Who Else Wants To Find the Best Slow Cooker for Their Needs?

Best Slow Cookers 2014My friend, if you’re looking for the best slow cooker for your needs but are feeling overwhelmed by the 182 slow cooker options available, you’re in the right place. Why?

Because this page kicks the non-best 161 slow cooker options to the wayside. Leaving you with only the best 21 slow cookers to make finding the best for your needs a cinch.

Jump To Your Desired Category

Because your best slow cooker is probably different than your brother’s or sister’s you need to choose the category that most satisfies your needs:

Best Programmable Slow Cooker

 Best

1) Hamilton Beach Set and Forget 6 Quart Programmable

Hamilton Beach Best Slow Cooker

With this 6 quart slow cooker from Hamilton Beach you get programmable cooking time and temperature. This is to ensure your meals are waiting for you and your family instead of the other way around.

The cooker also comes with a dishwasher safe pot and lid so that when you finish off the food you can just chuck it in the dishwasher and not have to worry about wasting your time cleaning.

And as if that isn’t enough for about $45, you also get a neat clip on lid design so that you can take the cooked meal to a potluck for your friends to salivate over your amazing chef talents.

 

2) Crock Pot 6.5 Quart Programmable Touch Screen

Crock Pot Programmable Slow Cooker

Crock Pot has designed you a sleek looking programmable by touchscreen 6.5 quart slow cooker. You can program cooking times from 30 minutes up to 20 hours so that without any hassle you can chuck stuff in in the morning and not have to worry about anything except how good it will taste when you get home.

Even though this Crock Pot is big at 6.5 quarts, it is designed with a deep pot so that not much of your counter-top space will be sacrificed while slow cooking.

 

3) Cuisinart 4 Quart Programmable

Cuisinart 4 Quart Slow Cooker

With this sturdy and heavy duty looking 4 quart programmable slow cooker you get a digital LCD display countdown timer. When it hits 0 seconds it will even switch temperature settings so that your food will be kept warm instead of overcooking. Ideal for you if you work really late and want warm, not overcooked, food waiting for you.

Cuisinart has been so kind as to supply you with a cooking rack, as well. So that you can elevate roasts within the slow cooker and allow all the juices to be soaked up by potatoes or veggies or whatever else you decide to mix in.

At about $75 it is on the expensive side, but it is programmable and it is Cuisinart (reputable brand.)

>>>See My Full List of Best Programmable Slow Cookers

Best Manual Control Slow Cooker

 

Slow Cooker I Have Owned For Years

1) Breville 7 Quart

Breville 7 Quart Slow Cooker

With this 7 quart manual slow cooker by Breville you can sear up your baby back ribs (on the stove-top) before placing them in the slow cooker to tenderize for hours. Man-o-man will you be able to impress your friends with the mouth watering possibilities this style of cooking offers.

At 7 quarts it is a big slow cooker, but that just means more leftovers for you to take to work for the co-workers to enjoy (or not.) The only setback of this size is the pot is designed with 18.25 inches (46 cm) of width so it can make it awkward to fit into your dishwasher.

You get 3 modes of cooking: low, high and auto (auto being the medium setting.) Breville’s accompanying manual, like most other manuals, tells you the prescribed cooking times for each setting. Make sure to follow the instruction to ensure you do not over or undercook your meals.

 

2) Hamilton Beach Premiere Cookware 5.5 Quart Manual

Hamilton Beach Manual 5.5 Quart Slow Cooker

Like lots of slow cookers these days this one from Hamilton Beach allows you to sear up your meats before slow cooking. For maximum flavour this is ideal. Picture browning up a chicken, locking in the flavours, then slow cooking it with your favorite sides for hours. Only to arrive home after your Sunday errands for a beautiful roast chicken to enjoy with your family.

With manual control you never have to worry about programming anything. You simply turn a knob to the prescribed heat mode and let the cooker do the rest. Don’t you just love slow cookers?

>>>See My Full List of Best Manual Control Slow Cookers

Best Value For Money

 

1) Crock Pot 3 Quart Round Manual

Crock Pot Manual Slow Cooker

For about $13, the price of a movie at the theatre, you get this 3 quart deep dish Crock Pot. If you are new to slow cooking then why not make your first purchase my choice for the best value for the money.

Crock Pot makes things simple for you… All you have to do is chuck a 3 lb roast in the pot, turn the knob to high or low depending on when you want to eat, and voila!

The pot and lid are dishwasher safe so that after you eat you can simply savour your food instead of worrying who is going to do the washing.

