Best Slow Cookers for Under $50

71nUxRTnOQL._SL1000_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.

Best Slow Cookers That Money Can Buy

pork-1329681_640There’s something magical about cooking your own food. Well, that’s how it feels for those who love cooking. There’s something special when you see your family and friends enjoy a meal you have prepared for them. But cooking may become really frustrating when you have to be spending so much time in the kitchen just to prepare for every meal. Thanks to slow cookers, this could actually change.

Slow cooking, as its name suggests, takes the time to cook ingredients by taking low heat and moisture really well in order to create delicious culinary gourmet. All you have to do is throw in all the ingredients into the cooker, go to work for hours and come back to a sumptuous meal. So, if you’ve decided to buy your own slow cooker but can’t yet decide which one to spend your money for, here are a few suggestions.

Best Premium Slow Cooker

The Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central is a versatile slow cooker that features one-touch switches modes when you need to do combination cooking. It boasts three fully programmable cooking functions: saute, brown and slow cook. Combination cooking, as mentione earlier, is when you need to saute your ingredients, you can do it so directly in the cooker and simply switch to the slow cook function. The Cook Central also comes in handy when you have to prep any aspect of your favorite dish. Select the steam function to prepare stuffed artichokes to start a gourmet meal or to create a healthful vegetable medley side dish. The Cook Central can even do dessert.

The unit coems with a booklet, and with the numerous recipes to choose from, you’ll never run out of meal ideas. The Cook Central features Cuisinart’s brushed stainless steel housing and a 6-quart nonstick cooking pot. Once your meal is ready, the unit will automatically shift to Keep Warm mode so your meal is ready when you are. Serving your dish is easy — all you need to do is lift the pot out and take it to the table. When it comes to cleaning up, the dishwasher safe will do the job for you.

Best -Rated Slow Cooker

The Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS is one of the most advanced slow cookers today with its touchscreen feature. It also has a 6.5-quart stoneware bowl and a timer that lets you program up to 20 hours of cooking time. This comes really handy especially when you don’t have enough time to prepare for a hearty meal. You can just prepare everything the night before — add all the ingredients  into the stoneware insert, set it into the heating base, secure the lid, turn it on, and set the programmable timer. You’ll wake up the next day with satisfying breakfast meal. Its touchscreen control panel makes programming practically foolproof. Fingertip touch controls include Low, High, and Warm cook settings, as well as Time Up or Time Down options for setting the cooking time. Its digitally displayed timer counts down the cooking time remaining, and the unit automatically shifts over to a convenient keep-warm mode at the end of the cooking time, which allows food to remain at an ideal serving temperature without over-cooking. The digital timer also keeps track of time spent in keep-warm mode, counting up in one-minute increments for up to six hours before shutting off automatically.

Addditionally, this oval-shaped cooker boasts a seamless, beautifully polished, stainless-steal exterior that adds a touch of modern elegance to any kitchen. It also comes with stylish metal side handles wrapped in silicone to help ensure a secure, comfortable grip when transporting from the kitchen to the table or buffet and back again. Finally, the removable stoneware and glass lid move easily to the table for use as a lidded server, to the refrigerator for storing leftovers, and into the dishwasher for quick cleanup between uses. The stoneware can also go in an oven (but not the broiler) or microwave for added versatility.

Best Slow Cooker for Large Family

The West Bend 84905 is a multi-function cooking appliance. Aside from its main function, which is to slowly cook meals, it can also be used as a griddle as the cooking container sits upon a separate heating element. The advantage of this is that food can be cooked much quicker if required.

The West Bend slowe cooker has five individual power/temperature settings that cover the whole cooking range. You can brown/sauté on setting 5, then cook on setting 3-4. Slow cooking can be accomplished on setting 2 or 3 as they correspond to the more traditional settings of low and high, respectively. Moreover, you can simply place the container directly onto the stove to brown and sauté before placing it onto the heating base for slow cooking. Its glass top allows for easy monitoring without you having to interrupt the cooking process.The cooker measures 8.75 x 7.25 x 12.75 inches, so it takes up little space on the kitchen top.

Best Inexpensive Slow Cooker

The Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 33969 is the perfect companion if you have a large family to feed at the dinner table or you do receive guests in your home often. It can hold a 6 pound chicken or a 4 pound cut of meat. With this size, you’d be able to serve at least five people generously.

