Slow cookers – better known as crock-pots – are a popular kitchen tool that’s been around for ages. They are not your average pressure cooker! Apart from whipping up flavorful dishes, crock-pots can be used to cook everything from congee to cheesecake, “bake” potatoes to beef ribs! Simply put, crock-pots are an essential cooking tool that no household should be without. Slow cookers are comparable to traditional ovens in performance but the former consume less electricity.
Of course, slow cookers vary in price and features and some models work better than the others that’s why we created this buying guide to make your search as easy as possible. Below are some of the most important reasons why slow cooker rocks:
Slow cookers are fairly affordable and they make a worthwhile investment. Basic crock-pots cost around $30 to $50 but the higher end models go anywhere from $100 to $300, which means these kitchen tools are more affordable when compared to traditional ovens.
Cooking with slow cookers is inexpensive too. Most crock-pots consume 250 watts or power while traditional ovens draw up to 4,000 watts. Finally, you can breathe life back to leftovers with a crock-pot, which will save you $$$ on food waste or spoilage.
Regardless if want to create healthy dishes or you are sticking to a meal plan, a crock-pot is definitely a godsend for the health conscious. Most slow cooked dishes do not require copious amounts of fats or oils so you always come up with healthy results. Trimming the fat off on meats before slow cooking also reduces grease. Because the dishes are slow cooked, the slow cooked meals are even tastier, more flavorful!
Easy and Convenient Cooking
If you don’t know your way around the kitchen, get a slow cooker. Cooking is as easy as pie. Just chuck all ingredients in the pot, let the whole thing cook, and you’re done. It’s easy peasy. What’s more, you can also save more time using a slow cooker. Because you don’t have to keep an eye on the dish as it cooks in the crock pot, you can do other things and leave your slow cooker to complete the cooking for you! This is the perfect cooking tool for busybodies.
Clean Up is a Breeze
The best thing about owning and using a slow cooker is that cleanup is a breeze. Most slow cookers come with a removable crock and this is the only component that needs cleaning. Just soak the used crock in the sink and clean with soapy water.
The Best Slow Cookers for Any Budget
$40 and Below
BLACK+DECKER 7 Quart Dial Control Slow Cooker
The Black + Decker slow cooker is a high capacity slow cookers with three heat settings for customized temps in cooking. The crock-pot itself is made from durable stoneware so the heat is evenly distributed. Stoneware also makes the pot easy to clean! This is a basic slow cooker with cool touch handles, tempered glass lid and dishwasher safe parts for safe, efficient cooking every time. The crock pot also comes in an array of fun colors to choose from! Black + Decker has bundled this slow cooker with a recipe guide to get started, perfect if you want to surprise the fam with your cooking prowess!
Overall, this is your basic slow cooker but the color variants are anything but. We like the different heating temperature especially when we’re whipping up a large batch of stew that we’d like to cook for very slowly. It keeps cooked food warm hours after cooking and the crock pot is pretty enough to double as a serving pot too! The generous size means you can whip up 8 servings of hot meals, making this slow cooker a great buy if you have a large family.
As for the downsides, the quality of this crock-pot disappoints. The cool touch handles feel flimsy and the metal exterior looks thin. But for its price, the Black + Decker slow cooker is a great buy.“
Hamilton Beach 33473 Programmable Slow Cooker
The Hamilton Beach 33473 is a programmable slow cooker that promises easy cooking with “no watching and no stirring.” This slow cooker’s programmable heat settings allow you to mix and match the best temps for cooking and once the dish is cooked, the unit turns off automatically. The 33473 cooks food evenly thanks to its wraparound heating element and stoneware component. Some of the components are removable and dishwasher safe.
One thing we loved about the 33473 is its energy efficiency. It features a timer and once cooking is done, the crock-pot turns itself off on its own. That’s a great feature when you don’t have the time to keep an eye on the pot constantly. The large capacity means you can whip up large batches of meals at a time. It’s large enough to cook a whole 6 pound chicken or 4 pounds of roast. At this price point, the Hamilton Beach 33473 impresses with its excellent features!
