#1. Size – Slow cookers are measured in quarts. Get the right size for your household.
#2. Shape and Design – Round, oval or square? A good design will help you cook better!
#3. Settings – Do you want a basic slow cooker or one with all the features? There are timers, temperature settings and more.
Go straight to my detailed guide about how to choose the best slow cooker here.
Why Slow Cooker?
Every day, my wife and I ponder over what to feed our 3 kids come dinnertime. Ever since she started working again, we have had to think of how to provide a good, nutritious meal to our kids while still being able to balance our work responsibilities.
As I thought about it more and more, I decided to use my trusty slow cooker for a great-tasting solution! Not only are slow cookers wonderful at cooking on a budget and for long periods of time, but they also make for easy food preparation and easy clean up after.
This solution totally fits into our busy schedules. Before I leave my restaurant and she goes to work, we decide on the day’s meal and put our trusty slow cooker to use.
By the time she comes home for dinner with the kids in tow, they have a great meal to look forward to. Not to mention, she can keep the leftovers warm so I can share in the fun when I come home too!
Best Slow Cooker 2019 List
Cuisinart has never failed to deliver quality and durability. Now they have made a small slow cooker, well I do say small because my average size of a crock pot is enough to feed at least 6 or 7 people.
The Cuisinart PSC-350 is the best small slow cooker for singles and couples who cook. If you have a small family of 3 this might work fine too.
Size and Material
This 3 and a half quart small slow cooker is a better choice than my earlier pick on the best small cooker for a couple of reasons.
The unit itself and the pot come in an oval design, this is great for storing and keeping, nothing like a good little pot that conserves more space than others it size, as I myself enjoy a lot of counter space for whenever I have the urge to whip out a quick meal.
The pot is made out of ceramic; it won’t be as heavy as the stoneware ones, but I can’t say that I noticed any difference in between the two so I did a little research.
After researching I was taken aback by what I discovered, a slow cooker and a crock pot are not always the same thing, and Crockpot is a generic term like Blanco or Aspirin, but that I shall set aside, since I have been using the term for well over a decade now. The glass lid and the pot are all dishwashers safe, easy cleaning if you ask me.
Controls and Use
The Cuisinart PSC-350 is a programmable slow cooker, simply means they would give you a bunch of buttons to adjust the time, the temperature and which elements you should use, I remember one of my mum’s slow cookers which had these functions; it wasn’t anything famous, since it was made in China.
This slow cooker is very easy to use. It has 3 settings, simmer, low and high. There is not much brain work except deciding what temperature you want your meal to be cooked in. Simmer gives you slightly above 180 degrees Fahrenheit, while Low gives you about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and High is just a bump above that at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
The buttons look like the ones I have for those digital photo frames, but a lot sturdier and well made, also that they are touch sensitive, so everything can be done by just running your fingers over the buttons. The LCD display is always on for the duration of the cooking and warming, until it is turned off. This is a useful function especially for the after dark cookers.
Now let’s take a look at the process of cooking with this thing. You are given 4 cooking modes, the 3 mentioned earlier and the keep warm function, so depending on what you are cooking select the mode and set the time, and then the cooker does everything else for you.
On the Safe Side
Well, I do admit that there is nothing much to a slow cooker, but to be on the safe side let me list out the safety measures taken by Cuisinart for this cooker. It comes with no slip rubber feet, quite useful, I tried to bump it a few times but it never did budge, unless it was empty.
The handles always stay cool even after hours of cooking, but I can’t say the same for the unit itself, but it’s not something to worry about just as long as it far away from the grasps of curious children.
So overall this Cuisinart PSC-350 is a great addition for a newlywed couple or a bachelor’s kitchen for making meals simpler. Even if you can’t or don’t know how to cook, the handy recipe booklet that comes with the unit will be of great service.
Slow cookers are just great, especially during those days where you are not home most of the time, or you just want to sit back and relax without having to worry about dinner. The Hamilton Beach 33967 is simply the best programmable slow cooker.
