Top 5 Best Slow Cookers of 2020 [Home/College]

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Slow cookers and crock pots have been around for decades, and for good reason. They have been a staple for soups and stews for generations due to their ease of use, ability to extract and pack flavor, and convenience in transporting warm food.

Nowadays, many slow cookers and crock pots are jam-packed with features that transform them from one-and-done soup centers to miniature multi-kitchen appliance essentials. Some can even be used to bake pastries and sear meat; that’s the power of slow cookers in the modern age.

Of course, there are bad products out there, a lot of which are disguised as good deals. To fix that, we go through the best and the worst and have come up with this list for your convenience. This is our list of the top ten best slow cookers in 2020.

We hope that you find it helpful.

Best Rated Slow Cooker:

Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker, Programmable, Set & Forget with Temperature Probe

PROS

CONS

  • Expansive Heating Options
  • Temperature Probe = Useful Info
  • Budget Friendly
  • Clip-Tight Gasket Lid Resists Spills
  • Interface May Not Be Intuitive

When it comes to features, price and performance, you can't get much better than this.


The Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker main selling point is its easy-access temperature probe, which is perfect for gauging the inner temperature of roasts and other thick meats.


Traditionally, you would have to remove the lid in order to determine the temperature of the such meats, letting a lot of the steam and heat out, which lengths the cooking time and reduces the effectiveness of the "flavor chamber".


With the probe, you can now actively monitor the internal temperature of your meats without compromising any heat or flavor. You won't need to worry about if your food is sufficiently cooked; no more second-guessing period.


There are also a host of useful features. You can set the slow cooker to turn on, turn off, and switch to warm after a certain amount of time or at a certain temperature (thanks to the probe), allowing you to set and walk away, freeing up your time to do other things.


The inner crock is removable, dishwasher-friendly, and can hold up to a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast.


This slow cooker is a true jack-of-all trades. Better yet, it's a master of all of them too. You will enjoy this slow cooker if you want to most bang for your buck.


Ninja Multi-Cooker with 4-in-1 Stove Top, Oven, Steam and Slow Cooker

PROS

CONS

  • Multiple Heating/Cooking Options
  • Versatile Cooking Appliance
  • Programmable Cooking Options
  • Easy-Grip Handles = Safe Handling
  • Interior Pot Coating Scratches Easily

The Ninja family of kitchen appliances adds this slow cooker to its impressive roster; the slow cooker also makes its debut on this list thanks to its laundry list of appealing features.

This is one of the few slow cookers on the market that's able to function as a stovetop, slow cooker, oven, AND steamer. It's no slouch either; it can perform each of these functions very well. Granted, it won't be able to perfectly replicate those aftermentioned things (especially the high-end stuff), but it's pretty good for day-to-day cooking.

With this multi-faceted appliance, you can:

  • Sear serious flavor into your meats with the stovetop function
  • Create tasty stews and soups with your seared meats with the slow cooker function
  • Bake roasts, chicken, cakes, and even bread with the dry/steam bake oven function
  • Cook veggies and fish with freshness, good texture and enhanced flavors with the steamer function

These 4-in-1 features take advantage of triple fusion heat; that just means that heat is applied from the bottom, the sides, and the steamy interior. This keeps your food juicy and cooks it fast as well.

This slow cooker is also electronic, giving you the ability to set timers and temperatures as you see fit. You are able to set the temperature of the oven, for example, to be anywhere between 250' C to 425' C. This temperature range will satisfy most of your baking needs, especially when going through simpler recipes.

The inner pot is 6 qt., giving you ample space to cook just about any slow cooker meal. However, the inner coating can be scratched off, even if using a wooden ladle or spoon. You should exercise caution to make sure that you don't accidentally ruin the inner removable pot.

All in all, a great slow cooker that can do so much more. Check this one out if you are big on features and are looking to reduce your pile of dirty pots/pans after cooking.

BONUS: The entire set also includes a steaming/roasting rack, multi-purpose pan, travel bag, and cookbook.


Crock-Pot SCR300-SS 3-Quart Manual Slow Cooker

PROS

CONS

  • Simple, Intuitive Design
  • Highly Portable
  • Perfect for Personal Cooking
  • Durable and Dependable
  • Not Fit for Large/Complex Meals

If it isn't broken, don't fix it. This crock-pot is the original slow cooker and has found success throughout the generations. It's small, simple, and effective; this slow cooker excels at cooking personal meals or small meals for 3-4.

This slow cooker doesn't have any features outside of the bare minimum, which is a low cook setting, a high cook setting, and a keep warm setting. The keep-warm setting is roughly 165 - 170' F. Both the low & high settings cook at 215' F., but they have their own unique heating cycles.

Depending on how extravagant your meals, as well as how much you want to be responsible for keeping cooking time, this may seem like a bit of a turn-off.

Don't be too quick to write off this trusty appliance though. Its small size of 3 qt. makes it optimal for carrying on the go and fitting in bags that would otherwise struggle to fit bigger slow cookers. You can expect to fit a 3 lb. roast in there, for example.

