Best Slow Cookers 2021
Slow cookers are an essential kitchen appliance for every home. They are used to prepare delicious meals at low temperatures without burning food. The slow cooker has been around since the 1940s and has become a staple in kitchens worldwide.
There are many different types of slow cookers available on the market today. Some are expensive while others are cheap. But which one should you get? Which one will give you the best value for money? And which one will last you the longest? In this article, I will be sharing my top 12 best slow cookers that I think are worth buying in 2021.
In a Hurry? Check out our top 3 picks for the best slow cookers.
Slow cookers are handy appliances that perform all the cooking for you, allowing you to make delicious meals without having to slave over a hot stove for hours. Once you’ve completed your preparations and placed your items in the cooker, it will cook your meal at a consistent and regulated temperature for a longer length of time. There’s no need to worry about your food drying out since the lids keep moisture in for soft, flavorful results.
They’re also not simply for stews and casseroles. They’re true multi-taskers, even capable of preparing a piece of meat, such as sweet and salty Coca-Cola ham or a tender beef joint. Macaroni cheese and other vegetarian family favorites are also famous. For additional inspiration, check out our selection of must-try slow cooker recipes.
What is a slow cooker, and how it works?
A slow cooker is a great kitchen appliance for cooking meat, vegetables, soups, stews, and other dishes. It cooks food evenly and slowly, so you don’t have to worry about overcooking or burning food. Slow cookers are also great for making chili, stew, and soup because they keep the heat low and steady.
- The best slow cooker recipes are ones that require minimal prep work. For example, if you’re going to make chicken parmesan, it’s unnecessary to cut up the chicken first. Just throw everything into the pot and let the slow cooker do its thing. That way, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing.
- There are two settings on traditional slow cookers: high and low. The maximum temperature for cooking is generally about 212°F, while the low temperature is usually over 200°F. Some slow cookers also include a warm stay option (165°F), which cooks the food to a temperature over the recommended cooking temperature of 145°F without overcooking it. Newer versions can brown, and others have dedicated rice and sous vide settings. It saves time and effort to not have to use an extra pan for these chores.
- A multi-cooker that can also pressure cook (and some even air fry!) is the newest technique to slow cook. Large pieces of meat, such as pulled pork, cook nicely in a slow cooker because the strong muscle fibers break down over time, making the flesh soft. Stews are also good since they allow you to utilize cheaper cuts of meat and avoid overcooking the veggies.
List of 12 best slow cookers:
Instant Pot Ultra 80 Programmable Slow Cooker
|Altitude adjustment, cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button. The Ultra button provides custom programming. The new features include sterilization, cake, and egg programs.||Check On Amazon|
All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker
|4-20 hours cooking times with a complete cycle time of up to 26 hours. 6.5-quart, oval-shaped, stainless-steel slow cooker with removable black ceramic insert.||Check On Amazon|
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A Programmable Slow Cooker
|6 quarts Cook & Carry 7+ people can be served in a slow cooker. The digital countdown control allows you to select cook times ranging from 30 minutes to 20 hours, and it automatically switches to the Warm setting after the cooking time is over.||Check On Amazon|
Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker Extra Large 10 Quart
|The 10-quart large capacity slow cooker hold a 10-pound turkey or a 12-pound roast. There are 3 temperature settings. Cook on low or high heat until your entrée is done, then turn to warm. The lid is clip-tight and sealed.||Check On Amazon|
Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker
|4 programmed functions, Slow Cook for up to 24 hours on high, low, simmer, or warm. Roast for up to 6 hours at temperatures ranging from 250 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown/saute at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.||Check On Amazon|
Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro Slow Cooker
|Safety locking lid, automatic hands-free steam release, and safety valve are all part of the three-way safety system. 11 pressure cook settings to choose from. Keep Warm function, ensuring that the meal is ready to serve when you are.||Check On Amazon|
Instant Pot Duo Plus Electric Pressure Slow Cooker
|The Instant Pot Duo Plus multi-cooker combines 9 appliances in one: a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer, a saute pan, an egg cooker, a yogurt maker, a warmer, and a sterilizer – and it cooks up to 70% quicker.||Check On Amazon|
Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Slow Cooker
|The lid clamps firmly in place, making it ideal for transporting the slow cooker to a party, potluck, or tailgate. To cook big pieces of meat to a specific temperature, insert the temperature probe into the flesh.||Check On Amazon|