For the negatives, the construction of the slow cooker feels cheap and flimsy but that’s expected for a pot that’s less than 30 bucks. Still, we wish Hamilton Beach went above and beyond in terms of offering more value to customers.
Elite Platinum 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
Elite Platinum’s Maxi-Matic slow cooker is a stainless steel crockpot with a generous 8.5 quart capacity. This slow cooker features 3 heat settings including a keep warm option to keep cooked meals piping hot for longer. The exterior of the crock-pot is brushed metal, making the product look and feel pricier than it really is. Inside, the crock-pot features a stoneware pot with more room for larger meals. The tempered glass lid and cool touch handles and knobs ensure safe and worry-free cooking.
With an 8.5-quart stoneware pot, the Maxi-Matic can take on large cooking jobs, a great thing if you’re entertaining friends. The pot itself is not perfectly round but oval to accommodate large pot roasts, casseroles, and stews. The unit delivers a nicely even, consistent heating, ensuring your meals stay moist, tender, and delicious every time.
For the downside, using this crock-pot, we can’t help but notice a faint burning smell and smoke a few minutes after it’s been turned on. According to the manufacturer, this is completely normal but it may cause panic among the uninitiated. Also, some users say this crock-pot gets way too hot too fast but we did not come across the same issue.
Disney Pixar Oval Slow Cooker
That’s right, Disney Pixar somehow came out with its own slow cooker. This affordable crockpot features some of the movie outfit’s most memorable characters from Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Toys Story, and Finding Nemo. This is a fun purchase if you love any of these classic animated movies but watch out if you have kids. They might mistake this crock-pot for a toy. This product has a capacity of 7 quart and it features 3 heat settings. It comes with adjustable temperature dial for customized heating as well as an oval-shaped pot to accommodate large meals.
The stoneware components and inserts are dishwasher safe. Just lift the insert and it will pop out conveniently when it’s time for cleanup. We loved the adjustable temperature controls because they help create the perfect cooking environment for larger cuts of meats. The non-skid rubber feet are a plus especially for busy kitchens.
As for the negatives, we feel that this crock-pot invested more on the “cute” factor rather than betting big on excellent features or performance. It’s cute and a collector’s item no doubt, but the performance is lacking. It feels more like a toy rather than a full-blown crock pot. Most users agree, although the Disney Pixar slow cooker is a decent crock-pot, the concept itself feels somewhat gimmicky.
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker
Crock-Pot’s Programmable slow cooker is a 6-quart programmable crock pot with an oval shaped stoneware cooker and digital timer. Although smaller than the average capacity of the crock-pots on this list, it helps that the slow cooker’s pot is oval-shaped to accommodate more ingredients. It’s big enough to take on a complete meal for 7 people. The pot has a locking lid so it’s nice and secure while cooking. The digital controls are programmable and you have the choice to set the cooking time between 30 minutes and 20 hours.
This slow cooker also turns on the warm setting automatically as soon as cooking is completed. The oval stoneware is removable for easy cleaning and it doubles as a serving dish too! We love how easy to use and dependable this crock-pot is. The timer is great if you’re in a rush and you have no time keeping an eye on the food as it cooks. You can customize the heating setting to create perfectly cooked dishes every time. Some of the components are removable and dishwasher safe, which is always a plus!
As for the downsides, most complaints by Amazon users revolve around the overall quality of the crock-pot. Some says certain components are falling apart, others claim theirs stopped working after a few uses. We did not encounter the same issue but these are something worth noting before choosing this product. Our only gripe is the 30-day guarantee; we wish it’s longer just to give us more time to observe how the unit works after more than a month of use.
$100 and Below
Mid-range slow cookers are not your grandma’s old crockpot. They come with more controls for customized settings as well as added extras like digital displays, touchscreen panels, and so much more.
