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Best Slow Cookers of 2019

Best Slow Cookers 2019 - Reviews, Comparisons and Buying Advice

We spent 80 hours testing 11 different slow cookers to find the best options, and our favorite turned out to be the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610. This modern version of the traditional Crock-Pot has hinged locks so you can transport your signature pulled pork without any messy spills in your car. You can program cooking times ranging from 30 minutes to 20 hours, and its stoneware interior works well as a serving dish. Check out our page on pressure cookers if you're looking for products like the Instant Pot.

ProductPriceOverall RatingPricingCooking Test ResultsDesignWarranty & ConveniencePerformance ScoreTaste Tester's ScoresEvaporation ScoreExternal Temperature FrontExternal Temperature SidesCapacityCord LengthWeightWarrantyTimerNumber of Included Recipes
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610View Deal4.5/54.13550.950.950.941009525.2511.91 Year30 minutes - 20 hours10
Crock-Pot SCR200View Deal4.5/54.154.430.810.920.931401542254.71 YearN/A10
BELLA 13973WView Deal4/54.64.14.43.90.870.980.88113140510.82 Years30 minutes - 20 hours2
Crock-Pot SCV400View Deal4/54.34.34.530.880.960.931391844257.61 YearN/A10
Elite Platinum by Maxi-MaticView Deal4/54.94.34.61.90.910.980.881291492274.61 YearN/A0
Black & Decker SC2007DView Deal4/54.63.94.33.30.830.950.8714417227.25132 YearsN/A6
Hamilton BeachView Deal0/54.33.943.90.8210.8514218512.15 YearsN/A0
Proctor SilexView Deal4/54.84.14.620.890.950.911361764278.41 YearN/A0
NescoView Deal4/54.33.94.82.10.910.980.9414011162511.11 YearN/A0
Hamilton Beach Set 'n ForgetView Deal4/53.93.14.83.50.860.930.912210362512.11 Year30 minutes - 12 hours0

Best Overall

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S

Hinged locks keep lid in place for transporting
Cook times range from 30 minutes to 20 hours
Can handle 6-pound roast
Warranty is only one year
Oval shape might not suit everyone
Won’t automatically reset if power goes out

The popular Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S can cook for between 30 minutes and 20 hours, and it automatically switches to a warming setting when the food is done.

The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S is the modern version of the original Crock-Pot that proved hugely popular in the 1970s. It's from the only brand that can legitimately use the name "Crock-Pot."

The original was a hit because of its design and convenience, and this newer version offers even more features to conveniently cook hot, healthy meals. You can program this 6-quart device to run for as little as 30 minutes and as much as 20 hours, and it has a digital countdown display. The Crock-Pot can cook a 6-pound roast or enough food to feed about seven people. Once the cooking cycle is completed, it automatically switches to a lower setting to keep the food warm. You can lift out the oval stoneware interior and use it as a serving dish. There are handles on both sides and the lid locks into place.

The warranty runs for one year, which is an industry standard.

Read the full review

Best Value

Black & Decker SC2007D

Black & Decker SC2007D

Large 7-quart capacity
Attractive color
Excellent cooking results
Heavy
Water loss can be high

The larger-than-average capacity, simple design, and low cost make the Black & Decker SC2007D a great choice for most large households.

The Black & Decker SC2007D has seven quarts of space, enough to cook a meal for a large dinner party. Even though that’s the second largest capacity of all of the slow cookers we tested, the SC2007D is still less expensive than most of the others, which makes it a great choice for a large family on a budget. In our evaporation tests, this device lost 16 percent of its water when left on high for four hours, which was the second largest loss for the high setting. We recommend you place a little more liquid than you might otherwise in order to keep your meals from drying out. Our taste testers liked the beef stew this slow cooker produced overall, with one tester summing up that the beef was tender while the broth and vegetables offered a lot of individual flavor that melded together well.

Read the full review

Best Small Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot SCR200

Crock-Pot SCR200

Costs only about $10
Doesn't allow much water to evaporate during the cooking process
Covered by a one-year warranty
Lacks a warm setting
Doesn't come with a digital timer
Exterior can get pretty hot

The Crock-Pot SCR200 is a small 2-quart device that works well for creating personal meals or warming side dishes at a BBQ or house party. The best part is that it sells for as little as $10.

Crock-Pot's SCR200 is one of the smallest slow cookers on the market. Since it only offers 2 quarts of space, it works best when making food for one to two people.

Because this device only costs about $10 to purchase, it is a great option for college students, single adults or elderly people who either live alone or only plan on making meals for one or two other people. Many people also buy these inexpensive slow cookers so they can heat dips and side dishes for tailgating and house parties.

