Best Slow Cooker – Reviews & Top Picks 2017

a great slow cookerSlow cookers are electrical kitchen appliances that are used for simmering. Having one is equal to having four perks:

1. They last long. A slow cooker can be used every day, all year round. They can even eliminate the need to spend long hours standing in front of a hot stove during summer.
2. They are easy to transport. Slow cookers are portable. Because of this, transferring them from one place to another is as easy as pie. Whether you’ll spend a holiday somewhere far or have a picnic near the park, you can bring your slow cooker with ease.
3. They save time. You might say, “That’s impossible! They’re slow!” But in reality, they help you save time by allow you to prepare the ingredients earlier and come home to freshly cooked dinner. Slow cookers are easy to set and operate, allowing you to have more time for yourself or your other chores.
4. They are easy to clean. Most cooking pots and lids are dishwasher-safe, making cleaning up a breeze. The housing itself is easy to clean since it only needs to be wiped.

A slow cooker is a great addition to your countertop. That is why we’ve done the extensive research to present you slow cooker reviews. This comprehensive guide aims to help you choose the best slow cooker that will suit your needs.

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONSITEM WEIGHTUSER RATINGPRICEOUR REVIEW
Crock-Pot SCCPVI600-S
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Slow Cooker with Stovetop-Safe Cooking Pot, Stainless Steel, SCCPVI600-S
11 x 20 x 12 inches10 pounds4.5/5$$$
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Our Review
Cuisinart MSC-600
Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker
12 x 19 x 9.5 inches

16 pounds
4.4/5$$$$$
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Our Review
All-Clad SD700450
All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert and Glass Lid, 6.5-Quart
19.9 x 14 x 11.4 inches
12.5 pounds
4.4/5$$$$
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Our Review
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker, 6-Quart
15 x 10 x 15.2 inches
8 pounds
4.3/5$
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Our Review
Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget 33967A
Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe, 6-Quart (33967A)
17 x 11 x 16 inches
15.1 pounds
4.3/5$$
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Our Review

Our Slow Cooker Reviews

#1 Cuisinart MSC-600

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-CookerThis 6-Quart Multi-Cooker from Cuisinart is the best slow cooker for the money. And that’s all because of capability to sauté, brown, and steam your dish without using another pot. The Cuisinart MSC-600 features three temperatures under its slow cooking option–low, high, and simmer. Plus, it switches automatically to Keep Warm mode once the cooking cycle is up and has a 24-hour delay timer perfect for busy individuals. This multi-cooker also features an LCD backlit display and a control panel for ease of use.
It also highlights the glass lid with a stay-cool handle to keep it warm even if the pot is hot. The inner pot, steaming rack, and the lid are all dishwasher-safe which makes it easier to clean. You’ll also love how the pot doesn’t heat up much and how easy it is to transport. The Cuisinart MSC-600 has a three-year limited warranty as well.
On the other hand, the nonstick coating of the inner pot may come off sooner than expected and because of its size, the Cuisinart MSC-600 takes up much space on your countertop. Another drawback is its lack of a locking lid feature. The downsides are a bit minor if you try to balance the pros and cons. In the end, it’s still up to you and how awesome you want your slow cooker to be.


#2 All-Clad SD700450

All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert and Glass Lid, 6.5-QuartComing from one of the best brands in the industry, the All-Clad SD700450 features an easy-to-read digital display, 26-hour delay timer, a tempered glass lid, and a control panel that allows you to select warm, low, or high temperature for your dish. The large panel is also easy to operate.

With its tempered glass lid, moist and heat are trapped. Meanwhile, the 26-hour delay timer makes preparing a lot easier since you can do it ahead of time. Just like other slow cookers of high quality, the All-Clad SD700450 also switches to Keep Warm mode automatically once the cooking cycle has ended. You don’t have to worry about uneven heat as well, thanks to the performance of the ceramic insert. It is even dishwasher-safe.

One of its downsides, however, is the quality of the ceramic insert. Other customers question its quality because of its thinness. They say there’s no telling whether it can last long. Another downside is its handles. They get hot during the cooking process. Be that as it may, it’s still a pot that’s easy to handle and transport; it’s a stunning appliance to add to your kitchen collection; and it comes from one of the most trusted brands in the industry.