Gourmia SlowSmart 8.5 quart Digital Slow Cooker
The Gourmia DCP-860 is a smart slow cooker with a digital timer + programmable modes. Perfect for lazy days and worry-free cooking, the DCP-860 has 3 heating settings and auto-warm feature to keep your favorite dishes nice and warm after cooking. The oval-shaped crock-pot allows for larger pieces of meats and poultry, which makes the DCP-860 a great cooking companion during special events. The pot is pretty large too at 8.9 quart.
As for safety features, the DCP-860 has cool to touch handles and a removable pot that doubles as serving dish. Also, the tempered lid feels very solid and there’s no fear that it’ll crack as you cooking. The ergonomically designed buttons are laid out in such a way that they are easy to set during cooking. On top of all these niceties, the DCP-860 also comes with a 1-year service warranty for a worry-free purchase.
We love the DCP-860 because it makes cooking a convenient affair. The features are programmable so cooking is so easy! If there’s one thing that we noticed when using this crock pot is that it gets too hot too quickly. We’ve also discovered that most users say the same thing so that’s something worth considering when checking out this particular model.
Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker
The Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS is truly a step up from your ordinary slow cooker. This is a smart crock pot with a touchscreen display and programmable controls. Its sleek, contemporary design will make the SCVT650-PS right at home at any modern kitchen. Although the SCVT650-PS is smaller than some crock-pots at this price point, the SCVT650-PS is oval-shaped so it can accommodate larger pieces of meat and poultry. The touchscreen control panel features a programmable cooking time, 3 settings, and an auto-keep warm function that kicks in after the dish has been cooked.
We loved the high shine of the crock-pot’s stainless steel exterior, giving the SCVT650-PS an even more luxurious feel. The metal sides are crafted from stainless steel too but they are covered with a silicone wrap. The SCVT650-PS’ removable cooking pot and glass lid are dishwasher safe so clean up is a straightforward affair. Crock Pot is also throwing in a 1 year limited warranty for a risk-free purchase.
The SCVT650-PS is one of the bestselling slow cookers on Amazon and for a reason. It combines great looks with fantastic features and great value. However, most users are complaining about the quality of the lid. Many say the lid cracks after several uses. We did not come across the same issue simply because we did not test this unit long enough to come across noticeable issue with the lid but again, something to consider when checking out this model. Some users also say that the quality of the components isn’t as sturdy as its all metal exterior.
Cuisinart PSC-650 Programmable Slow Cooker
Cuisinart is known for its fine kitchenware and the PSC-650 is what you’d expect from the brand. This is a programmable slow cooker with a 3 mode setting (simmer, low and high) for easy, quick cooking. It comes with a 24-hour programmable cooking time, an auto keep warm feature as well as a round ceramic cooking pot. As with all crock-pots, the heating pot on the PSC-650 is removable so it doubles as a serving dish and is dishwasher safe.
On the outside, the PSC-650 is striking with its brushed stainless steel housing, tempered glass lid with stainless steel rim and cool-touch duo-chrome handles. This unit comes complete with a cooking rack, a recipe book, and the manufacturer’s manual.
We love how solid the crock-pot is and beyond its obvious good looks, this slow cooker will make meal times relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family! While our test unit ran smoothly throughout the trial period, some users are having problems with the overall quality of their PSC-650s. Some customers say the pot insert of their PSC-650s cracked after several uses while some users lamented over the poor quality of the components. Issues aside, this is a great slow cooker if you’re looking for a great mid-range crock-pot.
West Bend Versatility Slow Cooker
The West Bend 84915G is a portable slow cooker that comes with its own insulated tote! This is a basic, no frills slow cooker that you can take outdoors. With a capacity of 5 quart, the 84915G is not as large as indoor slow cooker but using this unit, you can whip up your favorite stews and soups in a jiffy. It’s pretty cute too thanks to its quirky designed exterior and matching tote.
