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The Best Slow Cooker - 2022

Last updated on January 7, 2022

We looked at the top 11 Slow Cookers and dug through the reviews from 35 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Slow Cookers.

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Our Picks For The Top Slow Cookers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Instant Pot Duo Plus Venting Customizable Slow Cooker

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Instant Pot

Duo Plus Venting Customizable Slow Cooker

Overall Take

Most VersatileIncluded with this slow cooker is a complimentary steam rack and an extra sealing ring.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Tech Gear Lab, Amy & Jackie Pressure Cooker Recipes, New York Times Wirecutter. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Pros
" A few additional cooking presets (namely cake, egg, and sterilize) and a slightly nicer looking LCD screen. And that's pretty much it, otherwise these machines are basically identical."
Cons
"We didn’t think these new features were enough for this model to bump the Duo 6-Quart from the top spot, given the price hike, but it’s a great cooker if the additions appeal to you."
  Best Value

Elite Gourmet MST-900D Programmable Easy Clean Slow Cooker, 8.5-Quart

Elite Gourmet

Programmable Easy Clean Slow Cooker, 8.5-Quart

Overall Take

Most Affordable OptionWith this slow cooker, you'll be able to feed your family on a budget.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  We Also Like

Crock-Pot Digital Automatic Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Crock-Pot

Digital Automatic Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Overall Take

Easy to UseA programmable slow cooker with a large capacity, big handles and locking lid.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Good Housekeeping, CNET, New York Times Wirecutter, Business Insider, BestReviews, Best Products and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Walmart, Target, Amazon and Best Buy.
Pros
" Spacious six-quart insert. Dial control is very easy to use. Lid latches onto insert for easy transport. Owner's manual includes 10 recipes. Excellent customer service."
Cons
"It kept food warm while it was unplugged, but it was close enough to the food-safety red zone that you'll still want to keep tabs via a separate thermometer."
  Classic Crock

Hamilton Beach Clip-Tight Lid Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Hamilton Beach

Clip-Tight Lid Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Overall Take

Special FeaturesA portable, versatile slow cooker that won't break the bank.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Good Housekeeping, BestReviews, CNET, Reviews.com, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Ten Reviews and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Target, Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Electronic controls were easy to read. Timed cooking. Signal light. Automatic keep warm setting. Dishwasher safe."
Cons
"Temperature flaws affect quality. Gasket lid is hard to seat. Exterior housing grows very hot."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
18

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the slow cookers available to purchase.
11

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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35

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Tech Gear Lab, Amy & Jackie Pressure Cooker Recipes, New York Times Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping, Best Products.

42,858

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 11 Slow Cookers and also dug through the reviews from 35 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Slow Cookers.

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The Best Overall

Instant Pot Duo Plus Venting Customizable Slow Cooker


Our Expert Score

8.3
3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
3,995 user reviews

Our Take

If you're looking to replace several appliances with just one that can do the job of all, this slow cooker is for you. It works as a steamer, yogurt maker, rice cooker and pressure cooker in addition to serving as a slow cooker. The presets make the machine user-friendly, while the 10 built-in safety features protect the user from accidental burns and injuries.

What other experts liked

A few additional cooking presets (namely cake, egg, and sterilize) and a slightly nicer looking LCD screen. And that's pretty much it, otherwise these machines are basically identical.
- Tech Gear Lab
We really like the DUO Plus 60’s new interface because it is a lot more user-friendly than the previous models.
- Amy & Jackie Pressure Cooker Recipes
For starters, the digital display uses icons that inform you about what’s happening inside the pot. The Duo Plus also allows you to change the pressure level and cooking time while the machine is in use (the Duo 6-Quart requires...
- New York Times Wirecutter

What other experts didn't like

Another great product from Instant Pot, but most people probably won't want nor need to spend the extra money to upgrade from the DUO60.
- Tech Gear Lab
We didn’t think these new features were enough for this model to bump the Duo 6-Quart from the top spot, given the price hike, but it’s a great cooker if the additions appeal to you.
- New York Times Wirecutter

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Elite Gourmet MST-900D Programmable Easy Clean Slow Cooker, 8.5-Quart

User Summarized Score

9.2
7,982 user reviews

Our Take

Whether you're preparing a soup, stew or chicken dish, this slow cooker has you covered. It offers an 8.5-quart capacity and comes in a choice of stainless steel or bright red. Top features include sturdy handles, a glass lid and a programmable timer of up to 20 hours.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Instant Pot Duo Plus Venting Customizable Slow Cooker