#3 Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker, 6-QuartWhether you’re a beginner or a professional, this slow cooker is a wise investment for you. The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Cook and Carry Slow Cooker features a digital timer that can be set from 30 minutes to 24 hours, low and high-temperature settings, and a rubber seal that prevents it from rattling while cooking.

What makes this unique from other slow cookers is its brilliant portability. Thanks to its clampdown sealable gasket, you can prevent food from spilling while the cooker is being transferred. Together with the ever-reliable carrying handles, it becomes the most portable slow cooker ever. Want to know the best part? It only costs less than $40!

The size of the pot makes it ideal for large families as well. Medium-sized families who love to cook and stock food will also find this pot beneficial. With the portability and design of the oval-shaped inner pot, you don’t have to transfer your food to another plate or pot before serving it on the dining table. Plus, it’s also microwave and oven safe.

What you may not like is how it doesn’t switch to Keep Warm mode automatically. You actually have to set it on your own. This pot doesn’t sauté and brown your food as well. For all that, it’s the budget buy you can never regret.


#4 Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 33967A

Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe, 6-Quart (33967A)If you can spend a little more, then try the Hamilton Beach Set ‘N Forget Slow Cooker. For less than $50, you can get three choices to make your cooking more fun and easier: program, probe, and manual. The manual mode is used for traditional slow cooking. It can be set to warm, low, or high-temperature. The probe is used when you want to cook a chicken, pot roast, or pork tenderloin. The program is perfect for those occupied days since you can just set the cooking time and then forget the cooker. Don’t worry about the freshness of the food–the Hamilton Beach Set ‘N Forget Slow Cooker will automatically switch to Keep Warm mode when the cooking is finished.
The Hamilton Beach Set ‘N Forget Slow Cooker can cook your appetizers and main courses. Indeed, it’s a versatile cooker. Another benefit you can get from this is its power-interrupt protection which is very much beneficial during sudden and short outages. Worried about cleaning? Then stop. The tempered-glass lid of this cooker and the stoneware are dishwasher-safe so the task of cleaning it up with soap and water won’t fall into your hands.
Despite all that, it still has some drawbacks. For one, the plug is a little short (only 24 inches). And its locking mechanism is not so secure.


#5 Crock-Pot SCCPVI600-S

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Slow Cooker with Stovetop-Safe Cooking Pot, Stainless Steel, SCCPVI600-SBrowning. Sautéing. Slow cooking. All these are possible to do in one pot—the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Slow Cooker. For less than $70, you can get a stainless steel, removable, ceramic-coated cooking pot that can be used on a stovetop. Talk about versatility! The Crock-Pot takes your cooking to the highest level with its ability to sear, brown meat, and slow cook. Sautéing before slow cooking can now be achieved with one pot.

Aside from its brilliant and practical stovetop-safe feature, the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Slow Cooker also features a digital timer that can be set from 30 minutes to 20 hours. You can also choose from three basic cooking settings: low, high, and keep warm. Once the cooking time is done, this slow cooker will automatically shift to Keep Warm mode.

It even comes with PTFE and PFOA-free certification, assuring you of how safe it is to use. The cooking pot is also presentable to be used as a serving dish. The cooker also has a three-year limited warranty.

The lid, however, isn’t that sturdy. And though the cooking pot is dishwasher-safe, it’s advisable to manually and gently clean it with soap and water because the dishwasher has a tendency to scratch off its ceramic coating.


Slow Cooker Buying Guide

It will be practical and beneficial if you consider these factors and tips before buying the slow cooker that will fit your needs:

1. Price, Brand, and Warranty

  • Slow cookers range from $10 to $500 depending on their size and features.
  • The portability and versatility of the cooker may affect the price.
  • I recommend you wait for discounts before purchasing because it will save a lot of money and will allow you to research more about the item you have in mind while you wait for a discount.
  • Always choose from a trusted brand. The top six brands are All-Clad, Crock-Pot, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Lakeland, and Ninja.
  • Most slow cookers have a one-year limited warranty, but high-quality slow cookers usually have two to three-year limited warranty.

