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Best slow cooker 2024: top buys from our appliance experts

Cook delicious, nutritious meals with the best slow cookers from Crock Pot, Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, and Ninja

An Instant Pot Duo Crisp Slow Cooker on a kitchen counter.
(Image credit: Instant Pot)
Best slow cookers 2024: Jump Menu

One of the best slow cookers, a Crock Pot making stew in a modern white kitchen

(Image credit: Crock Pot)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Crock-Pot My Time
3. Best for versatility: Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid
4. Best premium: Wolf Gourmet
5. Best for large households: Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker
6. Best non-toxic: GreenPan Bistro Noir
7. Best programmable: Ninja NC1001 Foodi
8. Best for slow cooking: Instant Pot 7-in-1
9. Best for large meats: KitchenAid
10. Best for sauté: Calaphon Digital
11. Best compact: Hamilton Beach Portable
12. Best non-stick: GreenPan Premiere
13. Best budget: Black + Decker
14. How to choose
15. How we test
16. FAQs

As the weather turns and winter sets in, I find myself turning to my slow cooker to make hearty, healthy meals for all the family. The best slow cookers can handle much more than soups and stews: some of the latest models can steam, bake, and air fry, too. 

There are large-capacity slow cookers for hands-free mass-catering, as well as pint-sized models for single or smaller serves. There are smart cookers with all the modern conveniences and classic cookers that bake and braise. There's a slow cooker to suit every style of cooking and size of budget, but it can be hard to find your perfect match. 

That's where I come in. As a product reviewer and keen cook, I'm part of a kitchen testing team here at H&G. Together, we've tried dozens of the best slow cookers, including all the best Instant Pots. Where we haven't been able to test a cooker, we've scoured the specifications and read countless customer reviews to make sure we're recommending quality. 

We've narrowed it down to our top twelve from the big-name brands, such as Crock-Pot, KitchenAid, and Cuisinart. We've scored each cooker for ease of use, ease of cleaning, versatility, and the all-important taste test. 

The quick list

If the only thing you like to take time on is cooking, here's a quick guide to finding the best slow cooker for you. We go into more detail further down the guide.

The best slow cookers we recommend in 2023

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best slow cooker overall

1. Crock-Pot MyTime Slow Cooker

Best slow cooker overall

Specifications

Dimensions: 14.4" x 14.3" x 9.7"
Capacity: 6-quart
Settings: Meal type, quantity, temperature, schedule, manual
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Choose manual or smart modes
+
Schedule meals in advance
+
Automatic adjustment

Reasons to avoid

-
No lock-down lid
-
No overnight cooking
Buy it if

✅ You're not a confident chef: this auto-selects cooking metrics
✅ You're often on the go: the timer has pre-sets
✅ You cook a lot of meat: this is the perfect size for a whole chicken

Don't buy it if:

❌ You'll move this around a lot: the lid doesn't lock down
❌ You're an impatient eater: this cooks food hotter than average
You want overnight cooking: this won't program for over 12 hours

The bottom line

🔎 Crock-Pot MyTime is easily our favorite slow cooker. It takes all the guesswork out of meal prep by automatically selecting temperatures and functions based on the food you're using.

The very clever Crock-Pot MyTime Slow Cooker can 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. 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. It's worth noting that there's no setting for overnight slow cooks, which is a safety feature, but means that you'll always have to be slow cooking, on the countertop in the daytime.

If you're new to slow cooking, this really removes the guesswork, but for experienced slow cooker users, there's also the option to tap into manual mode for following recipes of your own. 

Size-wise, the six-quart capacity is the perfect middle-ground for making family meals or cooking ahead. Its shape is also well-suited to ribs, pulled pork, and even a whole chicken. It, however, doesn't have a lock-down lid for taking on the go, so if you're planning on taking it to potluck you'll need steady hands. Its dishwasher-safe stoneware and glass lid makes for easy cleaning.

Before you leap into the Crock-Pot, there are a few quirks you'll want to know about. The useful lid doesn't lock down, so if you'll take this round to a neighbour's or through lots of rooms in the house, you'll need steady hands. Some reviewers also said that this cooked food a little too hot, but I think that's down to the automatic functions generalizing. You can learn to adjust it to suit your personal preferences.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
CapacityReasonable capacty - enough for a family★★★★★
VersatilityExcellent range, but no overnight setting★★★★
Easy to cleanNon-stick and striaghtforward★★★★★
ValueGood value for performance★★★★★

The best slow cooker for versatility

2. Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid

The best multicooker on the market

Specifications

Power: 1,500 Watts
Dimensions: 13.4 x 15.4 x 15.5 inches
Capacity: 6.5 Quart
Modes: Pressure Cook, Sauté, Steam, Slow Cook, Sous Vide, Yogurt, Warm, Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Bake, Dehydrate, Proofing
Accessories: stainless-steel cooking pot, steaming/ air frying rack

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly versatile
+
Simple to use
+
One pot cooking

Reasons to avoid

-
Pot isn't non stick
-
Have to change inner lid
Buy it if

✅ You cook a range of meals: this has 13 different functions
✅ You want a simple appliance: this has one lid and easy buttons
✅ You want an Instant Pot: this is their best model

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't like cleaning: the inner pot isn't non-stick
❌ You don't like fiddly changes: the inner lids need swapping
You'll take this to potluck: the lid doesn't lock down

The bottom line

🔎 Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid is the latest and greatest in slow cooker tech. It's incredibly versatile and extremely easy to use.

We don't often give five star reviews at Homes & Gardens, because that means there's no room for bettering and innovation. However, after hours of testing, it wasn't even a tough decision to award this full points. It cooks great food and we love it. 

The Instant Pot offers 13 different cooking functions, all under one lid, making it the most advanced Instant Pot model we've seen. Whilst it might look very similar to older iterations, and it's even cheaper than some, it's certainly the best Instant Pot to date.

Our experts thought this was easy to use and they loved the versatile options, which all delivered top-notch results. If we're being really picky, the pot isn't non stick, which can make cleaning up a little bit more time consuming. The inner lids also do need swapping between functions, so even though it has 'one lid' there are a few fiddly bits to navigate before you don't have to lift a finger between settings.

There's more detail in our Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
CapacityGood capacity for a family★★★★★
VersatilityIncredily versatile★★★★★
Easy to cleanPot isn't non stick★★★★
ValueGood value for performance★★★★★