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Best slow cooker 2022: Crock-Pots for any occasion

Cook delicious winter meals with the best slow cookers from Crock Pot, KitchenAid, Wolf Gourmet and Ninja

Best slow cooker
(Image credit: Calphalon)

Seasonal meal preparation has never been easier thanks to the best slow cookers. With large capacities and simple controls, slow cookers will leave you with meat that melts off the bone, and delicious flavorsome stews in just a few hours. 

If you don't have a lot of time on your hands to prepare homecooked meals, a slow cooker will help you batch cook your meals ahead of time. That way, all you have to do is put your soup or curry in the microwave when it's ready to serve. 

As well as some simple slow cookers from Crock-Pot and Cuisinart, we've included some brilliant multi-cookers that pressure cook and roast as well as slow cook. Many of these also feature in our guide to the best Instant Pots, and while they lock in more moisture than the average slow cooker, they are also a lot more versatile. 

Best slow cooker

Crock-Pot MyTime Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Crock-Pot)

1. Crock-Pot MyTime Slow Cooker

Best slow cooker overall: for easy programming and no-prep meals

Specifications

Dimensions: 14.4 x 14.3 x 9.7 inches
Capacity: 6-quart
Settings: Meal type, quanitity, temperature, schedule, maual

Reasons to buy

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Choose manual or smart modes
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Schedule meals in advance
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Automatic adjustment

Reasons to avoid

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No lock-down lid

The Crock-Pot MyTime Slow Cooker has all the perks of a digital slow cooker, with the option to set your timer in advance or simply slip into manual mode.

What we love

The Crock-Pot MyTime Slow Cooker is smart. It has the option to select the type of food you're cooking (meat, poultry, soup, veggies) and the volume (under or over 2 pounds, for example) for automatically adjusted timings and temperatures.

Alternatively, tap into manual mode for following recipes of your own. You can set the clock and use this to schedule your cooking ahead of time, which is perfect for those four-hour meals that you want to arrive home to, without having to be in the house to set the slow cooker into motion in the afternoon. 

Features

The six-quart capacity is the perfect middle-ground for making family-sized meals, while still being able to make smaller portions. Its shape is also well-suited to ribs, pulled pork, and even whole chickens.

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Calphalon)

2. Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker

Best slow cooker for maximum flavor: sear your ingredients before you cook them

Specifications

Dimensions: 17.78 x 14.37 x 23.19 inches
Capacity: 5.3 Quarts
Settings: Warm, low, high

Reasons to buy

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Removable dish for searing
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High quality finish
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Durable ceramic design

Reasons to avoid

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The shape won't work for some cuts of meat

The Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker is a great for foodies who want to pack their meal with maximum flavor. It's got an oven-safe ceramic insert that can also work on electric and gas cooktops. 

Why we love it

The finish is undeniably high-quality, with simple but tactile controls and a dial to set the timer. There are three settings: high, low, and a keep-warm mode to stop your meal from getting cold when it's done cooking.

Ceramic coating is perfect for even heat, and it has a nonstick finish that makes cleaning easy when you're done cooking. 

Features

The capacity is a mid-size 5.3 quarts, but the circular shape means the Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker is not suited to some cuts of meat such as turkey and pork shoulder. For chuck meat and chicken though, it's perfect. 

You could use it to make delicious soups or even cobblers, because once your filling is done cooking you can put the dish in the oven to brown the top. 

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure CookerH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Instant Pot)

3. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Best multi-cooker with a slow cook setting: do much more than slow cooking

Specifications

Dimensions: 13.38 x 12.2 x 12.48 inches
Capacity: 6 Quart
Settings: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Saute, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize

Reasons to buy

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7 functions
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Dishwasher-safe lid and pot
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24-hour timer

Reasons to avoid

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An expensive option if all you want is a slow cooker

We've all heard of the iconic Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, and while it's technically a multi-cooker, we couldn't not include it in our best slow cooker guide.

Why we love it

While it's not cheap, for a slow cooker for 14 cooking modes the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is immensely good value. You can sauté your onions and beef before putting on the pressure cooker lid for some slow cooked casserole. 

There are modes for soup, stew, and chilli, but there are also inserts to stem veggies and fish or pressure cook meat for speedy meals. 

Features

Set your Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker to cook in advance, with a 24-hour timer that will ensure you come home to a hot meal or even wake up to some fresh-cooked oatmeal. 

The dishwasher-safe bowl and lid also make cleaning amazingly straightforward.

Homes & Gardens rated 5 out of 5 stars

Black + Decker

(Image credit: Black + Decker)

4. BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

Best slow cooker for taking on the go: the clip-on lid makes this perfect for cookouts

Specifications

Dimensions: 14.09 x 17.32 x 9.65 inches
Capacity: 7 Quarts
Settings: Warm, low, high

Reasons to buy

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Clip-on lid
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Chalkboard surface
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Lid holder

Reasons to avoid

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No preset mode

If you love bringing your culinary creations to cookouts and family gatherings, the BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker is for you. It has a generous 7 quart capacity and the stoneware pot can go in the dishwasher. 