 

2) Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Manual

Hamilton Beach Manual Slow Cooker

For about $30, the price of 1 decent restaurant meal, you can get this 6 quart slow cooker from Hamilton Beach. That’s 6 quarts, or a 6 lb roast and sides, for the price of 1 restaurant meal. Why not just slow cook at home and enjoy a massive meal with your friends or family?

Manual slow cookers are so simple to use that even your husband or 10 year old son or daughter could cook up a storm for you to enjoy. Imagine the possibilities of that :)

 

3) West Bend 4 Quart Oval Manual

West Bend 4 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker

For about $22, you will never have to worry about rushing home to cook dinner again.

West Bend, another popular brand of slow cooker, does a good job of removing fluff from their slow cooker design. You only get what you need: manual turn knob with low, high and keep warm setting and a light to tell you when it’s on. Seems obvious that this is all you need in a slow cooker, but many other types add fluff that breaks off or adds to the confusion.

Best For Potlucks

 

Keep Your Food Warm (Inside the Insulated Bag) While Transporting It

1) West Bend 5 Quart With Carry Tote

West Bend 5 Quart Slow Cooker

With this 5 quart West Bend slow cooker you get an insulated carrying tote. So, you can cook up your meal at home and then put the covered pot in the insulated carrying tote to transport the goodies to your potluck party. Or you can risk a spill during transport, want to?

But West Bend didn’t stop there… The heating base for the pot doubles as a griddle for eggs, bacon or grilled cheese sandwiches. Use your imagination: you cook up a brilliant roast for the adults and then once ready, grill up some grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids.

The griddle and slow cook are controlled manually with a turn knob, all the parts are dishwasher safe, the griddle is non-stick AND the pot is safe to use in the oven or on the stove top. This cooker offers you true versatility for less than $50.

 

2) Crock Pot Cook and Carry 6 Quart

Crock Pot Cook and Carry Manual Slow Cooker

Where the West Bend option above gives you an insulated carrying tote, Crock Pot offers you a clamp down lid for spill protection in transport. Both are awesome options for you if you frequent potlucks. Would you rather rock up to the potluck with an insulated carrying tote full of goodies or a naked Crock with clamp down lid?

But don’t worry because this 6 quart manual Crock Pot does naked well. It has an aluminium finish and large handles to make carrying it easy.

Word of warning: don’t cook with the lid clamped down.

>>>See My Full List of Best Potluck Slow Cookers

Best For Big Families

 

1) Hamilton Beach 8 Quart Oval Manual

Hamilton Beach Best Slow Cooker

Simply put: 8 quarts is massive. Most people couldn’t dream of needing this much capacity, but can you?

Do you have a large family that needs feeding, but you do not have the time to prepare and cook the meal in the oven or on the stove – every single night? Well with 8 quarts you can easily roast 7 lbs worth of meat along with potatoes and vegetables. So, you can just chuck in the roast in the morning and then the veggies closer to dinner and the slow cooker does everything else – and to perfection.

Don’t worry about price either because for only about $30 you can have all 8 quarts.

 

2) Crock Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual

Crock Pot Manual Slow Cooker

I almost added this Crock Pot to the best value for the money section because it is only about $25. It has a cool retro style look because of the vegetable pattern encircling it. If you would prefer a more modern look then check out the stainless finish link below.

It is 7 quarts, oval shaped and manually controlled by a turn knob. If you have a large family or just want the massive 7 quart capacity then this Crock Pot is a good budget option.

I guess the difference between this model and the Hamilton Beach above is 1 quart and different brand. They both perform as you need.

 

3) Maxi Matic 8.5 Quart Elite Gourmet

Maxi-Matic 8.5 Quart Slow Cooker

For about $40, this 8.5 quart Maxi-Matic slow cooker is bigger than any other available. It is the Dodge Ram Dual Cab Diesel of the lot. It is powered by 300 Watts to ensure your entire meal gets cooked.

You can manually control the temperature with a low, high and defrost setting to ensure the massive meal gets cooked on time and that your guests or family are kept wanting much more.

If you need the biggest slow cooker available – your looking at it.

>>>See My Full List of Best Large Size Slow Cookers

Best For Bachelors

 

1) Cuisinart 3.5 Quart Programmable

Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker

According to our slow cooker community this is one the best rated with 4.5 / 5 stars out of 101 ratings. I choose this as the best choice for you if you are a bachelor because:

  1. It is only 3.5 quarts, which is perfect for dinner and leftovers for a few more dinners.
  2. It has a programmable 24 hour countdown timer that switches automatically to keep warm when time is up. This allows for the hard-working, long hours at work bachelor to return home to a hot meal instead of an overcooked meal.
  3. It has a dishwasher safe pot and lid. Do I really need to explain why this is vital?

