3 Best Slow Cooker Reviews
Do you think slow cookers are a bit old fashioned? Maybe you have not-so-fond memories of the out-dated (even back then) slow cooker that once sat in your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen when you were a kid.
Well, slow cookers have come a long way since then. And modern versions of this kitchen classic are extremely convenient. Imagine not having to stand over a hot stove, or turn your kitchen in a sauna, in order to prepare a great, home cooked meal. You just put the ingredients in the slow cooker and leave it alone to do its thing.
So how can you choose the best slow cooker for your needs? Well, these three slow cooker reviews will help. One of these slow cookers might be just what you’re looking for.
The Ninja 3 in 1 Cooking System has a 6 quart capacity. That means it’s big enough to hold a 6 pound chicken or a 4 pound roast. So you can make meals that are not only big enough to feed your family, but any guests that happen to drop by too.
Along with being the perfect size for a family of four or more, the Ninja 3 in 1 Cooking System has several other handy features. It comes with a removable roasting rack, and the easy-grip handles assure that you won’t end up dropping the meal you just prepared.
The unbreakable pot is also removable. So you can take the pot from the cooker right to your dinner table. Having one less serving dish to clean is always a good thing. And because the pot in the Ninja 3 in 1 Cooking System is non-stick, cleaning it is quick and easy.
The Cuisinart PSC Stainless Steel Programmable Slow Cooker has a 6 and a half quart capacity, making it a great size for regular cooking for a family of four to six.
Thanks to its 24-hour programmable countdown timer, you can set your Cuisinart PSC Stainless Steel Programmable Slow Cooker to start at any time. So if you set it to start while you’re at work, dinner will be ready by the time you get home.
And when this slow cooker stops, you don’t have to worry about your food getting cold. When cooking is done, the Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker immediately shifts to warm. So no matter when you sit down to dinner, you don’t have to worry about your food being ice cold. And you can serve the dish in the ceramic pot, making dinnertime even more convenient.
Clean up is easy too. The Cuisinart PSC Stainless Steel Programmable Slow Cooker has a dishwasher safe lid. The ceramic pot is also dishwasher. So, after dinner, all you have to do is pop them both in the dishwasher. You can’t ask for easier cleanup than that.
The Black and Decker SL5470C Stainless Steel Slow Cooker is a 7 quart slow cooker that’s great for making one-pot meals.
What are you in the mood for? Lasagna? Chile? Homemade soup or stew? Or maybe you want pot roast with onions, carrots and potatoes? Well, just add your ingredients to the pot and this slow cooker will do the rest.
The Black and Decker SL5470C Stainless Steel Slow Cooker is manual, so it can’t be programmed to start while you’re out of the house. Still it’s easy to use, easy to clean, and even has a keep warm feature, so you can keep your meal warm after it’s finished cooking.
What to Look for When Buying a Slow Cooker
There’s no denying the convenience of using a slow cooker. But how do you choose one that’s right for you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide which slow cooker to buy.
How Big Does Your Slow Cooker Need to Be?
To figure that out, think about the number of people you regularly cook for.
If you’re household is small, and you intend to make small meals most of the time, a 2 to 4 quart slow cooker might be all you need. However, once dinner is finished, you might not have as many leftover as you were hoping for. So, even for a household of one or two people, you might prefer a slightly bigger slow cooker.
If you have a family of four, a slow cooker with a 4 to 6 quart capacity might best suit your needs. And, if your family is really big, you might want to go up to a 6 ½ or 7 quart slow cooker.
Slow cookers of 6 quarts or more tend to be more versatile than smaller slow cookers. For one thing, bigger cookers can accommodate a whole chicken, or a good-sized roast.
And you can even bake bread in a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker. Just put your dough in the loaf pan, set the loaf pan directly in the slow cooker and, before long, you’ll have a loaf of fresh, homemade bread.
What Shape Should Your Slow Cooker Be?
Slow cookers come in two basic shapes, round and oval.
If you mostly intend to use your slow cooker to cook things like soup and stew, a round slow cooker will work perfectly for you. But if you intend to cook things in your slow cooker like steaks, chops, or other foods that are best arranged in a single layer, an oval slow cooker might work better for you.
Look at the bottom of two slow cookers that are the same size but different shapes. You’ll see that the oval cooker is probably a bit shorter than the round one, but the oval cooker will also have more surface area on the bottom.
You could lay more steaks side by side at the bottom of the oval slow cooker than you could in the round slow cooker.
In terms of actual cooking, there’s little difference. Cooking steaks in a round slow cooker won’t ruin them. And chili cooked in an oval slow cooker will taste just as good as chili cooked in a round one.
Still, when choosing a slow cooker, it doesn’t hurt to consider the kinds of foods you cook most often, and which shape works best with those foods.
Do You Need a Programmable Slow Cooker, or Will a Manual One Do?
How will you be using your slow cooker? Will you be preparing most of your meals when you’re at home? Or do you want to be able to program your slow cooker to start while you’re at work, or out of the house running errands.
If it’s the latter, a programmable cooker is exactly what you need. Not only can you program these cookers to start and stop cooking any time you want, but many of them automatically switch to warm when the cooking is done.
This means that, if you can’t eat right away, you don’t have to worry about dinner being cold when you do sit down to your meal.
Even if you usually use your slow cooker while you’re at home, being able to program it to start at a certain time, and knowing it will stop at the time you set, frees your mind to focus on other things.
Still, if you like things simple and basic, a manual slow cooker might be all you need.
Whether you cook large meals daily, or your cooking is mostly limited to making your special chili over the weekend, you will love the convenience of having a slow cooker.
In fact, once you find the best slow cooker for your needs, and use it once or twice, you just might decide you can’t do without it.