Crock-pot Pot Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker
|Nonstick cooking pot resists stuck-on food and is dishwasher safe. Programmable Multi-Cooker can cook meals for up to 10 plus people. Accessories include a recipe book, steaming rack, and serving spoon.||Check On Amazon|
Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker TenderCrisp Technology
|Cook up to 70% faster with 75% less fat than traditional methods. Super easy to clean the non-stick 8-qt pot and rack are dishwasher safe. You can Pressure Cook, Air Fry/Air Crisp, Steam, Slow Cook, Sear/Sauté, Bake/Roast (Grill), Broil, Dehydrate.||Check On Amazon|
BLACK+DECKER SCD7007SSD Digital Slow Cooker
|8 Quart Capacity oval design, stainless steel, nonstick, removable cooking pot. It does not have a pressure cooker function. Automatic keep-warm function.||Check On Amazon|
Instant Pot Aura Pro Programmable Slow Cooker
|The Sous-Vide function brings the internal temperature of food to the perfect level. The temperature probe monitors the water temperature that surrounds resealable bags.||Check On Amazon|
Detailed Reviews for the Selected Crockpots and Slow Cookers:
01. Instant Pot Ultra 80 Multi Cook Slow Cooker
Even while the Instant Pot can do a lot more than slow-cooking (including pressure cooking, rice cooking, steaming, and even producing yogurt), it came out on top when it came to slow cooking and browning. The lid that locks into place is one of the outstanding features, preventing hardly any heat or steam from escaping throughout the cooking process. It is one of the best programmable slow cooker.
Adjustable altitude, a cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button are all included. Custom programming is possible with the Ultra button. Sterilize, cake, and egg programs are among the new features.
Pressure cooker, rice-porridge cooker, slow cooker, cake maker, yogurt maker, egg cooker, steamer, sauté/searing, warmer, and sterilizer are all replaced.
With an embedded microprocessor, it was created using the most up-to-date 3rd generation technology. The computer maintains track of time, monitors pressure and temperature, and regulates heating intensity and duration. The power source is 120V – 60Hz, and the power chord is 35 inches long.
An inner pot, steam rack, serving spoon, soup spoon, and measuring cup are also included in the multi-cooker (all of which are dishwasher safe). The pot roast required an additional 30 minutes of cooking time in the Instant Pot, indicating that timing may need to be adjusted when utilizing the slow cooker mode; this is where the ability to program with extreme precision comes in helpful. Plus, according to the maker, the slow cooker can cook any meal 70 percent faster than a regular slow cooker if you’re in a hurry.
The Instant Pot’s characteristics as a true multi-cooker allow the whole cooking process to be completed inside the device. The Instant Pot adjusts to almost every circumstance, from searing to slow cooking, and it adds to the already good value of the product.
02. All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker
The detachable 6.5-quart metal insert in this tried-and-true slow cooker is beautiful enough to take a right to the table for dinner. The computerized controls provide low, high/low, and high settings for slow cooking, as well as a preset 20-hour timer. You may safely keep food out for a lengthy amount of time with a five-hour keep warm setting. This model may be used to brown, steam, and boil rice.
All-Clad SD700450 is a 6.5-quart oval-shaped stainless-steel slow cooker with a detachable black ceramic insert, large enough to cook for a crowd and portable enough to serve at the table.
Cooking times range from 4 to 20 hours, with a total cycle time of up to 26 hours, making it possible to prepare home-cooked meals on any schedule.
Consider this stainless steel slow cooker with a detachable black ceramic insert your closest friend for preparing crowd-pleasing dishes such as pot roasts, stews, large amounts of chili, and more. It even includes an automated setting that keeps meals warm for up to six hours or until it’s ready to serve.
The big push-button controls and easy-to-read digital display make it simple to discover your ideal programming. Insert has integrated handles for easy handling and a glass top to keep heat and moisture in.
Dishwasher-safe insert and lid make cleanup a breeze. No, don’t keep warm. Slow cooking time: 2 to 8 hours on high. Warm for 4 to 20 hours in low mode.
03. Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A Programmable Slow Cooker
The Crock-Pot Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Digital Timer is lightweight and easy to transport. Its airtight barrier created by the secure locking lid and rubber gasket help to avoid spillage on the road, ensuring that your food stays inside and you arrive at your destination without fear or mess.
The lid of the Cook & Carry has two safety locks and a wide handle, making it great for transporting to potlucks or tailgates on the go. It includes a stoneware cooking element that is dishwasher and oven safe, holds up to six quarts, and automatically changes to Keep Warm mode.
