The Slow Cooker Showdown: Find Your Perfect Pot!
The Perfect Blend 6 Top-rated Slow Cookers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
6 top slow cookers of 2023, tested & reviewed
Imagine walking into your home to the tantalizing scent of a perfectly cooked roast, surrounded by carrots and potatoes. Dinner is ready, and all you have to do is dish it out, savor every bite, and unwind after a long day. It’s a dream come true, made possible by the magical invention known as the slow cooker. With this marvelous device, you can simply load your ingredients in the morning and get on with your day, leaving the slow cooker to work its culinary wonders.
But with so many options out there, how do you choose the best slow cooker for your needs? Fear not, my fellow fashionistas of flavor, for I have embarked on a journey to test and review 14 of the most fabulous slow cookers on the market, all in the pursuit of finding the crème de la crème. So, grab your aprons and let’s dive into this stylish smorgasbord of slow cookers!
Our Top Picks for Slow Cookers:
|Link to Purchase
|Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker
|See at Amazon
|Crockpot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker
|See at Target
|Wolf Gourmet Programmable Multi Cooker
|See at Amazon
|Best with pressure cooking
|Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker
|See at Amazon
|Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker PRO Multi-Cooker
|See at Amazon
|Best electric Dutch oven
|Instant Electric Round Dutch Oven
|See at Amazon
Best Overall: Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker
The Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker (model MSC-600) is a true culinary superstar! It impressed both experts and food lovers alike with its consistent temperatures and outstanding cooking performance. This multi-cooker is like the Audrey Hepburn of the slow cooker world, effortlessly maintaining the perfect simmer while creating tender, moist, and utterly mouthwatering dishes. And let’s not forget its intuitive design and lightweight construction, which make it a breeze to use and carry. The only downside? It doesn’t have a locking lid, so be careful during transportation to avoid any messy spills.
Best Budget: Crockpot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker
Who says style has to break the bank? The Crockpot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker is the epitome of affordable elegance. Even at its pocket-friendly price, it maintains consistent temperatures, ensuring that every dish turns out perfectly. This versatile crockpot is a trusted favorite among foodies, delivering reliable and tasty results every time. Its lightweight design and secure lid lock make it a go-to choice for potlucks and gatherings. Though it may lack the fancy browning function, it still manages to charm us with its simplicity and outstanding performance.
Best High-end: Wolf Gourmet Programmable Multi Cooker
When it comes to the crème de la crème, the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Multi Cooker reigns supreme. With its hefty price tag, it’s definitely a luxury item for those with a taste for the finer things in life. But trust me, darlings, it’s worth every penny. This multi-cooker not only delivers flawless slow cooking results, but it also offers the versatility of browning and sous vide cooking. It’s the Audrey Hepburn of the kitchen, dazzling us with its culinary prowess. Just be cautious when transporting this heavy beauty, as it lacks a locking lid.
Best with Pressure Cooking: Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker
For those who prefer multifunctional wonders, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker is the one for you. This fabulous device can not only replace your slow cooker but also your air fryer and sous vide machine. It’s like having a complete fashion wardrobe at your fingertips! While not as perfect at slow cooking as dedicated slow cookers, it still does a commendable job and offers a range of other cooking options. So go ahead, darlings, embrace the joy of having a kitchen superstar that can do it all.
Best Large-capacity: Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker PRO Multi-Cooker
For those who believe in the age-old adage that “bigger is better,” the Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker PRO Multi-Cooker is here to fulfill your dreams. This behemoth of a slow cooker boasts a whopping 9-quart capacity, perfect for accommodating large families and gatherings. Expect succulent roasts, perfectly browned burgers, and consistent temperatures that will impress even the most discerning epicurean. Just be aware that its larger size requires a bit more power, causing higher temperatures during high-heat testing. But fear not, my loves, for it still outshines the competition in terms of ease of use and effortless cleaning.
What to Look for in a Slow Cooker
Now that you’ve been introduced to our fabulous slow cooker lineup, let’s delve into some key features that will help you find your perfect match:
Size: Look for a slow cooker with at least a 6-quart capacity, perfect for most recipes. The classic oval shape is ideal for accommodating roasts and other elongated items.
Simple Display: Avoid the hassle of deciphering complicated controls by opting for an easy-to-understand display with a countdown timer. After all, we don’t want our fabulous slow cooker to take up too much brain space or slow down our fashion-forward culinary adventures.
Maintaining Temperature: We all know that temperature swings are a fashion faux pas. Make sure your slow cooker can maintain heat levels, delivering consistent results that will light up any gathering.
