The holidays are just around the corner and you’ve realized that you’re going to need a slow cooker to survive them. You’re not alone. Using a slow cooker this season will give you more time to prepare for your guests or spend time with friends and family. You would be hard pressed not to stumble across a recipe that requires a slow cooker in your search for a new and fresh side dish.
You won’t only be thankful for your slow cooker this holiday season…before you know it, you’ll be using it numerous times week! Because of their convenience, slow cookers have quickly become a must-have item for every household, but with so many options out there, how do you know which to buy?
To save you time this busy time of year, we’ve reviewed some of the most popular 6-quart slow cookers currently on the market:
1. Programmable Crock-Pot
- As the name suggests, The Crock-Pot SCCVPL610-S is programmable to save you time and hassle. This modern slow cooker allows you to set cooking times anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours. With this feature there’s no need to rush home and adjust the heat again! It’s equipped with a digital clock on the front to help you keep track of cooking times. There’s no more need to search for or travel with a timer.
- This Crock-Pot, like many others, has three different temperature settings: high, low and keep warm. What sets this device apart from the others is that once it has completed its cooking time, it automatically shifts to “warm”. You can rest easy or have time to run a few more errands knowing your food won’t burn or get cold.
- My favorite aspect is that it’s ready to cook and carry with a convenient lid-locking feature. There’s a built in extra seal to ensure no mess when transporting a meal. Whether you are heading to a Super-Bowl party or picnic, you can be sure that your delicious meal will make it there without spilling in the car.
- After you’ve enjoyed your tasty dish and have headed home, you can relax knowing the stoneware and lid are dishwasher safe. This is perfect for those nights you’re tired and just want to take it easy. If you’re a fan of hand washing, everything can be easily cleaned with warm soapy water.
- The modern and sleek design allows for good presentation without needing to transfer to another dish. It weighs in at a surprisingly low 8 pounds, so you can take it with you without needing to ask for help. It’s 15 x 10 x 10.2 inches, never has been feeding up to 7 people been so easy. This product won’t use up all your counter space and no one at your table will go hungry.
- There seems to be only one consistent complaint about this product and it’s that the “ keep warm” setting is still too hot. This complaint has been inconsistent, but mentioned more than once.
- Overall, this Crock-pot has been received well and has many features that slow cooker enthusiasts would be pleased to have. If you’re serious about your cooking this year, I highly recommend making this purchase. It’s modern, reliable and has the ability to go above and beyond what a simple slow cooker can do without complicating the cooking process.
2. Ruby Red Crock-pot
- The Crock-pot SCCPVM600H-R is memorable because of its bright red coloring; don’t be afraid to stand out with your slow cooker!
- Compared to some of the other slow cookers mentioned in this article, this Crock-pot is on the simpler side. The lift and serve lid is definitely the most distinctive aspect. Instead of needing more counter space to set your lid on, you simply prop it up on the back of the pot. It’s also possible to detach the lid when it comes time to clean
- The stoneware and glass lid are both dishwasher safe.
- Another neat feature is the groove made in the stoneware that allows you to insert a thermometer.
- Lastly, it’s easy to move from counter to table with the heat resistant handles. It only weighs 7 pounds, so if you plan to move this unit around a lot it shouldn’t be too difficult.
- Some customer complaints have included missing screws when purchased and that the company had poor customer service when contacted.
- This stainless steel KitchenAid KSC6223SS is set apart from the others because of its 4 possible temperature settings (keep warm, low, medium and high) compared to the common 3 normally found.If you are gone longer than expected, it will automatically switch from a higher heat to “keep warm”.
- In addition to this, it has 24 hour programming capabilities along with a convenient digital timer on the front.
- This cooker has useful level markers on the stoneware to show the minimum level of food allowed
- This item is a bit heavy, weighing in at 16.1 pounds, so it may not be your best bet if you plan to commute with your food frequently.
- There is a common complaint from customers that the insert cracks after a few uses. In some cases KitchenAid has replaced this insert and in others the customer has been instructed to order a replacement on their own.
4. Stay or go with Hamilton Beach
- The Hamilton Beach 33461 has a sleek look. It’s capable of locking to allow the safe and easy transport of food. Even better: once you start serving your dish, the lid will stay up so you don’t need to find open space to place it.
- This slow cooker can be adjusted manually and there are three different temperature settings: low, medium and high. Unfortunately, this unit does not allow you to program a time so you need to move between these settings manually.
- You can rest easy knowing the stoneware and lid are dishwasher safe.
- There have been some reports of customers experiencing their lid shattering. Another complaint has been that there is no handle on the top of the lid to lift from, which has made it difficult to avoid steam when checking on the food.
Now that you’ve seen the run-down of the top purchased 6-quart slow cookers, you are able to make a well-informed decision. Whether you are looking for a no-frills slow cooker or one with the latest technology, there’s something out there for you. If you’re looking for an easy to use, dependable machine, I recommend purchasing the stainless steel programmable Crock-pot.
This model gives you everything you could want in a product without confusing you with unnecessary features. You will finally be able to impress your friends with your delicious dishes and you won’t need to stress about how to take it with you.