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Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker review

The Calphalon Digital Sauté is a must for any food-lover looking to invest in a high-quality slow cooker.

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker review
(Image: © Calphalon )

Our Verdict

A must for any food-lover with a bit of spare cash, but lacking in some key convenience features.

For

  • Three year warranty
  • A great choice for foodies
  • Durable stoneware

Against

  • Non-dishwasher safe pot
  • The most expensive slow cooker we've reviewed

A quick glance at online reviews will show you that the Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker has an army of devotees, and we can see why. The stylish and modern design, ideal capacity, digital programming and oven-safe pot means this is a must for any food-lover with a bit of spare cash. Yes, this is one of the priciest, but it's also one of the best slow cookers on the market, but if you have the money to spare we think this should be your first choice.  

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker: Features

  • Durable ceramic-coated pot
  • Design is stylish and suave
  • Features a digital LCD display

There’s no denying it, this is one of the pricier slow cookers we’ve reviewed at a regular price of $120. It’s worth keeping an eye out for sales though, as at the time of writing this slow cooker is half price at a somewhat affordable $60. We found it perfect for cooking a variety of dishes due to the ceramic-coated surface and its smart features make it the best in slow cooker on the market right now. 

The Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker features a large, 5.3-quart capacity, two heat settings and an auto keep-warm mode. There’s a durable ceramic-coated pot which is suitable for oven and stove-top use. This nonstick ceramic coating is easily cleaned and PTFE- and PFOA-free. Calphalon claim this pot is 11 times more easy to clean and durable than other nonstick surfaces, making this a great, long lasting slow cooker investment. One downside of this is that whilst the glass lid is dishwasher safe, Calphalon suggest you don’t put the ceramic-coated pot in the dishwasher. This may be a setback in convenience for some, but this may be made up for by the easy-clean technology used in the design of this pot. 

The slow cooker weighs 7 pounds, which is pretty impressive for a slow cooker of its capacity, and the pot is round in shape. The whole cooker is 14.6-inches wide, 9.84-inches long and 14.6-inches tall, making it a fairly standard slow cooker in size. 

The design is stylish and suave and many online customers have remarked that they bought this slow cooker for looks alone! The dark stainless steel makes it a perfect countertop accessory and the neat design means it should be easy to store. One thing to note is that the all-metal design means the outside of the slow cooker can get pretty hot, although this is the case with many slow cookers. We advise you to keep your slow cooker away from pets and children for this reason. The glass lid allows you to watch your food cook and the silicone seal around the outside will help to ensure that no moisture escapes. It also keeps your slow cooker quiet and secure. However, it doesn't have the clip-tight lid of the Black+Decker SCD4007 7-Quart Digital.

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker review

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker is features a digital LCD display with an adjustable digital timer. This is ideal for those with busy and unpredictable schedules, as one of the advantages of digital over manual slow cookers is that you can set a timer for when you’re out. The Calphalon will automatically switch on its auto keep-warm mode when the timer is done, meaning you can come home to a perfectly cooked, warm meal and don’t have to worry if you’re held up getting home. If you’re already home, you’ll hear the alert sound when your meal is complete which saves continual checking. 

For such an expensive model, we thought this slow cooker could feature more cooking settings. The ‘low, high and keep-warm’ heat options are featured on much cheaper models, so it would have been nicer to see a medium option, for example. You can get digital models for a lot less, such as the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-Quart. However, what this digital model does it does well, and the dial is easy-to-use and very tactile. 

We don’t expect you to have any problems with the Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker, but if you do it’s covered by a three year warranty. Great for your peace of mind. 

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker: Cooking experience

  • Compatible with stove tops and is oven-safe
  • Can saute, sear and simmer ingredients
  • Perfect for a family or for entertaining

This digital slow cooker features a pot which is compatible with stove tops and is oven-safe, allowing you to get maximum flavour with all of the convenience of a slow cooker. One of the limitations of slow cookers is the fact that you often have to throw in ingredients, such as onion and garlic, without first sauteing for maximum depth of flavour. If you do want to do this, you’ll often have to do it in a pan before adding to your slow cooker. The Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker is brilliant because you can saute, sear and simmer ingredients on the stove before simply inserting the cooking pot back into the digital cooker. This means you won’t lose precious time or any of those flavoursome oils and juices you get from the initial stages of food preparation. It’s a shame that the lid isn’t oven-safe, but realistically you’ll only need it when using the pot in the slow cooker unit itself anyway. 

We think this would be perfect for all manner of dishes, from casseroles and chillis to pot roasts, and the 5.3-quart capacity is slightly smaller than the regular 6-quart capacity of many flagship slow cookers, but we doubt you’ll miss the extra 0.7 quart. This is perfect for a family or for entertaining, and it’s also great for bulk-cooking and experimenting with leftovers in a low-effort way. The round shape of the pot means the Calphalon might not be ideal for cooking whole turkeys or other cuts of meat, as they may not lie flush unless they’re smaller in size. This is especially the case because the pot narrows as it gets deeper. If 5.3 quarts is still too big for you, check out the Crock-Pot SCR450-HX 4.5-Quart Round or Crock-Pot SCR300 3-Quart Manual slow cookers. The petite Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole is also perfect for college dorms or one-person households. 

Overall, what makes this slow cooker our top pick for flavour is the fact that it is designed with flavour in mind. Smart, well designed components such as the oven and stovetop safe pot and the well-sealed lid mean you can keep maximum flavour, moisture and cooking quality in a huge variety of dishes. An essential for cooks and slow cooker aficionados, but not the ideal choice for those on a budget.

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker: Verdict

The Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker could use a few more features to justify the price tag, such as dishwashable pot and more options for settings. However, what it does it does very well. The digital display, versatile pot design and sheer attractiveness of this slow cooker puts it towards the top spot of our ratings. Whilst we’ve had to knock it back on value, if you could use a bit of luxury in your life this is what we’d suggest.