Who doesn’t love coming home to a delicious, fully cooked meal? That’s what slow cookers are for!
Crock pots are actually really slow cookers. Crock-Pot is just a brand name that caught on early and stuck, like Kleenex. As you might imagine, it’s basically a pot that cooks things slowly, over a low temperature, over several hours. You can use to cook food while you’re at work, say, or overnight, while you sleep.
Slow cookers are not very expensive if you want the basics, and they’re amazing because they can turn cheap, tough cuts of meat into deliciously flavorful and tender meals that will have your friends raving.
The slow cooker will also save you a TON of time cooking and prepping your meals. My husband and I throw 3 lbs of boneless chicken into a 7-quart crock pot with various spices or sauces at night. By morning, chicken for the week is ready to go, for reheating for meals, in sandwiches, etc.
Since a slow cooker is basically just a large pot that will stay heated for long periods, you just need something that is
- The right size
- Reliable and safe
- Well priced
The smallest slow cookers come are 1-1/2 to 2 quarts. The largest are around 8 quarts. They all have stoneware pots and clear tempered-glass lids that are removable and dishwasher safe.
The 1.5 Quart Elite Gourmet MST-250XW Slow Cooker is the smallest and is great for 1 or 2 person who don’t eat too much or want leftovers. It comes in white and metallic and has controls for On, Warm, and High. High will probably cook your food in a few hours.
For only a few dollars more, this brand also has a more versatile 2-quart model, the Elite Gourmet MST-275XR Electric Slow Cooker. This comes with settings for Warm, Low, and High. The Low setting allows for slower cooking, like overnight. This model also comes some really cool colors. My favorite is the red! It also comes in a bright purple and a beautiful teal.
The Crockpot 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker, in white and blue, is slightly larger. It’s shallow, like a casserole dish, and is not too large but it’s still a decent size to take to a party. It also has clips on the lid, so it’s easy to transport. It comes with settings Warm, Low, and High.
The Hamilton Beach 33444 Casserole Slow Cooker, in silver, is another very popular shallow, casserole-type slow cooker. It comes with settings Warm, Low, and High. It’s great for casseroles, lasagne, and dessert, as well as the usual stews and soups. It has a 3-1/2 quart capacity and comes with a clip for safe transportation.
This Crock-Pot SCV401-TR 4-Quart Manual Slow Cooker, in red, is your classic slow cooker, just larger. It’s an excellent brand and has the settings Warm, Low, and High.
This programmable Hamilton Beach 33443 Electric Slow Cooker comes in a 4-quart, a 6- quart, and a 7-quart size. It’s a brand that’s known to be reliable. You can easily cook a 4-pound chicken in this!
This is a basic, trustworthy 6-quart Crock-Pot Cook and Carry Portable Manual Slow Cooker, in black. Has the settings Warm, Low, and High. The lid has clips for safe transportation. A solid choice by a solid company.
This Programmable Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker, on the other hand, comes with a nifty Temperature Probe. The lid seals and comes with transport clips.
And, then again, if you want even more versatility and want to graduate to a pressure cooker, you owe it to yourself to check out this fabulous deal for about the same cost as a large slow cooker. And it makes yogurt! And rice!
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
And then, if that doesn’t do it, this probably will. It does just everything. If you have this, I can’t imagine what else you would need: the Ninja Auto-iQ Multi/Slow Cooker with 80-Pre-Programmed Auto-iQ Recipes for Searing, Slow Cooking, Baking and Steaming with 6-Quart Nonstick Pot. If you’re cooking-impaired, you might want to check this out! And it comes with a recipe book. Bon appetit!