Best Slow Cookers

The Best Slow Cookers America’s Test Kitchen 2021

We understand the frustrations of sitting by the fireside monitoring our food to prevent it from overcooking. Even half an hour just sitting is enough to indulge in other meaningful activities. However, as we move forward, technology has given us a solution to the long sitting sessions. Slow cookers are the solutions we have, you just set them to cook and continue doing other activities.

However, with several slow cooker models competing for market space, purchasing the best options becomes a challenging thing for many. Our review will educate you on the best slow cooker America’s test kitchen buyers should test and share the experience. Moreover, we shall share some factors to consider when making such a selection. Now, what are the best slow cookers?

Best Slow Cookers America’s Test Kitchen

Several slow cookers in the market vary in features they boast as well as their price tags. Such a scenario makes selecting ideal options to use a task for many buyers out there. This review provides the limelight of the best slow cooker to taste before looking at others. Let’s find out which slow cooker is the best.

1. Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker 

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Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker,...
  • 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker,...
  • QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING: 13 customizable Smart Programs for...
  • COOK FAST OR SLOW: Pressure cook delicious one-pot meals up to...
  • QUICK AND EASY CLEAN UP: Finger-print resistant, stainless-steel...
  • GREAT FOR GROWING PROVEN SAFETY FEATURES: Includes over 10 safety...

We open the review with instant pot duo cookers taking the top slot for the excellent value-added features they boast. For one, these aren’t just slow cookers, a single device serves seven functions ago. Apart from being slow cookers, they also serve as electric pressure cookers, yogurt makers, and food pans. Also, these appliances make the perfect rice cookers, steamers, and sauté pans.

With a power supply of 120V-60Hz, these cookers boast 11 smart touch customizable programs to ease user’s preparations. Users can enjoy pressure-cooking ribs, yogurt, beans, desserts soups, poultry, and other foods. Compared to the conventional cooking methods, Instant Pot Duo slow cookers cooks 70% faster and slower at this rate.

Another excellent thing about the Instant Pot Duo slow cookers is their easy and quick cleaning process. Their stainless-steel sides and dishwasher-safe components make the entire cleaning process simplest. Moreover, these are the safest market models that guarantee users safe cooking processes. Apart from boasting a safe-locking lid, they include overheating protection features for additional user safety.

Consequently, manufacturers design inner surfaces with food-grade stainless steel to ensure no chemical compounds react with food. Also, their tri-ply bottom construction ensures excellent heat distribution for even cooking. Furthermore, the free instant pot app has several slow cooker recipes that users can use to discover new things.

Pros

  • Perfect size
  • Constructed with food-grade material
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Multifunctional models

Cons

  • Poor quality
  • Others fail fast

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2. Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker | Stainless Steel (SCV700-S-BR)

Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker |...
  • Spacious 7 quart manual slow cooker serves 9+ people or fits a 7...
  • Set cooking time to high and get a hot meal in no time or set it...
  • Keep food at an ideal serving temperature for as long as you need...
  • One pot cooking means there are less dishes to clean, plus the...
  • All Crock Pot Slow Cooker removable stone inserts (without lid)...

Next, we have Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cookers taking the second slot due to their excellent carrying capacity. Fitting 7 pounds of food, they make the perfect options for serving over nine people.

Moreover, users can set them to either cook faster or slower depending on what they are doing. You can set the cooker high to get food hot faster and low for slow cooking while doing other tasks.

Unlike other models in the market, you can as well use Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cookers as warmers. These appliances boast a convenient warm function to maintain your food at your best serving temperature.

Furthermore, cleaning these cookers is also quick and easy like other market models. Both the removable stoneware and lid can go into the dishwasher safely.

Nevertheless, you can use all the crockpot removable stone inserts in a microwave. Apart from being safe to use in microwaves, oven safety goes up to 400 degrees F. However, avoid all the abrasive cleaning compounds since they can shorten your appliance’s shelf life.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Good size
  • Quality models

Cons

  • Gets too hot outside
  • Melted handles

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3. Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set & Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set & Forget...
  • Not your mom’s slow cooker: Smart technology allows you to cook...
  • Patented temperature probe: Place the temperature probe into...
  • Clip-tight gasket lid: The lid clips securely in place, perfect...
  • Easy to clean: Removable and dishwasher safe crock and glass lid...
  • 6 quart capacity: Spacious size is perfect for a 6 pound chicken...

