The 5 Slow Cookers That Kitchn Editors Swear By

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Everyone at Kitchn has their favorite slow cooker recipe (that’s a whole different post, though!). So of course that means we each have a favorite slow cooker. While all slow cookers essentially do the same thing, some models have inserts that you can take off and use on the stovetop, some are bigger than others, some are programmable, and some have screens that light up, etc. You know these things. What you might not know, though, is which slow cooker you should get.

That’s why we asked some of our staffers (all slow cooker fans!) to tell us what slow cookers they swear by. If you happen to be in the market for a new one (or, hey, your first one!), take a look.

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“I have three slow cookers, but this 6-Quart Hamilton Beach is my go-to. It has a metal insert, so I can prep my meals the night before and go straight from fridge to slow cooker. And. And! The insert can also be used on the stovetop for searing.” Patty Catalano, Contributor

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“I feel like I can trust this 100 percent of the time. The menu options are super easy to understand, and I love that it’s a pressure cooker and a slow cooker (like the Instant Pot!). The best part: the automatic hands-free steam release, safety valve. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to clean.” — Ariel Knutson, News & Culture Editor

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3. BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Slow Cooker, $40

“I know looks shouldn’t matter, and I should be most concerned how this slow cooker works (which is great!), but it is so cute and makes me so happy when I use it. I’m also a huge fan of batch cooking, and at seven quarts, this slow cooker is ideal for large roasts and double batches of soup, stew, and chili.”
Kelli Foster, Associate Food Editor

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4. Crock-Pot 2-Quart Slow Cooker, $10 at Target

“I didn’t grow up with my parents cooking in a slow cooker, so starting off with a smaller one was a good way to test if this style would work for me. I made everything from beans to broth and it convinced me to eventually invest in a bigger one. Now I have the 7-Quart Black + Decker.”
Hali Bey Ramdene, Food Director
(Image credit: Amazon)

“Honestly, I’ve been using my Instant Pot as a slow cooker a lot more recently. With the Instant Pot, its easier to set cook times and know that it will automatically switch to warming mode. It does best with soups, dried beans, and braised meats. Of course, I’m keeping my two other slow cookers (a six-quart option from Hamilton Beach and four-quart slow cooker from Crock-Pot) — I am a professional recipe developer, after all.” Meghan Splawn, Associate Food Editor

Which slow cooker do you have? Do you love it?