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The 4 Best Slow Cookers (2021 Review)

Slow cookers make cooking stews, soups, and other meals easy. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the four best slow cookers on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Slow Cooker Courtesy Amazon

A slow cooker prepares your meals for you—all you have to do is add your ingredients and turn it on, and you’ll have a ready-to-eat dish in just a few hours. The This Old House Reviews Team has conducted research to help you find the best slow cooker on Amazon that will up your cooking game. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.

Best Preset Settings: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Cooker

This slow cooker comes with 12 preset cooking functions, including yogurt, saute, porridge, and steam, that allow you to cook meals with the push of a button. It also has a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel inner pot with overheat protection and a locking lid.

Key Features

  • Six-quart inner pot
  • 12 presets
  • 12 pounds
  • Digital display
  • Lid, steam rack, inner pot, and recipes included

What Customers Are Saying

Over 160,000 customers have reviewed this product on Amazon, giving it an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars. Ninety-four percent of customers gave the Instant Pot 4 or more stars, while only 3% of customers gave it 2 or fewer stars.

Positive reviews praised the Instant Pot’s stainless steel construction for being easy to clean. Customers also liked that the cooker had a compact size despite its eight-quart inner pot that could cook dinners for large families. Critics said that the company’s customer service was lacking and that the Instant Pot was a fire hazard.

Best Accessories: Ninja FD401 Foodi 9-in-1 Deluxe XL Cooker

This Ninja cooker comes with several accessories for using its steam, air crisp, pressure cook, and other cooking functions. On top of this, it has an eight-quart size for cooking large portions and various temperature settings for customizing your cooking sessions.

Key Features

  • Eight-quart inner pot
  • Eight presets
  • 26 pounds
  • Digital display
  • Crisper lid, pressure lid, cook and crisp basket, rack, inner pot, and cookbook included

What Customers Are Saying

This Ninja cooker has an average rating of 4.8 stars from over 20,000 Amazon customers. Ninety-six percent of customer reviews gave the cooker 4 or 5 stars, with only 2% of customers leaving the model a 1- or 2-star rating.

Many positive reviews highlighted the slow cooker’s accessories and presets that allowed customers to cook a variety of meals. Customers especially liked the cook and crisp basket because it allowed them to pressure cook and air fry, which aren’t typical functions of a slow cooker. Negative reviews mentioned the model’s large size and heavy weight.

Best For Small Meals: Elite Gourmet Electric Slow Cooker

This slow cooker has a 1.5-quart capacity, making it best for cooking small meals. It also has a keep warm setting to keep your food hot until you’re ready to eat and cool-touch handles and knobs to keep you from burning yourself while it’s on.

Key Features

  • 1.5-quart inner pot
  • Three temperature settings
  • Five pounds
  • Lid and inner pot included

What Customers Are Saying

Out of over 9,000 Amazon customer reviews, this slow cooker has an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars. Only 3% of reviewers gave this product 1 or 2 stars, while 92% of reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars.

Satisfied customers liked the cooker’s see-through glass lid, which allowed them to check on their meals without removing the lid and letting heat escape. Many positive reviews also praised this slow cooker’s inexpensive price. However, some customers criticized its keep warm setting, which many claimed cooked their food rather than warmed it.

Best Control: Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central Multi-Cooker

This 16-pound, oblong slow cooker allows you to select the exact temperature you want your food to be cooked at. It also has a timer that tells you when your meal has finished cooking. Additionally, it features three preset functions that allow you to steam, saute, or slow cook any meal.

Key Features

  • Six-quart inner pot
  • Three presets
  • Digital display
  • 16 pounds
  • Lid and inner pot included

What Customers Are Saying

This slow cooker has over 3,500 Amazon customer reviews with a 4.4-star average rating. Eighty-three percent of reviewers gave this slow cooker 4 or more stars, while 13% of reviewers gave it 2 or fewer stars.

Reviewers said that they could easily control the outcome of their food with the presets the slow cooker had. Other positive reviews praised this slow cooker for its unique saute and browning feature and its easy cleaning. Negative reviews said that the lining of the nonstick inner pot blistered or bubbled after a short period of time.

Buyer’s Guide

Before buying a slow cooker, consider the following factors.

Capacity

Slow cookers range in size from about 1.5 quarts to 10 quarts. You’ll want to choose a size that fits the number of people you typically cook for. Three quarts is generally enough for one to three people, and four or five quarts is enough for four people. If you regularly cook for large groups, choose a cooker that’s at least six quarts in size.

Shape

Slow cookers either have a circle or oval shape. If you’re cooking large cuts of meat, such as brisket or ribs, an oval pot may be a better option. For remaining dishes, you can use either shape.

Lid

The best slow cookers have a glass lid for checking on your meal’s progress without removing the lid and allowing heat to escape. Some lids also lock for easy transportation of the cooker and its contents to a family gathering or another function.

Removable Pot

Your slow cooker should have a removable insert that you can pull out of the base for easy cleaning and cooking preparation. This pot is usually made of metal, porcelain, or ceramic. All of these materials are good conductors of heat, but porcelain and ceramic are easier to clean than metal.

Handles

You’ll want a cooker that has large, sturdy, and heat-resistant handles. This allows you to move the pot to serve dinner with ease.

Settings

More affordable slow cookers have low, medium, high, and off functions. If you’re willing to spend more money, you’ll find models that allow you to input a temperature, choose a preset function, and set a timer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the keep warm setting on my slow cooker do?

If your dish finishes before you’re ready to eat, the keep warm setting keeps the dish hot so that you’re not eating cold food when it’s time to sit down for your meal.

Can I leave my slow cooker on while I’m out of the house?

Yes. Slow cookers are designed to cook your meals while you’re at the office or otherwise out of the house. However, make sure that nothing is touching the cooker, as this could start a fire.

Can I bring my slow cooker to a function?

Yes. If you’re going to a potluck or another party, you can cook your dish ahead of time in the slow cooker and keep it in there for transportation. To ensure that the dish doesn’t spill in the car, look for a cooker with a locking lid.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.