The outside base of the unit is made of  stainless steel and comes with a black removable stoneware insert, which can be lifted out from the base and brought to your table to be used as a serving dish, in case you don’t want to add another dish in the dishwasher pile. Moreover, the lip tight gasket lid reduces messy spills while full grip handles allow you to transport heavy meals easily.

There are three cooking modes you can choose from: program (set cooking time), meat probe (cooks meat to desired internal temperature), and manual. And yet the best feature about this slow cooker is this:  you can change the temperature during the cooking cycle without the need to reset the cooking time. The freedom to choose which mode will work best for what you’re cooking allows you and the slow cooker to better accommodate what’s on your menu and your time schedule.

Best Premium Slow Cookers on the Market

slow-cooker-recipes-04-ssIs it possible to maximize the nutrition you get from your meals even when you don’t have enough time to rigorously prepare and cook? With a slow cooker, it definitely is. All you need to do is prepare all the ingredients and throw them all in the slow cooker. This appliance will do the rest of the work with little to no supervision at all. As a matter of fact, experts believe that foods cooked in a slow cooker have more flavor because of the longer cooking time. It can also retain more nutrient content than any other way of cooking.

A slow cooker can also help you limit or even totally eliminate your consumption of processed foods. As a result, you will be reducing your intake of sodium, calories and bad fat. Instead of fast food meals, you can replicate them — healthier versions at that — using a slow cooker.

Best Rated Premium Slow Cooker

The 360 Cookware Gourmet Slow Cooker is one of a few advanced models out there. With the ability to cook without water or oil and also offering wonderful energy-saving benefits, this gourmet slow cooker has earned the trust of many home cooks. Its solid stainless steel construction for its lid and pot and the design of the heating element on the base  allow for energy-saving use when compared to the typical slow cooker, making it a real investment for your kitchen needs.

This slow cooker can definitely handle all the basic cooking jobs that an entry-level model can. In addition, you can brown meats on medium heat with the lid off, and benefit from the expanded heat settings the variable control knob offers. Moreover, the three-layer stainless steel construction allows you to use the pot and lid in your oven or on your stove, creating a very versatile kitchen appliance.

Bottom line: With a heating knob that allows for more control than just a high/medium/low setting, beautiful and durable stainless steel, the ability to brown meats and the versatility to use in your oven and on your stove, you can look pass the price. This is one slow cooker that is tough to beat.

Best Premium Slow Cooker for the Money

The KitchenAid KSC6222SS has a unique design that has set it apart from the crowd. For one, it has a hinged lid that allows you to open the lid from both sides of the pot. This helps minimize heat loss in the pot while providing an easy one-hand serving option. In fact, this is one of the reasons customers have rated it high on Amazon.

Additionally, its oval-shaped insert is capable of cooking up pretty much anything — from a pot roast to a whole chicken. This is thanks to the spacious room of the six-quart insert, which is in itself made of ceramic. In addition, this slow cooker is equipped with four temperature settings: low, medium, high and keep warm. It has a digital display panel that gives you the options to choose different temperature settings and to adjust the timer at a 30-minute increment. Finally, the ceramic insert and the lid are both dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Best Affordable Premium Slow Cooker

The 6-quart Hamilton Beach 33969A Set ‘n Forget is the perfect companion if you have a large family to feed at the dinner table or you do receive guests in your home often. It can hold a 6 pound chicken or a 4 pound cut of meat. With this size, you’d be able to serve at least five people generously.

The outside base of the unit is made of  stainless steel and comes with a black removable stoneware insert, which can be lifted out from the base and brought to your table to be used as a serving dish, in case you don’t want to add another dish in the dishwasher pile. Moreover, the lip tight gasket lid reduces messy spills while full grip handles allow you to transport heavy meals easily.

There are three cooking modes you can choose from: program (set cooking time), meat probe (cooks meat to desired internal temperature), and manual. And yet the best feature about this slow cooker is this:  you can change the temperature during the cooking cycle without the need to reset the cooking time. The freedom to choose which mode will work best for what you’re cooking allows you and the slow cooker to better accommodate what’s on your menu and your time schedule.

