Best Slow Cookers: Top Picks for Effortless Meals

Slow cookers have become a staple in many kitchens, offering ease and convenience for preparing delicious meals. As busy lifestyles continue to demand simplified cooking solutions, slow cookers rise to the occasion by providing the perfect way to enjoy a home-cooked meal with minimal effort. With a variety of options available on the market, choosing the best slow cooker for your needs can seem overwhelming.

A slow cooker, often referred to as a crock-pot, is a countertop appliance that allows for long and steady cooking at lower temperatures. The process of slow cooking not only tenderizes tough cuts of meat but also enables the flavors to meld and develop over time, resulting in rich and satisfying dishes. Upgrading to a high-quality slow cooker can make all the difference in your culinary experience and even encourage you to try new recipes.

When looking to purchase the best slow cooker, it’s essential to consider factors such as size, temperature settings, ease of cleaning, and additional features. For instance, if you’re cooking for a small family or have limited storage space, a smaller slow cooker may be more suitable. Furthermore, slow cookers with programmable temperature settings and timers can simplify meal planning and provide better control over your cooking process.

We’ve spent countless hours researching and testing various slow cookers to identify those that excel in performance, convenience, and overall value. Read on to discover our top picks and let us guide you in finding the best slow cooker to enhance your home cooking experience.

Best Slow Cookers

We have gathered a list of the best slow cookers available on the market for you to choose from. Dive in and explore the options to find the perfect one for your culinary needs.

Ninja MC1001 Foodi PossibleCooker PRO

Ninja MC1001 Foodi PossibleCooker PRO

If you’re looking for a versatile and efficient slow cooker, the Ninja MC1001 Foodi PossibleCooker PRO is an excellent choice for your cooking needs.


  • Replaces 14 different kitchen appliances
  • Features Sear and Sauté function
  • Oven safe up to 500°F


  • Not dishwasher safe
  • A bit heavy at 12.02 pounds
  • Hand-washing the pot is recommended

Our first impression of this slow cooker was remarkable—we noticed the sleek Sea Salt Gray color and sizable 8.5-quart cooking capacity, perfect for preparing meals for large gatherings. When we began cooking with the Ninja MC1001 Foodi PossibleCooker PRO, we realized it was a game changer. Its versatility eliminates the need for multiple appliances, such as a steam oven, Dutch oven, and stock pot, freeing up space in our kitchen.

Using the sear and sauté function, we were able to cook proteins and vegetables directly in the pot. There was no need to transfer our ingredients to the stovetop, saving us time and effort. Additionally, if we wanted to give our meals that extra crispy finish, the pot is oven safe up to 500°F.

One downside we encountered is that the pot is not dishwasher safe, so hand-washing is recommended, which can be a bit of a hassle for some people. We also noticed the weight of the cooker is slightly on the heavier side at 12.02 pounds.

Overall, we found the Ninja MC1001 Foodi PossibleCooker PRO to be a reliable, efficient, and versatile addition to our culinary routine. Its vast range of cooking functions and triple fusion heat technology make it a worthy investment. However, be prepared for a bit of extra clean-up time due to its non-dishwasher compatibility.

Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker

We recommend the Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker for its spacious capacity, versatile cooking options, and ease of cleaning.


  • Large 7-quart capacity
  • High and low cooking settings
  • Dishwasher-safe stoneware and lid


  • No indicator light
  • Exterior can get very hot
  • Might be too large for smaller households

The Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker has been our go-to kitchen appliance when we need to prepare meals for large gatherings or cook for the whole week. Its spacious 7-quart capacity easily fits a 7-pound roast, making it perfect for cooking in bulk. We love that we can set the cooking time to high for faster cooking or low to let the meal cook throughout the day.

One drawback we noticed is the lack of an indicator light, making it difficult to determine whether the slow cooker is on or not. Additionally, the exterior can get extremely hot, so cautious handling is necessary to avoid burns. It’s important to make sure there is enough space around the cooker and to avoid touching it while in use.

