Features: 35" Cord, Dishwasher Safe, Programmable

A slow cooker is so convenient and a must-have for many home cooks. But a slow cooker that also performs many cooking functions is a dream come true for anyone who likes variety but doesn’t want half a dozen small appliances to do it all.

This remarkable machine combines seven different kitchen appliances in one: a pressure cooker; a slow cooker; a rice cooker; a steamer; a yogurt maker, and a warmer. It can also sauté vegetables and other ingredients. This Instant pot can prepare dishes up to 70 per cent faster, which is a boon for today’s busy cooks and is a bonus for saving energy.

This cooker takes the guesswork out of creating delicious meals with 14 smart programs to choose from that range from soup, meat/stew and bean/chili, to poultry, rice, porridge, slow cook and more. Simply add the ingredients, press a cooking mode, and then sit back until it’s done.

The inner cooking pot is made from food grade 304-stainless steel with no chemical coatings, and the three-ply bottom offers up even heat distribution. The sealed interior pot means flavours, nutrients, and aromas are trapped inside and infused into the food with delicious results every time.

Other features include: a microprocessor that monitors pressure, temperature, time keeping, and heating intensity and duration adjustments; its UL- and ULC-certified with 10 safety mechanisms.

It also comes with accessories such as a stainless-steel steam rack with handles, a rice paddle, a soup spoon, a measuring cup; and, a recipe booklet.

5. Also Consider: Elite Platinum EWMST-325R Triple Slow Cooker

5. Also Consider: Elite Platinum EWMST-325R Triple Slow Cooker
  • Slow cook three different meals at the same time with individual temperature controls
  • Low, high and warm settings
  • Specially designed lid rests
  • Tempered glass lids with utensil slot
  • Cool touch lid handles
  • More expensive than one slow cooker

Key Specs

Brand: Maxi-Matic
Model Number: EWMST-325R
Product Dimensions: 65.02 x 67.31 x 22.23 cm
Special Features: Programmable
Item Weight: 11 kg

This awesome slow cooker makes the list because of its amazing versatility. With three separate smaller-sized slow cooker pots on one stand, three different meals can be cooked at the same time. No more waiting for one meal to finish and a pot to clean before starting the next set of ingredients for a new recipe. This buffet-style slow cooker lets you cook three different meals simultaneously which is a convenient option for a party, buffet or weekly meal planning.

The removable stoneware pots each have a 2.5-quart capacity, ideal for making a variety of dishes and for warming up food, too. Each pot has its own, separate heat controls with low, high and keep warm settings. It’s simple to make three recipes that cook at different times with no worries that anything will be over or under-cooked. Or, you can just use one pot or two for slow cooking, and leave the third empty — the individual heat controls mean that you can choose how many pots you want going at the same time.

Nestled in an attractive red holder, there’s no need to transport the finished food from one table to the next — it can all be slowed cooked or warmed up and served from the same pots for total convenience.

Other features include: a specially designed lid rests for when the food is ready to be served; and tempered glass lids with cool-touch knobs and a utensil slot for serving.

What to Look for When Choosing a Slow Cooker

Size: To accommodate many needs, slow cookers come in a variety of sizes and it’s best to purchase the size that suits your specific needs. These following factors should influence the size of the slow cooker you purchase if you cook small amounts, have a large family, like to bulk prepare or entertain large groups.

As a general rule of thumb, for meat meals, calculate one quart of slow-cooker space per pound of meat. So for example, a five-quart slow cooker can handle a five-pound chicken.

For singles or couples: The smallest slow cookers, from one to three quarts, are ideal for singles or couples who want to cook enough for one meal, wish to use it in an RV, or need it to keep gravy, dip, sauces or soup warm.

A family of four: To make larger meals to feed four people, choose a four- to five-quart slow cooker to accommodate meals like ribs, meatloaf, rice and bean casseroles and soup.

Larger quantities and leftovers: If you like to batch cook, enjoy leftovers, or have a large family or special occasion, then a six- or seven-quart slow cooker is the size for you.

Ease of use and special features: Manual models are easy to use and should have three cooking options: low, high and warm. Just layer in the ingredients, according to the recipe instructions, and turn the slow cooker on to the right cooking setting suggested in the recipe. Try not to purchase a model without the warm setting as this feature is important to have when the food is cooked but not ready to serve.

While a manual slow cooker is easy to use, it does have its limitations. You have to be there to turn it on. Another option is a programmable slow cooker. This gives you the ability to program when you want the slow cooker to start cooking. So, for example, if what you are preparing takes four to six hours to slow cook, but you’ll be out of the house for 10 hours, programming the start time means it can start while you are out and finish when you’ve been home for a bit.

Some more advanced slow cookers have a feature that automatically will switch to warm once the cooking time is done, so there is no worry about food drying out or burning.

As well, some models will take the guesswork out of how much time it takes to make various foods by offering programmable presets for different foods. And finally, some slow cookers are part of an Instant Pot that offers up multiple functions over and above slow cooking. These are perfect for anyone who prefers to have one appliance do the work of many individual ones. While convenient, they are more complicated to use and are more expensive than a simple slow cooker.

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