These 8 Best Slow Cookers Let You Cook Smarter, Not Harder

Convenience at its finest.

Coming home after a long day of work only to have to tie on your apron and cook a nourishing meal can be a tall order, which is why we’re forever grateful for appliances like slow cookers. Just throw in your ingredients, set your device, and come back a few hours later to a hot, tasty meal ready for action—what more could you ask for? It’s convenience at its finest, freeing up your time and energy for the things that truly matter.

However, navigating the world of slow cookers isn’t as simple as it once was. Gone are the days when Crock-Pot reigned supreme; today, the market is flooded with dozens of options, each boasting its own set of features and benefits. For first-time buyers, this abundance of choices can be overwhelming, which is where we step in. Below is a list of the best slow cookers bound to let you cook smarter, not harder, no matter what you’re whipping up.

The best slow cookers, at a glance:

What is a slow cooker?

The humble slow cooker is a countertop electrical cooking appliance that is used to cook food at a low temperature for long periods of time. It can often achieve a lower temperature than other cooking methods (like sauteing, baking, broiling, and frying), making it perfect for dishes that would normally need to be boiled or simmered for hours, like soups, stews, pot roasts, pulled meats, and more.

Maybe one of the best features of the slow cooker is that it’s much safer than most other cooking methods. The device was specifically designed to be safely unattended for hours at a time, ideal for those who didn’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen waiting for their meals to be ready. Like we said before: they let you cook smarter, not harder.

How to use a slow cooker

Using a slow cooker couldn’t be easier (just another perk of the machine!). You simply gather your ingredients, prep them, combine them in the slow cooker, set the temperature (per your recipe), and let the slow cooker work its magic for as long as your recipe calls for. This simple assembly makes cooking both easy and approachable, regardless of your level of expertise in the kitchen.

Something to keep in mind: Certain slow cooker recipes do call for browning meat prior to adding it to the cooker, which increases the time and labor commitment. But many others don’t—you just dump, mix, set, and forget it! Be sure to check your recipe before you cook it.

Shop the best slow cookers



Best overall: Hamilton Beach, Portable 6 Qt. Set & Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker — $70.00

Capacity: 6 qt.

Hamilton Beach makes a wide array of slow cookers, but its Set & Forget model is unique, affordable, and user-friendly—earning it our best overall vote. The high-quality stainless steel cooking vessel doesn’t contain any PFAs (per- and polyfluorinated substances) that may negatively impact health. Plus, this cooker is one of the only models on the market with a digital thermometer, allowing you to program the machine to cook until a certain temperature has been reached.

Dimensions: 11.25″D x 17.5″W x 11.75″H

Settings: 3

Pros: 

  • Keeps food warm when programmed cook time has been reached
  • Equipped with power interruption technology to keep your food cooking at the same programmed heat and time when the power goes out
  • Spacious 6-quart sized cooker
  • Clip-tight gasket lid keeps it sealed for easy, spill-proof transport
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Power interruption technology only works with power outages of five seconds or less
  • Heavier compared to other models



Best value: GreenLife, Cook Duo 6 Qt. Family-Sized Slow Cooker — $60.00

Capacity: 6 qt.

While there technically are some cheaper slow cookers out there, GreenLife’s Cook Duo is the best value for those on a budget. For starters, it’s made with the brand’s signature healthy ceramic coating that’s free from any chemicals and creates 60 percent less carbon emissions in production than other models. 

On top of that, the nonstick ceramic cooker is oven- and stove-top safe. Simply pop out the nonstick pot for searing and sauteeing; if you’d rather slow-cook your food, you can pop it back in to do that, too. As for features, you can set your cook time, temperature, and delay time. Once food is cooked, there’s also a setting to keep food warm for up to four hours. 

Dimensions: 11.5″D x 15.28″W x 10.04″H

Settings: 3

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Removable pot can be used on the stovetop as well as in the slow cooker
  • Nonstick, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe
  • Spacious 6-quart capacity

Cons: 

  • Lid doesn’t clip or create an airtight seal
  • Not as multi-functional with basic functionality



All-Clad, 5 Qt. 7-in-1 Electric Slow Cooker — $330.00

Capacity: 5 qt.

All-Clad is known for producing long-lasting, high-quality cookware, and its 7-in-1 Slow Cooker is no different. This cooker combines All-Clad’s famed stainless steel craftsmanship with the utility of an enameled cast iron Dutch oven. You can remove the Dutch oven and use it completely separately from the cooker for soups, stews, sourdough bread, and more, as it can go in the oven and on the stove. 

On the outside, its durable stainless steel construction ensures even heat distribution for consistently delicious results every time while the spacious capacity accommodates meals for the whole family or intimate gatherings. Equipped with intuitive temperature controls, five different cooking modes, and a digital display, mastering your favorite recipes has never been simpler.

Dimensions: 14.88″W x 13.11″H

Settings: 5

Pros: 

  • Completely detachable (and beautiful) Dutch oven cooker that’s free of toxins
  • 5 automatic cooking modes
  • Easy-to-grip handles
  • Clear LCD display

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Smaller capacity
  • Heavier due to the Dutch oven

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Most efficient: Our Place, Dream Cooker — $250.00

Capacity: 6 qt.

Our Place’s Dream Cooker is not only a step above the rest in terms of appearance, but it handles several cooking tasks with the push of a button. While it can slow cook, it can also pressure cook (and sear and sautee), reducing cook times up to 80 percent to get you delicious dishes faster. Its aluminum cooking pot is coated in a toxin-free ceramic nonstick coating for easy clean-up and its locking lid has hands-free steam release for safer pressure cooking. Like all Our Place products, it doubles as a work of art; choose from four colors to show off, including a steely Blue Salt, creamy Steam, and earthy Spice. 