Despite these minor inconveniences, we appreciate the added benefit of the warm setting, which keeps our food at an ideal serving temperature until we are ready to eat. Cleaning is a breeze as both the lid and removable stoneware are dishwasher safe. The removable stoneware can also be safely used in the microwave and oven for added versatility.

In conclusion, the Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker is a great addition to any kitchen, especially for those who need to cook larger meals, and its easy clean-up and multiple cooking options make it worth the investment. However, those with smaller households might prefer a smaller cooker.

Crock-Pot 6 Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot 6 Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker

We highly recommend this slow cooker for making delicious, hassle-free meals for families and gatherings.


  • Large 6-quart capacity serving 7 plus people
  • Programmable digital countdown control up to 20 hours
  • Easy-to-use locking lid with gasket for mess-free transport


  • May cook faster than traditional slow cookers
  • No handles for removing the ceramic insert
  • Boils on low setting, requires adjusting cooking time

We recently tried out the Crock-Pot 6 Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker and found it to be a fantastic addition to our kitchen. The large 6-quart capacity is perfect for preparing meals for our entire family or when hosting gatherings, and the programmable digital timer allows us to set cooking times in advance, freeing up time for other tasks.

One of our favorite features is the locking lid with gasket, which made traveling with the slow cooker an absolute breeze without worrying about spills or messes. The removable stone insert is also safe to use in the microwave and oven up to 400°F, providing additional versatility in preparing meals.

However, we did notice that the slow cooker tends to cook faster than some traditional models, as some of our dishes were done in 2 hours. We also found that it boils on the low setting, requiring us to adjust cooking times accordingly. Another small downside is the lack of handles for removing the ceramic insert, which could be inconvenient when handling hot food.

Despite these minor drawbacks, we absolutely love using the Crock-Pot 6 Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker. The pros far outweigh the cons and it has made our meal prep more efficient and enjoyable. We’d definitely recommend this slow cooker to anyone looking for an easy-to-use, high-quality appliance to simplify their cooking routine.

Crock-Pot 7 Quart Portable Programmable Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot 7 Quart Portable Programmable Slow Cooker

We highly recommend this Crock-Pot for its functionality, portability, and programmable features that make cooking meals a breeze.


  • MyTime adjustable cooking cycle
  • Travel-proof locking lid
  • 7-quart capacity for family-sized meals


  • Some may find the digital controls confusing at first
  • A more varied automatic function would be helpful
  • Heavier compared to other models

When we used the Crock-Pot 7 Quart Portable Programmable Slow Cooker, we immediately noticed the MyTime feature which adjusts the cooking cycle – food was perfectly done when we needed it. This makes meal planning so much easier and takes the guesswork out of slow cooking.

What stood out to us was the travel-proof locking lid. It provided a tight seal that prevented leaks and spills, making it perfect for potlucks or taking food on the go. We also appreciated the generous 7-quart capacity, which served our whole family and even had leftovers to spare.

Although we found the digital countdown control screen sleek and intuitive, some users may need time to familiarize themselves with the buttons. An additional automatic function setting, such as a 4+ lbs option, would also improve the overall experience for cooking larger dishes. Lastly, the 12.98-pound weight of the slow cooker might make it less portable for some users.

Overall, if you’re looking for a versatile, convenient, and family-friendly slow cooker, the Crock-Pot 7 Quart Portable Programmable Slow Cooker is an excellent choice. Its advanced features and sturdy design make it a valuable addition to any kitchen.

Crock-Pot Large 8 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot Large 8 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

This Crock-Pot is perfect for those who want to cook large meals with ease and convenience.


  • Large 8-quart capacity for big meals
  • Digital timer with up to 20 hours countdown
  • Removable, dishwasher-safe lid and stoneware pot


  • Requires setting reset after a brief power outage
  • Stoneware and lid sensitive to sudden temperature changes
  • Low setting may be too hot for some dishes

We recently used the Crock-Pot Large 8 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker to make a delicious pot roast for a family gathering. The generous 8-quart capacity allowed us to easily prepare enough food for more than 10 people. And the digital timer, which counts down cook time up to 20 hours, let us plan our meal perfectly without worrying about overcooking.

