Best Slow Cooker and Crock Pot Buyer Guide and Reviews

Slow Cookers For  2018

If you’re looking for a convenient way to get dinner on the table even on your busiest days, look no further than the crockpot. Because slow cookers use low heat over a long duration to cook a meal with best slow cooker, these countertop appliances provide an easy way to get dinner on the table even if you can’t stand over a stovetop all day. Not to mention food tastes better when they are cooked slowly. 

Slow cookers can be used to craft many delicious meals while you’re away at work or busy in a different room of your house. Best of all many of the best slow cooker models on the market today can be programmed to turn on or off at a set time making them even more useful for busy people.

Even if you are not a busy person, there is something magical about being able to fill a crock pot with essential ingredients and open it up several hours later to a delicious, home-cooked meal. Below you’ll find a list of some of the best slow cookers and crock pots on the market today.


​​Best ​Slow ​Cooker Comparison Table


Product

Image

Details

Our Rating

Price

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central

​​You can use this multi-cooker for browning and sauteing

Chefman Slow Cooker

​This appliance comes with three manual settings; low, high, and warm

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker

​​It comes with a locking lid so that you can conveniently take your dish to a potluck, picnic, or family gathering

Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe

​​This slow cooker features power interrupt protection

Instant Pot Duo Mini

​The Instant Pot Duo Mini is made of durable materials so that you can count on this kitchen tool


How We Choose Our Ratings


Ratings of slow cooker

As you’ll see, all of the products listed below have a star rating based on our unique five-star system. Honesty and transparency are vital to us, and we want you to know that you can count on us to bring you the best information out there.

All of the products we recommend come with excellent customer reviews, are made of durable materials and will provide consistent results when used. Additionally, we strive to support products good quality products at a variety of price points. Whether you are a budget-conscious shopper or a big spender, the list below will have something for you.

As a final note, we consider brand reputation when making product recommendations. While being from a “name” brand doesn’t always ensure an excellent product, in many cases brands with good reputations provide exceptional products and above average customer service.


Top 5 Best Slow Cookers and Crock Pots


If you’ve looked into buying a slow cooker or crockpot before and felt overwhelmed by the wide variety of options on the market, take a look at the list below. We’ve curated an array of products that will suit the needs of a wide variety of users.

Indeed, Cuisinart is a popular household brand. They make the best food processors, oven toasters and knife sets to name a few.   

For consumers looking for an indeed "one-pot” cooking method, the Cuisinart MSC-600 provides an excellent solution. With multiple customizable cooking methods, you can use this multi-cooker for browning and sauteing, steaming, and slow-cooking. This versatility allows users to perform all steps of complicated crock-pot recipes right in the cooker.

This countertop appliance features a backlit digital display, dishwasher safe removable parts, and a lightweight aluminum cooking pot. Users can switch between cooking modes with the touch of a single button. As a bonus, the cooking pot has a nonstick coating.

Pros:

Because this appliance has a 6-quart cooking capacity, you can efficiently serve large groups of people with this cooker. Customers love the customizable features of this slow cooker, but some users have reported issues with the non-stick lining.

Cons:

Some customer reviews stated that the coating on the nonstick pot insert can be improved. However, as expected of any Cuisinart appliance, this slow cooker performs well and is a good investment. We’ve rated this cooker 4.9 for excellent design, superb versatility, and excellent customer service.

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For the health-conscious consumer, the Chefman Slow Cooker offers an all natural, chemical free stoneware crock. Chefman boasts that their crockpot is the only “Paleo Certified” cooker on the market.

Pros:

The stoneware crock is naturally nonstick and free of chemicals found in the coatings of other slow cooker crocks. In addition to being a “natural” version of the typical crock pot, the stoneware insert can also be used on the stovetop or in the oven.

Cons:

Unlike the other cookers on our list, this crock pot is not programmable. However, the appliance comes with three manual settings; low, high, and warm. With an impressive 7 quart capacity, this slow cooker can readily cook a meal for a crowd.

Health-conscious customers have given this crock pot top reviews. Many others also enjoy the versatility of the inner crock. But some users were disappointed by the crock’s loose fitting lid. Overall, this is a good pot for a reasonable price. We rate it 4.8 out of 5.

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This Crock-Pot may look traditional, but give it a closer look, and you’ll find some modern features. Big enough to cook a whole chicken or six-pound roast, this slow cooker can serve seven or more people without trouble. As a bonus, it comes with a locking lid so that you can conveniently take your dish to a potluck, picnic, or family gathering.

Pros:

Crock-Pot is a reputable brand touting itself as the “original” slow-cooker brand. Customers love this particular slow-cooker for its large capacity and portability.

Unlike some less sophisticated Crock-Pot models, this 6-quart cooker comes with a digital interface. This interface allows you to program a cook time for anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours. This feature is particularly useful when combined with the keep warm function that automatically engages once cooking time has finished.

Cons:

Some customers have reported that this cooker runs unusually hot and can overcook food if not used with caution.

We give this mid-grade crockpot a rating of 4.5 stars. It’s incredibly useful for taking food on the go and produces good quality food once you understand the controls well.