And while keeping track of time may be more inconvenient, it's not hard to do as long as you have a dedicated timer or are close to the slow cooker anyway. That's the nature of dealing with a manual crock-pot, so keep that in mind.

This slow cooker is great for small parties, gatherings, and potlucks, as it can make party dips, appetizers, savory sauces, chili and more. Hearty soups and stews are also on the menu, which you can find in a cookbook provided with the slow cooker.


Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker

PROS

CONS

  • Tons of Features/Programs
  • Can Utilize Pressure to Lock Juice and Flavor
  • Simple Controls = Easy Execution
  • Safe, Durable, and Powerful
  • Features May Overwhelm

You can get a good idea of the crazy amount of features this slow cooker has just by reading its name.

This slow cooker is LOADED with cool features and tricks that can put up to 7 kitchen appliances to shame. This slow cooker differs from the Ninja one in the fact that it has:

  1. Different cooking features
  2. Way more of them

Here's the complete list of the features provided by this slow cooker: Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer.

That's not all; this slow cooker is technologically advanced and comes with 14 "smart" cooking programs to boot: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook.

It's a lot to take in and, frankly, can be a little overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to use a slow cooker to, you know, slowly cook my food. More isn't always better, especially when some of the options included are things that you never make anyways.

On the flip side, having this multi-faceted slow cooker means that you are able to create many more dishes and meals, some of which you would have probably never tried without it. It helps that there are plenty of pre-programmed cooking methods installed in the cooker.

The "smart" programs are fairly robust and are capable of producing palatable food; when used in conjunction with traditional cooking recipes, you can really create some amazing dishes.

If you aren't a cooking pro or just don't want to worry about following recipes to the letter, don't worry. The cooker's pre-programmed methods will satisfy your needs by taking the recipe into its own hands.

This cooker also emphasizes safety and is equipped with 10 different mechanisms designed to keep you safe, such as an exterior that isn't heated alongside the interior. It's nice to know because there are plenty of people (myself included) who have burned themselves on mindlessly picking up one of these things.

Speaking of, the temperature ranges are interesting with this slow cooker. You are given a range of "less" to "normal" to "more" and the choice between low or high pressure.

This applies to the features; for example, choosing the Sauté feature and "low" will result in searing. I personally prefer actual temperature control, but this works just as well.

And while the name may say "Instant", I've found that this isn't really the case. It takes some time (10-15 min) for the pressure to build even on the low setting, as well as about 5 minutes for the cooker to power down to "keep warm". It's not a big deal, but something to keep in mind.

It's a powerful, easy to clean slow cooker that can do a lot for you if you take the time to learn the ropes. There's a bit of a learning curve, but it's well worth it for what this cooker can do for you.


Tru BS-325LR Slow-Cookers

PROS

CONS

  • 3-for-1 Cooker Provides Unique Cooking Options
  • Efficient Heating Across all 3 Cookers
  • Excels at Party Cooking
  • Simple and Easy to Use
  • Lack of Sophisticated Features

3 slow cookers in one; when it comes to serving a variety of meals, this slow cooker (or rather, these slow cookers) is a great choice. Each individual pot is 2.5 qt. and comes with lids (with lid rests for easy access), as well as a convenient power cord storage area and spoons.

The design is simple, straightforward, and easy.

Each slow cooker comes with a low, high, and warm option; what's really nice about this item is that each slow cooker operates on its own temperature dial. This means that you can warm up or cook different kinds of food (or sauces) at once.

That fact alone makes this slow cooker a prime choice for parties and gatherings in general.

Want to quickly create some appetizers for your guests but don't have the time to sit down and cook? This will be a lifesaver for you.

Feel like cooking up a complex meal and need a bunch of different kinds of food prepped? This can do that too. The skies are the limit when you have this slow cooker by your side.

It's also convenient that the pots are dishwasher-safe. You can just toss them in there and have them cleaned in no time.

The simple design is great, but I find myself missing a bit of the technological aspects of modern slow cookers. It would be amazing to have each individual pot programmable to certain times, but it's not a deal-breaker for us. And many others have found great satisfaction with this product.

Overall, this slow cooker is the perfect party planner product. Definitely consider picking up this one if you want to wow your guests and have an easy time doing it.


Final Thoughts

We personally love the convenience that using a slow cooker provides. Ultimately, it seems as if everybody is always busy and can’t seem to find the time to do much, especially cooking. And as we all know, it’s easier to eat out than cook something; we also know that eating out frequently is a huge financial sinkhole.

If you find yourself struggling to throw something together for yourself at the end of an exhausting day and want to curb the tendency to eat out, consider a slow cooker.

They are easy to use and provide a lot of value in the form of hearty meals and generous leftovers. Whether you are a parent, a busy college student, or someone who values convenient cooking, we know you’ll love them. We definitely do.

What do you think? Do you think slow cookers are a good investment? What are your experiences with them? Let us know in the comments below!

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