Best Manual Premium Slow Cooker

One of the best recommended manual slow cookers on the market is the Crock-Pot SCR151-WG. Since it is very small, it is just the pefect slow cooker for particular dishes, such as dips and small soups.

One of its best feature that other buyers like is the fact that it heats up super fast, saving you a lot of wait time. Cleaning it is a breeze as well, thanks to its dishwasher-safe parts. It is also built with integrated side handles so you can take its removable stoneware pot from the kitchen counter to your dining table without getting your hands burned. Included in the box is a recipe book with 25 recipes for you to get started.

Best Slow Cookers Money Can Buy

crock-pot-soup-2editedSlow cookers can help you save money. They are great for cooking cheaper cuts like pork shoulders, chicken thighs, beef brisket and lamb shoulders. In fact, you can use less meat when you cook; slow cooker can bring out stronger meat flavor than any other cooking appliance.

Another great thing about slow cookers is that you can trim your fat intake. For one, you don’t need to add oil whenyou use a slow cooker. If your meat has a lot of fat, you have to trim it off as well if you don’t want a pool of oil if you’re cooking stew. Additionally, since the liquid doesn’t reduce in a slow cooker because of the tight lid, it also doesn’t thicken. Finally, slow cookers want to work alone, so you can leave them alone and do other things you have to do.

Best Manual Slow Cooker

The Hamilton Beach Stay or Go slow cooker may not have the frills of some cookers, but it can be as reliable still. It is very simple to use with is simple rotary setting temperature selector on the front that allows you to select either High, Low or Warm cooking temperature. As its name suggests, expect it to lack any automated features as there is no timer. If you can deal with that, this cooker proves to be of value.

What sets it apart from other cookers of its class, though, is its efficiently designed single snap shut clasp on its lid that holds the lid shut when transporting in order to prevent leakage or spillage. There are also two fold down heavy-duty handles that lift up when you are ready to put it down on the dining table. It hasa capacity of seven quarts, making it ideal for big families and large parties.

Best Oblong-Shaped Slow Cooker

The West Bend 84905 is a unique slow cooker; it can be used as a griddle because its contaiber can sit upon a separate heating element. It is oblong-shaped, which make it great for cooking a whole turkey or chicken. It also has a capacity of 5 quarts, perfect for the average family. The heating base, which has an adjustable 5 position temperature selector, can double as a non-stick griddle. The cooker measures 8.75 x 7.25 x 12.75 inches so it takes up little space on the worktop.

The glass top of the cooker comes in handy when you need to check on your cooking. Both the lid and the Teflon-made container are dishwasher-safe, making cleaning a walk in the park. Additionally, its high power allows for cooking other than just slow cooking and it is not so badly affected by lifting the lid to stir the food which can add as much as twenty minutes on to the cooking time.

Best Portable Slow Cooker

If you need something that can be easily carried around, then check out the Hamilton Beach 33967A Set ‘n Forget. The Hamilton Beach 33967A has all the features that a good slow cooker must have. For starter, it has three ways of automatic cooking, namely: program, probe and manual mode. This gives you much versatility that most high-end cookers offer. When using the Program mode, you select either low or high cooking temperature and the cooker will do its job alone. After the cooking time expires and the clock has counted down, it automatically switches to warm mode. This ensures the food remains warm and ready to serve without the worry of over-cooking.

But the best feature of this cooker is the Probe mode. This is great for cooking large pieces of meat where getting the internal temperature just right is essential. For example, you have to cook large pork roasts or chicken, this mode is the most ideal to use to ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked. The attached thermometer probe is inserted into the food and the cooker monitors the probe’s temperature whilst cooking progresses. When the probe reaches a preset temperature, the cooker switches over to warm to maintain the conditions and keep the food ready to serve. The third method of cooking is to use manual mode whereby you can set the timing and the temperature you want. Only use this when you are there to supervise the cooker.

Best Rated Slow Cookers Money Can Buy

Italian-Beef-Casserole2Slow cookers are arguably the best kitchen appliance that money can buy. They are not only convenient, economical and affordable, but also promote healthy living. With slow cookers, you don’t need to worry about losing all the nutritional value of your food ingredients. But these are not the only benefits you get if you have a low cooker.