To set the cooking time, use the slow cooker’s preprogrammed parameters. (You’ll have to manually stop the cooking and turn it to warm if you need a more precise cook time.) Once the timer runs out, this slow cooker switches to the warm setting.
Bring this portable slow cooker to potlucks, family get-togethers, tailgating, and other events. Using the digital screen, you may set the temperature on High, Low, or Warm and adjust the cooking duration between 30 minutes and 20 hours. After the cooking is finished, the slow cooker will automatically switch to Warm for up to 6 hours to help keep the temperature and flavor of the meal consistent.
This digital slow cooker is ideal for transporting meals made at home because its components are dishwasher safe. Crock-Pot Programmable Slow Cooker is easy to clean and carry, making it ideal for bringing huge amounts of food to the office, a neighbor’s house, or any other communal food event. This slow cooker receives excellent ratings for both functionality and portability at a fair price.
04. Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker
Hamilton Beach is well known for producing high-quality kitchen equipment at a reasonable price, and this slow cooker is no exception. The tight cover of this top-rated slow cooker, which features a rubberized gasket surrounding the sides of the lid to prevent heat from escaping, is one of its major selling qualities. It also has fasteners to keep the lid in place for easy transport.
Extra-large storage capacity. A 10-quart size can hold a 10-pound turkey or a 12-pound roast. There are three temperature options. Cook on low or high heat until your entrée is done, then turn to warm. The thoughtful design of the handle makes it easy to carry. It has a clip-tight lid with a seal.
The tight seal helps to keep spillage to a minimum on the way to a potluck or tailgate. Both the stoneware crock and glass lid are dishwasher safe.
Each time you open the lid, this will assist in preventing heat loss. You may cycle through your favorite heat settings and cooking time on the digital screen before it automatically switches to warm when it’s done.
We found the digital control panel to be a little perplexing at first, but after a few uses, we figured it out. Overall, this slow cooker is ideal for the tech-savvy cook who wants more capabilities and mobility without breaking the bank.
05. Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker
After cooking, the Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker changes to the keep warm setting and stays there for up to eight hours. It also has a “simmer” option, which is ideal for cooking long-cooking pieces of meat like brisket. It’s simple to keep an eye on the development thanks to the glass top. This is one of our favorites since it has a 24-hour programmed cook time and a three-year guarantee.
This Cuisinart model performed admirably in every test I conducted. It achieved a stable, low temperature (hovering about 185°) within an hour and stayed there for 6 hours. When it switched to the warm setting, the temperature plummeted to 160° in the first hour and stayed there for the rest of the test. The ability to cook low and slow over a lengthy period is the most crucial characteristic of a slow cooker, and this model proved to be fairly trustworthy.
In addition, the Cuisinart cooker evenly dispersed heat throughout the cooking process with no obvious hot spots. The beans were juicy, tender, and uniformly cooked after 3.5 hours, with no stirring required. The strata were custardy and baked softly on the edges and bottom, with no dark patches. It was also simple to remove from the insert—and clean up afterward.
While I loved the lightweight, nonstick qualities of the insert, I can see how it might degrade with time. I wouldn’t use any metal utensils in this cooker to minimize scratching, just as you wouldn’t in a nonstick skillet. Fortunately, Cuisinart makes it simple to replace the insert if it becomes damaged. Also, the lid’s handle becomes a little heated, but it’s still cold enough to hold.
06. Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro Slow Cooker
You’ll enjoy Breville’s Fast Slow Pro if you want a cooker with a lot of versatility and distinctive bells and whistles. You may pick from 11 pressure cook modes and high to low for slow cooking with this elegant six-quart gadget.
Changing Colors When the pressure cooker pressurizes, cooks, or releases steam, the LCD displays this information. Safety locking lid, automatic hands-free steam release, and safety valve are all part of the three-way safety system.
You may also fine-tune the temperature and pressure level (from 1.5 to 12 Psi, one of the widest ranges we’ve seen) or choose from a menu of pre-programmed options for vegetables, rice, risotto, soup, stock, beans, chicken, bone-in meat, chili and stew, dessert, and custom.
There are 11 pressure cook settings to choose from, as well as a custom option for your favorite recipes. The Keep Warm function is activated after cooking, ensuring that the meal is ready to serve when you are. The removable ceramic cooking bowl is free of PTFE and PFOA.
When pressure-cooking and slow-cooking beef stew it performed admirably in our testing. We also liked how simple and easy the LCD screen and knobs were and how the cooking element was dishwasher safe.