Technology has shown us many things and still, we continue to reap big from its advancements. Hamilton Beach Portable slow cookers boast smart technology that allows users to cook at specific temperatures and times as well. After cooking, the appliances switch automatically the warm feature to maintain food at ideal serving temperatures.

Unlike in other models, Hamilton Beach manufacturers include probe thermometers in customer packages for monitoring cooking temperatures. Whenever you cook large cuts of food, you just need to insert the thermometer to ascertain the exact cooking temperature.

Moreover, most people love Hamilton Beach Portable cookers for their excellent carrying capacities. Their 6-quart capacity is sufficient to accommodate 4 pounds of roast or 6 pounds of chicken.

Consequently, Hamilton Beach Digital Slow Cooker boast clip-tight lids to prevent messy spills while cooking. Also, these cookers have power interrupt protection features to maintain them even whenever there is a short power outage. Nevertheless, cleaning the Hamilton Beach Portable cookers is the simplest of all. They boast dishwasher-safe components, thereby making the cleaning process simplest.

Pros

  • Easy cleaning process
  • Portable models
  • Sufficient carrying capacity
  • Boasts value-added features

Cons

  • Exploding lid
  • Horrible customer service

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4. Maxi-Matic Electric Slow Cooker

Elite Gourmet MST-250XS Electric Slow Cooker...
  • 1.5 Quart removable inner stoneware pot
  • Convenient LOW / HIGH / KEEP WARM settings
  • Attractive stainless steel finish and tempered clear glass lid
  • Cool-touch handles and knobs while powered at 120 watts
  • Dishwasher safe glass lid and stoneware pot

Here come another excellent slow cookers in the market reviewed excellently by customers who have tested them. Maxi-Matic Electric Slow Cookers boasts low and high cooking settings for users to decide what best suits them. Compared to the conventional options, Maxi-Matic Electric Slow Cookers cooks 70% faster and slower depending on the user’s settings. Moreover, they have keep warm function to maintain food at an ideal serving temperature.

Powered at 120 watts, Maxi-Matic Electric Slow Cookers boast cool-touch handles for efficient carrying and transfer anywhere. Apart from easy and comfortable handling, these are also the easiest to clean slow cookers around. They boast removable inner stoneware pots and dishwasher-safe components to make cleaning simple.

Consequently, like other slow cookers around, Maxi-Matic Electric models’ carrying capacity is worthy of their tag. Boasting a 1.5 Qt stoneware pot, this is sufficient capacity to prepare enough food for family members.

Nevertheless, Maxi-Matic Electric Slow Cookers have tempered and clear glass lids to enable users to monitor the cooking process. Try them and testify the experience to other prospective buyers.

Pros 

  • Excellent capacity
  • Easy to clean
  • Performs excellently
  • Quality models

Cons

  • Explodes after a short period of use
  • Lid not tightly fit into place

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5. Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry...
  • 6 quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker serves 7+ people
  • Digital countdown control lets you program cook times anywhere...
  • Easy to use locking lid featuring lid gasket provides extra seal...
  • All Crock Pot Slow Cooker removable stone inserts (without lid)...
  • Works on 240 Watts at 120V A.C; and 60Hz

Another slow cooker that stands out on our list is the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S. At 6-quarts, these slow cookers can manage to cook for more than seven people. Moreover, they can cook a whole chicken and a big beef roast. Isn’t that more than a whole family?

Additionally, these slow cookers boast digital countdown controls. These controls allow you to set your preferred cooking time, ranging from 30 minutes to 20 hours. Once your set cooks time lapses, the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S automatically shifts to a warm setting.

Apart from the digital controls, the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S is ideal for many people because of its ease of use. Manufacturers design them with a locking lid that features a lid gasket. The lead gasket offers an extra seal to reduce any possible mess while cooking.