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

3. Crock-Pot Digital Automatic Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 11

4. Hamilton Beach Clip-Tight Lid Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 13

5. Crockpot Compact Stoneware Slow Cooker, 2.5-Quart

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 1

7. Crock-Pot Handled Easy-To-Use Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 5

8. Philips Ceramic Searing Slow Cooker, 5.3-Quart

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 7

9. All-Clad LCD Screen Slow Cooker, 6.5-Quart

Overall Score: 6.6
Reviews Included: 6

11. Proctor-Silex Manual Slow Cooker, 4-Quart

Overall Score: 5.5
Reviews Included: 7

Our Slow Cooker Findings


Instant Pot Duo Plus Venting Customizable Slow Cooker

What We Liked: If you’re looking to replace several appliances with just one that can do the job of all, this slow cooker is for you. It works as a steamer, yogurt maker, rice cooker and pressure cooker in addition to serving as a slow cooker. The presets make the machine user-friendly, while the 10 built-in safety features protect the user from accidental burns and injuries.


Elite Gourmet MST-900D Programmable Easy Clean Slow Cooker, 8.5-Quart

What We Liked: Whether you’re preparing a soup, stew or chicken dish, this slow cooker has you covered. It offers an 8.5-quart capacity and comes in a choice of stainless steel or bright red. Top features include sturdy handles, a glass lid and a programmable timer of up to 20 hours.


Crock-Pot Digital Automatic Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

What We Liked: This sleek slow cooker with digital controls is a modern update of a classic. Because of its large capacity, locking lid and big handles, it’s perfect for toting to potlucks and cooking for a group. The removable crock can be put in the oven or microwave for convenient reheating. Plus, it’s simple to hand wash or pop in the dishwasher.


Hamilton Beach Clip-Tight Lid Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

What We Liked: A combination of special features, portability and affordable price make this slow cooker the top recommended pick for slow cookers. Meat lovers will rejoice at the built-in probe that gives you a temperature readout on the easy-to-use interface. The lid clamps make toting to potlucks a breeze. Plus it has programmable and manual features, and even keeps cooking if you have a brief power outage. In our test kitchen, it cooked a batch of potatoes perfectly well.


Crockpot Compact Stoneware Slow Cooker, 2.5-Quart

What We Liked: Fill this slow cooker in the morning and you can come home to a healthy meal in the evening. The unit has high, low and warm settings and comes with lid-mounted clips to hold the lid securely in place. The inner stoneware is also oven safe, so you could cook the dish in the oven and transfer it to the crockpot to keep it warm.

Our Slow Cooker Buying Guide

Slow cookers are the preferred way to make a delicious, hot meal even when you’re busy and on the go. From soups and stews to meats and even oatmeal, all you have to do is prep your ingredients, dump them into the crock, set it and the slow cooker does the rest.

Slow cookers were first introduced in the 1950s, and many of the basics are still the same. However, there are a variety of different brands, sizes and features available. To get the most out of it and choose the best slow cooker for you, learn about the parts, functions, uses and added extras available in some of the top slow cookers available today.

Every slow cooker has a base that houses the heating unit, a ceramic insert — also called a crock — and a glass lid. Original models from the 1970s and 80s had a dial that could be set to high, low and off. As time went on, some models added an auto-shift feature which would start out high and shift to low over the course of the cooking time. You can still get slow cookers with a dial, like some models, which have basic high, low and warm settings.

A slow cooker heats starting from the base, up into the ceramic insert and then finally into the food. Stoneware is used for the insert because it keeps a constant, even heat. The lid helps traps steam to retain moisture, which is why it’s recommended not to lift the lid during cooking.

One important modernization of the slow cooker available in almost all newer models is the removable crock. The base and stoneware used to be attached, which made slow cookers a huge pain to clean. Now the ceramic insert can be taken out to handwash or put in the dishwasher. Some models even allow you to put the crock in the oven or microwave for reheating purposes.

Another update to new slow cookers is time and heat settings. Many models now have programmable interfaces that go beyond high, low and warm. The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget takes it a step further giving you the option to set a specific cooking time or temperature. Both automatically switch to warm when they’re done.

Even slow cooker lids have seen some improvements. Slow cookers have always been ideal for feeding larger groups and keeping food warm at potlucks, tailgating and other events. But without a tight seal, they were difficult to transport without risking a major spill. Now, slow cookers, like the Hamilton Brach Set & Forget, have locking lids with gaskets making them much easier to tote around, without the worry of making a mess.

Glass lids are also preferable to plastic or metal. Because glass is heavier it should lock in heat and moisture better. Plus, you can see what’s going on inside your pot without taking the lid off!

When choosing a slow cooker you will also want to consider the size. Slow cookers typically come in quart sizes. A smaller unit may be perfect for people with limited space or who only cook for one to two people at a time.

