So, you don’t want to sacrifice cooking great-tasting meals for your family even with your busy schedule? Then, you might have already heard of the kitchen wonder called slow cookers.
Slow cooking has been practiced for ages but in 2021, slow cookers are far more different from what they were before.
I got my first slow cooker when I had my second child and it was one of the best (small) investments I have ever made. I was able to get dinner prepared when my son was asleep so I was more relaxed when it came to dinner time.
Less stress for the family and a delicious meal for everyone – a win-win for us all.
In this review and buying guide, we give you our top choices for the best slow cookers for 2021, starting from a small size up to one of the largest sizes you can get. (please refer to the table of content)
Related post: The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook – Our Top 9 Choices
Slow cookers, also known as crockpots, are quite simple appliances but they can help you bring tasty and amazing food for your family on a daily basis or even during special occasions.
Get to know these useful kitchen appliances, choose the right model for your cooking needs, and start shopping from our list of the best slow cookers for 2021.
* Please note: all product links in this product review are affiliate links. That means, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Best Slow Cookers For 2021 To Make Easy And Tasty Meals
Crockpot 2.5 Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker
If you are only a small household with no more than 3 people than his slow cooker from Crockpot might be perfect for your cooking needs.
This slow cooker has a capacity of 2.5 Quarts, which is ideal for serving 2-3 people. It is a manual slow cooker with high, low and warm settings.
The stoneware is removable, oven-safe and dishwasher-safe. The glass lid comes with a clip to secure the lid especially when you are moving the dish. This way spills are unlikely.
There are also side handles to help you carry your dish on it immediately after it is done.
This SCCPCCM250-BT slow cooker from Crockpot is recommended for casseroles, one-pot meals dips as well as side dishes.
The design comes in an attractive looking white pot with a blueprint design.
It is tabletop suitable and is even elegant so you will not need another serving dish to serve your food.
This slow cooker measures 7.3 x 13.4 x 13.5 inches and weighs 7 pounds. It needs 140W of power to operate.
This Crockpot slow cooker comes in an elegant design and is especially great for casseroles and other small-serving dips and side dishes.
It is compact, with a secure lid and carry handles. The stoneware is oven-safe and dishwasher safe. It requires relatively minimal electricity to operate.
It is also more affordable than the slow cookers with bigger capacity.
The capacity of this Crockpot slow cooker is relatively small and therefore best suited for families with up to three people. It should be operated manually. Also, it does not come with a recipe book.
If you are a small household or if you are looking for a smaller-sized slow cooker for your sauces, dips and side dishes, then this slow cooker from Crockpot is a great choice.
It has an elegant design and will look great on your tabletop. It gets consistently high ratings from Amazon users.
It is the most compact amongst the products in our list making it our choice for the best manual slow cooker for small-sized dishes or for small households.
Maxi-Matic 6-Quart MST-610DT Digital Programmable Slow Cooker
This Maxi-Matic Slow cooker is 6-quart in capacity and is programmable with various settings.
It is designed with a locking tempered glass lid and a rubber gasket to prevent spills. The inner pot is removable and is made of nonstick oval ceramic that is dishwasher safe.
The base is stainless steel with side handles. It is where the digital controls are located.
The digital controls of this slow cooker include warm, low and high settings. You can even set the cooking time from 30 minutes to 12 hours or use the 8 preset settings whichever suit your needs.
Once the cooking time is complete, this slow cooker automatically sets to keep warm setting. Also, it has a delay timer setting of up to 8 hours.
This Maxi-Matic slow cooker is UL listed and requires 200 Watts to operate. It has a built-in retractable power cord. It measures 9.5 x 18.5 x 13 inches and weighs 10.5 lbs.
This Maxi-Matic Slow Cooker is 6-quart in capacity and generally can cook food for 7 people or more.
It has a user-friendly built that includes a securely locking lid and a nonstick and dishwasher safe inner pot. The digital controls make cooking easier so you can freely set the temperature, cooking time and cooking start time.
It automatically switches to keep warm setting once the cooking is done. The power cord that comes with it is retractable making storage easier.
There is some feedback from users of the non-stick coating falling off and cases of burned food.
The Maxi-Matic Slow Cooker is highly rated and popular amongst Amazon users. It comes with easy digital controls to help you cook with ease. The lid is great and secure and the inner pot, as well as the base, are both easy to clean.
It is our choice for the best programmable slow cooker for an average-sized household that is also affordable to buy considering the size and features.
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
The stoneware is also microwave and oven safe up to 400 degrees F but not in the broiler.
The Crock-Pot slow cooker is programmable where you can set the temperature to high, low and warm. You can also set the cooking time from 30 minutes to 20 hours.
Once cooking is done, it automatically shifts to warm setting.
This slow cooker measures 9.4 x 15.1 x 14.8 inches and weighs 8 pounds. It comes with 1 year limited warranty and recipes to start with. It operates at 240 Watts of power.
This slow cooker from Crock-Pot has a 6-quart capacity with a secure and dishwasher safe lid and inner stoneware/pot.