This slow cooker is nothing small, it has a 6 quart pot, made of stone, really big, I could cook up extras with this pot, and 1 pound of sliced chicken is not a problem for this large cooker.
The pot has an oval shape, so you could get creative, think about leaving a whole chicken in overnight and having it the next day.
Hamilton Beach 33967 Feature
The thing about this crock is that it’s made of stone, and its heavy, but that’s a good thing, because it’s almost as similar to the ceramic ones which would break really, really easily, it’s also dishwasher safe, but I think that this crock is washable by hand just fine, all you have to think about is the weight.
The functions on the Hamilton Beach 33967 is amazing, it’s got almost everything that a slow cooker needs. The program function allows me to set the time and temperature I need, this is really great for simple things like meat, I just set the time to how long I want it to cook and I leave it, after a few hours I return with a ready and always warm meal waiting for me.
It has an easy to see LED display, very useful especially at night when you don’t want to turn on the lights in the kitchen.
Should I buy this slow cooker?
The handiest feature that comes with this slow cooker is the probe function. This monitors the temperature of the cooking and keeps it at a controlled level. When it reaches to a point where the temperature is suitable it will maintain that temperature by switching itself to keep warm and back to cook again if it were to drop.
The reason why they call it probe is that you have to stick the thermometer they gave you into the pot, that’s right, set it to probe and probe the thermometer into the pot and leave it.
The clip on the tempered glass lid is really something, it may be really troublesome to lock and unlock but it’s crucial for a slow cooker, as some ingredients tend to bubble more than other and possibly causing a mess, well I for one do not want to come home to my dinner which is on the floor instead of in the pot. The lid also houses a spoon; I mean the spoon clips itself onto the lid for safe storage.
Who should not buy this slow cooker?
This slow cooker may be almost perfect, but it does receive some complaints from users about power interruptions. Imagine leaving your food for 7 hours, but the cooker stopped itself during the first 2 hours, that would leave you with uncooked and spoiled food.
This is actually a programming error that causes the cooker to stop itself too early, maybe Hamilton Beach should have made the controls easier.
Overall it has a great performance, is easy to move around, just a tad heavy. If you need a programmable slow cooker, Hamilton Beach 33967 is a great buy and comes at an affordable price.
This is my most favorite of the lot! KitchenAid KSC6223SS 7-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker is the best slow cooker I’ve worked with. This slow cooker review will help you why I think so.
In my line of business, food preparation matters. A lot. And I’ve had experience with great slow cookers, and some not so great ones. And when it comes to my family, I’m even pickier because I only want the best for them.
This is simply the best slow cooker of them all. It meets my family’s needs and my own. Whether we’re making beef chili for home consumption or I’m making consommé at the restaurant, this baby performs each and every time.
I have a large family, so I like its huge capacity of 6 quarts. The 10-hour programmable timer helps me design the perfect cooking style for specific dishes, e.g. you wouldn’t roast chicken the same way you make beef stew, correct?
Should I buy this slow cooker?
My wife loves our KitchenAid KSC6223SS 7-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker at home, which is brick red and matches our other kitchen appliances. Women. Go figure, right? The one at the restaurant is the classic steel although there is a black version as well. I personally think it’s very well designed for a slow cooker, which is why I like to use it so much. It is oval, which is great for cooking chicken.
Most slow cookers are round and cannot accommodate a whole chicken. Besides that, there are quart marking on the interior. I like the markings because they help me fill it with liquids accurately.
We trust our kids around this model because the large handles and rugged design prevent any damage to it and our children. Large handles always help when you’re carrying a heavy pot of liquid, don’t you think?
Who should not buy this slow cooker?
Basically, if you need a large capacity slow cooker with good features and performance and don’t mind the hefty price tag, KitchenAid 7-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker is the best slow cooker to get. I can personally attest that it has blown me away! If you’re not sure, check out my other slow cooker reviews to look for another model suitable to your needs.
P.s. The warranty’s good too. If it spoils during your first year of usage, KitchenAid will deliver an identical or comparable replacement free of charge to you. On top of that, there’s a one-year warranty on the replacement unit as well. Now that’s what I call a great warranty.