This device had some of the best moisture retention of any we tested, which means it can keep your food from drying out while cooking. However, the exterior of this little machine can get pretty hot, so be careful not to burn yourself when handling it.

It’s a simple device that doesn't have a timer – only an analog settings knob – and, while it has a low and a high setting, there is no warm setting. This can be a problem if you want to keep your food heated but want to prevent it from cooking further.

Crock-Pot covers this slow cooker with a one-year warranty, which is average for large slow cookers.

Read the full review

Best for Parties

Hamilton Beach Set n' Forget 33969

Hamilton Beach Set n' Forget 33969

Comes with lid clamps and a meat thermometer
Expensive

This six-quart bowl allows you to cook for five to seven people, making it a great choice for feeding large groups.

Since the rubber seal and clamps help the lid stay on, this slow cooker is easier to travel with whether you're driving to a tailgating party or bringing it to a potluck dinner. You'll want to be careful when releasing the clamps as they fly back fast and hard. This could hit your fingers, so be wary.

This slow cooker had average performance in our testing. It was one of the most expensive in our comparison, but that is due to all of the extra features it comes with. It retains a decent amount of water while cooking, so your food shouldn't dry out when left on for hours at a time. The digital display was a little less intuitive than we would have liked and the timer itself can only be set up to 12 hours, which is fine for most dishes but less than the average 24-hour timing option found on other digital slow cookers.

You won't find any included recipes with this device, but you can find plenty online to get you going. Hamilton Beach covers this device with a one-year warranty, which is average, but not the best we've seen.

Read the full review

Best Medium Size Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot SCV400

Crock-Pot SCV400

Affordable for a mid-sized slow cooker
No timer

If you're looking to feed a group of 4 to 5 people, this slow cooker should do the trick. It offers 4-quarts of space and has a fun decorative exterior.

Of all of the medium-sized slow cookers we tested, this one not only cost the least but produced good cooking results. It didn't lose a lot of water during our evaporation test so your food likely won't dry out much. When we performed our external temperature test, this Crock-Pot was one of the hottest in our comparison. Make sure you keep it away from walls and children, so it doesn't burn anything or anyone.

There is no digital interface and no timer, so you'll need to set a timer on your phone or somewhere in your kitchen. It features a knob which you can turn to either low, high or warm. Since this is a basic slow cooker, you'll need to manually change it to the warm setting when your food has finished cooking.

The included manual comes with 10 recipes to help get you cooking right from the start. Crock-Pot's warranty only lasts one year, which is average.

Read the full review

Why Trust Us

When it comes to buying a cooking appliance, of course you want it to perform well, but first you want it to be safe so no one gets sick from eating the food or burned in the process of making it. We tested each slow cooker thoroughly, documented everything and scored each device in multiple categories.

When testing for temperatures, we used an infrared thermometer to get the most accurate reading. We also followed the manufacturer's user instructions and measured everything that went into each slow cooker precisely, so each appliance was judged by the same standards. We also examined how easy it was to transport each slow cooker, as well as how easy each was to clean and store.

We combed through user manuals, watched instructional videos and read the fine print in warranties. To better understand safe uses of these devices, we studied the U.S.D.A. website, specifically looking at slow cooker food safety. We also contacted Megan Friedman, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Newell Brands, Crock-Pot's parent company, to get insights on slow cooker safety and usage.

How Much Does a Slow Cooker Cost?

If you look around the market you'll find plenty of expensive slow cookers that cost upwards of $100, but you don't need to spend that much in order to find a quality device. We found that the best and most affordably-priced, mid-to-large range slow cookers were sold between $20 and $65 on the manufacturer's websites. The more expensive units were usually larger and featured a digital display with extra cooking options like an automatic stay warm, digital timer or delay start. We also found plenty of them on Amazon, typically selling for $5 to $10 less.

How We Tested

We invested 80 hours into testing 11 different slow cookers to find the best options. To start, we placed 2 quarts of cold water in each slow cooker with the lid on the device. For the 2-quart units, we only placed 1 quart of cold water. We measured the water temperature after each slow cooker had been operating for two hours on low heat, then after two hours on high heat. We also measured the amount of water at these intervals to see how much had evaporated. You can expect some level of evaporation with any slow cooker, and we found that the average percentage of moisture loss was about 10 percent, though some cookers have moisture loss as low as 5 percent and as high as 22 percent.

We then made beef stew using low-cost beef (since it is full of connective tissue, which can become tough when cooked). Besides the chopped beef, the stew included roughly chopped carrots, onions and potatoes, as well as beef broth and seasonings. We ran each crock pot for six hours on high heat and examined each batch to see if the beef was tender and if the vegetables were cooked through. We tested the stew's temperature along with measuring to see how hot the handles and base of the machine had become. We also checked to see how flavorful each batch tasted.