You may want to consider a larger size if you plan to cook for big groups frequently or will be cooking larger cuts of meat. A slow cooker should also always be at least 1/2 to 2/3 full to work properly, so a larger size won’t work if you’re cooking smaller portions.

If you’re looking for extra features you should definitely expect to go up in cost from the standard slow cooker price. If you’re new to using a slow cooker you may want to stick with a more standard model so you can get the hang of it before you spring for more bells and whistles, like hold temp and searing functions.

Lastly, think about how you will use it. If you plan to use your slow cooker to do the majority of cooking you may want to pay for a more robust model. A manual option may be better if you plan to be around while food is cooking so you can check for doneness. If you’ll be using it while being gone for most of the day, a slow cooker with programmable settings would be more ideal. This way, it has the ability to automatically keep food warm if you’re home later than expected or keep cooking even if the power goes out briefly.

The shape can also be a consideration, but most slow cookers these days are oval. If you plan to cook a lot of meats oval is probably best, while round will work well for soups, stews and just about anything else.

DWYM Fun Fact

The slow cooker was first sold in the 1950s and was called the Naxon Beanery, after the inventor, Irving Naxon. It was originally marketed as a way to cook beans, chili and stews. Its roots are in the Jewish religious practice of not cooking on the Sabbath. Rival manufacturing bought Naxon Beanery and rebranded it as the Crock-Pot we know and love today in 1972.

The Crock-Pot was initially very popular among women who were joining the workforce in higher numbers at the time. It allowed them to balance work and home by still having a hot meal waiting for their family at the end of the day. It also helped during the oil crisis in the 1970s because slow cookers require about as much power as a light bulb. At their peak, there were eventually 40 different companies making slow cookers.

As time has gone on, the convenience factor is still attractive to families and single working people alike. Now, slow cookers are used for everything from morning oatmeal to potlucks and even tailgating. In 2002, Betty Crocker Kitchens found that 80.6% of U.S. households had slow cookers.

The Slow Cooker Tips and Advice

  • Modern-day slow cookers are fairly easy to clean. Most have removable crocks and some can even be put in the dishwasher. Even so, if you want to make clean up even simpler you can buy liners the go inside the pot before you add your ingredients. After you’re done cooking and eating, just scoop out any leftovers and toss the liner. Clean up done!
  • As tempting as it may be, try not to open the lid of a slow cooker unless the recipe requires it during cooking. Every time you open the lid it lets accumulated heat and moisture escape. It also increases cook time by 15-20 minutes every time it’s opened. In most cases, there isn’t a need to stir ingredients, just follow the recipe instructions for how to layer properly for optimal cooking.
  • Depending on the recipe it’s usually not necessary to cook ingredients before placing in the slow cooker. Still, many recommend sauteing or browning ingredients in a pan prior to adding it to the crock to help deepen the flavor.
  • Always thaw meat and veggies before placing in the slow cooker. Putting frozen items in the cooker will keep the temperature too low and put your food in the danger zone for bacteria growth. Keeping raw foods in the fridge prior to starting your slow cooker is also key to food safety.
  • Another important safeguard is using a thermometer to test doneness. The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget has a built-in temperature probe that gives you a readout on the interface. For other models without a feature for checking the internal temperature, you’ll want to use a separate thermometer at the time your recipe says your food should be done. Keep cooking if it’s not over 165 F.
  • Always take extra food out of the slow cooker as soon as possible and store in reheatable leftover containers. It’s not safe to use the slow cooker itself for storage or reheating.
  • Whether you’re feeding a crowd or prepping a stew you can eat for a week, the budget-friendly benefits of a slow cooker are clear. But did you know that slow cookers also only use as much electricity as a light bulb? Plus, they’re the perfect way to cook inexpensive cuts of meat like beef or pork shoulder because they stay juicy and tender even with long cook times.
  • As a general rule of thumb, place harder ingredients like root veggies or potatoes on the bottom layer in the slow cooker and softer items on the top. The bottom will have more moisture and heat for faster cooking.
  • Because liquid doesn’t cook off in a slow cooker you don’t need to add too much. Same goes for wine and fat on meat. The alcohol content won’t diminish and the excess fat can cause oil to pool, so it’s a healthy choice to reduce both.
  • With any luck, your food should have a deep, rich flavor. You can also always add fresh lemon or lime juice and fresh herbs once it’s done to brighten your dish and add more dimension.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer that is always on the hunt for kitchen gadgets that can help save time and money, especially with two food-loving daughters at home. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared in sites like on leading food and drink publications. When she's not writing, you'll find her gardening, spending time with her kids, cooking in the kitchen or playing with her two kitties, Flitter and Otter. Alicia loves researching the latest and greatest gadgets, products and items that help simplify her life.