The best slow cookers america’s test kitchen with high quality finishes from top brands. We analyze different models of low price and easy use that allow you to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet.
Our expert has chosen the Aicok KY-502T as the best slow cooker of the five models reviewed. Its large capacity, the quality of the finish, its high performance and an attractive price make it superior to the rest.
Not all people do the same in the kitchen, and many times the easy thing is to resort to pre-cooked food or the four recipes that one knows. Luckily, more and more appliances are making things easier. This is the case of kitchen robots .
However, many users do not have sufficient financial capacity to meet their outlay and need to look for other alternatives. How about a slow cooker? Although its cooking requires prolonged preparation — its name indicates it — this culinary technique promises intense textures and rich flavors, preserving the nutrients and vitamins of the food. For recipes such as stews, legumes or meats they are perfect.
The design and characteristics of the models on the market are similar to each other. They work through electric current ( the electricity bill is not affected in a special way ), they integrate a panel from which to control the appliance, and they have a container (it is removable) where the food to be cooked is deposited. The maximum cooking temperature they reach is around 100ºC.
Our recommendations for the Best Slow Cooker America’s Test Kitchen
- Aicok KY-502T Electric Slow Cooker
- Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
- Crock-Pot SCCPRC507B 4.7 L 5Q Slow Cooker
- Russel Hobbs 23200 3.5L Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
- KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt. Slow Cooker with Standard Lid
1. Aicok KY-502T Electric Slow Cooker
With a design that fits into all kinds of spaces, the firm has chosen ceramic and glass as the main materials for its manufacture, and this choice allows it to offer a high-quality finish. With a capacity of 6.5 liters (ideal for about six or seven diners), it integrates in the front central part a digital display with countdown timer and four buttons that function as a control panel to operate it.
In this sense, the learning curve of the pot is simple and you get it right away. Thus, for example, it is possible to program the cooking time of the recipe to be prepared (from 30 minutes to 12 hours) and choose if you prefer to cook with a low or high power. Thanks to the first of these two options, food cooks slower than if we choose the second, more focused on dishes that need to be baked.
As a complement, we find a function that keeps food warm until it is served at the table (a common feature in this type of proposal); It is activated when the cooking time has expired. The texture of the food is good and pleasant, and the taste of the dishes is rich. Includes a spoon and a small recipe book.
The only thing we would improve on this cooker are two things. The first, the length of your cable that is a bit short. The second is that it does not have an automatic shutdown function.
Its large capacity, the quality of the finish of the model and how well it copes with the different recipes. This slow cooker has a very attractive price and its performance is high, perfectly covering the needs of the home user.
2. Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
Of the five models in this comparison, it is the one that provides the largest capacity: 6.8 liters, making it ideal for a meal with several family or friends. And this is obviously noticeable in its dimensions (45 x 33 x 34.5 millimeters) and weight (8.3 Pounds). As predominant materials, stainless steel and ceramic stand out – just like the competition – and it also has non-slip suction cups that provide extra stability to the pot. We have found them very effective. The finish of the handles prevents you from getting burned by accident.
Vegetable broths, legumes or stews are some of the dishes with which this cooking pot works quite well. In this case, in addition to choosing between low and high cooking and holding heat, the user can select a medium cooking function, Buffet function and Soup function. Each of them is indicated on the display that incorporates the model, and from which you have access – on the other hand – to the on / off function and the timer.
The dirt accumulated in the container where the food is deposited is removed quite easily. As it is made of ceramic, we have preferred to wash it by hand instead of using the dishwasher that can also be used.
3. Crock-Pot SCCPRC507B 4.7 L 5Q Slow Cooker
There are two versions of this model that differ from each other due to a small detail: you can choose if you want it with or without a hinged lid. Thus, in the first case, the pot capacity is 4.7 liters and for the second 4.7 or 5.7 liters.
In glossy black, you immediately notice that the manufacturer has taken care of even the smallest detail of its proposal, including the digital timer with an LED display from which it is controlled. Meanwhile, the weight of the pot is 5 kilograms and the feeling one has is that it could be lighter. However, it is within the average and the fact that it is made of ceramic also influences.
The casserole (which can even be put in the oven) has a non-stick bottomand can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher; we have preferred the first option, above all because of the delicacy of the ceramics. Meanwhile, the lid is made of tempered glass and the outer cover of aluminum. In our tests, we perceive that this exterior tends to heat up slightly more than other pans analyzed, so we must be extremely careful not to burn.
You can choose between a low or high power level when cooking. In the end, the temperature it reaches will be the same: a maximum of 100ºC. On the other hand, it has the Keep Warm function that keeps food warm until it is served. The timer can be programmed up to 20 hours. After preparing some recipes, we checked how the degree of cooking of the food, its flavor or how tender some dishes were, met our expectations.
4. Russel Hobbs 23200 3.5L Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
Looking for a small or large capacity slow cooker? This proposal from Russell Hobbs is available in two sizes: 3.5 liters and 6 liters, which is what we have analyzed. It is available in silver and the material used for the body is stainless steel. There is also the classic glass lid that helps to control how the recipe is going at a glance, and both the casserole and the handles have a non-stick coating to make cleaning easier. The feet are non-slip and the pot has a weight of 3.1 kilograms.
One of its most interesting features is that the casserole where the food is deposited allows the food to be sealed or browned on the kitchen stove itself (both gas and electric models). The different preparations were good and we enjoyed an excellent flavor, especially with the stews.
You can choose between three temperature settings (high, low and keep warm) and its digital timer, like other models in its category, helps to select the cooking time and adjust it in 30 minute intervals. The maximum time offered is 10 hours. Conversely, it has a delayed start function that delays the start of cooking food.
5. KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt. Slow Cooker with Standard Lid
Despite its positioning in the entry-level segment, the KitchenAid KSC6223SS has something to pleasantly surprise you. The many cooking possibilities it offers will allow you to easily cook your favorite dishes and to treat yourself with please.
The slow cooker has a thermostat that allows you to be benefit from 4 modes, namely, oft, strong, keep warm and stop. All you need to do to whip up a delicious meal is put the ingredients in the tub, set a feature, and wait for it to be ready. As you can see, there is nothing complicated when it comes to handling this cooking appliance.
The KitchenAid KSC6223SS also made a good impression at her look. It is indeed an elegant slow cooker that will have no problem blending into your kitchen decor. You might even want to leave it in plain view on your worktop, especially as its 10.5 x 17.5 x 10.8 inches format in not bulky.
It should be noted that the appliance has resistant stainless steel walls. Its cooking pot is made of terracotta, while the cover is made of tempered glass. It offers a capacity of 5.6 liters, which will be enough to satisfy about 6 people easily. Cleaning the tub is easy because it is removable.
This is how we have tested them
The first thing we did was choose a range of different types of recipes where there were mainly fish, legumes, vegetables and meats: some were elaborations with shorter cooking times and others longer. Once the selection was made, the next step was to prepare – on different days – each dish in the five models to compare impressions.
The general sensations have been good and the result of the elaborations as well, not appreciating important or notable differences. Even so, the winner was the Aicok KY-502T pot whose value for money also seems the best.
They have been analyzed and have obtained an average evaluation from the evaluation of different aspects, such as those indicated below:
Construction: how is the finish of the cooking pot, the quality of its materials, and its degree of durability and resistance.
Handling : How is it handled? Is the integrated control menu easy to understand?
Result of the recipes: if the preparations are tasty, how tender the food is, textures, doneness.
Cleaning: we have checked, on the other hand, if it is easy or difficult to remove the dirt from the pot at the end of the preparation.