Looking for a kitchen appliance that makes dinner prep super-easy? Slow cookers are right this way. From soups and stews, meat and casseroles, to rice puddings and cakes, these ultra-convenient appliances will take care of your healthy, delicious meals when you’re short on time. Just grab some produce, spices, and meat if you want a heartier meal, and throw everything into a slow cooker – in just a couple of hours, you’ll have a nice, homecooked meal without much effort on your part. To help you find the right cooker for your needs and budget, we tested and reviewed a wide range of models, detailing the 10 we liked the most below. And if you need more information on how to choose the best slow cooker? Our comprehensive buying guide is here to help.
The Best Slow Cooker
One of the best crock pots available in the market today has to be the Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. This model combines six different functions into one, making it super-convenient and versatile. The features include a slow cooker, a steamer, a warmer, a rice cooker, a pressure cooker, and a fast action. There are 12 one-touch smart programs, for cooking ribs, beans, rice, soups and desserts on autopilot. The parts of this crockpot include a stainless steel lid and a fingerprint-resistant body, making it durable and easy to clean. The other accessories include soup spoons, a stainless steel steam rack with handles, a measuring cup, rice paddle, and a condensation collector. All these accessories are dishwasher safe so that you can get the cooker clean for the next meal effortlessly. For the user’s safety, there are over ten inbuilt safety features, including a safety lock and heat protection, plus a stainless steel inner pot constructed with a 3-ply bottom for durability. It is the perfect solution for small families as well as singles!
12 smart one-touch programs
Six appliances in one
10 inbuilt safety features, including overheat protection
Stainless steel inner pot and lid
Comes with 5 handy accessories
- BrandInstant Pot
- Model IP-LUX60V3
- Weight 11.53 pounds
Slow cooking a whole turkey can be time-consuming but using the right appliance can make the entire process faster and easier. The Hamilton Beach Extra-Large Stay or Go Portable 10-Quart Slow Cooker can be relied on to get the job done. This slow cooker has not only a nice, sleek look but also the right features to accompany it. The 10-quart capacity will allow you to Cook a 12-pound roast or 10-pound turkey (plus vegetables!) without having to cut it to pieces. The appliance is pretty simple though: with three temperature settings, you can customize the heat at which you cook, however, that’s about it. The cooker comes with a clip-tight sealed lid that prevents spillage while making your favorite meals, and the handles are full grip so carrying the whole thing is pretty easy. As a bonus, the cooker is easy to clean because of its simple construction, and it’s pretty cheap too!
Stoneware crock and glass lid, dishwasher safe
Full grip handles
3 heat settings
Tight seal lid for anti-spill cooking
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight 16.12 pounds
Another slow cooker to consider is the Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker. One of the convenient features of this crock pot is the one-touch switch mode, which allows the user to combine functions conveniently. Does the recipe call for combination cooking? No problem, just switch modes in the middle of your cooking and you’ll have a picture-perfect meal. The appliance comes with a timer and three fully programmable cooking settings, as well as a blue backlit LCD display, which makes it easy to read. The aluminum cooking pot in the slow cooker with a timer is removable and has a 6-quart capacity, so you can create customized meals. It features a glass lid which is cool to touch and allows you to keep an eye on the content of the crockpot. The other parts of this small slow cooker are removable as well as dishwasher safe, which is always a plus. The three cooking functions allow you to slow cook on either warm, high, or low for up to 24 hours.
3 fully programmable cooking functions
Removable non-stick aluminum cooking pot
Blue backlit LCD display
Glass lid with cool-to-touch handle
Automatic Keep Warm feature
- Model MSC-600
- Weight 16 pounds
The Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro Multi-Function Cooker may be more expensive than other models, but it’s also the one of the most durable and convenient slow cookers that money can buy. It comes with some pretty incredible features to enhance your slow cooking experience, including a whopping 11 pressure cooking settings, plus one custom setting for your favorite meals. The cooker allows you to pressurize, cook, or steam your meals on high or low setting for up to 12 hours. Conveniently, you can tell what is happening inside the cooker thanks to the color-changing LCD. The safety system is three-way, featuring a locking lid, safety valve, and an automatic hands-free steam release. There is also a keep warm setting, which turns on after the food is cooked, keeping it warm until it’s ready to be served. The cooking bowl, which features a PTFE and PFOA free ceramic coating, is also removable for easy cleaning. With a six-quart capacity, this is the cooker to get whether you live alone or with family.
