GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker – non-toxic and nearly perfect

The GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker is an excellent slow cooker that almost lives up to its high price tag

A silver GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker next to herbs, spices and tomatoes
(Image credit: GreenPan)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker makes delicious food, and the easy-to clean, non-stick, and nontoxic pan is a revelation. However, it's a lot of money to spend on a relatively basic slow cooker.

Reasons to buy
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    Makes delicious food

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    Non-stick, dishwasher-safe pan

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    Exceptional sauté function

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Short power cable

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    Tricky controls

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GreenPan is famous for making nontoxic pans. But while they might make a good pan, there was no guarantee that their foray into small appliances would be similarly successful. 

The GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker is the brand's top-line slow cooker and commands a pretty high price tag. It can slow cook, sauté and steam, and the non-stick pan is also no-toxic, free of PFOAs and other potentially harmful chemicals.

We were keen to see if such an expensive slow cooker could live up to its price, so I tested the GreenPan Elite in my own home for several weeks, seeing how it stood up to months of use. As a seasoned product tester, I've tried several of the best slow cookers and multicookers so I know exactly what makes for a good product. 


A GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker in white

(Image credit: Amazon)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dimensions18.98" x 13.43" x 10.94"
Capacity6 quarts
ModesSlow cook, brown/sauté, steam, keep warm
AccessoriesCooking pot, steaming rack, glass lid

Unboxing and setting up

Unboxing the GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Future)

Unboxing and setting up this slow cooker was very straightforward. The packaging was a mix of cardboard and plastic wrap, and while it would've been a lot better to only see cardboard, it's not really a con. Set up was very straightforward - all you need to do is lift everything out of the box. There's the main body of the cooker, which heats up the food, a trivet for steaming, and a nonstick pan. This pan is thick and heavy; it feels high quality, and while it's not any guarantee of performance, it glitters in the light. At first glance, it seems like a great product. 

However, setting up is where I found the first drawback of this slow cooker. The power cable is very short, shorter than most other small appliances I've tested over the years. Perhaps it's just a quirk of the layout of my kitchen, but I had to run a power strip from the nearest outlet, which is a little inconvenient. 

Test 1: Vegetarian Chili

The first test was one of my favorite ever meals, so it was a high bar to clear. I used my mom's slow cooker chili recipe. It's a very straightforward process - all you need to do is slice a bunch of bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, garlic, beans, tomatoes, season, and leave it for hours. I set the timer for 8 hours and went about my day, returning to stir the chili every few hours.

Once I finished it off with sour cream, hot sauce, and a little extra cumin for good measure, I had a perfect chili. Everything was perfectly cooked, soft and tender without being mushy, and the lid did an excellent job of retaining moisture without anything becoming too wet or watery. It's one of the best chilis I ever made.

Chili made in the GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Future)

However, I found the controls counterintuitive. There's no simple left/right or 'OK' button, so you have to navigate by pushing the modes and using -/+ buttons. My girlfriend and I got pretty hungry after 7 hours and wanted to eat, so I called time a little early to see how easy it was to switch to keep warm. On simpler, more analog machines, you just hit a button, or turn off the timer, but this took some navigating before I figured out what to do.

Test 2: Beef and Guinness Stew

The chili was good, but I wanted to see how far I could push the slow cooker. The sauté function caught my eye, so I decided to use a recipe that would reveal if the cooker could actually brown meat. 

I sliced some beef and turned on the sauté function to heat up as I prepped. It takes a while to get to temperature – I timed 10 minutes – but it beeps when it's finished, which saves you from watching the pot. 

Once it was ready, however, I couldn't fault it. The max temperature is 400˚F, which is precisely what you need for browning meat. I browned off a couple pounds of chuck beef and set them aside, before adding in carrots, onion, and celery, as well as some smoked bacon lardons. These were perfectly sautéed, with soft, golden vegetables forming the perfect vegetable base for my stew.

Making stew in the GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Future)

However, it's worth noting here that there's a countdown clock on the sauté function. You only get 20 minutes max, and I was browning a lot of meat, so I had to turn the sauté function back on as I cooked because I'd run out of time. To be fair, this is an excellent safety feature, and you'd rarely need more than 20 minutes to sauté, but it was a little frustrating.