The 84915G also features a “transport” lid, which is basically a thick, plastic lid that you can stow in small spaces. The lid also locks in place, preventing spills during transit. The base of the 84915G can also double as a light duty griddle. All of the crock-pot’s non-electrical parts are dishwasher safe so clean up is just As quick and easy.
As for the downsides, the features are not worth writing home about. Most of the crock-pots at this price point come with programmable controls and other extras, something that’s lacking on the 84915G, which makes this model pretty pricey for what it is. Also, since this product is not designed for heavy cooking, it’s not the most durable slow cookers you can find on the market. Unless you’re looking for a travel-friendly crock pot, the 84915G might not appeal to everyone.
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker
The Wemo 6-quart crackpot takes slow cooking to a completely new level. This Wi-Fi-enabled slow cooker is linked to a mobile app, Wemo. Essentially, you can control the unit remotely including the cooking time and temperature. Of course, you can control this slow cooker manually but where’s the fun in that? According to the brand, the Wemo crock-pot offers a solution to those who’d want to come home to a warm meal after a long day at work. You can control the crock-pot remotely using 3G and 4G too!
The Wemo crock-pot features 3 setting, auto warm feature, and removable stoneware. The app itself is available for both Apple and Android but the OS should be higher than iOS 7 and Android 4.0 respectively.
The Wemo crock-pot has a 6-quart capacity so it’s large enough to accommodate larger meals. It also features cool touch handles and built-in cord storage. We love how easy to clean this slow cooker, perfect for lazy days when you just want to enjoy your meal and not think too much about cleanup. As for the downsides, this product could be cumbersome to use if you’re not familiar with the Wemo app. Some users also say that connecting the device to Wi-Fi can be a struggle. Our only gripe is the flimsy components. The Wi-Fi-enabled function feels somewhat gimmicky but could be a great feature during special events or emergencies.
$200 and Below
Crockpots at this price point come with hi-tech features including Wi-Fi connectivity, digital displays and high quality components. It’s rare for slow cookers at this price point to offer a single cooking setting, they usually come with multipurpose cooking settings for added flexibility!
All-Clad Programmable Slow Cooker
The All-Clad SD700450 is a programmable slow cooker that features a ceramic removable insert, tempered glass lid, and a 26-hour timer. This crockpot features a 6.5-quart capacity, stainless steel exterior and a programmable timer. The SD700450 also boasts of an easy to read digital display and large push button controls for easy and convenient cooking. The handles are integrated into the exterior of the pot, which may be a good thing and a bad thing depending on how often you use the handles. The removable components are also dishwasher safe so clean up is a breeze!
The SD700450 is one versatile cooking partner. You can slow cook, bake, roast, and steam with this crockpot, allowing you to make delicious appetizers, stews, soups, main courses, and so much more. The control panel comes with large buttons so it can be controlled easily, which is important when you’re in a rush. The oval shaped pot also means the SD700450 can accommodate larger pieces of meat, making it a great cooking pot to use on special occasions.
As for the downsides, the SD700450’s ceramic insert feels a little too flimsy and there’s no way to tell if it can survive daily abuse. Also, the exterior feels thinner than average slow cookers but this did not affect the usability or functionality of the product at all. Our only gripe is that the handles are integrated with the exterior so they can get hot during cooking.
Magic Mill 5-In-1 Slow Cooker
Magic Mill’s slow cooker is a 5-in 1 multi-cooker that can do everything including stir-frying, steaming, roasting, and baking! With this slow cooker, it’s as if you’re getting more kitchen appliance at the same time! This compact crockpot features a durable nonstick die cast cooking vessel, a steaming rack, and a tempered lid with cool touch handles. Because it’s a 5-in-1 slow cooker, it eliminates the need to purchase other cooking appliance while offering faster, more convenient clean up.
