slow cooker

Slow Cookers: The 8 Best Slow Cookers to Take Your Culinary Skills to Next Level in 2024!

Slow cookers have become as much a part of our shared kitchen experience as the Dutch oven and the frying pan. But the appliance is a fairly new invention, having been patented by the inventor, Irving Naxon, in 1940. Naxon had originally intended his invention for a Jewish stew of meat and beans called cholent, and was, for a long time, known simply as the Naxon Beanery.

The invention never caught on, so Naxon sold the invention to Rival Manufacturing, where the curious little appliance endured years of obscurity. “No one paid any attention to it,” Rival president Isidore Miller told the Kansas City Times in 1981. “We almost forgot about it.”

Miller later handed the Beanery over to Rival’s test kitchen, where an employee realized that it could cook more than just beans.

8 Best Slow Cookers You Can Buy Right Now

Today, of course, no kitchen is complete without a slow cooker. So much so that you’ll find a surfeit of slow cooker brands and models online and in kitchen appliance boutiques.

If you happen to be shopping around for the best slow cooker for your kitchen, then you are in luck. We have tested dozens and have come up with a short catalog of the best models on the market today. Below are the 8 best slow cookers you can buy right now.

Cuisinart is an American kitchen appliance and cookware brand owned by Conair Corporation.
Cuisinart is an American kitchen appliance and cookware brand owned by Conair Corporation.

1. Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker MSC-600

The Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker MSC-600 takes the first slot on our list of the best in the market this year. In our tests, this slow cooker accomplished every task with splendid aplomb and efficiency. If we were to go by the reviews this slow cooker has received in the past months, then we can say that many share our opinion.

Cuisinart is an American kitchen appliance and cookware brand owned by Conair Corporation. The company has been something of a standard bearer for kitchen appliances since it introduced the first food processor—the inspiration behind Steve Jobs’ Apple II computer—at a Paris exhibit in 1971. The company has maintained its reputation all these years mainly by producing fantastic kitchen appliances like the MSC-600.

Compact Slow Cooking Convenience

The Cuisinart MSC-600 is relatively compact and easy to carry at 11″D x 18″W x 10.5″H and around 16 lbs. It will hold 6 quarts of liquid and its outer casing is made from sturdy stainless steel. You’ll find an extra-large blue backlit LCD display with easy-to-read time and temperature settings on the front panel. This kitchen appliance also comes with a steaming rack, which worked perfectly in our tests.

But it is the cooking features of this Cuisinart model that won our hearts. The Cuisinart MSC-600 won’t just boil the liquid in your stew. It’s among the few that we tested that did what it was supposed to do. It maintained a simmer. 

Easy to Use and Consistent

The cooker reached 91.6 degrees Celsius on low heat and stayed there for an entire morning. The resulting chili was tender, moist, and lovely. That said, when we set this slow cooker to its browning function to cook a few burgers, we noted that the center of the pot was hotter than the periphery.

But that was the case for all the slow cookers we tested. And we cooked a delicious batch of burgers with this slow cooker, too.

This MSC-600 is easy-to-use. The Cuisinart Cook Central can switch modes when your recipe calls for combination cooking. We didn’t even need to consult the manual to get it started, too. The buttons are clear and navigating them is intuitive.  We liked that the handles remained cool even after six hours of cooking, as well.

However, we do wish Cuisinart had designed this slow cooker with some kind of locking system to prevent spills, especially when transporting the slow cooker from the kitchen to the table.

Maintenance should not be much of a problem. The lid and pot of the MS-600 are dishwasher-safe, although some may prefer to wash the pot by hand, which is quick and easy because of the pot’s non-stick cooking surface.

“I absolutely love this slow cooker,” says one five-star review on Amazon. “For context, I cook a lot and have been using crockpots for over 20 years.”

Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker MSC-600

2. Crockpot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker

The Crockpot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker were among the most affordable slow cookers we tested. It was also among the best. No wonder this slow cooker is a favorite among countless professional chefs. We cannot think of any other slow cooker that offers you more value for your money.  

Crockpot is a leading brand in the kitchen appliance industry and is renowned for its innovative and reliable slow cookers. With a rich history dating back to the 1970s, the brand has established itself as a trusted name among home cooks and culinary enthusiasts alike.

Easy Set-Up and Programmable Cooking Times

Crockpot’s signature slow cookers are designed to make meal preparation effortless and convenient, allowing users to create delicious, flavorful dishes with minimal effort. We think the Crockpot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker is among the best slow cookers to come out under the brand yet.

Our test unit held around 6 quarts, but this crockpot is also available in 3.5-quart, 6.5-quart, and 7-quart sizes. Setting up this slow cooker is easy. You get only four buttons: temperature select, up and down for the time, and off.