I thought I would buy an extra slow cooker to cook small meals sometimes when only my wife and I are eating at home. I was looking for a cheap but good one.
Hamilton Beach 33231 was cheap; it only cost me below $100 just to have it shipped to me.
It has been a week now and I have used it every single day, it’s something I do when I buy a new appliance, I call it the burning process, where I use something new intensely for a week, just to see if there were any flaws or anything I missed before the warranty ends.
Easy Cleaning and Storage
So this is what I found out about this 4 quart oval slow cooker. After using it I always clean it and keep it back in storage, I know this can be a really troublesome thing to do, but its only for a week, so I found that the oval design was easy to store compared to some round ones (and even a square one that I used to have).
The size is not too small or too big, it’s just right, and cleaning for this unit is fairly simple since the pot and the lid is dishwasher safe, and yes I used my dishwasher to clean it every single time during that entire week.
The unit has a brushed stainless steel body; this means that no matter how much you smolder or “molest” this slow cooker you won’t be able to find fingerprints on it, unless your hands were dirty.
Hamilton Beach 33231 Feature
Now let’s see how well this slow cooker cooks shall we? The dial reminds me of those old slow cookers, the ones from Asia, like Phillips and Sanyo, this dial comes with low, high and keep warm settings, above the dial you can see a signature which says “Crockery” that’s sort of amusing since this is a slow cooker, or maybe the manufacturers didn’t realize the difference between the two.
So I tried some extra long slices of meat and vegetables and the pot literally swallowed it up, after a few hours I was met by a complete meal, quite the pleaser I would say.
The on and off indicator light lets you know if the unit is safe to touch or not, this is because the body will heat up during cooking, and imagine yourself walking about your kitchen one night to bump into it while it’s turned on, not a good experience I assure you.
The handles remain cool even in the heat of the kitchen, a regular safety measure which all slow cookers should have, but there is one bonus about the see through glass lid which I notice most slow cookers do not have, aside the fact that you can see through it to take a peek at your meal, this glass lid has a knob which does not heat up.
That is an amazing add on that I suppose some manufacturers fail to see, now I don’t have to place a thick kitchen towel over the lid or wear a mitten when I want to remove the lid.
After your meal is done you can use the pot itself as a serving dish, it looks great with its ceramic coated in his temperature black enamel, you won’t be embarrassed to place it out on the table during dinner, just be sure to line the bottom with a towel first.
This Hamilton Beach 33231 – Best Budget Slow Cooker slow cooker comes with the regular cookbook, there is nothing special about that, but I would definitely urge my friends to buy this slow cooker, especially those who have a small family and are looking for a budget slow cooker.
Whether you plan on making a 7-pound large roast or a huge batch of soup for a large family occasion, the Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS programmable slow cooker will be more than sufficient with its 6.5 quart capacity. The touch screen control panel provides easy access to all the controls of the crockpot such as low cook setting, warm and high cook setting.
This is its temperature selection range. Then there are time setting options, start button and up/downtime selection switches with a power icon and power switch. The delay timer can operate up to 20 hours late and starts from 30 minutes.
It comes with automatic shut down and keeps warm modes. With ample amount of delay timing, you can cook overnight, refrigerate leftovers in the morning and tuck in at night.
The size and its features let the Crock-Pot SCVT650 prepare food for a large family once for the entire day. Its the perfect solution to a busy life. Auto keep warm lets the food simmer until you return home, maintaining its texture and flavors without burning it.
Design wise it features a metallic finish with metal side handles fitted with silicone for comfortable and secure gripping. The shape is oval to accommodate a large cut of meat with ease while the lid and stoneware pot makes it easy to clean and serve with.
I went on-line looking for this particular crock-pot because it had such a high rating by Cook’s Illustrated magazine. They were right again. It’s everything they said it was and I’m very happy I got it. Would recommend to all!
Should I buy this slow cooker?
Our experience with the Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS has been good. This is not your average slow cooker that is unusable in the low temperature setting nor is it too high at the high temperature setting to burn any recipe. It doesn’t feature a hinged lid and neither is it expensive.
