Slow and hearty: FoodTribe’s 2020 guide to the best slow cookers
Let our best slow cooker guide help you find the Cadillac of slow cookers
The slow cooker is something of a kitchen icon. It may not be the most glamorous gadget on the countertop, but there’s just something beautiful about setting it, forgetting about it, and coming home to a warm, hearty, home-cooked meal. So stop ordering in that greasy fast food, and let our FoodTribe guide to the best slow cookers on the market help your wallet and your waistline.
The no-frills one: Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker
Unlike many other slow cookers on the market, the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew doesn’t claim to combine every other cooking appliance into a one-pot wonder. Nope, this slow cooker concentrates on doing one thing, and one thing only: slow cooking. However, it is somewhat multi-talented in that it features a hob-proof pot, meaning you can sear and slow cook from start to finish without filling up the sink with pots and pans. That’s what we like to hear!
The portable one: Crock-Pot Lift & Serve Digital Slow Cooker
At first glance, it’s clear that this sturdy slow cooker from Crock-Pot is a bit of a looker (as far as slow cookers go). Its generous 4.7-litre capacity make it great for family cooking, as it can easily serve six decent-sized portions. Another great thing about this slow cooker is its hinged lid which flicks up easily – meaning any condensation on the inside trickles down and into the pot, and not on to the work surface. But the shining feature of this slow cooker is hinted at in its name, 'Lift & Serve'; the pot and lid lift out of the casing and look good enough to pop straight onto the dining table.
The plain and simple one: Swan Oval Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
If you want a slow cooker that requires you to simply switch it on and go, Swan's stainless steel offering could be the one for you. It does a perfectly good job of slow cooking family meals at either a low or high heat setting, and its controls are simple: there’s a knob to select from three heat levels (high, low and auto). The latter is the most useful, maintaining a high heat until your dish comes up to temperature, then dropping to a lower heat to cook slowly and more economically. A little red light above the knob indicates whether it’s on or off. Plain and simple, just as a slow cooker should be.
The stylish one: Tower T16018RG Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
The Tower Stainless Steel Slow Cooker has a 3.5-litre capacity that’s just the right amount for a family of four (or two, if you’re feeling hungry). This slow cooker is small and simple, not requiring too much valuable counter space, and comes in multiple sleek colours – such as this black and rose gold design – to suit the colour scheme in every kitchen. A choice of three heat settings and a keep-warm function allow you to cook a variety of meals with ease, and will suit families who eat at different times, too.
The tough one: VonShef Slow Cooker
The VonShef Slow Cooker allows you to make delicious homemade stews, soups, casseroles, curries and more, with a generous 3.5-litre capacity. This slow cooker has three heat settings – low, high and a keep-warm function – so you can switch up the cooking times to suit your lifestyle. It has a robust stainless steel body with a ceramic inner dish, and a toughened glass lid to keep the heat in. The dish is removable, so it's perfect if you want to save on washing up but still enjoy the convivial atmosphere of a central serving pot in the middle of the dining room table.
The big appetite one: Andrew James Slow Cooker
The Andrew James Slow Cooker is made for those big family feasts. With its large 6.5-litre capacity, it ensures nobody in your family will ever complain of still being hungry! With great features, energy saving capabilities and an affordable price, this slow cooker has become a favourite among Amazon’s customers. Easy to use and to clean, it's a must-have if you love eating healthily but don’t have too much spare time for cooking.
The fun one: Russell Hobbs 24180 Chalkboard Slow Cooker
There’s no doubt that the Russell Hobbs 24180 Chalkboard has already caught your kids' attention. Thanks to its unique and stylish matte black chalkboard finish, you can write down whatever you like – such as notes for the family, telling them what's for dinner. It's a 3.5-litre slow cooker which can hold up to four portions, and it comes with a removable pot and lid which are both dishwasher safe. A real winning choice for busy families.
The bee's knees one: Sage the Fast Slow Pro
Yes, like all other slow cookers, this pot will cook your food slowly throughout the day if you ask it to – but wait! It does more than just that. The Sage Fast Slow Pro can also pressure cook, reduce, sear, sauté and steam, as well as slow cook. You name it, the Fast Slow Pro can deliver; the talents of this slow cooker really are never-ending. You won't go hungry either, because you can cook around seven portions of food in this little cooker. But at over £100, you do pay the price for the all-singing-all-dancing functions.
The straightforward one: Lakeland Electric Family Slow Cooker
The Lakeland Electric Family Slow Cooker is a fairly straightforward slow cooker. No fancy controls, no outrageous features... just a knob that selects one of three heat levels (low, high or auto) and a little red light to show that it’s on. If you're confused easily by kitchen gadgets and like to keep things simple, you're in luck. This gadget is a good little cooker – and once it has finished its job, the auto setting will keep food at serving temperature. So yes, you’re allowed to go back for seconds.
The first-timer one: Daewoo 1.5L SDA1363 Manual Slow Cooker
If you’re new to slow cooking and want to test the waters, the Daewoo 1.5L Manual Slow Cooker is a perfect buy for under twenty quid. It really is a no-frills, new-to-slow-cooking slow cooker and will cook for just one – possibly two – people. Its has three heat settings to give you extra versatility when you cook, and is completely safe to leave switched on (even when you’re not at home), so your food will be ready when you are. It also features a tempered glass lid – allowing you to take a peek at how your food is coming along while it's cooking.