The programmable digital control lets you program cook times from 30 minutes up to 20 hours. The pot shifts to the warm setting automatically once the cooking time is complete.

Crockpot is a leading brand in the kitchen appliance industry and is renowned for its innovative and reliable slow cookers.
Crockpot is a leading brand in the kitchen appliance industry and is renowned for its innovative and reliable slow cookers.

“Awesome” Slow Cooking Experience

The parts of this slow cooker that come in contact with food are dishwasher safe. That is a useful feature as food debris tends to stick to the stoneware crock and can be difficult to clean by hand.  

This crockpot was the easiest to move around during our tests. It only weighs 13 pounds when empty, and – yes – the lid locks in place.  You get an easy-to-use locking lid with a lid gasket for less mess on the go.

We loved cooking with this slow cooker. The crock pot maintained consistent temperatures without boiling in our high and low-temperature water tests. Our roast turned out excellent, too, mouthwateringly tender, moist, and delicious.

“This crockpot is awesome,” says one review on Amazon.  “So easy to pick the time and temperature since it’s digital. You can set it and forget it as it has a timer and keep warm feature.”  We could not agree more.

Crock-Pot 6 Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Timer

3. Wolf Gourmet Programmable Multi-Cooker

The Wolf Gourmet Programmable Multi Cooker is the most expensive slow cooker on our list. This slow cooker comes with a price tag that is twice that of other cookers we tested. But it performed the best in our slow-cooking tests, producing a perfect pot of chili.

Wolf Gourmet is a distinguished brand that specializes in crafting premium kitchen appliances. Renowned for its commitment to excellence, innovation, and uncompromising quality, Wolf Gourmet has become a name synonymous with luxury and professional-grade performance in the culinary world with top-of-the-line countertop appliances and kitchenware like the company’s excellent programmable slow cooker.

This slow cooker is a bit on the heavy side, weighing around 27 pounds when empty. At 14.5 x 19.75 x 17.88 inches, our test unit could hold 7 quarts of liquid. The settings permit you to select one or two heat settings and cooking times for customized cooking.

You can also choose to insert the temperature probe into the food and set the temperature to your preferred doneness.

Use It Like a Dutch Oven!

While we were not as impressed with the browning performance of this slow cooker, the Wolf Gourmet did produce a nice crust on our roast. You can also use the included stainless-steel vessel just like a Dutch oven, both on the stove and in the oven.

Like the other units we tested for this list, the heat was highest in the center of the pot when we set it to its browning function. We did notice that bits of browned meat stuck to the stainless steel. Even a cycle in the dishwasher could not remove them completely. Some may find that inconvenience off-putting in such an expensive piece of kitchen equipment.

We also noted that the temperature readings were nearly identical in our low-heat and high-heat tests. In both tests, the temperature rose quickly and remained consistent at a light simmer throughout.

Enjoyable Slow Cooking

Since this slow cooker can also cook rice and sous vide, the Wolf Gourmet Multi Cooker is more complicated than most of the slow cookers we tested. But the controls are intuitive and familiarizing yourself with them should not be too difficult.

What we did find difficult was transporting this slow cooker. Moving this slow cooker around the kitchen was arduous, at best because of its weight and the absence of a locking lid.

However, overall, we did enjoy cooking with the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Multi-Cooker. We liked its slow cooking performance enough so that there was not much of a disagreement among members of our staff as to its rank on our list.

Wolf Gourmet Programmable 6-in-1 Multi Cooker with Temperature Probe

4. BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

If you are one to bring your slow-cooked kitchen creations to family gatherings, picnics, and cookouts, the BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker should be perfect for you. It has an ample 7-quart capacity, and the stoneware pot is dishwasher safe.

You can cook your pulled pork or chili in advance of an event and take it along in the BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker. It weighs a little less than 15 lbs., is compact at 14.09″ x 17.32″ x 9.65″, and has an ample 7-quart capacity. The stoneware pot is dishwasher-safe.

Cooking on the go? Simply clip on the lid. It will stay secure, even in the car. We know because we tried it and successfully transported our pot of chili with nary a single spill.

All You Need in a Slow Cooker

We are pretty sure the Black + Decker brand is familiar to DIYers out there. The company is famous for its power tools. The company recently expanded to include a variety of kitchen and cooking home appliances. We say the BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker is among the best of the company’s kitchen appliances yet.

This slow cooker has three simple settings: warm, low, and high.  The unit automatically switches to ‘Warm’ mode when cooking is complete, so you’ll have a delicious meal right when you need it.

As far as we are concerned, that is all you really need in a slow cooker. We cooked an excellent batch of chili with our test unit and the result was absolute perfection.

This 7-quart slow cooker is well-suited to serving because it features a lid holder that permits you to prop it open while friends and family pile their plates high. You can then replace the lid back on the stoneware pot.

Chalk It Up to a Unique Bonus!

