Slow cookers are incredibly popular; in America, over 80% of the households have one, and with good reason. With one of the best slow cookers on the market, you can expect a 5-star meal at home, without having to spend $50 for the same thing at a restaurant.
Slow cookers excel in a few different areas, but mainly in a dish that requires a lower, more consistent cook to it. Dishes that, as they cook, become more flavorful. A few amazing examples are pot roast, chili (omg, so glad fall is here), mac & cheese, and various soups. All of these things have something in common: they get better the longer they’re being cooked. A slow cooker will allow you to maintain the same heat for hours, and hours with very little electrical output.
For me, personally, I use my slow cooker before heading out for the day. You throw your favorite dish in the slow cooker, leave for 8 hours and come back to a perfectly cooked meal that isn’t in need of being heated up again. Did we mention how delicious that dish is going to taste after blending all of the flavors together for that amount of time?
|Slow Cooker Model||Capacity||Number of Temperature Settings||Programmable||Pricing and Availability|
|KitchenAid KSC6223SS||6 Quarts||4 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|All-Clad SD700450||6.5 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Cuisinart MSC-600||6 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker||6 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2||6 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Crock-Pot Countdown Oval Slow Cooker||6 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Crock-Pot Countdown Slow Cooker with Dipper||6 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget||6 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Cuisinart PSC-650||6.5 Quarts||4 Temperature Settings||Yes|
|Crock-Pot Manual Slow Cooker||7 Quarts||3 Temperature Settings||No|
When considering one of the best slow cookers, you’re going to want to aim for a five-to-seven quart oval. This will allow for a good amount of food to be cooked, and provide extra flavor. If you’re going to spend 8 hours cooking the food, you’re going to want to have a good amount of it.
Also, programmability is a must-have. With a programmable slow cooker, you can set a cook time and a heat level for a certain amount of time. After this time has elapsed, the slow cooker will then automatically adjust based on what you have set. For example, 4 hours on low; after this is done, it will switch to the warm setting, decreasing the temperature but maintaining the heat of the food so it is capable of being eaten on arrival.
The KitchenAid KSC6223SS is our best overall choice in our review of best slow cookers of 2018. It has a beautiful stainless steel finish that will ensure no scratches, or dents that will fit into any kitchen with style.
This slow cooker is equipped with a 6-quart, removable oval-shaped ceramic inside. The additional space allows for more food to be cooked, and more room for the food to gain additional flavor. If you’re cooking in a slow cooker, you’re aiming for a lot of food, let’s be honest. Additional space is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
With 4 temperature settings and 24-hour programmability, you will be able to intelligently cook your food while you’re away at work. Let’s say your dish requires 4 hours on high, and 8 hours on low. No problem, the KitchenAid slow cooker has you covered. It is also equipped with a “keep warm” setting ensuring your food will still be heated when you arrive to eat it. Keep in mind, though, you don’t want to abuse this as it is still capable of getting rid of that juiciness of the meat that you so often desire.
All-Clad SD700450 is a programmable slow cooker and ranked second in our reviews of best slow cookers 2018. It has a more expensive price point than the KitchenAid, which is why we’ve put it slightly behind. However, it does come with some extremely impressive features.
Equipped with a 6.5-quart, removable oval-shaped insert, you can expect cleanup after use to be extremely easy. Personally, after reviewing so many of these, that was one of my favorite features; they’re pretty hard to fit into a sink without a removable insert.
It is programmable which allows for up to 4-20 hours of cooking times with a total cycle time of up to 26 hours. This will allow for any variety of cooking schedule. Waking up at 4 a.m., and want a meal prepare for 8 p.m.? No problem; the All-Clad slow cooker will make it happen.
It has an easy-to-read digital display, with a large push-button that ensures ease of use when operating the slow cooker. The All-Clad slow cooker also has integrated handles on the insert, allowing for easy removal when washing, and a glass-lid to keep the heat inside.
Another Cuisinart slow cooker ranks in at third in our review of best slow cookers of 2018. As you’ll see in any review, or consideration of kitchen appliances, Cuisinart sits among the best in any product they manufacture.
This particular model, the MSC-600 slow cooker is equipped with a removable 6-quart nonstick aluminum cooking pot with additional Teflon coating ensuring its durability through constant heat. The glass lid with incorporated cool-touch handles will make sure that you’re safe from burns when handling the slow cooker. The removable parts of the slow cooker are actually dishwasher friendly. So, if you’re not one that enjoys cleaning by hand, this feature is perfect for you.
While it is a slow cooker, it is also a steamer, and a brown/saute machine. This provides additional versatility and should be considered when purchasing the Cuisinart MSC-600. For its price, it offers significantly more features than that of its competitors.
The Crock-Pot is our choice as the best budget slow cooker. If you’re like me, you grew up calling it a crock-pot, and not a slow cooker so this one may have a bit of nostalgia in it.
With the 6-quart removable oval insert, you can expect a lot of food, and an extremely easy cleanup process. We have found that 6-quart storage is usually capable of serving up to seven people. I mean, that depends on how hungry certain people are though, right?
The digital countdown control allows you to program cook times from 30 minutes up to 20 hours. It will automatically shift to the warm setting which will maintain the heat of the food until you are ready to eat. If you work 8 hours, set the slow cooker for an 8-hour runtime, and expect that food to be perfect and warm when you arrive home!
Crock-Pot hits a bit harder with the SCCPWM600-V2 slow cooker. While it is a bit more expensive, it fights back with additional features. This stainless steel cooker will look incredible on any kitchen top, in any kitchen.
