Slow cookers come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re all designed for long-term heated cooking. Their best feature is how easy they are to use—add ingredients to the insert, set the temperature to the desired setting, and then come back after 6 or 8 hours to perfectly cooked food. Slow cookers save countless families and cooks hours of time, and these kitchen workhorses are great for busy households.
Let’s take a look at the 10 best slow cookers on the market today, based on actual user reviews.
With its nice red color that’s attractive for many kitchens, the Crock-Pot Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker is one you can set and not worry about having to shut off, since it automatically goes to the warm setting. It has a programmable and settable digital control that works from 30 minutes up to 20 hours with three temperature settings for high, low and keep warm. It comes only in a 6-quart capacity, which is nice and large for family households. It’s 15” x 15.2” x 10” and weighs 13 lbs.
- Double-clamping locking lid feature to keep the lid in place while moving it. This makes it great to take to parties, events, and for tailgating
- Both the lid and the oval stoneware insert are dishwasher safe, and the stoneware insert is removable
- The lid is not microwave safe, oven safe, or stovetop safe
- The stoneware insert is not stovetop safe
- It needs to be manually shut off and unplugged
- Does not have the ability to preset cooking times
- Some users have reported it gets very hot on the “Hot” setting
- Also available in a 6-quart size
- After it’s done cooking, it automatically switches to a warm setting
- Stoneware insert and lid are both dishwasher safe
- No built-in clamps to hold the lid down
- The stoneware insert does not have a nonstick coating
- Exterior is made of aluminum, not stainless steel
The Elite Platinum is the largest slow cooker on this list, with a big 8.5-quart stoneware ceramic insert that comes in a slight oval shape. Due to its size, it’s great for large families and feeding plenty of eaters or making meals days ahead of time. You can definitely fit whole chickens and large cuts of meat in it. There are three temperature settings—low, high, and keep warm. The programmable timer can be set for up to 20 hours of both cooking and warming time. It’s 16.3” x 11.7” x 11.8” in size, with a weight of 14.6 lbs.
- The biggest of our 10 best slow cookers
- It automatically switches to warm after cooking time
- Both the lid and removable ceramic insert are dishwasher safe
- The lid is made of strong tempered glass, and the exterior is stainless steel
- No locking or clamping lid, plus the lid sits loosely and doesn’t have a steam escape hole
- No preset programs to have the slow cooker begin cooking at a certain time, and no way to tell what temperature the food reaches
- The outside of this slow cooker gets very hot, and it cooks hot as well
- Three temperature settings—low, high, keep warm
- The insert is easy to clean, dishwasher safe, oven safe, and microwave safe. Only the lid is dishwasher safe
- After cooking, it automatically goes to the “keep warm” setting
- There is no way to set the time for the crock pot to start
- Some users have reported a distinct plastic smell that is present before use
- It has been reported by users that this model cooks hot, so you might have to adjust cooking temperatures
5. Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget Programmable 6-Quart Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe
This Hamilton Beach slow cooker comes with its own custom-designed temperature probe for poking through the lid while it’s cooking, to check the temperature of the food inside. This makes slow cooking much more precise and heat doesn’t escape. It’s also programmable and comes with three cooking settings: probe, program, and manual. On the probe setting, the slow cooker automatically shifts to “Keep Warm” when the temperature is reached. With the program setting, you set the cooking time. It’s 10.2” x 16” x 16.1” and weighs 14.4 lbs.