The chalkboard exterior of this slow cooker is a unique bonus. You get two sticks of chalk out of the box. You can write your recipe or make a note of when you need to switch it off. We thought that little extra perk was rather imaginative, and it’s great for getting the kids involved in meal preparation.

“I thought the chalkboard part was a silly gimmick but have come to enjoy it,” remarks one reviewer.  “I find myself writing something every time I use it.”

BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

5. Instant Pot Duo Crisp Slow Cooker

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and air fryer all in one. This is probably one of the most convenient and cost-effective small kitchen appliances we’ve tested so far. Yes, we loved it, and for good reason. This a fantastic all-in-one appliance that will cook beans and vegetables well, hold consistent temperatures and is excellent at browning.

Instant Pot is a brand of multicookers manufactured by Instant Brands. The multicookers are electronically controlled and combine the functions of pressure cookers and slow cookers.

The brand recently expanded to include non-pressure slow cookers, sous-vide immersion circulators, blenders, air fryers, and rice cookers. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is the brand’s new flagship in the multicooker market, and we say it’s one of the best slow cookers in the market right now.

Excellent Browning Feature

In our experience, multi-functional electric pressure cookers don’t slow cook as well as dedicated slow cookers. But Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker does a good enough job and has so many other functions that it can replace several kitchen appliances.

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp excelled at browning burgers, producing a nice crust that was almost perfectly uniform. While temperature maintenance during slow cooking was not as good as others on this list, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp did a good job of slow-cooking vegetables and beans.

This slow cooker had the highest temperatures in our low-heat testing and brought the water to a boil in high-heat testing. That isn’t necessarily what you’d want in a slow cooker, but it did maintain high heat temperatures evenly through our tests.

A “Revolutionary” Kitchen Appliance

What we loved about this slow cooker was its versatility. The Instant Pot Duo can pressure cook, saute, slow cook, steam, sous vide, air fry, roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and keep your food warm. It also has a delayed start setting which can be useful on a particularly busy day.

Some might find the 18-button interface – and the separate lid for air frying – a bit intimidating. Luckily, the slow cook button is clearly labeled. The same is true for the time and temperature controls. Cleaning is a breeze compared to other slow cookers, too. This 13-pound model will hold 6 quarts but take up relatively little space in your dishwasher.

“First off, I am extremely particular and critical and only leave reviews for things that are really good or really bad,” says one happy reviewer on Amazon. “This instant pot duo crisp is …REVOLUTIONARY!”

Instant Pot Duo Crisp

6. Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set and Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker

True to its name, this Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set and Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker allows you to set it and forget it until it’s time to serve.

Now, the program mode on this slow cooker should be useful when you’re otherwise occupied. But then there is also the probe mode, and manual mode, for the more experienced slow-cook aficionados.

Hamilton Beach designs, markets, and distributes a wide variety of small electric household appliances. The brand’s portfolio includes blenders, coffee makers, food processors, breakfast sandwich makers, rice cookers, irons, mixers, and slow cookers, among others. We happen to think the brand’s 6-quart slow cooker is among the very best slow cookers around. 

Great Probe Mode

We liked this slow cooker’s fully functioning probe mode. If you’re cooking a big piece of meat, you can simply insert the probe, and set the meat temperature you want to reach.

Once the temperature of the meat reaches the mark, this slow cooker will automatically switch to ‘keep warm’ mode so that you neither overcook nor undercook your meal.

This slow cooker is also easy to transport. The lid on our test unit clips securely in place, which is perfect for taking the slow cooker to a party, potluck, or tailgate. The tight seal helps prevent messy spills along the way.

Fantastic Cooking Experience

Unlike the other slow cookers on this list, this Hamilton Beach model has no delay start feature. That means you cannot time the start of your recipe to the dinner bell. But the slow cooker can keep food warm for up to 14 hours, which we found just as useful.

Our verdict? The Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set and Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker is one of the best slow cookers we tested. It’s lightweight and compact at 11.25″D x 17.5″W x 11.75″H, has a clampable lid, and is quite convenient for on-the-go slow cooking.

“Fantastic,” says one review on Amazon. “By far the best slow cooker I have ever had. Just the right size for us.”  

7. KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker

Of all the slow cookers we tested, we think the KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker is the best for cooking ribs and large cuts of meat. This slow cooker has It has four settings: low, medium, high, and keep warm. The keep warm setting is good for keeping your meal at a safe temperature so that it’s ready and waiting for mealtime.

The adjustable timer shows you exactly how long is left for your meal to cook. The ceramic dish is dishwasher-safe, which makes for easy cleanup. The glass lid can also go in the dishwasher.

Good Build Quality and Precise Control

KitchenAid is, of course, a renowned brand that has been synonymous with quality and innovation in the kitchen appliance industry for over a century.

