During the winter, it’s good to enjoy a nice, piping hot meal. With a slow cooker, you can enjoy a vast variety of warm foods– anything from a spicy chilli to a sumptuous casserole.
Slow cookers are incredibly easy to use. Just drop in the ingredients and leave it alone before you go to work. When you return home for supper, you’ll have a tasty meal waiting for you on the kitchen counter.
Today’s slow cookers feature a variety of new features. Whether your goal is to feed a large family or just cook something up for yourself and a loved one, there is slow cooker on our list for you. We surveyed several popular slow cookers and narrowed it down to the six you’ll find listed below.
4 Factors to Consider When Buying a Slow Cooker
1. Price. Depending on what you need, the price of a slow cooker can vary dramatically. The cheapest slow cooker on our list costs about as much as dinner for two at a fast food restaurant. The most expensive one costs around 100 pounds.
2. Capacity. A big factor that influences price is the capacity of a slow cooker. A large slow cooker can save you time and money if you have room in your fridge to store the leftovers. However, if you prefer to eat fresh and you’re on a budget, consider consider a smaller model.
3. Heating Element. Slow cookers that have heating elements on the sides as well as the bottom of the pot generally work better than slow cookers that are heated from the bottom. Also, you don’t have to stir food as much if it’s heated from all directions.
4. Functionality. Slow cookers with delay timers allow you to ensure that your meal will be ready at the exact moment that you need it. Also, some slow cookers feature a removable pot. A removable pot allows you to move your food to the dining table without taking out of the cooker.
The Best 6 Slow Cookers of 2017 (So Far)
We liked each of these 6 outstanding slow cookers for completely different reasons. In no particular order, here they are. Enjoy!
1. Sear and Stew – Morphy Richards Accents
Morphy Richards is a British appliance manufacturer headquartered in Mexborough, England. Its accents line of products features an extra emphasis on style and color coordination. This red cooker can be easily matched to other kitchen appliances in the accent product line.
- Three temperature settings. Most slow cookers have only two settings, but this one has three. The different settings allow for some extra tweaking and experimenting. If your meat comes out a little overcooked on night, you can dial it down to medium the next.
- Low price. This slow cooker is one of the least expensive ones on our list, which is probably why it is currently on the Amazon bestseller list.
- Sear and stew. With this slow cooker, you can sear your meat in the same pot that you cook your meal in, thus enhancing the overall taste of the final product.
- The non-stick coating is delicate. The non-stick coating will come off if you are rough with it during washing. If you’re extra careful to not scratch or scrape it, however, the coating should last much longer.
2. Oval Slow Cooker – Morphy Richards
- Great for families.The other Morphy Richards slow cooker was awesome for its added functionality, but ineffective if you need to prepare a large amount of food. This cooker, on the other hand, can feed an entire family.
- Super cheap. This cooker boasts a very reasonable price. It’s only slightly more expensive than the Sear and Stew.
- Lacks “sear and stew” functionality. The Oval Slow Cooker is bigger than Morphy Richards’s most popular slow cooker, but it costs almost the same amount of money. However, it lacks “sear and stew” functionality.
3. Instant Pot Duo – Instant Pot
Instant Pot specializes in producing high quality slow cookers. This offering is like the swiss army knife of kitchen gadgets. It can do just about anything. In addition to being a slow cooker, it’s also a rice cooker and a pressure cooker as well. It can even make yoghurt. Let’s take a closer look.
- Highly efficient. The electricity saving electronics integrated into this machine speeds up cooking while also saving 70% of the electricity used by other popular slow cooker machines.
- It does everything well. This multi-use machine cooks rice and vegetables just as well as it slow cooks hot meals.
- Easy to use. Though this machine does just about everything, its interface is intuitive and easy to use.
- A bit pricey. This is one of the most expensive items on our list, but the versatility of this machine may justify the cost of it, depending on your kitchen needs.
4. The Crock-Pot Next Generation Slow Cooker – Crock Pot
Crock Pot revolutionized the slow cooker industry. Now, the company is back with a whole new line of Crock Pots. This one is one of the best ones in their catalogue, featuring a large capacity stoneware pot, a two year warrantee and quite a few upgrades to their old design.
- A non-teflon cooking surface. Teflon cookware is linked to an increased risk of cancer. If teflon is a concern for you, you won’t have to worry about it if you buy this machine because the cooking surface does not contain teflon.
- The Crock Pot brand name. Crock Pot is the most famous name in the slow cooker business. They always make great, innovative products and offer a comprehensive 2 year guarantee on all their machines.
- Nice design. Unlike previous clunky-looking Crock Pot slow cookers, this black-and-white model looks sleek and elegant.
- Removable pot. When you’re done cooking, just remove the pot and place it on the dinner table.
- Only two cooking settings. You can only cook at either low or high. There is, however, a “keep warm” setting that is useful for keeping a meal hot if you need to wait an hour or two before you eat.
5. 19790 3.5 Litre Slow Cooker – Russell Hobbs
After serving as an engineer during WWII, Russell Hobbs started a appliance manufacturing company in London. Today his company has become a household name. Let’s take a look at their most popular slow cooker, the 19790.
- Almost indestructable. Some slow cookers are easy to scratch, but not this one. The bowl is made of ceramic, not metal with a non-stick surface.
- Three settings. This cooker features three settings. If you hate overcooked meat, you can cook on medium to make sure that your food doesn’t taste dry when it’s time to eat.
- Good price. This cooker was one of the least expensive ones we reviewed. However, it’s not cheaply made. This machine is built to last.
- It’s heavy. At 4.1 kilos, this cooker won’t break your back– but it is heavy compared to other slow cookers. That’s because the bowl is made from ceramic, not metal. It’s not a big issue for most, but elderly people may want to go with something lighter.
6. 3.5 Litre Premium Black Slow Cooker – Andrew James
- The most inexpensive slow cooker we could find. It’s very inexpensive, yet it gets the job done. It was hard to find any negative reviews of this product, which seemed to indicate that almost everyone who bought it was satisfied.
- The “auto” setting is quite useful. This is the only cooker we could find with an auto cook setting. If you have frozen food to cook, just dump it in and turn the knob to auto. When the food has thawed, the knob automatically switches to low.
- The heating elements are not very powerful. It will take you slightly longer to cook with this machine compared to other slow cookers, due to the reduced power of the heating elements.