Complete feedback with a pressure indication, temperature and countdown timer, and steam release indicator; the LCD informs you what’s happening within the pot.
07. BLACK+DECKER SCD7007SSD 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker
We tested the Black + Decker 7-Quart Digital Cooker with Chalkboard Surface on low and high heat and on low heat to make a beef roast and chicken soup. This new model includes the same notable features as the original, such as an easy-to-program control panel, big side handles, and locking lid, as well as additional features like sous vide and a temperature probe to help avoid overcooking. The low price makes it a great place to start if you’re new to slow cooking or even sous vide.
This Black + Decker model is the greatest bang for your buck if you’re looking for a basic slow cooker and buffet warmer. Mine takes a bit longer to heat up than some of the more expensive versions (it reached 185° on the low setting), but the temperature dropped swiftly as it went to warm.
The big control panel makes selecting a slow cooking option simple. When using the probe, select the desired temperature and lock in the optimum temperature for sous-vide cooking. Detachable Stoneware Crock 7-quart pot holds heat well and is simple to clean.
The beans took a little longer to cook in this cooker (about 5 hours), but they were all intact and uniformly cooked. The strata were also uniformly cooked from the borders to the middle, even browning on the sides and bottom.
While this cooker passed most of the tests, it lacks the ability to brown in-unit. Also, this model successfully dropped to 160° within 30 minutes of switching to warm, but after three hours, it was approaching our food-safe temperature of 140°. Finally, while the control panel is highly user-friendly, it is fragile, and I am concerned about how it will work after extended usage.
08 Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker TenderCrisp Technology
If you want to splurge, this multi-cooker is a good choice because it performs more than others, from dehydrating to air frying. It performed admirably in our slow cooker testing, retaining 99.27 percent of moisture throughout cooking. The user-friendly design includes clear directions and reliably cooks our meals. We were also impressed by how energy efficient it was.
The Ninja Foodie is the all-in-one kitchen system you didn’t realize you needed. Cooking methods include pressure cooking, air frying/air crisping, steaming, slow cooking, searing/sauté, baking/roasting (grill), broiling, and dehydrating.
The nonstick 8-quart pot and rack are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze. The Ninja foodie Deluxe Pressure Cooker has a larger capacity, ideal for big families or entertaining. To enjoy your fried meal guilt-free, cook up to 70% quicker with 75% less fat than traditional techniques.
Although it is a large piece of technology that will take up a lot of space in your kitchen and the cooking pot is difficult to remove, its 7.5-liter capacity will comfortably serve a crowd. We discovered that pieces of beef that weren’t completely buried in our sauce tasted dry during cooking, so make sure your meat is completely coated.
Aside from that, the weather remained pleasant throughout, and the accompanying recipe book is chock-full of useful culinary advice.
How to buy the best slow cooker on the market:
When looking for the finest slow cooker for you, we’ve compiled a list of the most crucial characteristics to consider.
There are some slow cookers with built-in timers, meaning that after the timer has run out, the cooker will either shut down or switch to a “keep warm” mode.
If you’re going out for the day, this will come in useful. When the timer has elapsed, the cooker might turn off or automatically switch to “keep warm” so you can come home to a hot meal.
Slow cookers come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 1.5 liters to 7 liters. A 1.5 to 2.3-liter volume is excellent for two people, a bigger 4 to 4.5-liter capacity will feed four people, and a 5.5 to 7-liter capacity is ideal for four to six people.
Most slow cookers have comparable settings, with a “low” setting for longer, slower cooking during the day and a “high” option for speedier cooking with similar slow-cooked results.
Sous vide (under vacuum):
Sous-vide is a French word that means “under vacuum” and is becoming increasingly popular as a cooking method. You put your meal in a sealed bag and place it in a water bath with temperature control. The fluids and delicate flavors lost during traditional cooking are preserved by sealing food in pouches.
Keep warm feature:
This feature is available on most slow cookers. It maintains the temperature of your meal without further cooking it – useful when you’re trying to round up the family! After a program has finished, some slow cookers will automatically switch to this mode, while others will require manual switching.
Cooking on autopilot:
This feature starts your cooking on high and then lowers the temperature to low for the duration of the cooking time. It’s beneficial to cut down on total cooking time while still allowing food to be cooked slowly.
It’s a good idea to put a transparent glass lid on your slow cooker so you can keep an eye on your food. Lifting the lid to check on progress is the last thing you want to do since heat and steam will quickly escape, increasing your cooking time.