11 cooking settings + 1 customizable setting
Keep Warm function
3 safety features, including a locking lid
Removable cooking bowl
- Weight 14 pounds
With the KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt. Slow Cooker, you get to experience first hand how easy slow cooking can be. This digital, easy to use crockpot will make you look and feel like a cooking pro even if you’re a complete beginner. Unlike most other slow cookers, this one has an oval shape, making it look pretty classy if we do say so ourselves. The ceramic vessel has a six-quart capacity and is removable for simple cleaning, which is always a plus. There are four temperature settings with an LCD for visibility, and the cooker is programmable for up to 24 hours with 30min increments, and has a keep warm setting to keep its content at a suitable temperature. Alll in all, with four temperature settings – low, medium, high and keep warm function – and a glass lid to help you keep an eye on your food, this is one of the easiest to use slow cookers, making it perfect for first-time buyers.
4 temperature settings including Keep Warm
Programmable slow cooker, cooks for up to 24h
Ceramic vessel and glass lid
- Model KSC6223SS
- Weight 16.1 pounds
The All-Clad SD710851 Slow Cooker is another crockpot to look out for when looking for the right one, as it’s packed with useful features. It’s a four-quart cooker with stainless steel construction, so it’s quite sturdy and durable, best suited to singles and small families. It comes with an easy to use digital display with large push buttons for intuitive use. There cooking is entirely programmable, with two temperature settings for perfect meals. A complete cycle is about 26 hours, with 4 to 20 hours at a time on any schedule. Conveniently, both the insert and the pot have integrated handles for a secure grip, and there is a lid to lock in heat and moisture. The cover and insert are dishwasher safe, so no need for manual cleaning and washing!
2 temperature settings
Complete cooking time of up to 26 hours + Keep Warm function
Integrated handles on both insert and pot
Intuitive digital display
Dishwasher safe parts
- Weight 12 pounds
The Ninja MC760 Plus 4-in-1 Multi Slow Cooker is a fully programmable, large cooking appliance that allows you to perform four functions in one pot: baking, slow cooking, sear and sauté, and steaming. It works by heat fusion, which brings steam heat, bottom heat, and side heat together to thoroughly cook your meal. The digital timer allows you to conveniently operate the machine while the auto-stay warm feature keeps the food at the optimum temperature until it’s ready to be served. The cooker is equipped with handles on both the container and its lid with the lid having an extra one on top, so using and carrying it is pretty easy. If you’re looking for a reliable, easy to use slow cooker, you really can’t go wrong with Ninja!
4 programmable functions
Handles on both lid and pot
Tripe fusion heat: side, bottom and steam heat
Auto Sta Warm feature
- Weight 14.64 pounds
If you move around a lot, the Presto 06012 Nomad 8-quart Traveling Slow Cooker may be exactly what you need. With a picnic cooler style design, a large, cool-to-touch carrying handle, and extra-large 8-quart pot, this cooker is ideal for camping and traveling. When in carrying mode, the swing-up handle locks the lid tight to prevent spillage, making it safe for transport. Aside from the handle, the housing itself is cool to touch, so even complete beginners should not have any problems using the cooker. There are three temperature settings, including the Keep Warm function that will keep all your meals at a nice, warm temperature until they’re ready to be served. The cooking pot is removable but not washing machine safe; still, cleaning is pretty easy as the pot is nonstick.
Built-in cord storage
3 temperature settings, including Keep Warm
- Model 06012
- Weight 8.55 pounds
Slow cook, sear, brown and sauté your food using only one appliance – the Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker. This handsome cooker features a round, sleek, ceramic body with digital display that is super-simple to use. What sets apart this pot from others is that you can use it on a gas or electric stove, an induction cooktop, and even in the oven. Your meals will still turn out finger-licking delicious, no matter which method you use. Interestingly, the ceramic cooking surface is 11 times more durable than standard nonstick pans, and it even provides 20% more heat for faster cooking. And because it’s nonstick, the removable cooking pan is super-easy to clean too.
Durable ceramic cooking surface
2 heat settings + Keep Warm function
Removable nonstick pan
Compatible with electric, gas, and induction cooktops
- Weight 10.1 pounds
Capable of handling any slow cooker recipe, the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker will help you take care of mealtimes quickly and easily. With a 6-quart capacity, the model can cook meals for up to seven people, making it ideal for large families. The locking lid is easy to use and comes with a gasket for an additional seal. It features digital programmable control with two heat settings and you can schedule meals for cooking anywhere between 30 minutes to 20 hours. Once the cooking time is up, the pot shifts to the warm setting so that the food is at a suitable temperature when serving.