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This impressive slow cooker from Hamilton Beach provides consumers with a multitude of options. While this cooker maintains a traditional aesthetic style, users enjoy many modern digital features that allow for an optimum cooking experience for any meal.

Pros:

This appliance features three automatic cooking choices to accommodate a wide variety of recipes. The “Manual” and “Program” modes work similarly to other programmable slow cookers. For roasts, this cooker features a thermometer that monitors the internal temperature of your dish and switches the cooker to “Warm” once it registers your set temperature.

In addition to the three cooking modes mentioned above, this slow cooker features power interrupt protection. This handy feature will keep your slow cooker running with your desired settings even if your home experiences a brief power outage.

Cons:

Many customers love how versatile this slow-cooker is. However, a few customers have experienced unreliable results and minor difficulties with Hamilton Beach customer service. We give this cooker four stars.

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Our Rating


Unlike the other slow cookers on this list, the Instant Pot Duo Mini is much more than just a crockpot. In fact, many people associate this cooking vessel with its primary pressure cooking function. However, this versatile cooker has a “Slow Cook” function so that you can use it as a slow cooker.

Pros:

Overall, many customers love this product for its versatility. Moreover, because of this cooker’s small size and versatility, we have included it as one of our top choices.

The Instant Pot Duo Mini is made of durable materials so that you can count on this kitchen tool. Conveniently, the inner pot and lid are dishwasher safe. Also, the Instant Pot Duo Mini features a delay start timer that can delay cooking for up to 24 hours.

Cons:

Many customers report that the “Slow Cook” function does not work as well as a traditional slow cooker. Because some customers reported difficulties with customer service and less than perfect slow cooking ability, we’ve given this appliance 3.9 stars out of 5.

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Our Rating


Best Slow Cooker: Buyer’s Guide


When looking to buy a new slow cooker, you may be overwhelmed by the available options. The market of available slow cookers has grown in recent years, and there are now a wide array of options for consumers. But what should you look for to find the best slow cooker for your needs?

Size

Slow cookers are available in a wide range of sizes. While most of the appliances on our Top 5 list range in the 6-7 quart size, you can find crock pots as with capacities as small as 16 ounces.

Generally speaking, the fewer people you are serving, the smaller the crock pot you can use. For example, a single individual could easily use a one to three-quart crock pot. If you are cooking and serving a larger group or family, buy a four to six-quart slow cooker. For very large groups there are crock pots with capacities as large as 8.5 quarts.

When choosing what size slow cooker to purchase, also consider what foods you want to cook. If you're going to prepare large roasts or whole chickens, you will need a larger model. However, if you merely wish to a slow cooker to heat up dips for a few people, you can opt for a smaller novelty sized cooker.

Price

When purchasing any kitchen appliance price is a crucial factor to consider. Luckily, when it comes to slow cookers, you can find good quality models for relatively low rates. However, if it’s in your budget, opting for a more expensive model will give you a more extensive range of available features.

Aside from available features, the size of the crock pot you’re considering will impact the price. As expected, bigger models tend to come with a more significant price tag. However, remember, bigger isn’t always better. When it comes to slow cooking, you should aim to purchase a crock that you will fill when you use it.

Features

As mentioned above, slow cookers all work in the same general manner. But, as technologies have progressed so have the available features on slow cookers. Some of the crock pots in our top five list have sophisticated features. Some of the possible features on slow cookers today include digital programming, advanced temperature control, and gasket-sealing lids.

While crock pots with more features will typically cost more than their manual counterparts, the added features can make your slow cooking process more comfortable and more convenient. However, keep in mind that even the most simple slow cooker will provide a secure, hands-off way to prepare homemade meals.

Shape

Slow cookers are available in two primary forms, round and oblong. Round crock pots are usually smaller varieties that lend themselves well to cooking stews and soups. The most common elongated shape is oval although some oblong varieties are more rectangular than oval. These oblong designs are well suited to cooking whole chickens and oddly shaped roasts.

Just like when you’re considering what size of the slow cooker to buy, the shape you choose will depend on your intended usage. Look at several crockpot recipes and get a good idea of how you want to use your slow cooker. Once you have formed a good opinion of what you’ll cook in your slow cooker, you can more easily decide what shape to purchase.

Crock Material

Traditionally, slow cookers come with a hefty, glazed stoneware crock. However, that is not always the case nowadays. It has become more common to see slow cookers advertised “multi-cookers” with aluminum or stainless steel cooking pots. These models typically feature a wider variety of cooking functions than a traditional slow cooker.

Crock pots with a traditional heavy pan will hold heat more efficiently than thinner walled stainless steel or aluminum pots. Additionally, from an aesthetic point of view, the traditionally glazed stoneware crock doubles as an attractive serving dish. However, metal pots are more durable and less fragile than traditional stoneware crocks.

Whether you’re looking for an easy dinner solution, an easy way to bring hot food to a potluck, or merely a little versatility in the kitchen, a slow cooker is an excellent addition to any kitchen.

Slow cookers can make easy work of otherwise lengthy and involved projects and are readily available at every price point. By using our buyer’s guide, you’ll find a crock pot you love quickly and easily.

The Kitchen Advisor
 

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