How to Choose the Right Slow Cooker for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best Slow Cooker


This buying guide is designed to help you make an informed and confident decision when purchasing a slow cooker. We will provide detailed information about the different types of slow cookers available, features to consider when making a purchase, and common mistakes to avoid. We will also provide reviews of some of the most popular models of slow cookers on the market to help you find the perfect one for your needs.

Key features

  1. Size - The size of the slow cooker is important, as it will determine how large of a meal you can make. Smaller slow cookers are more suitable for individuals or small families, while larger slow cookers are better for large families.
  2. Settings - Different slow cookers come with a variety of settings, including low, medium, and high. The low setting is typically used for slow-cooking meals, while the high setting is used for quickly cooking items. Some slow cookers also come with a “keep warm” setting.
  3. Timer - Some slow cookers come with a built-in timer, which can be set to turn the slow cooker off at a certain time. This is useful for busy individuals who don’t want their food to overcook.
  4. Materials - Slow cookers are typically made of either ceramic or metal. Ceramic is usually preferred, as it is non-reactive and won’t absorb flavors or odors from your food. Metal slow cookers are generally more durable, but can rust over time.
  5. Lid - The lid of the slow cooker should be tight-fitting and secure, in order to keep the heat and moisture inside the pot. Additionally, the lid should be made of non-reactive material such as glass or plastic.
  6. Cleanup - Look for a slow cooker with removable parts that are dishwasher-safe. This will make cleanup much easier.

See the most popular Slow Cooker on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Time-Efficiency: Slow cookers save a lot of time and effort by cooking food with minimal supervision.
  • Easy Clean-Up: Slow cookers are easy to clean since they have removable, dishwasher-safe parts.
  • Safe to Use: Slow cookers are safe to use because they have low heat settings and are designed for continuous cooking.
  • Nutritional Value: Slow cookers help retain the nutritional value of food since they cook with low heat for a long period of time.
  • A Variety of Dishes: Slow cookers can be used to prepare a wide range of dishes, including soups, stews, casseroles, and even desserts.
  • Versatile: Slow cookers are versatile and can be used to make one-pot meals or to cook different dishes at once.


  • Price - Slow cookers can range in price from $15 to $200, depending on the size, features, and the brand.
  • Size - Smaller slow cookers may not be large enough to accommodate a large family’s needs.
  • Timer - Some slow cookers do not have a timer, which can cause the food to become over-cooked when not monitored.
  • Manual Adjustments - Slow cookers require manual adjustments when the recipe requires specific temperature and time changes.
  • Safety - Slow cookers pose a potential safety hazard if not used properly.
  • Cleanliness - Slow cookers require cleaning after each use.

Best alternatives

  1. Instant Pot - An electric pressure cooker that functions as a slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, steamer, and more.
  2. Pressure Cooker - An appliance used to quickly cook food under pressure, often for less time than traditional cooking methods.
  3. Stovetop Cooker - A large, covered pot that is used for long, slow cooking on a stovetop or in the oven.
  4. Crock-Pot - A countertop device that simmers food at a low temperature for an extended period of time.
  5. Dutch Oven - A large, heavy pot made of cast iron that is used for slow cooking over low heat.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Ladle - A ladle is a large spoon used for serving soup or other liquids.
  • Spatula - A spatula is a flat, wide tool used for flipping food or other items.
  • Tongs - Tongs are long-handled tools with gripping ends used for lifting, turning, and serving food.
  • Lid Holder - A lid holder is a device used to keep the lid of a slow cooker in place and avoid accidental spills.
  • Timer - A timer is a device that can be programmed to turn a slow cooker off at a certain time.
  • Thermometer - A thermometer is a device used to measure the internal temperature of the food.
  • Steaming Rack - A steaming rack is a device used to hold food above the liquid in a slow cooker, allowing it to steam and cook faster.
  • Removable Liners - Removable liners are inserts that fit into a slow cooker and can be easily removed for cleaning.

Common questions

  1. What size cooker should I buy? The size of the cooker you should buy depends on your needs. If you are cooking for a family of four or more, a 6-7 quart cooker is best. For smaller families, a 3-4 quart cooker is adequate.
  2. What type of cooker should I buy? There are two main types of slow cookers: manual and programmable. Manual slow cookers require you to adjust the temperature and timer settings manually, while programmable slow cookers have features such as delay start and warm settings that allow you to pre-program when and how long you would like your food to cook.
  3. Do I need a lid for my cooker? Yes, it is important to use a lid when using a slow cooker. A lid will help contain the heat and moisture inside the cooker, which is essential for slow cooking.
  4. Are slow cookers safe to use? Slow cookers are safe to use as long as they are used according to the manufacturer's instructions. It is important to check the temperature of the slow cooker regularly to make sure it is not too hot.
  5. Do slow cookers save energy? Yes, slow cookers are a great way to save energy. They use less electricity than an oven, and the food cooks slowly so there is no need to preheat the cooker.
  6. Can I leave my slow cooker on all day? Yes, you can leave your slow cooker on all day as long as the temperature is not too high. It is important to keep an eye on the cooker and make sure it is not getting too hot.


A funny and interesting fact about slow cookers is that the first slow cooker was made in 1940 by Irving Naxon. He based the design off of his Lithuanian mother's pot used to make cholent, a traditional Jewish stew that is cooked slowly over the course of a day. This was the first known slow cooker and it continued to be popularized over the years. Source

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.