- It has a clip-tight gasket lid and handles on the outside for carrying
- Three cooking settings
- You can also cook manually using the high, low or keep warm settings
- It has power interrupt protection in the event the power goes out
- It does come with a factory “new” smell that some might find off-putting
- Several customers have reported malfunctions such as melting, electronics issues with the digital display, and cracking after short periods of use
- The outside of this crock pot is aluminum and is not as durable as stainless steel, so it’s prone to dents and dings
- Has handles on both the outer body of the slow cooker as well as the insert for carrying either easily
- The central cooking insert is aluminum with a Teflon coating
- After cooking, it turns to the “warm” setting and stays on for up to 8 hours
- Both the lid and insert are dishwasher safe
- The insert is not microwave safe, oven safe, or stovetop safe, since it’s made of aluminum, not ceramic as many other models
- There is no delay timer for preprogramming or presetting cooking times and temperatures
- If you fill this slow cooker to the top of the insert, it will overflow once it reaches temperature
- The aluminum could be prone to scratching, so wooden utensils are recommended
- Two lid options – easy serve lid or standard lid
- Sturdy handles on both the insert and the outside of the unit to safely carry either one
- After the cooking time, the slow cooker automatically goes into “keep warm” mode for up to 4 hours
- The temperature settings are lower than compared to other slow cookers. It does not boil, so might not be hot enough
- Reports have been made by some buyers that the lids are defective and don’t fit properly or the lid handles are off center
The Crock-Pot Swing and Serve Slow Cooker is three slow cookers in one—a 3.5-quart slow cooker on the base level, and two 1.5-quart slow cookers on the upper level. Each of the three slow cooker units can be used independently, which is great for parties and tailgating. There are three separate ceramic stoneware inserts and three lids. Each slow cooker has three temperature settings—warm, low and high. Overall, the dimensions are 12.8” x 16.3” – 21.6” x 13.2”, with a 24” long cord.
- Comes in two colors—stainless steel or black
- Easy to clean and has a removable and washable spoon slot in the back
- There is no timer function. The three inserts are each operated with a manual knob
- Each of the three separate slow cooker units is much smaller than many other models. The main large unit is only 3.5 quarts in size
- It’s not portable when it’s hot, so it can’t be carried to a party or event
Would you like a casserole dish that can also function as a slow cooker? This Crock Pot is a slow cooker casserole dish, so it’s perfect for your 13” x 9” pan dishes and recipes. It comes in four colors—black/white, charcoal, navy blue, or perfect plum. It’s 6.7” x 19” x 11.6”, weighs 13.5 lbs., has a 24” cord, and has manual low, high, and warm settings.
- The stoneware insert is oven safe
- Handles on the outside to carry
- Has a locking lid system for transporting
- No programmable features or presetting
- No way to measure the temperature of the food or the settings
- The handles are plastic and some users have reported them melting due to the heat
- This slow cooker doesn’t automatically switch to any settings after you’ve set a cooking time. It’s completely manual, so it must be manually changed from setting to setting
The West Bend 5-Quart Oblong Slow Cooker comes with its own carrying insulated tote; it can also be purchased without the tote. It has a unique design in that the base is a heating base and the pot itself is not an insert. You can remove the cooking pot and use the heating base as a nonstick mini griddle. The cooking pot is oven, range-top, and freezer-safe. It can also be used to brown meat before other ingredients are added. It measures 7.25” x 12.75” x 8.75” in size and has a weight of 6.8 lbs.
- Five heat settings, from 1 to 5
- Small and light
- Both the heating base and cooking pot are nonstick
- There is no off setting, so you have to unplug it to turn it off
- There are have been reports that the nonstick coating deteriorates. It’s recommended to hand wash the cooking pot rather than washing it in the dishwasher to preserve the interior
- Some lids have not fit correctly on the slow cooker due to warping after only a few times of use
Slow cooker, fast favorite
Choose the best slow cooker for your household and your family based on what you’re looking to use it for. Those with larger quart capacities are perfect for feeding a lot of people. You also have your choice of either metal or stoneware ceramic inserts, added digital and electronic technological features, and a variety of different temperature settings.
These 10 best slow cookers offer a sturdy and long-lasting blend of low, slow cooking with modern features to deliver amazing meals you and your family will love. The slow cooker can become a favorite kitchen appliance in your home, thanks to their versatility and delicious results.