Best Crockpot

November 5th, 2019

Frugality is glamorous, thanks to these beautifully designed slow cookers.

Crockpots meals are magnificently satisfying… and generally, they’re as easy to cook up as simply throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and pressing a button.

Every household needs a crockpot. Everyone deserves the comfort of stepping inside after a grueling day at work, to an irresistibly appetizing home-made meal that’s been waiting… Just. For. You.

In this article, we’re going to discover the best crockpot available by reviewing six exceptional models. We’ll consider aspects like size, settings and element placement, and analyze what it’s like to use each one.

Crock-Pot Cook and Carry SCCPVL600-B


You’ll get years of convenient use out of this trustworthy machine – and it’s a bargain.
It has multiple factors designed to make your life easier. It’s big at 6 quarts, so it can feed a full meal to a large family, or provide generous servings of leftovers. It’s furnished with heating elements on both the sides and the base; it cooks evenly and thoroughly and rarely burns on the bottom. The oval ceramic insert is removable and dishwasher safe, so cleanup is a breeze. The lid is clear, so you can peek in on your tasty morsels without losing any heat.

The magical thing about this model is the fact that the lid can seal. There are plastic locks on either side of the pot, which you can clamp down on the lid when you’d like to transport your crock. Wave goodbye to awkward trips where hot food splashes on everyone and everything, or heavy dishes balance uncomfortably across your knees: with this pot, you can share your irresistible meals at tailgates, picnics and potlucks without any hassle.

The Crock-Pot SCCPVL600 offers the three cooking settings common to most crockpot models: low, high and warm. The high and low settings are hotter than you’d find in older models, so some recipes burn or dry out in this pot. If you prefer cooking your meals in your slow cooker, rather than a stove, oven or microwave – or if you don’t own these – this one is highly convenient. On days when you never got around to starting dinner early, you can still turn out a relatively quick meal on the high setting.

There are a few negatives: there’s no indicator light, so you can’t be sure your pot is actually on until it warms up. There’s also no timer function, so you can’t set your pot to stop cooking while you’re away from home. The dial, though quite streamlined, isn’t as easy to clean as the buttons on the automatic models. For this price, though, it’s reliable and wonderfully convenient: a worthwhile buy.

ProsCons
Big enough for a large family

 Hot enough to cook fast on “high”

 Locking lid for transport

 Inexpensive

 Removable, dishwasher safe insert

 All-round heating element

 No timer

 No indicator light

 Will overcook some recipes

 Dial is not as simple to clean as buttons

Crock-Pot 4-Quart


This gem is the classic basic crockpot… And it’s a very good price.

As the second least expensive pot on our list, there are no bells and whistles here. But you get high quality and reliable functionality. The oval, solid ceramic insert is removable and can placed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. The lid is clear, so you don’t lose heat when you lift it to check up on your meal. Unlike the larger Crock-Pot above, this model only has heating elements on the side, so it cooks gently. I like that in a crockpot; I feel that one of the best benefits these cookers offer is peace of mind. You know that dinner’s on and it won’t overcook.

It’s also a lot smaller: at 4 quarts it’s medium-sized and could comfortably feed a family of four. Larger families will find the size frustrating, but for the elderly it’s it’s lighter and easier to clean, and still large enough to provide leftovers for couples or single owners. It has no indicator light, so if you’re worried it might not be on, you’d have to hang around and wait to see if it heats up. The dial’s design is streamlined, but still not as easy to clean as the smooth control panels of the next two models.

It has the same cooking settings as the previous model here – high, low and warm – with no timing capability. I feel a timer would have been highly desirable… but then I guess it wouldn’t be such a good price.\

ProsCons
Inexpensive

 Clear lid

 Removable, dishwasher safe insert

 Light

 Pleasantly gentle heating element wraps around the sides

 Small

 No timer

 Dial is not as staightforward to clean as buttons

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A


Surprisingly, this crockpot has all the bells and whistles… at only a slightly higher price point than the first, manual crockpot on this list, which is the same size.