These according to us were the standout features in this slow cooker. Having experienced cheap supermarket grade slow cookers in the past that managed to nuke our food, we wanted something a bit more beefy, with more juice and reliability than before.
Now in our three weeks of experience, we came across plenty of pros and few cons for the Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS. First, if you set the unit at low, then expect a simmering of dishes, which is actually perfect for recipes such as dahl, curries and Indian lentils.
The low temperature setting is also useful for making Chili Verde, Beef stew, soups, stocks and even baked beans Usually, on the low setting 10 hours or so cooking time works well. Since food cooks very slowly in this setting, there is no chance of getting hot spots, burns and sticky food.
Moreover, the stoneware pot does seem to dissipate heat evenly, regardless of whether you use it in the low or high temperature setting. Plus, its stainless steel styling does bode well with our modern looking metal filled kitchen. At least, it doesn’t look flimsy like many other brands.
Coming to things that need a bit of improvement, the control pad isn’t exactly user friendly. Numbers are kind of hard to read and you need to look at it closely to figure out what settings have been used. Moreover, being digital in nature, the heat from the unit may damage the circuits after a while.
Who should not buy this slow cooker?
Not sure if this will ever happen but we have witnessed this in other models. Besides, the pot does seem to heat up quite a bit when used extensively. Although it’s not much to worry about, you may want to keep your fingers protected by sticking to the handles only.
Thing is there aren’t many other slow cookers for under $100 like the Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS that features good quality construction, decent functions and good customer support. So, overall its definitely a dependable and useful slow cooker to have around.
Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS Features & Parts
- Both the stoneware pot and glass lid are dishwasher safe.
- 6.5 Quart capacity, removable stoneware pot with the oval design.
- Stainless steel finishing with silicone fitted metallic side handles.
- Touch screen controls, automatic shut down and keep warm feature, programmable timer.
- Features a 1 year limited period warranty.
Not everyone is used to slow cooking. Those who have tried this art usually end up making recipes on the stove-top simply because of the time it takes. Now the Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS does not really make things fast. In fact, for a slow cooker it takes a lot more time than usual. 10 hours on low setting and 4 hours on high setting is kind of snail pace.
However, this also means that food never really gets burnt, stuck to the pot surface or develop hot spots. Hence, folks who enjoy slow cooking and recipes particularly designed for crock pots will definitely love this equipment. Its also a good starting point for people learning the art of slow cooking as the chances of going wrong are limited with the Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS.
The Cuisinart MSC-600 3-in-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker is not just your average slow cooker but also a multi-cooker by design. It’s a kitchen chef on its own with programmable controls and functions that let you do more than just cook.
You can saute ingredients, brown meats and prepare all your favorite recipes in a single pot. It features a 6 quart oval design with non-stick coating on the inner pot that lets you saute and brown with ease.
Moreover, once cooking is done, it switches to the keep warm mode automatically letting you serve up straight from the pot. Cleaning up is also easy thanks to the steaming rack, pot and lid all being dishwasher compatible.
In the slow cooking option, you get a choice between high, low and simmer temperatures. This is ideal for preparing varied recipes, some that need to sit for over 10 hours and others that must be cooked in under 3.
Moreover, a 24 hours delay timer takes care of when you want to start late. With the steaming rack, you can steam your greens and even prepare shrimp, fish and what not. Just add 2 quarts of water or any liquid that you choose, cover the lid and let the steaming complete.
The Cuisinart MSC-600 also sautés and browns as mentioned before. Whether its a skillet dish or a simple family recipe, choose to saute or brown at 350 degrees until ingredients are soft, perfect and ready.
I would definitely recommend this product. The heating is fast and the food doesn’t stick to the pocket. Not to mention, it doubles up as both a rice cooker and a multi-cooker. An outstanding appliance and I just love it!!!
Cuisinart MSC-600 Review
Our first item on the menu was a pot roast for the Cuisinart MSC-600 3-in-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker. It wasn’t our first time and so we knew exactly what to do.
