The votes are in: the overall best slow cookers

Based on 14,611 opinions
Our winners are
1 of 3

A slow cooker is a simple yet magnificent small appliance. About the size of a large pot (and around the same price), a slow cooker can be a great addition to your cooking routine - especially if you have a busy schedule. The beauty is in the slow cooking process that can safely occur overnight or when you're out of the house. Minimal preparation in advance can produce a delightful soup or roast, ready just in time for dinner. This is a particularly pleasant treat during the cold winter months. Some cooks prepare and freeze all the ingredients for a few slow cooker recipes in advance, so that several meals are ready to go for busy weeknights. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a slow cooker:

  1. Size and price: There are tiny 16oz models and massive 8.5qt ones - that serve different purposes. The most common sizes are 4-6 quarts, averaging at about $55 online. There are also many good affordable models available, priced at $25-$40, and a small selection for under $25. If you're not sure what size you need, a general rule of thumb is "1 quart per adult"; 4-6 quart models are optimal for small to medium-sized families.
  2. What's cooking: Opinions show us that stews, roasts and soups are the most popular dishes to prepare in a slow cooker, and the internet is overflowing with recipes. Most recipes are suitable for midsized slow cookers, so you may need to adjust them for smaller or larger slow cookers.
  3. Manual vs. programmable: Most slow cookers are manual and have 3 settings: low, high and keep warm. Fancier models have a timer, allowing you some control over when the slow cooker shuts off or switches to the "keep warm" mode. Keep in mind that no slow cookers come with a delay timer for turning on, only for shutting off, since this would be a food-safety concern.
  4. Shape: there are round, oval and rectangular slow cookers. Oval-shaped pots are the most popular, as they offer flexibility with ingredients and larger ones even enable you to put in a loaf pan. Round-shaped pots are usually available on smaller cookers and are ideal for soups and stews, but can be difficult to fit a roast in. Rectangular pots tend to be shorter, but are great for casseroles. Choose a shape that best fits your needs and enables you the flexibility that you want for cooking.

Opinions show that larger (6+ quarts) oval cookers receive the best cumulative rankings and are favored by users. Programmable units are favored over manuals, though the #1 best model is a manual. The cumulative scores were calculated by considering the topics slow cooker users discuss most often: performance, value, ease of use, cleanup, external appearance and overall satisfaction.

Best Slow Cookers

#1 rated in best: Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Slow Cooker, scored 100/100100

1. Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Slow Cooker

The Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Slow Cooker is considered the #1 best slow cooker on the market. This large model is extremely high-ranked for multiple factors, including #2 for performance, #2 for appearance and #3 for overall customer satisfaction.
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#2 rated in best: Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker, scored 96/10095

2. Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker

The Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker is the #2 best slow cooker, based on user opinions. This programmable model takes first place for customer satisfaction and ease of cleanup. Users report that it performs well and is very easy to use.
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#3 rated in best: Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart iStir Automatic Stirring Slow Cooker, scored 94/10093

3. Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart iStir Automatic Stirring Slow Cooker

Users rank the Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart iStir Automatic Stirring Slow Cooker #3 among all slow cookers on the market. This programmable machine is rated #1 for performance and #4 for easy cleanup. It receives great customer satisfaction scores.
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