The Magic Mill’s slow cooker looks and feel solid and we loved the digital display that makes tracking convenient and worry-free. As the cooking completes, the slow cooker will automatically switch to keep warm setting so your meal is always nice and hot as you serve!
The Magic Mill’s slow cooker’s timer allows you to adjust the cooking time by pressing up or down. The timer is also programmable, allowing for worry-free slow cooking. Overall, this is a great slow cooker, one that combines functionality with value. Our only grip is that the handles are not covered with a cool touch material so they can get really hot during cooking. Also, we wish the cord is longer but we’re nitpicking at this point.
Crock-Pot 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker
The Crock-Pot brand’s 5-in-1 multi cooker is yet another formidable partner in the kitchen because it’s able to sauté, roast, bake and steam apart from slow cooking a variety of dishes. This slow cooker comes with a large, easy to read digital display as well as programmable settings to customize your cooking needs. The display is also touch sensitive so adjusting the setting is convenient.
Inside the slow cooker is a large, 6-quart nonstick cooking pot as well as dual position rack for easy roasting and steaming. Removable components are also dishwasher-safe so clean up is a very straightforward affair based on our experience. We love how versatile this slow cooker is and how easy it is to whip up all sorts of dishes in a single cooking pot. It simplifies cooking so it’s a great crockpot to use during big events.
As for the downsides of Crock-Pot brand’s 5-in-1 multi cooker, we feel that the non-stick coating of its pot insert is too thin so it’s not that durable especially if you use the slow cooker on the daily. At this price point, we expect durable components. Some users are also complaining about the nonstick pot insert, but mostly because it’s harder to clean than average nonstick pans.
Cuisinart 6-Quart Multi-Cooker
Cuisinart’s 3-in-1 slow cooker is a multi-purpose crockpot that can brown (saute), steam and slow cooks more dishes. It features one-touch setting that provides accurate cooking modes when the recipe calls for it. Inside the slow cooker is a removable 6-quart aluminum cooking pot, which has been coated with a non-stick Teflon coating. The slow cooker also comes with a tempered glass lid and cool touch handles to protect from burns during cooking.
The removable parts are also dishwasher friendly so clean up is pretty effortless. The extra-large backlit display makes cooking convenient at a glance. We also love the flexibility of this crockpot. You can use a combination of cooking modes whenever needed.
As for the negatives, most users are complaining about a major design flaw that leads to the heat building up into the digital display, causing the component to crack after several uses. We did not test this product enough to come across the same issue but this is one caveat that’s worth keeping in mind prior to purchasing this item. Our only gripe is that the Teflon coating is too thin so we won’t be surprised if the nonstick coating peels off after several uses. The majority of users are complaining about the same thing, saying that the Teflon coating tends to bubble and break after a couple of uses.
Crockpot Next Generation Slow Cooker
Crock-Pot’s SCCPBPP605 is a next-gen slow cooker that features an adjustable an auto keep-warm function, and programmable cooking settings, 2 temperature settings, and a 20-hour countdown timer. This crockpot comes with a tempered glass lid, a 5.7 capacity, and dishwasher safe components. According to the brand, this product is ideal for up to six people, which makes the SCCPBPP605 perfect for whipping up daily meals. We love the oven and microwave safe removable pot, which also doubles as a serving dish.
The SCCPBPP605 is user-friendly so even the uninitiated will have no trouble cooking with this crockpot. The overall quality of the SCCPBPP605 is also impressive. This slow cooker requires 220-230 volts to operate. As far as functionality goes, the SCCPBPP605 offers great flexibility, allowing you to play with the settings and create delicious creations in the kitchen. We just wish that the SCCPBPP605 lives up to its “next-gen” name.
Although this crockpot is no doubt packed with great features, it just doesn’t offer anything new on the table. At almost 150 bucks, the SCCPBPP605 is more expensive than other higher end slow cookers on the market and it did not leave us blown away by its features because they are so basic. Also, this product utilizes 220 volts to operate so it’s not ideal to use within the US.