If you're looking for a way to make your hectic life just a little easier, look no further than the mighty slow cooker. There are a ton of options on the market, some bad, some good, some outrageously good, with a myriad of features. Here are 10 of our favorites for every budget.
The site of this no-frills slow cooker instantaneously takes me back to my childhood. I mean, it even looks like it was made decades ago, and you somehow still have it in your cupboards, waiting to keep that spinach artichoke dip nice and warm for the duration of your Tupperware party. But for real, with its small capacity (you don't always want to cook up a whole chicken), it's perfect for dips, beans, and side dishes.
On the smaller side, this is a nice option for a two-person household. At just under $50, it has some nice features, including dishwasher-safe pot and lid, stay-cool handles for safety, four cooking modes and a timer that's easy to set.
Hamilton Beach's Set 'n Forget slow cooker is the biggest bang for your buck on this list. As The Sweethome's top pick, "it's not fancy, but the intuitive interface, locking lid, and modest price have made it the best deal for your money three years running—and it's the only slow cooker with a heat probe to monitor the doneness of roasts and other meats."
Our Previous Lists:
Kitchn, our sister site, included this Crock-Pot in their list of three slow cookers to make you a slow cooker believer. Here's what they thought: "A Cook's Illustrated's top pick for the best slow cooker, this is a solid contender. It has a one-touch, easy-to-use control panel, programmable timer, and a countdown timer that switches to the auto-warm function after cooking (and then starts counting up to let you know how long it's been on the warming setting!)"
This is the slow cooker I have at home, and it's pretty great for the price. I can saute my meats directly on the stove top, and then just move the cookware right back into the slow cooker without having to dirty another dish. If you want a browning feature, but don't want to shell out for it, this is a good alternative. Plus, it's easily programmable and automatically shifts to the warming setting once the time has expired.
You're likely to find this Cuisinart on just about every "best slow cooker" list, and for good reason. It has three programmable settings (slow cook, brown/saute, steam) for tons of cooking possibilities. With an almost perfect 5-star rating across over 1,000 reviews, this one sounds like a home run.
Other Good Resources:
- 13 Best Slow Cookers to Take the Stress Out of Dinner Prep - Best Products
- The Best Slow Cooker - The Sweethome
- The Best Slow Cookers - Real Simple
- I Tried the Instant Pot. Here's What I Think About It, 8 Months Later - Kitchn
No slow cooker roundup can be complete without the new star of the small appliance world: the Instant Pot. It's offered in three sizes (5, 6 and 8 quarts), and replaces so.many.kitchen.gadgets with 14 controlled settings (soup, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, sauté, steam, rice, porridge, multigrain, slow cook, keep-warm, yogurt, pasteurize and fermented rice). It's like a mom, except in an appliance—it does it all.
This 3-piece, 4-slot slow cooker set is great for anyone who regularly hosts pot lucks, tail gates, and beyond. You can buy them all individually (in multiple colors) to fully customize just what you want!
There truly is an app for everything, including your slow cooker. If you're a busy adult who often forgets to turn on (or off) your appliances, this is the model for you.
Ninja doesn't just make blenders, evidently. This pricey option from the brand is well-loved, as ratings across the web average over 4.0 stars, and for just over $150, you get an oven, a stovetop, a steamer and a slowcooker all in one.