Moreover, these crock-pot slow cookers without lids are safe for use in the oven and microwave up to 400-degree F. check on the owner’s manual to ascertain the specific crockery cooking medium tolerance that your slow cooker brand is safe for use.

Pros 

  • Cooks great and accurately
  • Easy to clean
  • The warmer feature works great
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Temperature is way off
  • Not durable

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6. Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker

Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable Slow...
  • Multi use programmable slow cooker, 8 Quartt; Capacity oval...
  • The Aura Pro does not have a pressure cooker function
  • 11 smart programs - sear-sauté, bake, slow cook, steam, stew,...
  • Customize the cooking time and temperature to achieve your...
  • 24 hour ‘delay start’ allows you to postpone the cooking...

The Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker makes it to our list because of multiple reasons. They boast an 8-quart capacity. They can feed up to eight adults depending on the type of meal you are preparing. Moreover, these slow cookers are also suitable when cooking joints of meat.

Manufacturers uniquely design these slow cookers in a capacity oval design featuring non-stick and stainless steel. Hence, you can easily keep them clean. Additionally, these slow cookers come with dishwater-friendly parts like the lid and cooking pot, which make it easier to clean.

What makes the Aura pro slow cookers stand out from the others is the 11 smarts programs that they boast. They include the ability to slow cook, roast sear-suite, stew, yogurt, bake, steam, rice, keep warm, and multigrain.

The programs are ideal because all timings and temperatures are automated for you. At the same time, you can customize manually to achieve your preferred cooking results.

Moreover, manufacturers include digital controls which enable you to customize the temperature and cooking time for improved cooking results. As if that is not all, these slow cookers also feature a 24-hour ‘delay start’ function, which enables you to postpone the start time when you are not ready to cook. The automatic ‘keep warm’ feature is also incredible because it allows you to keep your food hot for up to 24 hours.

Pros

  • Cooks evenly
  • No non-stick coating
  • Cooks with accurate temperature
  • Easy to control

Cons

  • Poor quality temperature controls
  • Sometimes fails to work

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7. BLACK+DECKER SC2007D Slow Cooker, 7-quart, Teal Wave

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BLACK+DECKER SC2007D Slow Cooker, 7 quart, Teal...
  • Built-In Lid Holder - Keep countertops clean and stir & serve...
  • Cool-Touch Handles - The slow cooker’s plastic side and lid...
  • Removable Stoneware Crock - The durable 7-quart crock retains...
  • 7 Quarts - Make a hot meal for the whole family with room for...
  • Tempered Glass Lid: Keep an eye on your food while it cooks...

One of the leading slow cookers is the BLACK+DECKER SC2007D. These slow cookers feature a dishwater-safe built-in lid holder that maintains your countertops clean always. You can stir and serve without holding the lid because it conveniently props the lid on any side of the handles.

Manufacturers include the low/high/warm settings. Although these slow cookers are manual, they cook accurately once you’ve set your preferred time and temperature. You need to stay around to stop it once it is ready, otherwise, you will risk overcooking when you are away for a long time.

Manufacturers design them with cool-touch handles, which include the plastic side and lid handles. These handles stay cool always to allow you to maneuver easily when the crock is full of food. Moreover, these brilliant slow cookers are specially designed with a tempered glass lid. A feature that enables you to observe your food as it cooks, hence no need to lift the lid.

Consequently, the BLACK+DECKER SC2007D slow cookers boast a removable stoneware crock. The 7-quart crock is convenient when cleaning and retains heat. The crock works great when in the oven because it adds the final crispness to meals that require outside browning.

Another outstanding thing about the BLACK+DECKER SC2007D slow cookers is that it boasts a 7 quarts capacity. That means you can prepare a hot meal for your entire family of about 8 people and above. Moreover, these slow cookers boast dishwater safe parts like the lid and crock, which make cleanup a breeze.