Portable: Are you a jet-setting foodie who loves to dine in style at social events? Then choose a lightweight slow cooker with a secure locking lid and large, easy-to-grip handles. After all, darling, fashion knows no boundaries, and you should never leave home without your showstopping slow cooker.
Other Useful Features: For the ultimate slow cooker experience, look for models that keep food warm after cooking, feature a clear lid for peeking at your dish without losing heat, and offer additional functions like browning and sous vide cooking. These features are the trendy accessories that will elevate your culinary looks to new heights.
Our Slow Cooker Testing Methodology
We take our slow cooker research seriously, my dear fashionistas. Here’s how we tested and evaluated each contender:
Ease of Use: We set up each slow cooker without consulting the user manual, assessing their intuitiveness. After all, a fabulous slow cooker should be as easy to use as slipping on your favorite pair of designer shoes.
Slow Cooking: We prepared a delightful vegan chili (slow-cooked for 7 hours on low heat) and a classic pot roast (6 hours on high) in each slow cooker. We meticulously sampled each dish, judging the texture, moisture, and overall deliciousness. Only the slow cookers that left us craving seconds made the cut!
Browning: We tested each slow cooker’s browning performance by cooking burgers. We gauged the evenness of browning and the quality of the crust. While they all had their unique quirks, they managed to bring out the fashionable diva in our burgers.
Consistent Heat: We measured the temperature in each slow cooker every hour during slow cooking tests, ensuring that they maintained consistent heat levels without boiling. You deserve nothing but the most reliable, consistent performers in your kitchen.
Cleaning: We thoroughly evaluated each slow cooker’s cleaning process, testing dishwasher and handwashing options. We understand that fashionistas like you have no time for tedious scrubbing, so we sought out the models that made cleaning a breeze.
Portability: Understanding the importance of on-the-go glamour, we weighed each slow cooker and assessed its lid-locking mechanism. After all, your fabulous slow cooker deserves to make a grand entrance at any soirée.
Capacity: We measured the water capacity of each slow cooker, allowing you to select the one that perfectly suits your culinary needs. Let your inner food fashionista shine, darling!
Now that you’re armed with all this stylish knowledge, let’s address a few frequently asked questions in the world of slow cookers:
Slow Cooker FAQs
Q: What is the difference between a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, and a crockpot? A: Ah, the eternal question dear fashionistas! Here’s the lowdown: a slow cooker and a crockpot are essentially the same. “Crockpot” is just a brand name that has become synonymous with slow cookers. A slow cooker gently simmers your food to perfection without any fuss. On the other hand, a pressure cooker (often referred to as an Instant Pot) is a sealed vessel that uses pressure to cook food faster, like a fashionable time-machine for your meals.
Q: Can you put frozen food in a slow cooker? A: While it’s technically possible to put frozen food in a slow cooker, it’s better to let things thaw first, my chic darlings. Slow cookers work their magic by breaking down the tough muscles of meat, resulting in tender, succulent creations. Starting from frozen can take longer and may lead to uneven cooking, which is definitely not on-trend.
Q: Should I buy a digital or manual slow cooker? A: If you’re often out and about, indulging in the fabulousness of life, a digital slow cooker is your best friend. These modern marvels often switch to a “warm” setting after the cooking time to ensure your masterpiece doesn’t transform into a fashion disaster. With their user-friendly interfaces, they’ll keep the culinary magic alive and save you from any dinner burning catastrophes.
Q: How do you care for a slow cooker? A: Cleaning and care for slow cookers vary, my fashionable friends, so it’s always a good idea to consult your user manual. Most slow cooker pots and lids are dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze. For the best results, wash them by hand using warm soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth. Remember to clean the parts that come in contact with food after each use. We wouldn’t want any culinary catwalk mishaps, now would we?
Q: Is a slow cooker better than an Instant Pot with slow cooking? A: Ah, the eternal battle between the slow cookers and the Instant Pots! After testing both, we can confidently say that slow cookers are the true queens of the slow cooking world. While Instant Pots offer a range of features, they don’t quite reach the perfect slow cooking temperatures needed to work their fashionable magic. So, my fabulous foodies, stick to the classic slow cooker for the most tender and flavorful results.
And there you have it, my stylish foodie friends! Armed with the knowledge of our top picks and expert testing methodology, you can confidently choose your perfect slow cooker. Whether you’re a budget-conscious beauty, a high-end aficionado, or a lover of all things multifunctional, there’s a slow cooker out there just waiting to accompany you on your culinary catwalk. So go forth, cook with style, and create fashionable feasts that will leave everyone begging for seconds!
Which slow cooker has caught your eye? Are you a fan of budget picks or do you prefer to splurge on high-end kitchen gadgets? Feel free to share your favorite slow cooker moments and let’s keep the fashion conversation simmering!