The cleanup process was a breeze, thanks to the removable, dishwasher-safe lid and stoneware pot. However, when we experienced a brief power outage, we had to reset the Crock-Pot, as the previous settings were cleared. Also, we had to be careful when handling the stoneware and lid, since they can be damaged by sudden temperature changes.

Another thing we noticed is the low setting might be too hot for some dishes. For instance, our chicken cooked too quickly, so we had to adjust for that next time. But overall, we were very satisfied with the performance of this Crock-Pot and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy and efficient way to cook large meals.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best slow cooker, there are several factors to consider. We want to make sure you find the perfect one for your needs. In this buying guide, we will walk you through some of the key features to look for when choosing a slow cooker.


Firstly, consider the size and capacity of the slow cooker. Most slow cookers are available in various sizes, typically ranging from 1.5 quarts to 8 quarts. Think about your cooking needs and how many people you usually cook for. A smaller cooker might be perfect for couples, while larger families may need a bigger capacity.


Next, focus on the features of the slow cooker. Some popular options include:

  • Adjustable temperature controls: This allows you to set precise temperatures for your recipes. Some slow cookers have low, medium, and high settings, while others have a digital interface for more precise control.
  • Programmable timer: A programmable timer is useful for setting the slow cooker to start and stop cooking at specific times. This is great for busy lifestyles and ensures that you come home to a perfectly cooked meal.
  • Keep-warm function: Once the cooking is complete, the keep-warm function will maintain the food at a safe, warm temperature until you are ready to serve it. This is an excellent feature for entertaining or during potluck dinners.

Cooking Pot Material

The material of the cooking pot is another important aspect to consider. Common materials include ceramic, stainless steel, and aluminum. Each material has its pros and cons. Ceramic pots are great for even cooking and heat retention, while stainless steel and aluminum cook faster but may not retain heat as well.

Removable Cooking Pot

A removable cooking pot makes it easier to clean and serve food. It also allows you to use the pot for other cooking purposes, such as browning meat on the stovetop before slow cooking. Look for a slow cooker with a dishwasher-safe cooking pot, which makes cleaning up even easier.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the best slow cooker for your needs. Keep these tips in mind as you search, and you’ll be on the right track to finding the perfect slow cooker.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top slow cookers recommended by America’s Test Kitchen?

We have compiled a list of slow cookers highly recommended by America’s Test Kitchen. These slow cookers have been rigorously tested for their performance, ease of use, and durability:

  1. KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker
  2. All-Clad 6.5-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
  3. Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

Which small slow cookers perform the best?

For small slow cookers, we recommend the following models:

  1. Crock-Pot 3-Quart Manual Slow Cooker
  2. Elite Gourmet 1.5-Quart Slow Cooker
  3. Proctor Silex 1.5-Quart Portable Slow Cooker

These models are compact, efficient, and perfect for singles or small families.

How does Cuisinart slow cooker compare to other brands?

Cuisinart offers a variety of slow cookers that are highly competitive in the market. They offer features such as programmable settings, multiple cooking modes, and easy-to-use interfaces, making them a popular choice among many consumers. They are also known for their durability and stylish designs.

What are the highest-rated slow cookers on Reddit?

According to Reddit users, the following slow cookers receive high praises:

  1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
  2. Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer
  3. Black+Decker 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

These models receive rave reviews for their versatility, performance, and value for money.

Which Crock-Pot model is most preferred by users?

The Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Timer is a popular choice among users. With its large capacity, it’s perfect for families and entertaining. The programmable options and the Cook & Carry feature make it convenient for on-the-go meals or potlucks.

What are the advantages of a programmable slow cooker?

A programmable slow cooker offers several benefits:

  • Allows you to set specific cooking times, making it convenient for busy schedules.
  • Automatically switches to the “warm” setting when cooking is complete, ensuring your meal stays warm without overcooking.
  • Offers the flexibility to adjust the cooking temperature, giving you more control over the cooking process.

A programmable slow cooker is a great investment for those who want perfectly cooked meals without much hassle.

Follow Us
Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
Follow Us
Latest posts by Cassie Marshall (see all)