The inner pot is microwave and oven safe up to 400 degrees F. It is programmable in terms of temperature and cooking time setting. It turns to a warm setting automatically when cooking is done.
It also comes with some recipes for you to start with.
Some users complain of food burns and that the temperature settings are too hot.
The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610 is designed with a secure and easy to clean lid and inner pot. The inner pot is even microwave and oven safe.
The temperature and time settings are programmable and automatically shifts to the warm setting when done. Its capacity is great for cooking for 7 people or more.
It comes with recipes as well. It is a popular slow cooker amongst Amazon users and it gets our approval as well making it one of our top choices for slow cookers for bigger households.
Crock-Pot SCCPVS703 Slow Cooker
The built features a glass lid and removable stoneware that are both dishwasher safe.
You can also use the stoneware in oven or microwave so you no need to use more than one pot when cooking to serving.
The base is made of stainless steel exterior with plastic cool-touch handles.
This Crock-Pot slow cooker is programmable in terms of cooking time and temperature settings. You can set the time anywhere between 30 minutes up to 20 hours.
Temperature settings are available at high, low and warm controls. Once cooking is done, the machine automatically turns to a warm setting.
This slow cooker has one useful add-on that is the little dipper warmer. This is especially great to keep sauces and dips warm.
This Crock-Pot slow cooker comes with a 24-inch electrical cord.
It measures 14.5 x 14.5 x 10.5 inches and weighs 14 pounds.
The Crock-Pot SCCPVS703 slow cooker is 7-quart in capacity and can cook for 7 people or more. It is programmable with temperature and cooking time controls.
It automatically shifts to warm settings when cooking time is done. It comes with little dipper warmer for your sauces and dips.
The lid of this Crock-Pot slow cooker has no lock. Also, the electrical cord is quite short.
If you are looking for a slow cooker with a capacity that can feed bigger groups with programmable controls and comes with little dipper warmer, then this Crock-Pot SCCPVS703 is best for you.
It is safe and easy to use and clean. It is also highly rated by most Amazon users.
Hamilton Beach 7-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
The Hamilton Beach 7-Quart programmable slow cooker is designed with a glass lid that you can secure with a latch strap. This way bringing food on the road on this slow cooker is so much easier and mess-free. A nice little touch.
The inner pot is removable and dishwasher-safe. It is programmable where it allows you to choose from warm, low to a high-temperature setting at your desired cooking time of 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 hours.
There is no need to watch your cooking because it will automatically shift to the warm setting when cooking is finished.
This Hamilton Beach slow cooker measures 11.7 x 17.6 x 9.9 inches and weighs 12.3 pounds. It comes with a 24-inch electrical cord.
This Hamilton Beach slow cooker is 7-quart in capacity and is perfect for cooking for a larger group.
It can fit a 7-pound chicken or a 5-pound roast for example.
The slow cooker is made with a secure locking lid with a strap to transport your delicious meal possible without any spills.
As mentioned before, this Hamilton Beach slow cooker is easy to clean and is dishwasher safe. It is programmable and let you set the temperature and time setting to your desired cooking requirement.
It automatically turns to warm when cooking is done.
There is no display to let you know how much cooking time has passed.
If you are looking for a 7-quart sized slow cooker with a locking lid that is fit for easier food transport, then this slow cooker from Hamilton Beach is a great choice.
It is quite affordable, easy to use and clean.
It is highly rated by Amazon users as well making it our choice for runner up for the best 7-quart programmable slow cooker.
Hamilton Beach 8-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker – Best Programmable 8 Quart Slow Cooker
The controls allow you to set temperature setting at high, low and warm at your desired cooking time between 30 minutes to 18 hours. Once cooking is done, it automatically switches to a warm setting.
The display shows how much cooking time is remaining for easy monitoring.
This slow cooker measures 11.5 x 17.5 x 10 inches and weighs 13 pounds. It comes with a 24-inch electrical cord.
This Hamilton Beach slow cooker has a large capacity of 8-quart.
It is just the right size for cooking 8-pound chicken or a 6-pound roast. It can be easily programmed to your desired temperature and time setting and automatically switches to warm once cooking is done.
Best of all, it has a time display for easy monitoring.
This Hamilton Beach slow cooker does not come with a locking lid.
If you are looking for the largest-sized programmable slow cooker available out there in the market, then the Hamilton Beach 8 quart slow cooker is the right product for you.
It is easy to use with time monitoring feature and it is also easy to clean.
It switches to a warm setting as well right after the cooking time runs out.
This is a highly rated slow cooker and is also our choice for the best programmable large-sized (8 quarts) slow cooker.
Crock-Pot 8-Quart Manual Slow Cooker
The inner pot is oven safe up to 400 degrees F but not the broiler. It should be noted though to place the pot in a cold oven from there you can turn on the oven.
This slow cooker is for manual operation where you can choose from 3 temperature settings of high, low and warm.