One of the the best selling point of a slow cooker is the ease of cooking it provides. You only need to prepare the ingredients and leave everything else to this kitchen monster. For many dishes, particularly soups and stews, you really can just throw all the ingredients in. Additionally, if you are short on time in the morning, you can prepare everything you need for your slow-cooked breakfast the night before. You can warm it up for 20 minutes the next morning. That means you won’t need to skip breakfast anymore.

So, if you want to have a slow cooker sitting right on your kitchen counter, here are three you can consider.

Best-Rated Large 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 Rated Slow Cooker for the Money

The Waring Pro WSC650 is a great cooker for families. It has the standard three temperature settings that provide versatility in cooking, namely: high, low and keep warm. Its timer an be selected to run for up to 12 hours on any of the temperature setting. As with other programmable models, after the cooking time is finished the Waring will automatically switch to warm. This keeps the food at the correct temperature for serving without overcooking.

Its intuitive controls are easy to use.  Both the timer and the heat selector are plain old rotary selector switches. When it comes to cleaning the whole thing, it is as breezy as it can be. Both the container and the lid can be safely put in the dishwasher. The Waring Pro WSC650 is a very good basic appliance that cooks well without any of the frills.

Best Rated Programmable Slow Cooker

If the manual slow cooker does not appeal to you, check out the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Cook & Carry Slow Cooker. It is a perfect choice for a family of up to seven people even when they’ve got appetites. It is also equipped with digital display timer that you can set to cook for 30 minutes up to 24 hours. After it reaches the cook time you have set, it will automatically switch to warm-only mode.

In addition to its digital timer, is portable  and has a clampdown sealable gasket to prevent spills when you move it from the counter to the dining table. It is built with two sturdy carrying handles as well. This means you no longer need to use other containers for transporting the cooked food as the inner removable oval stoneware can act as a presentable table-serving dish. The stoneware dish is also very energy efficient and will keep the food warmer longer than a stainless steel or aluminum dish.

 

Best Portable Slow Cookers on the Market

Red-Bean-Sweet-Potato-Stew-RU239890On a cold day, the first thing  that comes to mind is the thought of a hot bowl of soup. How nice it would be to come to a creamy casserole or a bubbling stew after a hard day’s work! This is when a slow cooker is a real must-have in the kitchen.

Cooking in a slow cooker isn’t only for having tasty and flavorful meals, but is also an economically smart choice, if you ask us. You can use tougher cuts of meat, which tend to be cheaper in price. And just because you’re saving time and money doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing taste. Vegetables cooked in a slow cooker can absorb stocks and spices, giving them fuller flavors.

Here are our picks of slow cookers you may want to consider.

Best Portable Manual Slow Cooker

If you don’t need all the frills that come with premium slow cookers, check out the manual Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook’ N Carry. Because this is manual, you have to supervise its cooking time. If that’s not a deal breaker for you, then this cooker is a real value for money. For starter, it comes with three cooking operation settings, which are high, warm, and low that have to be manually set using the rotary switch found on the front of the appliance.

And what makes it a good cooker is the fact that you can move it from the countertop to the dining table without spilling its content. This is thanks to its sealing gasket that seals the lid tight against the bowl. The clamps are there though for transportation only and should not be closed during cooking. You really cannot get any simpler than the Crock-Pot 600S to use. There simply aren’t any controls to set other than the temperature setting.

Best Slow Cooker for Small Family

If you don’t necessarily need a large pot, then the 3.5-quart Cuisinart PSC-350 is right up your alley, as it is designed to accommodate a single person or a small family. It is a programmable slow cooker that has touch pad control with a front panel LED timer display. Its countdown timer can be set from 0 to 24 hours cooking time, and it has four settings, namely: High, Low, Simmer and Warm. Once it has finished cooking, it automatically sets the cooking to Warm mode up to eight hours. After the alloted time, the Cuisinart will bleep five times before completely shutting down.

Both the ceramic pot and the glass lid are washable in either warm soapy water or in a dishwasher. The outer housing can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Thus, you don’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning it for your next cooking need.