What makes this slow cooker different, though, is the ability to connect to it through your Wi-Fi. If you’re downstairs doing laundry, but need to make a quick change to your food, connect to your slow cooker through the WeMo application. While you may think it may not be practical, I’m sure you can understand that an additional 10-20 minutes of cooking on a setting can totally change the way your food tastes and feels.
The Crock-Pot slow cooker has 3 different heat settings. Low, Medium, and high all accessible through your mobile device (tablet, or smartphone). It is both iOS and Android compatible. With a removable oval insert, you can expect an incredibly smooth, and easy cleanup process.
If you’re looking for some bragging rights over your friends and family members, this slow cooker will certainly do the trick. Pull out that smartphone and change the settings while they are around, and we guarantee they are wowed!
Look at that juicy roast cooking in the Crock-Pot slow cooker. That’s the meal of a king or queen, within your own household. Why would you not want that?
This slow cooker is coated with a ceramic pot that allows for stove-top browning. Once you’re done on the stove, simply move the food to the slow cooker and let it work its magic. The Crock-Pot is fully programmable, with a digital timer that will count down the cooking time. You can set times for 30 minutes, up to 20 hours allowing for a wide variety of meals to be cooked in the slow cooker.
With a 6-quart ceramic oval insert, you can expect to be able to feed quite a few people. We recommend up to six people in one sitting. However, if you’re like me, you will just end up freezing the leftovers for the days to come.
With slow cookers, comes the fear of cleanup duty. The Crock-Pot, though, has removable parts that allow it to be placed, safely, inside of a dishwasher. No more long cleanup processes with this slow cooker. Expect your family to be wowed with your 5-star restaurant quality meals. On a budget, you’re not going to find a better slow cooker than the Crock-Pot 6-quart.
The Crock-Pot 6-quart slow cooker is very similar to number 6 on our list of best slow cookers of 2018. However, this has an additional feature, while being cheaper.
The slow cooker is equipped with a dipper. For someone that really enjoys various sauces, and cheese dips, this was welcomed with open arms. This baby kept my cheese dip warm while entertaining various guests at last year’s super bowl party. It didn’t overcook the cheese dip but kept it at the perfect temperature. Don’t overlook this feature of the slow cooker.
The Crock-Pot is totally programmable, with the automatic feature of switching to the warm setting after the cooking cycle is done. This allows for the slow cooker to maintain your meals’ temperature, without losing the juiciness or over-cooking it. For example, if you’re going to be home in 8.5 hours, simply set the cooking time for 8 hours, and then the other 30 minutes will be solely set to the warm feature so it isn’t cold when you arrive.
The Hamilton Beach slow cooker is a pretty traditional product. It will provide you with everything you need, but do it in a safer manner. They rave about their clip-tight gasket lid. I found this pretty important when you have animals that are a bit too nosey; especially those cats. Many slow cookers are easily capable of having their lids knocked off.
There are three different cooking options that allow for an easy-to-use slow cooker. These include probe, program, and manual. Program is what most other competitors offer; put in the duration of the cook, and it will start heating up. Manual requires your attention throughout the day. It will not stop automatically, and you need to pay close attention to ensure there is no overcooking.
The last is probe; and, this is one of our favorite features of the slow cooker. The probe feature will allow you to see the temperature of the meat within the slow cooker on it’s LED display. This is extremely important when cooking certain meats as generally when they hit a certain temperature, you can expect them to be fully cooked.
The Cuisinart PSC-650 programmable slow cooker is an incredibly well put together product. Cuisinart always hits the mark, and they hit the nail on the head with this slow cooker.
With a fully programmable slow cooker comes efficiency. No one has the time to come back and check on their meal 10-15 times a day. If you’re someone that has experience with a slow cooker but is looking to upgrade, the Cuisinart PSC-650 is what you are looking for. It has a simmer, low, and high modes coupled with the 24-hour programmable cook times. After any cooking time, the slow cooker will automatically switch to warm mode keeping your meals warm without overcooking.
The removable round-shaped ceramic cooking pot allows for an easy-to-clean slow cooker. No longer do you have to try and put your entire slow cooker into your sink to wash it. The only “mess” will be in the cooking pot. The cooking pot is also 6 ½ quarts allowing for a great deal of food to be cooked. No one is interested in cooking a single meal in a slow cooker.
The Crock-Pot 7 quart manual slow cooker is one of our top budget picks. While this slow cooker isn’t programmable and requires a bit more attention, many people actually prefer that. It’s pretty easy to keep track of how many hours your meal has been cooking if you pay attention to the time you put it in the slow cooker.
With the 7-quart removable, dishwasher-safe insert, you can expect it to serve upwards of 8 people, and be incredibly easy to clean. The stainless steel exterior with black accents proves to keep any kitchen classy.
One thing this slow cooker does that others don’t provide you with is a recipe book. If you’ve heard a lot about slow cookers, but don’t know many recipes, you’ll find this to be extremely beneficial. I know my parents use slow cookers quite a bit, but I had a hard time getting into it because I didn’t know many recipes. I found a lot of great ones out of this such as pork roast, beef roast, and mac & cheese. Let me tell you, slow-cooked mac & cheese is far better than anything you’ve ever had before.
If you’re on a budget and are somewhat capable of cooking, we highly recommend the Crock-Pot 7-quart slow cooker. Indulge yourself, and experience flavor like never before!