Slow cookers have been saving a lot of home cooks since it was first introduced in the market. That is no surprise at all. When using a slow cooker, delicious meals practically cook themselves while you are free to tackle other tasks.
If you want to join the slow-cooker movement in the kitchen or need to replace an old one, there are things you need to think about first before shopping. One of these is the crock construction. Ceramic and porcelain are the popular options out there, and there’s metal as well. They all do a good job of conducting heat, so it’s really up to your preferences. What’s important with the crock, however, is that it’s removable for easy cleaning.
Lid material and shape are factors to consider as well. When using a slow cooker, you want to avoid opening the lid, since that lets out precious heat and extends cooking time. Slow cookers with glass lids — so you can see what’s going on inside without taking the lid off — are better options. When it comes to shape, on the other hand, it should depend on what you want to frequently cook. With all these in mind, here are a few of the best slow cookers on the market.
Best Rated Slow Cooker
The Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS is one of the most advanced slow cookers on the market; it boasts touchscreen controls for programming timers. The basic functionality of this feature is that you can set the countdown timer anywhere between 30 minutes and 24 hours of cooking time. And since it has a large capacity with its big footprint of 16.5 x 12.2 inches, it is the perfect kitchen companion for large families and gatherings.
What’s great about this cooker is that you don’t need to slave over it. You can leave it alone and let it do the rest of the work. Just set the time, and when he countdown display reaches zero the cooking will stop and the cooker will transition from High to Warm in order to keep the food warm and not let it over cook or go cold. The Keep Warm mode stays on for up to six hours before the cooker shuts down. A counter displays how long the food has been in the warm cycle and will display up to six hours in one minute increments.
Best Slow Cooker for the Money
The Black & Decker SC2007D is undeniably a beauty to look at. But it is more than just good looks. This seven-quart slow cooker is designed to cook delicious roasts, soups, chili, and so much more. Just put all the ingredients in the 7-quart stoneware pot and let the low, constant heat go to work.
This slow cooker features three heat settings that allow you to to find the best temperature for your schedule—low for 8-9 hours of cooking, high for 3-4 hours, and warm for keeping food at the ideal serving temperature. Cleanup is also made easy with this appliance. The stoneware pot and tempered glass lid are both dishwasher-safe.
Best Inexpensive Slow Cooker
The Hamilton Beach 33473 is sized just right for feeding a crowd, satisfying the appetite of a large family, and saving leftovers for lunch. It is outfitted with oval-shaped stoneware that’s ideal for cooking a whole chicken or roast to tender perfection.
This slow cooker is also designed for spill-resistant travel, thanks to a clip-down lid or Lid Latch strap. Taking it along with you is easy and cleanup is always trouble-free. This is because it features a dishwasher safe stoneware insert and glass lid. Moreover, it offers five time settings, including 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 hours of cooking time. Finally, it boasts a wraparound element for even heating.