Best Portable Slow Cooker for the Money

The Crock-Pot SCCPCTS605-S Cook Travel Serve features a temperature indicator that comes in really handy when you need to be sure of the temperature level of what you’re cooking. The gauge style display on the front panel goes from Red to yellow and has an indicator that shows at a quick glance the temperature status. The cooking time has four settings: four to six hours on High and eight and 10 hours on Low.

Another great addition of this slow cooker is its “Heatsaver” feature on its Stoneware crock. It can maintain optimum serving temperature for approximately 30% longer than its predecessor, the Crockpot 610-PS. This makes it more energy efficient, and it maintains the food temperature longer when traveling. All in all, even when it doesn’t have mush frills, it is still a good buy when compared to other models from the Crock-Pot series of slow cookers.

Top-Rated Slow Cookers for the Money

6017001_DTSCR1120Do you have days when all you want is to come home with your food ready? And it’s not just any food; it’s tasty, mouth-watering, and healthy. If you are a health-conscious, a slow cooker is definitely the kitchen appliance you need.

Because mainly fresh ingredients cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time, expect nutrition-rich and nautral juices from your vegetables and meats are retained for you to benefit from. It is also a time-saver. You don’t need long hours to get done with your slow-cooked food. All you need to do is prepare the ingredients. The slow-cooker will then do everything that needs to be done while you do other things.

So, if you are in the hunt for a slow cooker on the market, here are a few suggestions.

Top-Rated Multi Slow Cooker

The Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central is all you need for all one-pot meals you crave for. It is the perfect choice for a large family and big parties, as it comes in an oval 6-quart configuration that measures in at a whopping 9.5 x 12 x 19 inches. This is why you need a big space on your countertop for it.

This Cuisinart slow cooker is equipped with a glass lid that allows you to check your meal without having to lift up the lid and risk getting burned. It also has a steaming rack that allows the food ingredients to be elevated for a better steaming position. Its non-stick six-quart cooking pot is also a great addition. Moreover, it has three programmable cooking functions that let you saute vegetables, brown meat or slow cook a whole meal for the family. With its LCD display panel, you can djust time and temperature to either minutes or hours and up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet another great feature is that this slow cooker automatically go into warm mode once the cooking is complete. It works for up to eight hours before automatically shutting down. This slow cooker from Cuisinart is one of the outstanding products in the slow cooker range and will be a very good choice  for your money.

Top-Rated Manual Slow Cooker

You’ll find flexibility in your time with the Crock Pot SCR450-PT. With its ample size of 4.5 quarts, you can cook meals for yp to 5 people, making it perfect for the average family. It cooks on high or low setting, depending on the recipe you’re working on. If you’re not going to have your meal right after the slow cooker is done, you can set in in “Warm” and it will keep your food at the ideal tepmperature until you’re ready to serve it on the dining table.

When its time for cleaning, you don’t need to fret. Its removable stoneware and glass lid are both dishwasher-safe. Finally, this particular slow cooker comes with a recipe booklet in the box to help you get started.

Top-Rated Digital Slow Cooker

The West Bend 84966 Versatility lives up to its name as it offers you the versatility you need in the kitchen. It doesn’t even hurt that the cooker looks so modern and stylish that it would look good on any countertop. One of its selling points, though, is its programmable timer and electronic controls. It also eatures a 6 Quart cooking bowl with a tempered glass lid that is freezer, oven and stove safe. With three temperature settings with an option to switch to griddle cooking, it really does provide sufficient versatility.

The slow cooker uses a countdown timer with an automatic shut off after 24 hours. The cooking pot is oval or oblong shaped instead of being round like the traditional slow cookers. In the package is also a recipe book to get you started quickly. The West Bend 84966 is protected by a one year limited warranty, which helps to ensure that you’re going to get a slow cooker that’s going to last.

Top-Rated Slow Cooker for the Money

The Hamilton Beach 33461 Stay or Go is a portable slow cooker for a family out-of-town getaway. Just chop up the ingredients, drop it into the cooker, shut the lid tight and set the time and cooking temperature. A hot delicious meal will be ready for you in no time. he large stoneware pot is a 6-quart container, which makes its ideal to make enough for an average family.

