The beauty of the slow cooker is in the start-and-forget-about-it set up that allows you to safely leave it on for hours and go about your business. But if you're out of the house for more than 6-8 hours at a time, you run the risk of overcooking or burning your food. This is where a programmable timer will come in handy.
About 40% of the slow cookers on the market are programmable. Some have 2 or 3 different time settings to choose from, while others allow you to digitally choose any cook time that you wish. Keep in mind that these timers are not start-delay timers - you can tell the slow cooker when to shut off, but you can't tell it to turn on at a later time. This would be a food safety hazard, particularly with meats and poultry.
Programmable slow cookers are much more expensive than manual ones; a slow cooker with a timer will cost $74 on average, while the average price for a manual model is $40. Smaller cookers are usually manual, and the majority of programmable slow cookers are 6-7-quart models. None of the budget models have timers.
Users find that models with timers are very easy to use. Their cumulative scores are very high.
Top Programmable Slow Cookers
Following a thorough examination of the collected opinions, Buzzrake produced the rankings of the Top Programmable Slow Cookers. Buzzrake took into account the frequency and manner that users mention these attributes: overall value, performance, ease of use, ease of cleanup, customer satisfaction and appearance.
According to user opinions, the Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker is the best programmable slow cooker. This high-rated product is ranked #2 overall among slow cookers and is the most popular model. Users find that it is very easy to use and rank it the #1 easiest to clean slow cooker.
According to users, the #2 best programmable slow cooker is the Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart iStir Automatic Stirring Slow Cooker. This large unit is ranked the #3 overall best slow cooker and the #1 best Crock-Pot model on the market. Users report that its performance is stellar and it is incredibly easy to use.
User opinions show that the 3rd best programmable model is the DeLonghi Programmable 5-Quart Slow Cooker. This unit is ranked the best 5-quart slow cooker as well as the #4 overall best. Users find it to be of very high quality and very easy to clean.