Why we love it

You can cook up your mac and cheese, pulled pork, or chilli in advance of an event and take it along in the BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker. Simply clip on the lid and it will be secure, even in the car.

It's also well-suited to serving, because there is an in-built lid holder that means you can prop it open while people pile their plates high, and then hygienically place the lid back on the stoneware pot. 

Features

The chalkboard exterior is another perk. With the BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker you get two sticks of chalk included, which means you can write your recipe, or make a note of when you need to switch it off, with ease. 

Instant PotH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Instant Pot)
Best slow cooker for smart functions: Instant's most premium product

Specifications

Dimensions: 13.38 x 12.2 x 12.48 inches
Capacity: 6 Quart
Settings: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Saute, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize

Reasons to buy

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7 functions
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Dishwasher-safe lid and pot
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24-hour timer

Reasons to avoid

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An expensive option if all you want is a slow cooker

We love the Instant Pot Pro Crisp 11-in-1 for its flawless multi-function design, and the sleek black exterior is an attractive option, too. 

Why we love it

For a start, it has a lid that also functions as one of the best air fryers, which is brilliant for saving time or pressure cooking and then air frying chicken. 

The design is as smart as can be. You can see the pre-heating, cooking timer, and keep-warm mode running in real-time, and adjust temperature and timings while the machine is running. We enjoyed being able to sear onions and garlic before adding our stew ingredients to maximize flavor without the need to fill the dishwasher, and the pressure cook lid can also go through the dishwasher, which is brilliant. 

Features

Included with the multi-cooker is an air fry lid, pressure cook lid, air fryer basket, dehydrator insert, steam rack, protective pad. The pad is great for resting the air fryer lid while you shake up fries or take out your cooked chicken.

The pot is not non-stick but it is dishwasher-safe. 

Homes & Gardens rated 5 out of 5 stars. Our Instant Pot Pro Crisp review has more details

Wolf Gourmet Programmable 6-in-1 Multi Cooker

(Image credit: Wolf Gourmet)

6. Wolf Gourmet Programmable 6-in-1 Multi Cooker

Best premium slow cooker: modes for rice, searing, and more

Specifications

Dimensions: 14.5 x 19.75 x 17.88 inches
Capacity: 7-quart
Settings: Manual, meal timer, rice, sous vide, sear

Reasons to buy

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Iconic, premium look
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Five year warranty
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Six cooking modes

Reasons to avoid

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The most expensive choice

The Wolf Gourmet Programmable 6-in-1 Multi Cooker is one of the smartest and most luxury slow cookers on the market. For those who take slow cooking seriously, it's got everything you could ask for. 

What we love

You can cook rice, sear and saute meat, and even sous vide with the Wolf Gourmet slow cooker. It has a deep insert, meaning you could sous vide a wide range of items at any one time. 

The classic red dial will allow you to select from manual settings as well as digital preset programs, too. 

Features

The stainless steel insert can be used on induction hobs, in the oven, and can go in the dishwasher. That's a win, because it's not non-stick. On the plus side, the stainless steel material will make searing easy and pack in heaps of flavor. 

Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker

(Image credit: Cuisinart)

7. Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker

Best slow cooker for feasting: cook up to 500 degrees with this immense multi-cooker

Specifications

Dimensions: 13.5 x 19.5 x 9.88 inches
Capacity: 7 Quarts
Settings: Slow cook, Roast, Brown/Sauté, Steam

Reasons to buy

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Great temperature range
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Versatile dimensions
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Cook for up to 24 hours

Reasons to avoid

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A bulky choice

The Cuisinart MSC-800 Cook Central 4-in-1 Multi-Cooker has the dimensions of a roasting tray, which means you can use it for complete one-dish meals and generous servings.

What we love

There are four modes in this slow cooker, and you can brown or saute meat and veggies without even having to take out the insert.

The roasting temperature ranges from 250°F to 450°F, and there is a reversible roasting/steaming rack for added versatility.

Features

A retractable cord means the Cuisinart MSC-800 will not clutter up your counters. When the cooking is over, the lid and pot are dishwasher-safe. 

Ninja OL501 Foodi 6.5 Qt. Pressure CookerH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Ninja)

8. Ninja OL501 Foodi 6.5 Qt. Pressure Cooker

Best slow cooker that can also air fry: one smart lid with 14 modes

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.39 x 14.21 x 13.07 inches
Capacity: 6.5 Quart
Settings: Pressure Cook, Steam & Crisp, Steam & Bake, Air Fry, Broil, Bake/Roast, Dehydrate, Sear/Sauté, Steam, Sous Vide, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Keep Warm & Proof

Reasons to buy

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A sliding smart lid
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Slow cooks better than some multi-cookers
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Can sear your meat before slow cooking

Reasons to avoid

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Large dimensions

There are three cooking modes in the Ninja OL501 Foodi 6.5 Qt. Pressure Cooker: Pressure, Steamcrisp, and Stovetop/Air Fry. The lid is hinged and has a sliding control to switch between settings, and while slow cooking is one of the modes it offers, there is a lot more that this cooker can do. 