2. Capacity of Slow Cooker

  • If you are single or you’ll be needing the slow cooker for two people only, a 2-3-quart slow cooker will suffice for your everyday use.
  • A four-quart cooker is ideal for three to four people.
  • If your family has four to six members, a six-quart slow cooker is ideal for you.
  • If you’re six or seven (or more) in the family, an eight-quart would be perfect.
  • The most popular choice is the 6-quart size.
  • If you regularly stock food, however, then a 6-quart size will still be recommended for you even if you only have three to four family members.
  • If you usually cook large pieces of meat, you should get a slow cooker with a minimum of 6-quart capacity. Slow cookers must be kept at least half full, so you really have to consider the size you’ll get.
  • 22-quart slow cookers are available but they are only recommended for commercial use.

3. Setting

  • A slow cooker may either be programmable or manual.
  • For starters, manual slow cookers are less expensive. They feature a knob or a button with three modes: Low, High, and Keep Warm. Some also include a fourth setting which is Off.
  • A programmable slow cooker makes slow cooking much easier because you can just set the cooking time and once the cooking cycle has ended, it will switch automatically to the Keep
  • Warm mode. Usually, a programmable slow cooker allows you to set the cooking time from 30 minutes to 20 hours.
  • A programmable slow cooker is recommended to busy individuals who aren’t usually at home before dinner time and have no time to prepare.
  • Though it’s easier to operate, it also has a drawback– it will reset itself when an outage occurs.
  • However, some slow cookers have a power-interrupt feature which is very helpful during unforeseen outages.

4. Material of the Crock

  • The cooking pot is usually made of ceramic and porcelain while others are made of metal.
  • You can choose whatever you prefer since they are all good conductors of heat, which means you won’t have a problem with cooking.

5. Shape

  • An oval-shaped slow cooker is the most common choice.
  • There are also round-shaped slow cookers on the market.
  • Since neither is better than the other, it all boils down to personal taste.
  • If you want to cook whole chickens and ribs, an oval-shaped is recommended since the meat can fit better in an oval-shaped slow cooker.

6. Additional Features

  • Aside from the temperature settings, timer, and Keep Warm feature, you should also check out the slow cooker’s additional features.
  • Locking lids are brilliant features since they offer safety and prevent your food from spilling.
  • Glass lids are more practical since they allow you to monitor the cooking progress inside the pot without needing to lift the lid and exposing your hand to hot steam.
  • Plastic and more opaque lids aren’t recommended.
  • Stay-cool handles are also beneficial to keep your hand from being burned.
  • If the slow cooker can sauté, brown, and sear, that would also be a bonus point.
  • If you want additional features, make sure you have the budget to pay for a more expensive and high-end slow cooker.

7. Clean Up, Portability and Storage

  • Make sure the slow cooker is easy to clean.
  • The housing should obviously be cleaned by hand, but try to consider the inner pot and lid.
  • Unless you’re used to handwashing your dishes, then you can settle with any slow cooker.
  • If you prefer to use your dishwasher, make sure the inner pot of the slow cooker and the lid are dishwasher-safe.
  • Also, check the portability of the slow cooker. If you can answer “yes” to the question: “Is it easy and safe to transport?” then it’s portable.
  • Clamps are also great additional parts that help make the slow cooker easy to transport since they help in securing the lid.
  • Also, mind the size of the slow cooker since it will determine if it’s easy to store when it’s not in use.
  • Don’t forget to check if the cord is detachable or not. A slow cooker that has a retractable or detachable cord can help prevent clutter from your countertop.

Conclusion

Slow cookers can be likened to superheroes—they save you from worrying in the kitchen and from obviously unprepared dinners. They are perfect for busy individuals who are too tired to cook dinner when they reach home.

With slow cookers, you don’t have to compromise the quality and flavor of your food. They can still provide delectable, home cooked dishes even if you weren’t there to keep an eye on them.

If you want a kitchen superhero, then a slow cooker is will satisfy your desire. There are, however, many choices to choose from. You don’t have to worry because with proper knowledge and guidance, you can purchase your very own kitchen superhero that will fit your budget and suit your cooking needs.

Join millions of slow cooker users and be amazed at how the slow can be amazing! Slowly but surely, your food will be cooked to perfection with a slow cooker.

If you have a slow cooker in mind, don’t forget to check out the reviews about it before purchasing. Always be wise—read before you buy. You wouldn’t want to spend $100 for a low-quality product.

There are hundreds of slow cookers on the market today and most of them are of high-quality. Hopefully, with this guide, I have narrowed down your choices and helped you make up your mind.