Having read through the manual for this slow cooker, understood its temperature settings and various functions, we decided to go ahead and brown the meat, braise it directly in the slow cooker and cook till finish in it. The end result was a wonderful taste and splendid texture.
Best of all, cleanup was rather easy after we devoured the roast. It is definitely worth purchasing since many crock pots in the market have failed to deliver when they tend to multitask. The Cuisinart MSC-600 however doesn’t seem to fail at either of its triple functions.
Should I buy this slow cooker?
We feel that this slow cooker is capable of managing three to four uses in a week. Although it is a slow cooker, by no means, does it take ages to complete? In fact, the low temperature setting is just high enough to complete the most delicate tasks in under 5 hours.
And as for the high temperature setting, it’s like cooking at 375 to 400 degrees F. This is why the Cuisinart MSC-600 can cook recipes in under 3 hours at high temperature setting.
Plus, its kind of attractive looking with its sleek outer stainless steel surface and pot insert. The glass lid with handles, additional handles on the crock pot and the bottom positioned control panel all give it a futuristic appeal.
In fact, it’s not all design with this slow cooker. For starters either of the handles never gets hot and neither does the rim of the glass lid. This is great as it means you can carry it to the dinner table the moment it’s done the cooking. Moreover, washing it is not at all hard.
Although the use of non-stick coating means that you can’t really use a dishwasher, at least cleaning it by hand does not take much time. Plus dried food seems to come off real easy without any scrubbing necessary.
If we were to highlight its one standout feature, we would definitely go for its browning and sauteing multi-function We never have to dirty other dishes, take out the skillet to brown or braise meat.
Moreover, we did not find anything in particular that we disliked. It is well made, designed to perform and has a long warranty coverage to satisfy the most cautious of buyers.
Cuisinart MSC-600 Features & Parts
- Combination cooking for recipes that require special treatment.
- Removable stoneware pot of 6-quart capacity.
- LCD backlit display with temperature and time readouts.
- Cool-touch handles on the glass lid helps in easy handling.
- Steaming rack, pot and lid are all dishwasher safe and removable.
- Features a 3 year limited period warranty.
Think of a slow cooker and you immediately realize all the preparation that goes into making a dish in it. Now, the Cuisinart MSC-600 3-in-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker differs in this respect as it manages to multitask as a skillet and steaming machine.
So, instead of using too many dishes and ending up cooking in the slow cooker, you prepare all your preliminary ingredients right in the slow cooker’s stoneware pot and then add in all remaining ingredients, cap the glass lid and set the cooking time with appropriate temperature. It’s easy, simple and effective.
The DeLonghi DCP707 Stainless-Steel Programmable 5-Quart Slow Cooker features three cooking modes – High, low and keep warm. It has a timer function as well.
The cooker also automatically switches to warm mode for 2 hours after the timer has finished its countdown.
The cooker has a tampered glass through which one can see what is happening. Other features include stay cool handles, and non-slip feet. The cooking pot can also double up as a serving dish.
We found Amazon.com to have the best prices on the DeLonghi DCP707 Stainless-Steel Slow Cooker.
The DeLonghi DCP707 measures 13 by 11-4/5 by 9-3/5 inches and comes with one year warranty.
- 5 quart stainless cooker with 3 heat settings
- Keeps food warm for 2 hours after cooking
- Tempered glass allows keeping an eye on the cooking process
- Stay cool handles and non-slip feet
- Measures 13 by 11-4/5 by 9-3/5 inches and comes with 1 year warranty
DeLonghi DCP707 Reviews
The reviews that the DeLonghi DCP707 Stainless-Steel Programmable 5-Quart Slow Cooker received were overall positive. Reviewers who purchased this product were happy about its looks and its function. Read on to know what made them buy this product…
The design of this cooker is attractive. The stainless steel looks good and the same can be said for the touch control panel. The cooking pot feels sturdy and can be handled easily.
Its 5 quart capacity is good enough for most recipes and family cooking. The display is clean and switching settings is really easy on the panel. The cooker is dishwasher safe so cleaning is no hassle.