Why we love it

When testing the Ninja OL501 Foodi 6.5 Qt. Pressure Cooker we were able to brown off our onions and sear our meat to lock in flavor, all in the same pot that we used to slow cook. 

The slow cook mode is easy to start, and it has a timer to keep your food cooking to a specific recipe before the multi-cooker slips into Keep Warm mode. 

Another perk of slow cookers is that they can be used to prove bread, and the Ninja OL501 Foodi 6.5 Qt. Pressure Cooker has a dedicated mode to prove your homemade loaves. 

Features

There are 14 cooking modes: Pressure Cook, Steam & Crisp, Steam & Bake, Air Fry, Broil, Bake/Roast, Dehydrate, Sear/Sauté, Steam, Sous Vide, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Keep Warm & Proof. 

The pre-heat time can be a little longer than we'd like, especially when sticking to regimented recipes when steaming or pressure cooking. 

Homes & Gardens rated: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Kitchenaid KSC223SS 6 QT. slow cooker

(Image credit: KitchenAid)

9. Kitchenaid 6 QT. slow cooker

Best slow cooker for large cuts of meat: ample space and a digital timer

Specifications

Dimensions: 17.5 x 16.1 x 10.5 inches
Capacity: 6-quart
Settings: Low, medium, high, keep warm

Reasons to buy

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Ideally sized for large cuts of meat
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Clear digital display
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Soft-grip handle for easy carrying

Reasons to avoid

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The pot is not non-stick

If you love cooking ribs or large cuts of meat, the Kitchenaid KSC223SS 6 QT. slow cooker will be the perfect addition to your kitchen. 

What we love

It has four settings: Low, Medium, High, and Keep Warm. The Keep Warm setting is ideal for keeping your meal at a safe temperature so that it's ready to eat as soon as you are ready. 

The ceramic dish is dishwasher-safe, which will mean you're in for an easy cleanup. The glass lid can also go in the dishwasher, and it is perfect for keeping a watchful eye on your meal as it cooks. 

Features

The dish is not non-stick, so it may cause some sticking at the sides of the pot for stews and curries. 

With a digital timer for fully adjustable dishes, this slow cooker will show you exactly how long is left for your meal. 

What is the best slow cooker?

Crock Pot

(Image credit: Crock Pot)

Our top pick of the best slow cookers is the Crock-Pot MyTime Slow Cooker. It allows you to schedule your meals well in advance, and has a family-sized capacity. We also like the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker if you want a multi-cooker to tackle all your slow cooking needs. If you like appliances for multi-tasking you can also take a look at the best toaster ovens in our roundup. 

How do I choose the best slow cooker?

With promotions just around the corner, it will be possible to pick up a new slow cooker at a great price. You can also look at our Black Friday appliance deal page to find more great savings.

Something to consider when buying a slow cooker is whether you’d prefer a digital or manual option. A digital slow cooker will give you more control, allowing you to set timers and automatically switching to keep-warm settings. 

If you don’t mind a slow cooker that requires a little more monitoring, a manual slow cooker will cost far less than its digital counterpart, and will still offer you numerous heat levels and a keep warm setting to keep your meal warm even if it’s finished cooking before dinner. 

Much like the best food processors, you will find that a slow cooker will turn hands-on recipes with plenty of preparation into speedy tasks that are finished at the touch of a button. While some of our top picks, from the likes of Calphalon, Cuisinart, and KitchenAid, come with smart digital controls, there are also manual options that can often be less expensive but do require more supervision as they will not switch off automatically. 

In our guide we’ve included both manual and digital slow cookers. While manual slow cookers are cheaper, they cannot be set on a timer or automatically switch to keep warm settings when done cooking, which means they need more supervision. Most slow cookers offer three heat settings - low, high, and keep warm, but some high-end digital slow cookers come with more features. For example, the Calphalon Digital Sauté has an oven-safe cooking pot that allows you to sear and oven-cook ingredients before slow cooking. This allows you to pack in the flavor and seal the moisture in your meat while still keeping your meals one-pot and easy to clean.  

Millie Fender is the Small Appliance and Cooking Editor on the Homes and Gardens Ecommerce team. She specializes in cooking appliances and also reviews outdoor grills and pizza ovens. Millie loves to bake, so she will take any excuse to review stand mixers and other baking essentials. All of Millie's reviews are conducted at home, meaning she uses these products in her own kitchen, the way they're designed to be used. Millie is from Bath, England, and she grew up surrounded by classic Georgian architecture and interiors. She dreams of buying her own house and filling it with antiques, but for now, she lives in a sunny London flat with a very busy kitchen.