Pros

  • Great color
  • Easy to use and operate
  • Hassle-free cleaning
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Low settings can fail to work
  • Poor quality build material

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8. [NEW] KOOC Small Slow Cooker

[NEW] KOOC Small Slow Cooker, 2-Quart, Free Liners...
  • [5 FREE SLOW COOKER LINERS] Use KOOC liners to save time on...
  • [HEALTHY SLOW STEW] KOOC slow cooker helps to reduce the nutrient...
  • [EASY TO OPERATE] Classic knob, 3-mode temperature adjustable....
  • [VARIOUS COLOUR AND SIZES FOR YOUR NEED] A wide range of sizes,...
  • [SUPERIOR SERVICE] 1-year warranty, 30-days return or exchange....

Lastly, the KOOC Small Slow Cookers are other incredible products that you will find on the market. They boast 5 free slow cooker liners, which make cleanup a breeze. These liners ensure that you save enough time when cleaning, hence you can enjoy every bit of your meal without any afterthought.

Moreover, the KOOC Small Slow Cookers features a healthy slow stew function, which ensures that there is a reduction in nutrient loss of food. What necessitates this is their low power operation, which is the recommended healthier cooking way. KOOC model stand as the smallest crock pot we have in the market.

Another thing that makes this small digital slow cooker stand out from others is the ease of use with which they come with. The presence of a 3-mode temperature that is adjustable and a classic knob makes it outstanding and easy to use. You can easily read the operating status through the light indicator.

Who doesn’t love their favorite colors? These slow cookers got you covered because they come in multiple colors and sizes. The younger generation can get the suitable colors of the KOOC Small Slow Cookers anytime. Moreover, there is a wide range of sizes ranging from 2 to 8.5 Qt. This is the best small slow cooker rated highly today.

Pros

  • Healthy and safe
  • Easy to use
  • All settings work accurately
  • Cleanup is a breeze

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • No locking features

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Buying the Best Slow Cooker

Even if slow cookers get designed to serve a similar purpose, they boast various features to satisfy different customer needs. Such a feature is what makes some options best over others for certain purposes. In that regard, buyers need to have an idea of what they need before they pay for a certain commodity. Below are factors prospective buyers should consider as a guide when purchasing slow cookers.

Size

Are you purchasing an appliance for making meals for one person, or what can serve a large family? That’s one of the questions prospective buyers should ask themselves before they settle on an ideal slow cooker.

In your guide, you should write down the number of people you intend to serve from the slow cooker. This way, you will have an idea of the size you should consider purchasing.

In the market, you will find slow cookers boasting 1.5 quarts and others even 6 quarts up to 8. Those who intend to purchase appliances for two people as such should consider a 1.5-quart slow cooker. The best 6 qt crock pot makes the perfect option for serving around eight people and above. Choose wisely to avoid purchasing appliances that don’t hold sufficient food for your people.

Lid

The lid of a slow cooker matters big in the selection process in different ways. Usually, users get advised not to open slow cooker lids while the food cooks to avoid spills and accidental burns. In that regard, prospective buyers should consider cookers with tightly fitted lids to avoid such occurrences. Test the lids by opening and closing them to ascertain that they are tight in place.

Users also like to monitor their meals while cooking to avoid undercooking or overcooking scenarios. Now that you have a warning of the consequences of opening lids while cooking, how do you go about it?

For that, buyers should consider slow cookers boasting transparent lids. Such lids provide an opportunity to monitor cooking without opening the lid.

Shape

Most people will wonder how shape comes in, but you will understand how worthy it is to consider this aspect. Most slow cookers in the market have either round or oval shapes, depending on the manufacturer’s reasoning and preference. However, since both options serve a similar purpose, it’s hard to tell the best quality slow cooker between them.

When selecting these gadgets, it’s important to understand you will use them to cook different food materials. Others will need for instance appliances for cooking beans and stew, these should go for round-shaped options. However, if you intend to cook whole chicken and ribs as such, then go for the oval cookers. Consequently, it’s important to consider your cabinet space, since you should choose options that fit well.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Slow cookers need excellent care for them to perform efficient work. Cleaning falls is part of the maintenance strategies you can employ to prolong the life of your slow cooker. Using a clean slow cooker yields excellent results for an extended period. But how do you clean and maintain these appliances?