At six quarts, it’s large enough for six generous servings. It has the incredibly handy lockable lid, so you can transport your meal conveniently. The lid is clear, and cooking is pleasantly even and gentle with an element that surrounds the whole pot but doesn’t extend to the base.

The best thing about this model is the programmable settings. It has a small digital display and four simple buttons. They’re flush with the surface of the heater, so they’re easy to clean. The same basic cooking levels – high, low and warm – are available. You can set cooking time at anything between thirty minutes and a lengthy twenty hours, before the pot automatically switches down to a gentle “warm” so that your meal is kept ready to serve. This ideal for days when you’re away from home – you can be gone for hours and still return to a sumptuous homemade meal – or for those hectic days when being able to put a meal on and forget about it is incredibly convenient.

The heavy oval stoneware lining can also be used (minus the lid) in the microwave or oven. You can reheat leftovers quickly, or brown your briskets, whole chickens or racks of ribs before gently simmering them in the crockpot… the resulting flavor is mind-blowing.

The one downside to this slow cooker is that it has no settings memory. Should the power go out and come back on again, the timer will restart from the beginning.

ProsCons
Inexpensive

 Programmable time and settings

 Large at 6 quarts

 Removable stone lining can go in the microwave or oven

 Lockable lid for easy transport

 Buttons are easy to clean

 Gentle, even heating

 No memory for power outages

Hamilton Beach 33969A


This Hamilton Beach model is in the same reasonable price range as the programmable Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A, and it has all the same capabilities… plus some significant bonuses.

Here’s a feature that I absolutely love, it’s so useful: this pot comes with a “Set and Forget” temperature probe. There’s a tiny hole in the lid – it’s too small to affect cooking when you’re not using the probe – which you slide the probe’s metal point through, deep into the meat that’s happily cooking underneath. You punch in the maximum temperature you’d like the meat to reach. The pot’s digital display will communicate the meat’s temperature as it cooks, and the element will switch down to the “warm” setting once the desired temperature has been reached. It’s wonderfully precise: you can turn out perfectly cooked cuts every time, without any vigilance from you.

When you consider the rest of this model’s features, it has all the functionality of the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610, and then some. It’s the same generous size at six quarts. It has the oval, removable, dishwasher safe lining with a lockable lid, so you can conveniently transport you meals. The control panel is smooth for easy cleanup, with indicator lights, and relatively simple to navigate. It has the normal “warm”, “high” and “low” cooking settings. You can enter in the cooking time and the element will automatically drop to “warm” when the food is cooked. It also has a “manual” setting so that when Mom comes around she can use it like the crockpot she’s used to. And unlike the other programmable pot on this list, it has a memory of up to five seconds for power outages. This is wonderfully useful if the power in your area tends to flutter.

The only way this pot compares poorly to the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A is that you’re not guaranteed the insert will last if you put it in the oven or microwave. Nevertheless, you get an incredible deal: reliable quality and a range of functions, at an amazing price.

ProsCons
Large at 6 quarts

 Lockable lid

 Automatic temperature probe accessory

 Programmable time and settings

 “Manual” mode

 Buttons are easy to clean

Power outage memory

 Insert can’t safely be used in oven or microwave

Elite Gourmet MST-250XW


This crockpot is the least expensive model on our list, and at one and a half quarts it’s also the smallest. If you want a nifty, space-saving pot that can cook up a delicious meal for two, warm sauces and gravies or squeeze into your caravan, this model is ideal for you.

It’s basic, but still covers all the essentials. It’s furnished with a removable insert you can pop in the dishwasher, and the usual three cooking settings. It heats gently, so it won’t burn your meals. It boasts that handy indicator light, so that you can be assured it’s on before it has warmed up. It’s available in an imaginative range of colors, including fun red, purple and turquoise.