Oval stoneware design
2 heat settings + Keep Warm function
Locking lid with additional gasket
Digital programmable control
Lid and stoneware are both dishwasher safe
- Model SCCPVL610-S-A-CB
- Weight 8 pounds
Best Slow Cooker Buying Guide & FAQ
Slow cookers are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and price points, which, on one hand is great because you have lots of options, but on the other can complicate things quite a bit. Thankfully, you're in the right place. To help you find the right crockpot for your needs and budget, we've not reviewed some of the most popular models, but also put together this buying guide where we cover absolutely everything you need to know about these time-saving, versatile kitchen appliances. Read on to make your selection process easier and quicker.
What to Consider When Buying a Slow Cooker
Materials like aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic are common construction elements in the best slow cookers. When it comes to even heat distribution, ceramic is the best of the three, however, the other two are high heat conductors. Lids that are made of glass allows you to keep an eye on the content.
- Temperature and Control Settings
While basic slow cookers have two temperature settings - high and low - premium ones have at least three, with an extra keep warm setting. When choosing the best slow cookers for your kitchen, it’ll be beneficial to pick one that is flexible and gives you the chance to customize your meals. This means that it should have as many functions as possible so you can prepare a variety of dishes easily and quickly.
This has got to do with the design of the pot and how easy (or complicated) it is to use it. For example, handles make moving and transporting the cooker easier, while dishwasher safe parts help with cleaning. It is also an advantage when a slow cooker comes with additional accessories such as measuring cups, soup spoons and so on.
The size of the crockpot you buy should depend on the number of people you plan to cook for. A one or two-quart crockpot can cater to a single person while a seven to eight-quart can feed up to seven people. Make sure to get a model that serves an intended purpose so that you don't waste your money.
Why You Should Use a Crock Pot
Crock pots make cooking elaborate, time-consuming meals a piece of cake (and some can quite literally make cakes too!). They're also super-easy to use as most come with digital screens and programmable functions. They're ideal for cooking healthy and delicious dishes, such as stews and soups, meat and fish, and even certain desserts (rice pudding, anybody?). Because they're compact, they're convenient to travel with and are also easy to store when not in use. As a bonus, most slow cookers use less electricity than ovens!
Different Types of Crockpots
Some of the features that help differentiate one crockpot from another are:
- construction materials
- cooking control
There are aluminum, ceramic, and stainless steel slow cooking pots with accompanying lids which are usually made of glass. Crockpot capacities also range from 1-2 quart being mini pots, to 7-8 quart being large pots. Most slow cookers are square or round-shaped, with some being oval and rectangular in design. When it comes to cooking control or features, there are simple ones with one to two temperature settings, as well as fully programmable ones with multiple cooking programs. While simple cookers are cheaper and pretty easy to use, the programmable ones are more convenient as they allow you to multitask while cooking.
Slow Cooker vs Pressure Cooker
To put it simply, slow cookers use slow heat to cook food, while pressure cookers use fast, high heat to prepare meals. As a result, pressure cookers are faster and use less liquid, while slow cookers simmer meals over long hours.
Best Slow Cooker FAQ:
Q: What is a slow cooker and how does it work?
A: Slow cookers are appliances that use slow, low heat to prepare food by transferring the temperature evenly across the pot.
Q: How to use a slow cooker?
A: Most modern slow cookers are electronic, so all you’ll need to do is plug the appliance into an electric source to use it. Some can equally be used in the oven, on induction cooktops, and with gas.
Q: How to clean a slow cooker?
A: Some slow cookers are dishwasher safe, and so cleaning involves putting the parts in a dishwasher. Otherwise, you can clean them using soapy water and a sponge.
Our Top Pick
If you are a perfectionist with regards to your slow-cooked meals, then you will appreciate the Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. In search of the best slow cookers, this slow-cook appliance takes the crown because it's durable, easy to use, and allows you to perform up to six different functions for versatility. With 11 smart cooking programs, you'll be able to prepare the most complex dishes easily and quickly. As a bonus, all important parts are dishwasher safe and there are five handy accessories to make the whole cooking process a breeze.