Ceramic or aluminum pots are used in all of the pots on our list. Ceramic pots are often heavier than stainless steel or aluminum pots. The non-stick coating on aluminum pots makes them simpler to wash by hand – but this isn’t a problem because all of the pots in our collection are dishwasher-safe.
Slow cookers with timers:
Some slow cookers include a function called “delay start” that allows you to start cooking without pushing buttons. This is extremely useful, but we don’t advocate using it for more than two hours, especially when cooking with meat; according to the FDA, germs multiply tenfold when food remains out at room temperature for more than two hours, putting you at risk of sickness.
At a glance, this light indicates that your slow cooker is turned on.
Your Slow Cooking Preparation Guide:
Although the goal is to “set it and forget it,” there are some basic rules to follow to get the greatest outcomes.
- A slow cooker should not be under-or over-filled. Most machines recommend filling at least halfway To avoid overcooking or undercooking. When crocks are just halfway full, meals can be prepared one to two hours sooner than the recipe specifies.
- At the very end, add the dairy. If your recipe asks for dairy products, add them at the end of the cooking period; they may curdle if cooked for too long.
- Keep in mind that liquid does not evaporate. If you’re making a slow-cooker version of a recipe like stew, soup, or chili, you won’t need as much liquid as you would for a cooktop version. Slow cookers do not allow the liquid to evaporate because the crock is closed throughout the cooking period. You may always add extra liquid at the end if the final product is too thick.
- Meat’s best buddy is vegetables. Make a bed of root vegetables or onions on the bottom of the crock when cooking fatty pieces of meat so the meat does not cook in the fat that will be released. Keep in mind that this approach places the veggies very near to the heat source, which is placed at the bottom of the machine, so pick something robust (or solid) that can survive the heat for an extended amount of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which is better, a crockpot or slow cooker?
Crockpots are almost the same as slow cookers except for the name and a few updates. The crockpot is a slow cooker brand name. Crockpot became a commonplace phrase over time, and it was rapidly interchangeable with any other brand of the slow cooker.
Larger chunks of meat may be cooked more uniformly in a Crockpot than in a slow cooker, and they become extremely tender. There are many slow cooker models available, and some specialize in cooking certain foods such as stews, soups, or meat, so knowing what you want from your future slow cooker is crucial.
- Is it possible to cook frozen meat in a slow cooker?
Frozen food, which starts at 0°F, will take far too long to warm up in a low-heat slow cooker, leaving frozen meat in the danger zone for bacteria development for far longer than is safe.
- How much does it cost to cook in a slow cooker?
An 8-hour slow cooker cooking period will require around 1.2-1.7kWh of energy. The slow cooker will cost you about 16-22 cents for the 8 hours of cooking, based on the average cost of power of $0.13/kWh.
- What is the advantage of a slow cooker?
Slow cookers help you tenderize less costly pieces of meat by cooking them for a long time at a low temperature. The flavor of food is enhanced by using a slow cooker. A slow cooker may be used to make one-pot dinners, soups, stews, and casseroles, among other things. When compared to an oven, a slow cooker consumes less power.
- Does a slow cooker need water in the base?
One of the most typical slow cooker errors is adding liquid to every dish when you don't need it unless you're preparing a soup or stew. Consequently, any liquid from your components (vegetables, meat, poultry) will leak into the crockpot.
- Is it safe to leave my slow cooker on all night?
Because slow cookers are made to cook for lengthy periods, it's perfectly safe to leave them on overnight, even if you're out of the house or at work all day, as long as you follow all of the guidelines and the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Can you put raw meat in a slow cooker?
Yes, raw beef can be cooked in a slow cooker. Browning the meat before putting it in the Crock-Pot is a step in many slow-cooker chili recipes. Caramelizing the meat produces deeper, stronger tastes, while it isn't required.
- Do you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes. Place uncooked chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. You may use any raw chicken, but I like boneless, skinless chicken breasts since they are simpler to work with after the chicken is cooked.
All three slow cookers produced consistent, excellent results when it came to taste. However, the Crockpot sizzle and stew barely edged out the competition owing to its family-friendly size, hob-friendly inner pot, and ease of cleaning.
If you have an induction cooktop or want a few more bells and whistles, the Instant Pot pro 5.7l 10-in-1 multi-pressure cooker is the way to go. It allows you to sauté, sous vide, pressure cook, and slow cook all in one handy device.
In general, slow cookers are amazing kitchen appliances.
We hope you found this post helpful in finding the right slow cooker for your kitchen! We are always looking forward to providing helpful information on a subject like this in one of our posts!
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