The Elite Gourmet MST-250XW is the only round pot on this list, but this detail doesn’t make much difference: because of its limited size you won’t expect to cook up longer items (like roasts and whole racks of ribs) in it anyway. It has no lid locks for transportation, or programmable settings. The dial is a pain to clean: it’s set deep into the heater with a narrow gap all around; the indicator light is also surrounded by a groove that’s difficult to get a cloth into. If you need a small crockpot, though, you’ll get decent quality and functionality with this one. It covers all the basics – at bargain price.

ProsCons
Very inexpensive

 Space-saving and light

 Comes in a range of colors

 Has an indicator light

 Round shape can’t fit longer cuts

 Can only cook a small meal

 No programmable settings

 Time-consuming heater cleanup

Hamilton Beach 33231


This model is in the same price range at the four-quart Crock-Pot , but it’s a little more cramped at three quarts. It doesn’t offer any extras to make up for the smaller size. However, it’s still a high-quality machine that offers all the essentials and conveniently cooks up a delicious meal.

It has a removable, dishwasher safe stone insert: it’s oval, so you can fit longer items inside, like a three-pound chicken. It has the usual three cooking settings, but no automatic timing capability. There’s also no indicator light, though the dial is relatively streamlined for straightforward cleanup.

The modest size of the Hamilton Beach 33231 could be an advantage, depending on your needs. It’s an excellent space-saving model for recreational vehicles or diminutive kitchens. It’s also light, so it’s easier to wash. If you’re looking for a small crockpot you might pick this one over the Elite Gourmet – though that’s less expensive – for the increased functionality the extra size offers. If you’re looking for a medium sized pot, though, I’d go with the four-quart Crock-Pot model. It’s bigger at the same price.

ProsCons
Space saving and light

 Inexpensive

 Oval shape is more convenient that the round Elite Gourmet MST-250XW

 Smaller than the Crock-Pot B0012US88I at around the same price

 No programmable settings

 No indicator light

 Dial is not as simple to clean as buttons

Crockpots are a Rewarding Investment

Although buying a slow cooker requires an initial financial outlay, it saves you money in the long run.

You can buy cheaper, tougher cuts of meat and turn them into melt-in-the-mouth dishes with the gentle cooking method of a crockpot. On hectic days when you’d usually buy takeaways, you can throw some basic ingredients into your pot and return home to a delicious meal that you never had to check up on. Or, you could simply defrost the leftovers from your last crockpot meal.

Crockpots save time and energy, too – resources that you could be spending more productively elsewhere. Especially since most crockpot recipes are one-pot meals, so you don’t have to clean all the pots, pans and serving dishes other meals use.

Owning a crockpot helps you to eat homecooked meals more often. It doesn’t just save your time, effort and money for more important things… it’s healthier for you.

Shopping for the Best Crockpot for Your Household: What To Look For?

Familiarize yourself with these slow cooker features before going on your shopping spree.

Size

One- to three-quart sizes are ideal for caravans or motorhomes, for single owners or couples who want to cook one meal, or for warming dips and gravies. Four to five quarts are excellent sizes for families of four or for couples who’d like to freeze leftovers to be enjoyed on busy days. Six to seven quarts are common sizes for slow cookers and are wonderfully practical: you can fit in large cuts of meat, feed guests or a populous family, or have generous portions of leftovers.

Programmable Timing

Many machines feature the same basic dial that older models had, but some models offer a digital control panel where you can set your crockpot to lower its heat after a designated amount of time.

Locking Lid

Plastic clamps on the lid make transporting your meal highly practical.

Construction

Not all crockpots have a removable liner, and these are a pain to clean as you can’t submerge the heater. Pots that only have an element on the bottom – instead of up the sides – may not cook as gently and evenly as you need them to, and may burn on the bottom.

Transparent Lid

These are ideal, as you’d like to check on your cooking fare without losing the heat inside the pot.

Shape

Oval pots can fit longer cuts of meat, like large whole chickens or racks of ribs.

Accessories

Invest in some spoons and ladles that won’t scratch your lining. Wood and silicone work well for stirring in and dishing from a crockpot.
Now go forth, buy your ideal crockpot, and enjoy!