The hinged lid stays upright and foldable handles snap shut for an ergonomic design that makes it easy to transport. Its design also reduces messy spills by locking and sealing the lid tightly onto the pot using a single secure latch. it is also equipped with three settings of high, low and warm temperatures to ensure that you can make all kinds of meals from meat to tasty vegetarian dishes . Food cooked earlier in the day can be reused right from from the stoneware pot by using the keep warm setting.

Top-Rated Slow Cookers You Can Buy

Slow-Cooker-Hearty-Beef-Chili-55824_640x428Whether you want to create a spicy chilly or rich casserole, a slow cooker will do a great job to satisfy your food cravings. This kitchen appliance is handy that does exactly what its name suggests — cook slowly. You can just throw a bunch of ingredients in it anytime before your next meal and you’d come back to it with a sumptuous meal. It also has many functions, such as cooking rice, porridge, and steamed vegetables. This is the very reason it is also called a multi-cooker.

There is no shortage of choices when it comes to slow cookers, though, and choosing can be tough, especially for first-time buyers. Many have useful extra features, such as vegetable steaming and specialist rice modes, but the number of features isn’t the only thing to think about. You also have the price and durability to consider. To help you out with making a final decision, here are few recommendations.

Top-Rated Large-Capacity Slow Cooker

The Hamilton Beach 33182A 8-Quart Slow Cooker is the perfect size if you like to cook large pots of soups and stews and be able to stock up and freeze leftovers or extra foodto be consumed at a later time. It is large enough to handle a 7 pound roast or chicken.   The lid is designed to be drip free, which means all the moisture drips back into the cooker. You no longer have to place towels around to catch the moisture that would drip off of the lid onto the counter top.

Its pot is stoneware and dishwasher safe. Its handles are full-grip, making them easy and sturdy  for handling this large pot.  There is a gripper to hold the lid when you need to get inside the pot.  This is particularly helpful if you use this while the unit is on warm and you are serving a large crowd.  The lid can be put onto the lid holder instead of on the table.  The gripper is also used to wrap the electric cord around when not in use. Overall, users love this model because of the price; it’s hard to beat.

Top-Rated Digital Slow Cooker

The KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt. Slow Cooker is one of the brand’s finest creations. It has six-quart capacity, making it ideal  for big families and excellent if you are having a party or guests. Its oblong shape is also a plus as it is the right one for roasting meats, like that of chickens and turkeys.

Another great thing about this model is its tempered glass lid. You no longer have to remove it just to check the food. Additionally, its brushed stainless steel exterior give it a clean appeal and lasting shine. With this cooker, you can cook in advance for up to 24 hours; simply set the digital timer and your perfectly cooked meal will be ready to serve anytime you want.

Top-Rated Touchscreen Programmable Slow Cooker

The Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker SCVT650-PS is one of the most advanced slow cookers today with its touchscreen feature. It also has a 6.5-quart stoneware bowl and a timer that lets you program up to 20 hours of cooking time. This comes really handy especially when you don’t have enough time to prepare for a hearty meal. You can just prepare everything the night before — add all the ingredients  into the stoneware insert, set it into the heating base, secure the lid, turn it on, and set the programmable timer. You’ll wake up the next day with satisfying breakfast meal. Its touchscreen control panel makes programming practically foolproof. Fingertip touch controls include Low, High, and Warm cook settings, as well as Time Up or Time Down options for setting the cooking time. Its digitally displayed timer counts down the cooking time remaining, and the unit automatically shifts over to a convenient keep-warm mode at the end of the cooking time, which allows food to remain at an ideal serving temperature without over-cooking. The digital timer also keeps track of time spent in keep-warm mode, counting up in one-minute increments for up to six hours before shutting off automatically.

Addditionally, this oval-shaped cooker boasts a seamless, beautifully polished, stainless-steal exterior that adds a touch of modern elegance to any kitchen. It also comes with stylish metal side handles wrapped in silicone to help ensure a secure, comfortable grip when transporting from the kitchen to the table or buffet and back again. Finally, the removable stoneware and glass lid move easily to the table for use as a lidded server, to the refrigerator for storing leftovers, and into the dishwasher for quick cleanup between uses. The stoneware can also go in an oven (but not the broiler) or microwave for added versatility.