After I was finished sautéing, I added a little flour and tomato paste to thicken the stew, then poured in some chicken stock and the not-so-secret weapon, a bottle of Guinness.

Stew made in the GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker, with a side of mustard mash potatoes

(Image credit: Future)

I left the stew to cook for five hours. The resulting stew was fantastic. I had a lot of food spare, so I had some friends over to try it. They all agreed with me - the meat was tender, and everything had combined into a rich, hearty stew. It made a lot of food – even with six of us I had enough left over for a couple more meals in the rest of the week, so this was a great test of capacity, too.

Test 3: Bok Choy

It seems a little strange to make bok choy in a slow cooker, but this slow cooker also has a steam function. I was making vegan beef hoisin noodles and wanted some greenery on the side, so I figured I'd use up some bok choy we had leftover in the fridge.

The process was simple. All I had to do was fill the bottom of the pan with a couple inches of water, add in the steam trivet, and set off the steam function. Again, the preheat program was a little long, taking about ten minutes, which is longer than I'd take to steam something in a pan on the stove.

Steaming bok choy in the GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Future)

My other criticism here is that you can only use preset times, but these are too long for steaming some vegetables. You can set times in ten-minute increments up to two hours. Ten-minute increments are great for steaming harder vegetables like carrots and turnips, or leafy ingredients like kale or collard greens, but ten minutes was too long for bok choy, and I had to take it out after half the preset time.

Bok choy steamed in the GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Future)

To be fair, it was delicious. The steam function made it soft and a little chewy but with enough crunch that it offered plenty of freshness against the hoisin sauce in my noodles. It's a good function, but when you can steam vegetables much faster in a microwave or a pan, I'm not sure why you'd bother.

Cleaning and storage

It's pretty easy to clean this slow cooker. The pan is non-stick, and though there were a few patches of dried-on chilli after I had it in keep at temperature with the 'keep warm' function, they were easy to wash away with a sponge and brush, and it's dishwasher-safe The glass lid is dishwasher safe too, and it's easy to clean the outside with a cloth. 

At 6 quarts, you might have to clean some space on the countertop for this appliance, but it looks good, so you won't mind having it on display. All the parts can be stored into the main body too, so you don't have to find any extra space. 

How does it compare?

GreenPan Elite 6 Quart Slow Cooker next to Guinness

(Image credit: Future)

I really like this slow cooker, but it isn't the best value. For example, our favorite slow cooker is the Crock-Pot MyTime, available at Amazon. It's easier to use, and it's more than $100 cheaper. It can't sauté or steam vegetables, so the food won't be quite as good, but if you just want something for fire-and-forget chilies and curries, the CrockPoot will do it for a lot cheaper. It's also not as good value compared to multicookers like the Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid Multi-Cooker, available at Best Buy. It does everything this GreenPan can, but goes much further. You can pressure cook, air fryer, broil, bake, dehydrate, make yoghurt and even sous vide, all in one appliance. The drawback is that its stainless steel pot is harder to clean than the GreenPan, but when we put it to the test it made some incredibly good food. 

How does it rate online?

This slow cooker has rave reviews online, with nearly 250 five-star reviews on Amazon, and 50 five-star reviews on Bloomingdale's. The consensus lines up with my findings. Most people think it makes delicious food, and the sauté function is great for meat dishes, but that it's not the best quality, and the controls are a little hard to use.  

Who would it suit?

I think this slow cooker is best suited to busy families with high standards for their food. It makes tastier dishes than cheaper slow cookers, thanks in part to its excellent sauté function. It looks great on a countertop, so it's great if you want a more attractive slow cooker than the usual cheap-looking options. 

Should you buy it?

If you want a good, top-line slow cooker, you can't go wrong with this. I can't overemphasize the deliciousness of the meals I made with the GreenPan, and the sauté feature will take your stews to the next level. It looks great on a countertop and the steam function is a welcome addition. However, it's pretty expensive by slow cooker standards, so if you want something more budget-friendly, you're better off looking elsewhere.

Alex David
Head of eCommerce

As Head of eCommerce, Alex makes sure our readers find the right information to help them make the best purchase. After graduating from Cambridge University, Alex got his start in reviewing at the iconic Good Housekeeping Institute, testing a wide range of household products and appliances. He then moved to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, assessing gardening tools, machinery, and wildlife products. Helping people find true quality and genuine value is a real passion.