You can just turn on the control knob to your desired temperature setting. High and low setting cook at 215 degrees although they cycle differently.
While the keep warm setting ranges from 165-170 degrees F. These are just approximate temperatures and may vary depending on what food you are cooking.
This 8-quart manual slow cooker from Crock-Pot measures 9.5 x 15.3 x 15.4 inches and weighs 11 pounds.
This Crock-Pot slow cooker has a large capacity to serve up to 10 people. It is designed with a dishwasher safe lid and removable inner pot.
This inner stoneware is oven-safe as well.
It allows you to manually set the temperature setting for your desired recipe.
There is no lock on the lid of this Crock-Pot. Also, it has manual controls.
If you are looking for a slow cooker to cook for a large group of people and you will not be bothered by the manual setting, then this product from Crock-Pot is for you.
It is one popular product amongst Amazon users at an affordable price hence making this slow cooker as our best manual slow cooker for a large group or household.
Buying Guide Best Slow Cookers For 2021
In this buying guide, we aim to give you a better understanding of how slow cookers/crockpots work and the features that come with these useful kitchen appliances.
By now, we already know that slow cookers/crock pots are one efficient and useful kitchen appliance. It is normally designed with a lid, ceramic inner pot/stoneware and metal base with a heating element.
It works by cooking slowly the food inside the inner pot and works great with tough cuts of meat or any food that requires longer cooking time.
It works great as well with making jams, jellies, and sauces.
Slow cookers may require longer cooking time but it takes less effort from you because you can just put all the ingredients in the pot and return to a cooked meal after doing something else outside or even at work.
Slow cookers can truly help you cook delicious and fantastic dishes that may need more work when you use a different way of cooking.
Also, slow cookers are great in a way that you will not need more than one pot from cooking to serving your food because most of these little appliances are fine additions on your tabletop when entertaining guests.
Types of Slow Cookers
There are basically two types of slow cookers out there in the market. These are manual and programmable slow cookers.
Manual Slow Cooker
This type of slow cooker allows you to set temperature settings at low, high or warm. It does not have a timer so you need to time it on your own and be there when the cooking time is up.
Programmable Slow Cooker
A programmable slow cooker is one notch higher than manual slow cooker in a way that in addition to the temperature controls of high, low and warm, it allows you to set the cooking time to your desired cooking requirement usually at 30 -minute increments to up to 20 hours of cooking time.
Some even have timer display so you can easily monitor the remaining cooking time.
Inner Pots, Lids, and Base
Most slow cookers have a glass lid and ceramic inner pots. In some cases, the lid comes with a locking mechanism.
This way, it is easier to transport food using your slow cookers without spills. The best slow cookers must also have cool touch lid handles for your convenience.
Some inner pots are oven and microwave safe so you can easily finish cooking with just one pot even if your recipe requires for oven or microwave cooking.
Cool touch and plastic handles are also a common feature of the best slow cookers making it is easier for you to carry this appliance from one place to another.
Slow cookers come in different capacities from 1.5-quart to 8-quart, the most popular size being 6-7 quarts. Smaller sized cookers require less storage and electricity than bigger-sized cookers. Smaller sized cookers are also less costly.
If you are buying for your household, 1.5-4.5 quart-sized cookers are ideal if you are serving 2-3 people.
While 6-7 quart-sized are great for cooking for around 7 people.
The largest cookers with 8-quart capacity can cook for up to 10 people.
It should be noted that your slow cookers are recommended to be filled from 1/2 to 3/4 only to avoid overcooking or spills.
Available recipes for slow cookers provide cooking time at these given fill percentages. Beyond these measures, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
As already mentioned above, there are two types of slow cookers – the manual and programmable. The operation will depend on the type of slow cooker of your choice. If you have limited time to monitor your cooking time then the programmable with automatic switch type will be more convenient.
If you are confident enough to control your cooking time then the manual type will work for you just fine.
Some slow cookers have a delay start timer as well. Be mindful though to maintain your ingredients freshness when using this function.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The best slow cookers are easy to clean and maintain. Most have a dishwasher safe lid and inner pot. The base can be easily cleaned by simply wiping the surface with a damp cloth.
Safety and Power Requirement
Since slow cookers are electric-powered, the product of your choice must have the proper labels to indicate rated voltage, rated power consumption, and the likes.
Slow cookers are efficient machines and operate at minimal power consumption rating to as low as 140 Watts for smaller-sized cookers.
Weight and Dimensions
Slow cookers weigh 7 pounds to 14 pounds depending on the size. The largest dimension that we have from the list of our product choices is 9.5 x 18.5 x 13 inches. Some are more oval than the others while some are rounder in shape.
Wrapping It Up
We just give you our review and buying guide for the best slow cookers for 2021. We hope that we made your shopping easy.
Not only will you save time preparing and cooking delicious meals the whole family will love. You will also keep your sanity when life gets busy.
The best part is that a slow cooker is affordable to buy and will last for many years to come.
Make the most of the slow cooker of your choice and enjoy satisfying meals with family and friends from now on.
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