Dimensions: 13.3″ D x 15.2″ H x 12.4″W

Settings: 5

Pros: 

  • Stylish aesthetic, perfect for permanent countertop placement
  • Spacious 6-quart capacity
  • Streamlined, easy-to-use control panel with five different settings
  • Includes a unique condensation collector so your food won’t get soggy or watery
  • Easy to clean
  • 100-day trial

Cons: 

  • Less sturdy cooking pot made of aluminum that can’t go on the stove or in the oven
     
  • No convenient preset recipes



Most stylish: Beautiful, 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker — $70.00

Capacity: 6 qt.

Designed by Drew Barrymore, Beautiful’s collection of kitchen appliances, furniture, and home accessories is undoubtedly aesthetically stunning. But the brand’s 6 qt. Slow Cooker does more than just look pretty on your kitchen counter—it’s super convenient, too. The touch-activated display comes with five present settings for poultry, meat, stew, soup, and chili, making it easy to set and forget when you’ve got other things to do. When you’re done cooking, the removable pot and tempered glass lid are dishwasher-safe and make cleanup a breeze. And with looks this pretty, there’s no need to stuff it away in a cabinet; choose from eight versatile pastel colors, leave it on your counter, and enjoy.

Dimensions: 11.22″ D x 11.92″ W x 17.16″ H

Settings: 5

Pros: 

  • Aesthetically beautiful—available in eight colors
  • 5 preset settings
  • Easy-to-use touch display
  • Removable, dishwasher-safe pot and lid
  • Affordable

Cons: 

  • Not as many functions as other slow cookers



Most versatile: Ninja, 8.5 Qt. Foodi PossibleCooker Pro — $150.00

Capacity: 8.5 qt.

Ninja’s Foodi Slow Cooker replaces not one, not two, bu14 different kitchen appliances, including a Dutch oven, saucepan, steamer, and more. The extra large (8.5 qt!) pot slow cooks, steams, sautees, bakes, proofs, and roasts, all with the push of a button. It’s decked out in thoughtful touches, too; the removable cook pot is oven- and dishwasher-safe, while the top features a utensil holder and included ladle to help keep your cook station clean.

Dimensions: 18″D x 12.64″W x 10.59″H

Settings: 8

Pros: 

  • Replaces 14 different cooking appliances with eight different settings
  • Removable, oven- and dishwasher-safe pot
  • Quick cooking with its Triple Fusion Heat® Technology that combines bottom, side, and steam heating
     
  • Spacious 8.5 qt. capacity
  • Built-in utensil holder in the lid

Cons: 

  • Very large—too big to keep out on most counters
  • Lid doesn’t create an airtight seal

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Best mini: Crock-Pot, Mini 1.5 Qt. Round Slow Cooker — $24.00

Capacity: 1.5 qt.

Crock-Pot has been in the slow cooker game longer than any other brand—and you can tell from the impressive amount of cookers it offers. At a mere 1.5 quarts, this “no dial” cooker makes it easy to whip up a dish in a pinch. All you do is plug it in and it automatically starts cooking and warming your food—perfect for individual meals, dips, appetizers, or sauces.

Dimensions: 9.5″D x 9.5″W x 7.8″H

Settings: 1

Pros: 

  • Very easy to use
  • Nonstick, dishwasher-safe ceramic
  • Portable and small-space friendly
  • Affordable

Cons: 

  • No dial or custom settings
  • Very small capacity
  • Only a handful of recipes can be made in the small cooking basin



Best for travel: Presto, 6 Qt. Nomad Traveling Slow Cooker — $90.00

Capacity: 6 qt.

When you’re heading to a get-together, the convenience of slow cooking helps you make an impressive dish easily. Plus, if you transport your dish in the slow cooker, all you have to do is plug it in and your dish will be hot and ready for guests anytime (as long as it doesn’t spill!) Thankfully, Presto’s cooker is here to help get your meals from point A to point B spill-free. The Nomad has a wide-profile design, a convenient handle, and a locking lid to prevent spillage en route. It also includes a locking utensil holder for easy service upon arrival.

Dimensions: 13″D x 8.68″W x 11.64″H

Settings: 3

FAQS

What types of slow cookers are there?

Slow cookers come in a variety of styles to suit every kitchen and culinary need. Traditional oval-shaped slow cookers are great for cooking large cuts of meat or whole chickens, while smaller round slow cookers are perfect for dips and smaller meals. Programmable slow cookers offer customizable cooking times and temperature settings, ideal for busy schedules. Multi-cookers combine the functions of a slow cooker with other kitchen appliances like pressure cookers and rice cookers, providing versatility and convenience. Tl;dr—there’s a ton of options ranging from basic models to high-tech gadgets—you just need to find which one suits your needs.

How much does a slow cooker cost?

Basic models can be found for as low as $20, offering simple functionality without additional bells and whistles. Mid-range slow cookers typically range from $30 to $50, providing programmable settings and larger capacities. High-end models with advanced features like multi-cooking capabilities or smart technology can cost upwards of $100 or more.

What sizes do slow cookers come in?

It depends! They range from small, 1-quart models suitable for dips and sauces to large 8-quart versions ideal for feeding a crowd. Choose the size that best fits your cooking habits and household size.

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