The function of this cooker is just as good as its design and build. Three heating modes cater to all levels of slow cooking. The keep warm mode is really useful. Food stays warm for as long as 2 hours inside the cooker.
Reviewers mentioned that if food is left inside the cooker, even after the cooker switches off, the food remains warm for quite some time. The cooker automatically switches to ‘keep warm’ mode after the timer finishes its countdown. This is another handy feature included.
Reviewers also liked the idea of having tempered glass. Many cookers feature an opaque top which does not permit you to monitor food. Slow cooking needs monitoring and hence the glass lid is a thoughtful design and functional implementation.
Our Final Verdict
The West Bend 84966 slow cooker improves on its previous griddle type heating base slow cookers by providing a programmable timer and electronic controls. This slow cooker features a 6 Quart cooking bowl with a tempered glass lid that is freezer, oven and stove safe.
With three temperature settings with an option to switch to griddle cooking, the West Bend 84966 provides sufficient versatility. This slow cooker also uses a countdown timer with an automatic shut off after 24 hours.
The cooking pot is oval or oblong shaped instead of being round like orthodox slow cookers. It comes with a coordinated recipe book that provides precise instructions and recipes specifically for this slow cooker. The West Bend 84966 is protected by a one year limited warranty, which helps to ensure that you’re going to get a slow cooker that’s going to last.
I am a complete “non-cook” and I look like a five-star chef when I use my West Bend Versatility slow cooker!
We got the West Bend 84966 slow cooker about a month back from Amazon and have since used it on weekends to prepare a feast for our friends and family members.
The programmable timer is one reason why we don’t mind using it on weekends because it allows us to set the temperature and timer simultaneously and forget about it. Last week, we made our special lamb stew recipe using the West Bend 84966 and it came out exactly as we have come to expect.
Should I buy this slow cooker?
Considering the fact that we were using a slow cooker for the first time for this recipe, we decided to get premium quality lamb and chopped up some vegetables, adding them to the slow cooker along with other ingredients, herbs and spices.
We set the temperature and let it cook for a good 9 hours on low setting. In the meantime, we prepared a few other items on the stove and took a stroll through the park nearby.
By the time we came home, it was ready and we were eager to taste our slow cooker’s creation. It was just perfect. The lamb was succulent and the flavor was caught exactly how it needed to be. There’s no evaporation with the West Bend 84966, which helps to capture all of the juicy flavors with each meal.
The instruction manual suggests that the hot plate can double as a griddle and so we did try out making omelets on it for our breakfast along with tiny pancakes.
It works splendidly and because of the programmable timer, we can simply set a temperature and leave the food to cook itself out in the open without ever worrying about the food sticking to the plate, because of its high quality non-stick surface.
The West Bend 84966 is also easy to clean up considering the fact that the cooking pot and its glass lid is dishwasher safe. For the heating base, a simple wipe with a wet cloth is all that is needed to keep it clean.
The design of the West Bend 84966 initially gave us a scare considering how it blatantly deviates from traditional crock pots.
However, having used it for a month now, we feel confident about its innate abilities as a slow cooker. Its designed for multiple functions and offers good performance in all temperature settings – and not to mention, the West Bend 84966 is extremely durable and sturdy.
West Bend 84966 Features & Parts
- 4 Electronic temperature settings of high, low, warm and griddle with 24 hours automatic shut-off.
- Cooking pot accommodates 6 Quart comfortably; tempered glass lid shuts moisture inside.
- Programmable control panel with easy to read LCD panel and soft buttons.
- Dishwasher safe lid and cooking pot.
- Exclusive West Bend 84966 Recipe book; 1 year limited warranty.
West Bend 84966 Slow Cooker Conclusion
The advanced West Bend 84966 slow cooker brings in programmable controls and a backlit LCD panel to an already popular and inexpensive line of slow cookers from West Bend.
This new model works great, has got the same dependability as more expensive models and makes slow cooking that much easier, and much more fun. A larger 6 quart capacity can cook a large meal or make a small serving for one, making it highly versatile and useful on a daily basis.