Like other electrical devices, there are processes involved in cleaning slow cookers. Before doing anything else, ensure you switch off the device and unplug the power cables from the outlet. Since they heat up while in use, you will allow them to cool before you start handling them.

Next, you will disassemble your slow cooker to have an easy time cleaning them and in the joints. Disassemble the glass lid and all components the machine comprises. If you have no time, you can clean removable parts in the dishwasher and handwash them. Ensure you clean the slow cooker components using soapy warm water if you do it y hand.

That’s not all, there are other tips you should mind maintaining your cooker in the best condition for a long. For instance, manufacturers advise users to avoid abrasive cleaners to clean these appliances. Employ a soft cloth to clean the parts evenly. You can as well get a spatula to scrub off sticky materials gently.

Apart from using abrasive cleaners, manufacturers also don’t recommend vinegar to clean stains. Simply soak your slow cooker parts in warm soapy water for a while before you start the cleaning exercise. Moreover, the stoneware is a delicate component that needs excellent handling at all times. Don’t wash the stoneware while hot with cold water.

Consequently, the heating base forms the most delicate part of the entire appliance. Ensure the base doesn’t get into contact with water at all. After cleaning the components, allow them to dry completely before assembling them to their respective places.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are slow cookers worthy to purchase?

Yes, slow cookers are healthy and excellent appliances worthy to consider for healthy living. Experts recommend them since most preparation was done using the appliances depend on natural ingredients. Also, chances of nutrient destruction are next to nil due to their dependence on low heat.

2. What do slow cookers don’t cook?

Just like other kitchen appliances, not all foods can cook in slow cookers. Some foods that you shouldn’t cook in slow cookers include rice, pasta, spinach, couscous, asparagus, dairy, and raw meat. Others include boneless chicken breast, tomatoes, wine, peas, and seafood, and excess fats.

3. What are the best slow cookers worthy to purchase?

There exist several excellent models in the market but Hamilton Beach Portable Slow Cooker beats all. Apart from their ultra-durability, these appliances offer excellent service. Moreover, most people love them due to their quality construction, sturdiness, and excellent design. That’s not all, Hamilton Beach Portable Slow Cookers are the most versatile options in the market.

4. Can you cook potatoes in slow cookers?

Yes, slow cookers are excellent cooking appliances for many types of food, including potatoes. Most people cook potatoes by adding them to stews and soups alike. However, you can still cook them separately on their own.

5. What are the benefits of using slow cookers?

For one, slow cookers make the perfect cooking appliances for a variety of foods, including soups and stews. With low-temperature heating, slow cookers tenderize meat pieces. Moreover, slow cookers employ less power to cook, and they add up to the overall food flavor.

6. Can slow cookers cook raw chicken?

Usually, chicken releases fats when cooking while open or even not open. However, cooking chicken in slow cookers is a personal choice. Experts recommend it since raw chicken requires slow cooking to cook fully.

Conclusion

Delicious meals come as a result of prior preparation, usage of the best cooking appliances, and materials alike. Slow cookers are the best-approved kitchen appliances for cooking a variety of foods.

However, with several best slow cooker brands rolling into the market, choosing the best option to use becomes the hardest thing. Buyers need to research these devices before they can decide what to pay for.

Our best slow cooker review has provided ideas about the best slow cooker America’s test kitchen in the market newbies and professions should try. They have undergone tests and proved excellent for cooking a variety of meals. Alongside, a purchasing guide enables buyers to sort the models to get their best fit. Employ ideas in the best crock pot reviews to decide on the best slow cookers worthy to purchase.

Resources:

  1. https://www.americastestkitchen.com/guides/healthy-slow-cooker/best-slow-cookers-top-rated-brands-what-to-buy
  2. https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/packages/shopping/product-reviews/best-slow-cookers
  3. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/slow-cooker-reviews/g1996/top-rated-slow-cookers/
  4. https://www.allrecipes.com/article/best-slow-cookers/

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