Top-Rated 3-in-1 Slow Cooker

The Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Multi-Cooker is a very versatile slow cooker. Its three fully programmable cooking functions let you sauté vegetables, brown meats and slow cook your favorite comfort foods right in the unit. This allows you to just skip the stovetop. In addition, you can select the steam function to prepare stuffed artichokes to start a gourmet meal or to create a healthful vegetable medley side dish. It can even do dessert.

This model features Cuisinart’s brushed stainless steel housing and a 6-quart nonstick cooking pot. Once the meal is ready, the unit will automatically shift to Keep Warm mode so your meal is ready when you are. Its steaming function comes in handy as well. To steam anything from asparagus to shrimp, insert the included steaming rack and no more than 2 quarts of water or other liquid in the cooking pot and cover with the lid. The package comes with a recipe book, so you can get started even when you’re new to slow cooking.

Top-Rated Slow Cookers 2015

o-SLOW-COOKER-RECIPES-CROCKPOT-facebookA slow cooker is a very helpful addition to any kitchen arsenal. It is one of the handiest tools you could ever won, especially when you cook at home a lot. Its convenience becomes more bovious when you have a busy lifestyle. It can make meal planning a breeze. Simply place the ingredients in the crock pot, turn it to the right temperature, and by the time you need a bite, it will be full of the welcoming smell of warm food ready to be served. It is also a unit that’s fun to experiment with, and can give you some great new recipe ideas It creates some of the most flavorful dishes, because it really allows the unique tastes of each ingredient to blend together.

Your options with a slow cooker are endless. You can make pot roast, soups, jambalaya, red beans and rice and stews, and even mac and cheese. You can make fun fusion cuisine, and make up your own recipes. Meatballs, chicken cacciatore, pulled pork, and beef brisket can all be on the menu, as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes like ratatouille, curry, porridge, and lentil dishes. You can even make desserts like chocolate pudding cake and rice pudding. So, if you love to experiment with food, check out your best slow cooker options below.

Top-Rated Premium Slow Cooker

The Cuisinart MSC-600 Slow Cooker is one of the most trusted high-end models on the market, thanks to its versatility. It can brown and sauté, steam and slow cook all in the same pot. It comes in an oval 6-quart configuration that measures in at a whopping 9.5 x 12 x 19 inches, so you make sure you have big enough space on your kitchen counter.

This Cuisinart slow cooker has a glass lid, which is really handy as you are able to heck the meal without disturbing the cooking process. It also has an additional steaming rack that allows food to be elevated for a better steaming position and a non-stick 6-quart cooking pot. It has three programmable cooking functions that allows you to sauté vegetables, brown meats or slow cook your meals. Moreover, it features a wide blue screen LCD display panel with press buttons for easy use and programming. You can adjust time and temperature to either minutes or hours and up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, it is very easy to clean.

Top-Rated Manual Slow Cooker

The Hamilton Beach 33262 Stay or Go 6-Quart Slow Cooker is a basic manual rice cooker that fits perfectly on any counter space, whether big or small. Its six-quart capacity can feed up to seven people, enough for a small family.

By not having a timer, everything has to be done manually, and that has some advantages to it. Programmable functions can be too restrictive, but with a manual version, you simply set the cooking setting to either high or low and take whatever time you wish. Additionally, transporting food with this slow cooker is a breeze. It has clip down clamp on both carrying handles to hold the lid in place to prevent spillage and sealing gasket to prevent any leakage. After you are done, it is easily cleaned with both the lid and the pot being dishwasher safe. The pot itself is ceramic and the lid is glass, making them both easy to clean. Overall, this is the one you’d want to purchase if you want portability and much control over your cooking.

Top-Rated Multi-Function Slow Cooker

The West Bend 84905 5-Quart Oblong-Shaped Slow Cooker is a multi-function cooking appliance. Aside from its main function, which is to slowly cook meals, it can also be used as a griddle as the cooking container sits upon a separate heating element. The advantage of this is that food can be cooked much quicker if required.

