Slow cookers quickly gained popularity in the mid-1970s as more women were joining the workforce. This simple one-pot system based on low temperature cooking opened the door to a slew of delicious meals that would cook in your absence and be ready like magic when you returned home.
The later introduction of stoneware inserts made them easier to use and clean, and their versatility increased attraction. Just know that prices vary widely based on available features and finishes. Ready for no-fuss meals?
Hamilton Beach Slow Cookers
1) Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker Stay or Go
Aptly named, this Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker 6 Qt (33261) can just as happily produce a delicious dinner to be enjoyed around the kitchen table as an on-the-go potluck meal. Full-grip, no-heat handles and a spill-resistant lid-locking mechanism facilitate transportation. Just plug it in and select one of three heat settings: Warm (95W-159°F), Low (167W-184°F) or High (260W-211°F) or simply pre-program a cook time between 30 minutes and 20 hours. Either way, a delicious meal will be waiting for you with minimal prep and, with removable dishwasher-safe stoneware crock and lid, a modicum of cleanup. Measuring 11.1″H x 9.8″W x 17.3″D and perfectly sized for a 6-lb chicken or a 4-lb roast, it can feed up to 8 people. In true Hamilton Beach fashion, it is both affordable and functional – plus it has upheld its popularity since 2013! Click here for the 6 Quart.
Measuring 11.5″H x 12.5″W x 15.75″D, the deeper oval shaped stoneware crock of the larger Hamilton Beach slow cooker Stay or Go 10 Qt (33195) can fit a 10-lb turkey, a 12-lb roast or a massive chili – perfect for Game Day! Both come in Black. Find the 10 Quart here.
2) Hamilton Beach Programmable Slow Cooker
For programmability and more high-end features, this 8-quart slow cooker (33480) features three temperature settings (High, Low, Warm). Program cooking times from 30 minutes to 18 hours on Low or High, and when cooking is done, it automatically switches to Warm. Keep track of time with the countdown timer. Measuring 11.5″D x 17.5″W x 10″H, its oval-shaped stoneware can fit a variety of foods such as an 8-lb chicken or a 6-lb roast, making it perfect for large family meals, entertaining or batch cooking. Click here for the Programmable (33480).
All above models are covered by a one-year limited warranty. Appreciated for being easy to use and clean, they also make great gifts!
West Bend Slow Cookers
This 500-watt West Bend slow cooker has been delighting home cooks since 2019. Model 87905’s 5-quart metal cooking vessel can take care of breakfast, lunch or dinner whether for two or for a crowd. Both glass lid and non-stick interior cooking pot are top-rack dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.
Equipped with adjustable temperature control (Warm, Low, Medium, High, Griddle), its versatility is what truly makes it stand out from the crowd. Not only does it include everything needed to make, store and reheat meals, but it can also double as:
*an oven-ready roaster – its non-stick interior is safe to use in conventional or convection ovens up to 350°F/177°C;
*a stovetop pot – allowing you to brown, braise, sauté, make sauces, and more;
*an electric griddle – its heating base is perfect to cook eggs, pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetables, meats, fish, etc.
Its insulated travel lid and thermal carrying case also make it the perfect companion for road trips. It measures 9.25″D x 12.5″W x 9.5″H and comes in Black, Blue, Red and Silver.
For larger crowds, 6-quart model 87906 (9.25″D x 12.5″W x 10″H) is also available in the same color choice. All models are covered by a limited one-year warranty.
All-Clad Slow Cookers
One look at the All-Clad Slow Cooker 7 Quart (SD700350), and it’s easy to see why it has been viewed as the Rolls Royce of All-Clad slow cooking appliances ever since its debut in 2019. Perfect for entertaining, this solid polished stainless steel cooker features elegant, easy-to-grip riveted handles to facilitate transportation to your tabletop and use as its own serving dish. Or simply use the removable All-Clad slow cooker insert with integrated handles for casual dinners. Its stainless steel lid does a great job of trapping heat and moisture.
Equipped with a dishwasher-safe smooth cast aluminum insert with nonstick coating, it is quick to heat up. Use it on your stovetop for searing (just not in the oven). Large push-button controls let you set the easy-to-read LCD screen digital timer for up to 20 hours. If you’re delayed, the automatic Keep Warm function kicks in and keeps your food warm for up to 6 hours. Either way, ready when you are! This 7-quart beauty measures 14.2″D x 19.9″W x 11.3″H.
The 7-quart follows two earlier models, both featuring a tempered glass lid and a dishwasher-safe black ceramic insert (not to be used in oven or on stove top):
*6.5-Quart (SD700450), first introduced in 2003 and measuring 14″D x 19.87″W x 11.38″H;
*4-Quart (SD710851) measuring 14.5″D x 10.5″H, perfect for 4 or 5 people.
All-Clad programmable slow cookers have been well received and found easy to use and clean; they are covered by a 2-year limited warranty.
But Why Use a Slow Cooker?
From bestselling basic Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Portable Slow Cooker to high-end multi-featured models like the All-Clad, get ready for an almost foolproof method of creating fuss-free meals: simply start your slow cooker when you head off to work in the morning, and come home to a delicious hot meal!
Slow cooking is also economical, as even cheaper cuts of meat are rendered mouth-wateringly tender as a result of extended cooking over low heat. And with removable inner pots, cleanup is super easy, made even easier if you use disposable liners – simply toss into the trash when your meal is done!
One more thing to consider: a larger pot allows you to cook larger meals, allowing you to portion and freeze leftovers for later when you don’t have time or don’t feel like cooking… And what is the best slow cooker cookbook for a little inspiration? This Big Cookbook won’t disappoint!
But which is better: slow cooker or crock pot? The concept of slow cooking was first introduced with the Crock Pot appearing on the market in 1971. And since its trademarked name could not be used for similar small appliances owned by competing companies, a new generic name was created, and ‘slow cookers’ made their entrance.
Now go find out all about Crockpot slow cookers – the ones that started all the hoopla…Follow Us!