So, if that sounds like your ideal slow cooker…

 

2) Maxi-Matic 1.5 Quart White

Maxi-Matic 1.5 Quart Slow Cooker

For less than $20 you can have yourself a machine that produces professional tasting mini roasts, stews and chilies so that you can eat like a king whenever you please.

With 1.5 quarts capacity you will get about 2 jumbo serving sizes so that means you and a friend or partner or leftovers for tomorrow at work.

Maxi-Matic’s manually controlled round slow cooker offers low, high and defrost modes so that you can adjust cooking times to suit your day’s demands. With a 4.5 / 5 star rating off 49 ratings I doubt you will be let down.

 

3) West Bend 6 Quart Versatility with Glass cover

West Bend 6 Quart Stainless Slow Cooker

A true bachelors machine because it offers unmatched versatility! This 6 quart slow cooker and griddle combo will keep any kitchen gourmet.

You can sear/brown your meat then slow cook it to perfection with your favorite sides all in the same pot. Then when you are done with the main meal you can fry up some dessert pancakes on the griddle. Sound like a plan?

Six quarts? Wow, that is a bit large to recommend to a bachelor – is probably what you are thinking. But if you want a truly versatile 2-in-1 kitchen appliance (griddle and slow cooker) you might as well go for the bigger griddle so that you will use it more. I mean you never know when  some company may want eggs and bacon ;)

Best For Entertaining

 

Cook a 3-Course Meal With Ease

1) Crock Pot Trio Server

Crock Pot Trio Slow Cooker

For about $90, this Crock Pot  may seem expensive compared to the others, but it is 3 Crock Pots in one. Each pot is independently controlled with a manual knob and each is 2.5 quarts.

The idea is that you can entertain your guests all night long… Either with a sort of starter/entree in one pot and then main in another and a finger food dip in the other. It really requires your imagination…

 

2) Hamilton Beach 3-in-1

Hamilton Beach best Slow Cooker

This 3-in-1 slow cooker has 3 different size pots (2, 4 and 6 quarts) that share the same heating base and lid. You could slow roast in the 6 quart all day and then an hour or two before you want to eat chuck it in the oven on low to make room for your veggies and potatoes in the 4 quart. Then when your friends or family arrive you will have many dishes of food for them to enjoy with you.

The pots are all dishwasher safe so that you can enjoy your company while they are over instead of spending time washing up.

For about $50, this 3-in-1 is simply the affordable option for entertaining. Well, compared to my number 1 choice at least.

The Slow Cooker I’d Buy As a Gift For…

 

My Mom and Dad:

Crock Pot 6 Quart Oval Programmable (Polished Steel Finish)

Crock Pot Programable Slow Cooker

I’m not going to beat around the bush: the reason I would buy this slow cooker as a gift for my parents is because it looks so damn awesome. I can just imagine how happy any parent would be for their kid to give them such a shiny, polished kitchen appliance :)

In all seriousness this slow cooker is a monster of innovation. It is 6 quarts and controlled with a programmable touchpad so that once you set the timer the cooker does the rest. It will even switch to ‘keep warm’ once the timer goes. It would be pretty hard to screw up the slow cook with this Crock Pot.

 

My Brother or Sister:

West Bend 6 Quart Versatility

West Bend 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

My brother would love this slow cooker because he is lazy and loves the idea of chucking a bunch of things into a pot and touching a button. He would prefer not having to chuck the food in the pot but I couldn’t find the slow cooker that also did that. The griddle would please him and he would probably use it a few times. Beyond that I’m really just buying it for his girlfriend…

My sister finds herself in living situations where she doesn’t have more than a stove to cook on (ski towns – what can you do?) So she would appreciate the versatility of this griddle and slow cooker combo. She could do roasts with it, bacon and eggs and more…

What what your brother or sister most like in a slow cooker gift?

 

Any of My Friends:

Proctor Silex 1.5 Quart

Proctor Silex 1.5 Quart Oval Slow Cooker

For about $20 you can get a funky looking 1.5 quart slow cooker for your friends birthday party or whatever the special occasion is – red, green or yellow?

Imagine standing there waiting for someone to unwrap your gift – a gift that is actually original. You see others opening up chocolate bars, plastic cups, keychains and other crap and you have a slow cooker! Hmm…

Regardless, this is manually controlled and comes with stretch bands that are meant to secure the lid and prevent spills during transport to potlucks.

Still Can’t Decide On The Best Slow Cooker For Your Needs?

 

Take a look at the Slow Cooker Comparison to see all the cookers in one place – easy to scan and see the prices.

Or, if you want to trust the majority check out the Popular Slow Cookers page.

Or, you can take a look at the different slow cooker styles to see which one best suits your needs.

If you have established brand preference you can browse by the best brands of slow cooker like