We did plenty of temperature testing to make sure any devices we recommended would help reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Many slow cookers in the 1970s offered very low temperatures, but slow cooker USDA food safety regulations have changed since then. Slow cookers now must reach high temperatures quickly so that food doesn't spend too long in the 40- to 140-degree Fahrenheit range. Slow cookers now typically cook at a range of 165 to 212 degrees, though some get down to 139 degrees on low and up to 237 degrees on high end.

Can You Place Raw Meat in a Slow Cooker?

While it is possible to cook thin cuts of raw meat in a slow cooker, you should avoid cooking large, raw slabs in one. As you probably know, raw meat can be dangerous to eat, especially if left at lukewarm temperatures for long periods. When slow cooking with raw meat, you need to make sure your device reaches at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit in under two hours. Otherwise, you risk food poisoning. Because of how they are designed, slow cookers aren’t great at retaining heat and often take several hours to reach a safe cooking temperature.

You might want to consider investing in a meat thermometer to make sure the meats you cook reach safe temperatures. To be safe, brown meat a little before placing it in the pot. If it’s a thick, hearty meat, it’s better to use a pressure cooker, oven or other cooking method, since it will cook the meat faster and more thoroughly.

Key Things to Note About Slow Cookers

Safety

Recently slow cookers, pressure cookers, multicookers and similar appliances have been called into question due to a haunting portrayal on the show "This is Us," where an appliance causes a house fire. But don't throw out your slow cooker just yet. When we asked about the safety of Crock-Pot's slow cookers, Friedman from Newell told us, "Crock-Pot slow cookers exceed all internal testing protocols and all applicable industry safety standards and regulations as verified by independent third-party testing labs. For nearly 50 years, with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in 'This Is Us.' In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible."

It's easy to get caught up in the emotions of a fictional story, but rest assured that these slow cookers have undergone plenty of tests and adhere to safety regulations to keep you and your loved ones protected. Friedman went on to explain that the company's slow cookers are all low current, low wattage and are made of flame resistant materials so they cannot catch fire. You can feel safe leaving these products unattended; just be aware that they can be very hot to the touch.

Here are some extra precautions you should take to keep your household safe and to ensure the long life of your appliance:

  1. Keep these devices out of the reach of children and pets. Never allow anything to touch the exterior of your slow cooker while it is cooking, as the hot temperatures might cause things to melt or burn.
  2. Refer to the instruction manual to make sure you are using your appliance correctly.
  3. Only use a slow cooker on a flat and secure surface.
  4. Be wary of having the cord hang off the side of the countertop as it can accidentally be snagged by someone passing by, which can cause the slow cooker to be yanked off of the counter and its hot contents to spill.
  5. Avoid mixing extreme temperatures like placing frozen meat in a heated stoneware bowl. This can cause the bowl to crack or break.

Cooking Tips
Slow cookers has been lauded for their ability to cook a wide range of foods. This includes several types of meats, briskets, stews, soups, desserts and even oatmeals. But this device handles some foods better than others. Friedman told us that it is better to prepare couscous, rice, pasta and sensitive vegetables using a different method, as they don't cook as well in a slow cooker.

To get the best cooking results out of your appliance, don't remove the lid at any point in the cooking process unless the recipe specifically instructs you to do so. This helps keep the food at the right temperature.

Each slow cooker should specify how much liquid it requires for the device to run properly and prevent any burning food. Every slow cooker will cause some liquid to evaporate while it is running. If your meal becomes too thick, you can add more liquid or water to your meal to loosen it up.

The best slow cookers let you program cooking times and heat levels, and they have digital displays so you can see your settings. They often offer intervals ranging from a half-hour to 20 hours. With programmable cooking times, you can prepare ingredients the night before, put them into the slow cooker in the morning, set the cook time and head off for work, knowing that a tasty dinner will be waiting when you get home.

Ease of Use
Slow cookers are generally straightforward machines that give you clear instructions. They are simple to program and do most of the work automatically. For example, many have timers that switch from the cooking level you originally set to a warming mode once the food has finished cooking. Additionally, many slow cookers have removable interiors and lids that can go in the dishwasher.

Extras
Slow cookers with hinged locking lids let you take the whole thing to a social event with no risk of spilling along the way. Some slow cookers include an insert that is safe to put in the oven, which means you can sprinkle some extra cheese and bread crumbs on top of a finished slow cooker casserole and then put the insert into the oven for a few minutes to nicely brown the top. Additionally, some slow cookers include a cooking rack that lets you easily make baked goods. Typically, devices with extra features and accessories cost more than basic units.

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