The West Bend slowe cooker has five individual power/temperature settings that cover the whole cooking range. You can brown/sauté on setting 5, then cook on setting 3-4. Slow cooking can be accomplished on setting 2 or 3 as they correspond to the more traditional settings of low and high, respectively. Moreover, you can simply place the container directly onto the stove to brown and sauté before placing it onto the heating base for slow cooking. Its glass top allows for easy monitoring without you having to interrupt the cooking process.The cooker measures 8.75 x 7.25 x 12.75 inches, so it takes up little space on the kitchen top.Top-Rated Six-Quart Slow Cooker

Best Slow Cookers for One Person

psc350-foodIf you are a single person who mostly cook for himself and doesn’t really entertain too many guests from time to time, a small slow cooker will do the work. Moreover, you won’t need to clean such a big pot if you will only need 2 servings for dinner and lunch. However, there are a lot of models that offer different features. You definitely need to know what you look for in a slow cooker before you buy as to avoid wasting your money, especially when it is hard-earned. You have to ask whether or not you want one that enables you to make breakfast, dips, fondues, and cook just a cup of beans at a time. Does price matter so much? Do you want your slow cooker to be able to warm your leftovers?

With these questions in mind, you would then be able to narrow down your research. Let the list below help you out with that.

Top-Rated Slow Cooker for One Person

The Proctor Silex 33015Y Round Slow Cooker is very versatile and handy companion in the kitchen. It is arguably one of the cheapest yet most reliable slow cooker available today. It features  an adjustable temperature dial to get the temperature just right. The clear glass lid with cool-touch technology traps the heat and moisture inside, keeping the cooker and the protective side handles cool to the touch. This is particulary beneficial in keeping you safe from burning. It also has a small footprint, having a dimension of only 8 x 8 x 9 inches. Storage problem should not be a problem anymore even when you have a small-sized kitchen counter.

If you are worried about cleaning a small pot like this, you can relax with the Proctor Silex. Cleaning is a breeze due to its reduced dimensions and various dishwasher-safe parts. Its removable crock can also be used as a serving dish when required. Additionally, the warming feature is a great addition; it makes sure that your meal remains warm for as long as the cooker is plugged in. Overall, this is a great slow cooker if you’re on a budget.

Best Manual Slow Cooker

The advantage of having a manual slow cooker is the freedom of control you’d get from it. This is particularly great for people who already have experience with slow cooking. And one of the best recommended manual slow cookers on the market is the Crock-Pot SCR151-WG Round Manual Slow Cooker. Since it is very small, it is just the pefect slow cooker for particular dishes, such as dips and small soups.

One of its best feature that other buyers like is the fact that it heats up super fast, saving you a lot of wait time. Cleaning it is a breeze as well, thanks to its dishwasher-safe parts. It is also built with integrated side handles so you can take its removable stoneware pot from the kitchen counter to your dining table without getting your hands burned. Included in the box is a recipe book with 25 recipes for you to get started.

Best Premium Programmable Slow Cooker

The Cuisinart PSC-350 Programmable Slow Cooker is specifically designed for a single person or a small family, thanks to its 3.5 quarts capacity. It has a touch pad control with a front panel LED timer display. It has also a countdown timer that can be set from anywhere between 0 and 24 hours. Moreover, it has four settings, namely: High, Low, Simmer and Warm. When the cook time ends, the appliance automatically shifts to the “warm” setting, so whatever you’re cooking stays hot and ready to serve without overcooking. Note, though, that it only keeps the food warm for up to eight hours. After that, the unit will bleep five times before shutting down.

The Cuisinart is easy to use, as you only have to plug it in and switch it on. Then simply set the desired cooking time by pushing the + or – buttons to advance or reverse the time. Additionally, both the ceramic pot and the glass lid are washable in either warm soapy water or in a dishwasher. The outer housing can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, making cleaning a real walk in the park. Other highlights include a glass lid for keeping an eye on the cooking process, nonslip rubber feet, and stay-cool side handles for safe transport.

Best Rated 4-Quart Slow Cooker

The Hamilton Beach 33249 Stay or Go Slow Cooker is a portable 4-quart slow cooker that you can take away from home. It features  secure, clip-tight lids for spill-resistant travel. Even better, the full-grip handles make carrying them to and from the car a simple, stress-free matter. And all these features are an advatange even when you do the cooking at home as well.

Other features include dishwasher-safe stoneware and lid and thre temperature settings: low, medium and warm. Moreover, it is handsomely built for a unit that has a low price. To say the least, this is the perfect gift for weddings and holidays.