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The 8 Best Slow Cookers for 2022, Reviewed

Slow cookers are an essential kitchen appliance for the experienced cook, the large family, and of course the bachelor. There are an almost limitless number of slow cooker recipes that involve minimal prep and require zero attention. Just toss everything in the ceramic pot, and four to eight hours later, you have a delicious meal that is ready to eat.

If you’re thinking that you can achieve the same result with a Dutch oven and your oven set on low, you’d be correct. However, are you comfortable leaving your oven on and unattended for eight hours? If you are, that’s fine, but we’re going to go the slow cooker route. Slow cookers are programmed with safeguards that make the unit shut down if something goes wrong. We can’t say the same for our ovens.

If you’re already used to the slow-and-low lifestyle because you’re a pro with your smoker, bring it inside with one of these great slow cookers. Note that we only are suggesting products that are a slow cooker first and everything else second. There are tons of products out there like pressure and rice cookers with a slow cook function.

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Best Overall Slow Cooker: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker

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Like Kleenex or Q-Tips, Crock-Pot is a name that has become synonymous with slow cookers. So if you thought that all slow cookers were Crock-Pots, and vice-versa, don’t be embarrassed. Crock-Pot was the originator of the electric slow cooker back in 1940. Having invented the device, it makes sense that the brand would put out some of the best slow cookers on the market. This Cook-and-Carry Crock-Pot earns the best overall for being affordable and easy to use while also having a sizable 6-quart capacity. The locking lid feature is also a nice touch for when you have to transport hot chili (fans of The Office will get it).

Most Versatile Slow Cooker: Black and Decker 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

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If you need the latest tech in everything you buy, this digital slow cooker from Black and Decker is for you. It offers precision temperature controls and a temperature probe feature that will switch the machine to warm once the ingredients reach your desired temp. A unique feature of this appliance that others of its kind aren’t offering is the sous vide setting. This slow cooker comes with a rack insert that will hold up to eight vacuum-sealed bags. The cooker will keep your water at your desired heat. The confined space and surrounding heat source of the cooker make it possible to achieve the same effects as a circulator.

Best Splurge Slow Cooker: Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker

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If you have the money to spend and want a slow cooker that will wow your guests with its beautiful design, this one from Calphalon is a great choice. It’s a fairly simple device packaged in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. But it’s not just pretty; it performs well, too.

Best Precision Slow Cooker: Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Slow Cooker

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This Hamilton Beach Set and Forget slow cooker is a more affordable version of the previous Black and Decker model. The digital controls are straightforward, and its main feature is the food probe. It’s got enough room to cook a whole chicken or large roast. This slow cooker is highly rated on Amazon and is also one of its top picks.

Best Small Capacity Slow Cooker: Elite Gourmet 1.5 Quart Slow Cooker

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Are you tired of sharing your leftovers with your deadbeat roommate? An easy solution is to eliminate the leftovers. This almost pocket-sized, 1.5-quart slow cooker from Elite Gourmet is great for portion control and gives you the set-it-and-forget-it ease only slow cookers can provide. Pro-tip: have one of these bad boys on your desk at the office and just bring in your prepped food in a container and add to the cooker, on high, first thing in the morning. You’ll have a delicious, hot meal by lunchtime.

Best Large Capacity Slow Cooker: Crock-Pot 8-Quart Manual Slow Cooker

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Crock-Pot is coming through with another top model with this 8-quart manual slow cooker. This is the mammoth version of the brand’s 3-quart cooker. Need to slow-roast a small turkey? Cook enough chili for a whole soccer team? This is your best option for an affordable price.

Best Slow Cooker for Tailgating: Presto Nomad 8-quart Traveling Slow Cooker

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This convenient and super-transportable slow cooker from Presto will make you a star at your next tailgating event. You can cook it at home and bring it with you or hook up to a power source the day of a game and have a delicious meal ready to go to celebrate your team’s victory. Just make sure to label what’s inside on the small dry-erase board on the front. You don’t want anyone mistaking those baked beans for beers.

Best Slow Cooker System: Crock-Pot Hook-Up Round Connectable Entertaining System

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Suppose you’re watching the big game at home but still want the ultimate tailgate experience. In that case, these Hook-Up Round Connectable Slow Cookers from Crock-Pot can’t be beaten. These slow cookers range from 1 quart to 5 quarts and can be hooked up in a variety of ways to make the perfect serving line at your party. A nice feature is a retractable cord that will allow you to space them out if need be. They also come in a variety of colors to match your style.

Editors' Recommendations

Steven Johnson
Former Digital Trends Contributor

Steven Johnson is a chef-turned-content strategist. He now helps companies attract and retain more customers through content creation and strategy. Although he traded his knives for a laptop, his passion still lies in food. You can find him in Detroit whipping up daily home-cooked meals for his wife and daughter. He also loves lakes, bourbon, and hiking — not necessarily in that order. He contributes to online publications like Toughjobs.com and The Manual.

Send all editorial inquiries HERE.

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