From the introduction of the first-ever household dishwasher in 1949 to the development of advanced culinary tools like food processors, blenders, and coffee makers, KitchenAid continues to bring top-notch products to the kitchen appliance market.

So, there is little wonder that the build quality of the brand’s 6-quart slow cooker is exceptional. The exterior is constructed with high-quality materials that give it a sturdy and durable feel. It performed well on our slow-cooking tests, too.

Despite only four settings, this KitchenAid slow cooker offers precise control over the cooking process. The programmable digital display and intuitive controls make it easy to set the desired cooking time and temperature, ensuring that your meal is perfectly cooked every time.

Consistent Heat Distribution

One aspect that sets this slow cooker apart is its even and consistent heat distribution. The heating element on this slow cooker is well-designed, resulting in uniform cooking throughout the pot.

We found this feature particularly beneficial when preparing large cuts of meat or dishes that require a longer cooking time.

However, we were disappointed to find that the ceramic dish is not non-stick. This may cause some sticking at the sides of the pot for stews and curries.

This little disappointment notwithstanding, we think that the KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker is an outstanding kitchen appliance that delivers on its promises. Its ample capacity, solid construction, precise temperature control, and overall user-friendly design would make it a worthy addition to any home kitchen.

KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker

8. Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker

Sometimes, what makes a kitchen appliance great is a simple and convenient feature. Apart from its good build quality, what we liked right away about the Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker is that its oven-safe ceramic insert also works for sautéing on electric and gas cooktops.

This feature eliminates the need for additional pans or pots, streamlining the cooking process and saving precious time. The non-stick surface ensures easy food release and makes cleaning a breeze.

Founded in 1963, Calphalon quickly gained recognition for its exceptional cookware products. The brand revolutionized the industry by introducing hard-anodized aluminum cookware, which offered superior durability, excellent heat distribution, and a non-stick cooking surface. This innovation set a new standard in professional and home kitchens alike – a standard that is well-represented in the brand’s digital slow cooker.

Excellent for Medium-Sized Families

The Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker has a 5.3-quart capacity, making it ideal for preparing meals for medium-sized families or gatherings. The size is perfect for a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to pot roasts and casseroles.

The removable non-stick cooking pot is designed to be used on the stovetop, allowing you to brown meat or sauté vegetables before starting the slow cooking process

This slow cooker also features a digital control panel with an intuitive interface, allowing you to easily set the desired cooking time and temperature.

The clear and responsive display provides real-time updates on the cooking progress, ensuring precise control over your recipes. The unit automatically switches to the keep warm mode once the cooking time is complete, ensuring your food stays hot until you’re ready to serve.

Good Heat Distribution and Lightweight

We liked the relatively even heat distribution of this slow cooker. The heating element is well-engineered, ensuring consistent temperatures throughout the cooking process. The result is evenly cooked and tender meals that are burst with flavor.

The sturdy handles and tight-fitting lid make this slow cooker easy to transport. It’s lightweight at a little less than 10 lbs., and is of a manageable size at 14.37″D x 17.78″ W x 23.19″H.

“Was a bit hesitant to spend this much on a crockpot, but after searching for over a year for something decent, in this size, with all the features offered, I decided to give Calphalon a try,” says one review on Amazon. “So glad I did.”

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker

Choosing the Right Slow Cooker for Your Kitchen

With a veritable plethora of options available on the market, it’s essential to choose a slow cooker that meets your specific needs and preferences. Slow cookers come in various sizes, ranging from small 2-quart models to larger 8-quart options.

Consider the size of your household and the typical amount of food you’ll be cooking. If you have a small family or plan to use the slow cooker primarily for individual portions or dips, a smaller capacity may suffice. On the other hand, larger families or those who enjoy hosting gatherings might benefit from a larger capacity to accommodate larger quantities of food.

Look for a slow cooker with programmable features that suit your needs. This feature provides flexibility and convenience, as you can arrange the cooking settings to match your recipes and schedule. Some of the models on our list offer digital displays, delay-start options, and automatic keep-warm functions, adding further versatility to your cooking experience.

Check the inserts, too. Slow cooker inserts are typically made from materials such as ceramic, stainless steel, or non-stick coatings. Consider your preferences in terms of durability, ease of cleaning, and whether the insert is dishwasher-safe.

Do some research on the reputation of the brand you’re considering. Look for reliable brands known for their quality, durability, and customer service. Remember, reading customer reviews and ratings can provide insights into the performance and reliability of the slow cooker you are considering.

Have you got a slow cooker in mind for your kitchen? Tell us about it in the comment section below.



Global Site Search


Our Deal For Today!

Your details will never be shared with any third party. Unsubscribe at any time with a single click.

The posts on this site sometimes contain an affiliate link or links to Amazon or other marketplaces. An affiliate link means that this business may earn advertising or referral fees if you make a purchase through those links.