Best Slow Cooker Reviews: Our Top 3 Picks for 2015
Looking for a new Slow Cooker? There has never been a better opportunity to purchase a new Crock Pot or Slow Cooker than 2015. With dozens of different manufacturers producing a plethora of different models, you’ll be able to find the perfect appliance for your needs.
Time and time again, we’re asked the infamous question, “What is the best slow cooker?“. Unfortunately, it’s entirely down to you and your needs, and not to mention your budget. Typical Slow Cookers range from $20 – $200, and as with anything in life, the more you pay, the better quality you’re going to get. Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top Slow Cooker Reviews to help you make an educated choice. We also recommend reading our buying guide before making a final decision.
Hamilton Beach 33967 Slow Cooker
The Hamilton Beach 33967 boasts a relatively small price tag and comes complete with all of the features that you would expect. Better still, customers are extremely pleased with both the reliability and durability of the 33967. This is a great appliance for those who want a high-quality appliance within a budget.
Cuisinart MSC-600 Slow Cooker
The Cuisinart MSC-600 is the absolute best Slow Cooker available on the market, and excels above any other kind of Crock Pot on the market. For this privilege, you’ll be shedding out over $100 for this appliance. Still though, we think it’s perfectly suited for those who love to use their Slow Cookers each and everyday.
Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS Slow Cooker
The Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS has also established itself as one of the all-time best selling slow cookers. Simple, but built to last for many years to come. This model comes with a 6-1/2 quart removable stoneware crock pot and has a touch screen LCD panel for complete control over the whole cooking process, right from start to finish.
- Time Saving. The Slow Cooker you decide to purchase should ultimately help contribute to saving your time. The whole purpose of a Slow Cooker is to help you save time on the whole cooking process.
- Simplicity. The best slow cookers are the ones which are extremely simple to use. It’s always best, where possible, to invest in an appliance with a LCD screen as you’ll be able to control the whole cooking process with the touch of a button.
- Performance. Since you’ll want extremely delicious food, we recommend searching for a slow cooker which incorporates powerful cooking functionalities into it. Some cheaper priced appliances simply lack the cooking power needed to properly cook meat.
- Reliability. You’ll want an appliance which is built to last for years to come. Check the warranty period on each appliance.
- Reviews and Ratings. It’s important to always get a second opinion before making a purchase. Apart from reading our Slow Cooker Reviews, ensure that you read “Amazon Verified Purchase” reviews directly from the product’s page. These reviews indicate that the customer has actually purchased the appliance.
What Is The Best Slow Cooker Of 2015?
We would thoroughly recommend looking into the Cuisinart MSC-600. While it’s on the pricey side, it also doubles up as both a multi-cooker and a rice-cooker, meaning that you’ll only need to invest in one appliance, instead of three – thus saving you money long-term. If you are on a budget check our other slow cooker reviews, most of them are far below $100.
Do You Purchase Each Slow Cooker That You Review?
Yes. We personally invest our own money into each slow cooker model, which is why we’re only available to review a select few. We try to review a different model every few weeks, although this is limited by both our own personal commitments and whether we have spare funds available.
Do You Get Commissions?
Yes. Every time you click through to one of our partner sites, such as Amazon, you will be tagged with our tracking ID which earns us a small commission on each item sold. You don’t have to use these links, although it does help us to continue to our slow cooker reviews site and review new models. If you don’t want to use our links, we would appreciate it if you could recommend us to your friends in the future when they need a new Slow Cooker.
Are there any disadvantages to Slow Cooking?
Unfortunately, yes. According to Wikipedia, vitamins and other nutrients are lost during the cooking process, which means that Slow Cooking isn’t the healthiest option out there. Additionally, you do not have the pleasure to add in ingredients on-the-fly as heat will be lost during this add/remove process. Instead, you need to add all of the ingredients in at the same time.
Slow cookers are an excellent way to prepare tasty and healthy food. Yes, it takes time but some things are best waited upon. Besides, cooking meat in slow cookers tenderizes the meat better. Now if you have made a commitment to purchase a slow cooker then you probably haven’t yet zeroed in on the right manufacturer or model. This guide will let you do just that, without pulling your hair out. Let’s start with the top three that need answering.
What Capacity Do You Need?
Remember that what you read on the box or in advertisements is in most likelihood not exact. So a six liter slow cooker might have 4 and half liter capacity in reality. However, slow cookers on an average provide around two thirds of the total stated capacity to users. Using this norm, you should evaluate the size or capacity ideal for your requirements.
Usually, a large family of 5 or more members will find a six liter crock pot perfect. It should feed up to eight hungry stomachs at once. Now for couples, a small 3.5 liter capacity will suffice.
Are You Planning On Making Whole Chicken?
While this is not on the top of the To Do List, for many slow cooking enthusiasts, everyone ends up trying out a whole chicken recipe in a slow cooker once in their life time. However, if you really plan on maximizing your slow cooker to make exotic whole chicken recipes then opt for an oval cooker as they can accommodate a complete chicken with ease. For those interested only in curries and stews, the shape does not matter.
Do You Need Smart Timer Controls?
Features such as keep warm setting, timer operation are expensive in a slow cooker. Furthermore, digital controls add to the cost. Cheap cookers usually come with three basic options of high, low and auto warm. Figure out what you really need before spending the big bucks.
A Brief Look At The Features Of Today’s Slow Cookers
- Removable pot – This is a must have feature today in all slow cookers. It lets you clean up easily afterwards and even transport your creation to the dinner table or to a pot luck party.
- Glass Lid – Again another must have feature, good quality glass lids pack in the moisture and maintain optimum cooking pressure helping tenderize meat better and retain liquids more with reduced evaporation.
- Temperature Settings – Not a vital requirement but its nice knowing what temperature the slow cooker is set at. This is great for recipes that call for a specific temperature to bring out subtle taste differences. Cooking at varied temperatures for different time periods is only possible if your slow cooker has precise thermostat and temperature settings.
- Programmable Cooking – Whether its for one hour or many hours, having the ability to program a slow cooker on the total time of cooking lets you concentrate on other stuffs in life. This feature saves you effort and time. Once you add in the ingredients, set the timer and program the slow cooker operations, you can leave it as it is. When its done cooking, it will automatically switch to the keep warm feature, maintaining high temperatures to resist bacteria formation and preserve the taste.
- Locking Lid – Having the ability to carry along your slow cooker to outdoor parties, roast sites and camping grounds is a definite advantage. A locking lid helps by ensuring everything inside stays intact without any spills. This is also great when carrying the slow cooker from the kitchen to the dining table.
- Additional Accessories – Not all that important as long as you get a decent slow cooker, some accessories can really help out. For example, skillet based slow cooker designs let you use the pot for stovetop recipes, the slow cooker base as a skillet and together they form a slow cooker. Having a spatula along with the slow cooker, interchangeable bowl sizes all help, but not that much.
- Warranty – This is one feature that you must pay special attention to. Usually, slow cookers feature 1 year warranty but some places like Amazon let you extend the warranty to two or even three years, which in turn safeguards your investment.