A slow cooker is a great way for you to cook a meal for your family without having to be right there watching it the entire time. Instead, you just throw everything into the slow cooker and turn it on.
Throughout the course of the day the slower cooker will take care of everything for you, getting your meal ready so that when everyone gets home it’s time to eat.
Missy Enders, Author, HESCA
#1 Cuisinart MSC-600
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Available in three different sizes, the Cuisinart MSC is designed to make sure that your food is ready for dinner whenever the family is. It can hold plenty of food for just about any size family and it makes getting things ready a whole lot easier than with cooking something on the stove or on the oven because it doesn’t require constant surveillance.
With this cooker you’re actually going to get several different cooking options that include not just using it as a slow cooker but also using it as a steamer or to brown/sauté. This means you’re going to have a whole lot more options when it comes to cooking something and having it ready when you get home for the day.
It’s designed with a glass lid so you can easily see what’s happening inside and you can easily pick it up even after the slow cooker has been on all day. From the outside you’ll also be able to easily see the time left and the temperature setting that you have because it’s going to be right there on the LCD screen. This makes it easier to plan for your meal and to make sure it’s going to be just what you expect and when you expect.
- When you’re all done you can clean up really easy because the removable parts are all able to go in the dishwasher. This one even has added pieces like a steaming rack to make your cooking a whole lot easier and these can also go in the dishwasher.
#2 Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget
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The Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker actually has a large screen built right into the side of the slow cooker, which means you know that the outside isn’t getting hot since the mechanism is working just fine without getting overheated itself.
There are three different settings to choose from including probe, program and manual. Each of these is going to give you different options for how you would like to cook your meal and just what you want to do to tell if it’s ready to go. With each option you’re going to know when your food is ready, it’s mostly about preference.
When you’re ready to serve there’s a spoon that clips directly onto this slow cooker to make it easier to get exactly what you want. You’ll also be able to make sure that everything is cooking just right because while the slow cooker is on you can see into the inside with the clear, glass lid which attaches through a gasket clip, making it super sealed.
If you want to take this unit anywhere you’ll have no problem because it comes with handles on each side to make it even easier to transport and because of the tightly sealed lid you don’t have to worry about any leaking. What’s even better is that this slow cooker has a setting for power interruptions so you don’t have to worry about one little flicker ruining your entire meal.
- This 6-quart slow cooker is able to make just about anything you could possibly want for your family meal or for a special occasion where you need to take something with you and you don’t have to worry about being home the entire day (or even a couple hours) to get it started. You can just set it up and forget about it.
#3 Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S
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The Crock Pot brand is one of the most popular and well known when it comes to slow cookers and there’s definitely a reason for that. This one is 6-quarts just like the others and comes with a range of different features, but at the same time it’s a little more basic.
With this slow cooker you can choose between two different colors, silver or red, to fit your household and your kitchen design. The cooker is a lot simpler to use because instead of a touchscreen or additional buttons it uses a simple knob that switches between different levels of heat. This makes it a little less precise but still ensures you have control and options.
The lid on top is glass so you can easily see into it while you’re cooking to keep an eye on your food without having to take the cover off and you can make sure that it’s sealed well with the locks on top of the lid that make it a whole lot easier to transport and to keep hot while you’re cooking or waiting for the rest of the family.
- The stoneware on the inside, as well as the lid are designed to be entirely dishwasher safe so you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to clean them and you can wipe down the outside of the unit with water quickly and easily to clean up any spills. With this slow cooker you’re going to get something a little more simple, but you’re still going to have all the features that you need in order to make a good meal for the family. That’s going to make every meal a whole lot better for your entire family, especially if you’re constantly on the go.
Slow Cooker Buyer’s Guide
There are two different options when it comes to choosing a slow cooker, at least when it comes to how they are going to cook. One of these options is to get a cooker that is mechanical, meaning that it starts cooking immediately when you turn it on. The other is something that is programmable, meaning that you can set it to start cooking at a later time so that your food will be done when you want it to be. This makes it more convenient if you aren’t going to be home at the time you really need your food to start cooking, but it’s definitely considered an upgrade over the more traditional slow cookers you’ll find on the market.
Size and Weight
Next, you want to choose a slow cooker that’s going to be the right size for your needs. You don’t want something too small to hold the amount of food you want for the family but you also don’t want something that’s entirely too large and takes a lot longer to cook than it should. Make sure you’re getting something that really will work for you and that makes it a whole lot easier for you to move it around or carry it somewhere if you need to take the food with you. It’s definitely going to be a better option overall.
For some people a temperature probe is an essential aspect of their slow cooker. They want to make sure that the food they get is going to get to the proper temperature without having to go through the process of opening it up and checking for themselves. The best way to do this is with a temperature probe. All you have to do is stick it into the meat when you first start cooking and set the temperature for what you want it to reach. The cooker will keep it going until you get to that temperature and then it will automatically switch to a warmer setting instead of an actual cooking temperature.
Finally, check out the overall design of the unit that you choose. You want something that is going to work for you and that could vary based on what you really are looking for. Some slow cookers are circular while others are oblong. Some are smaller than others or have multiple spots for cooking. Some of the lids are going to be glass while others are plastic. Some have a locking lid and some don’t and some have a split lid while others have a traditional lid. You’ll also have to decide on the color you want and the design. So make sure you know what you’re looking for.
A good quality slow cooker is definitely going to be an important tool for you when you’re looking to make a meal for the family. If your family is frequently gone during the day or you have to be in and out of the house for other errands a slow cooker can be a great way to create a nice, healthy meal for the family that’s hot and ready when you want it without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
- Slow Cookers