Slow cookers have become more popular in recent times, as families move away from instant, reheatable food, and back towards more wholesome and traditional meals. In order to help you find the right choice for your home, I’ve taken a look at the top 5 best slow cookers in 2017.
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610 Slow Cooker Review
This stylish slow cooker from Crock-Pot would be a most welcome addition to many kitchens, thanks to its elegant appearance and capable functionality. It is oval-shaped and has a removable, dishwasher-friendly, stoneware inner pot with a capacity of 6 Qz. It also has a locking lid with a lid gasket, along with extra large side handles for ease of transportation. The cooker has a digital control, via which you can set the cooking time at 30-minute increments up to 20 hours. It has two settings – high and low, and once the cooking program finishes, it will automatically switch to the keep warm setting. This is ideal for those who want to start cooking when they leave home in the mornings, and return to a ready hot meal.
What’s Good about It and What Isn’t?
I think the main appeal of this slow cooker is actually in the inner cooking pot. It’s actually an attractive piece of stoneware in its own right, and doesn’t look out of place in the center of the dining table, should you wish to place it there once your food has cooked.
It would have been nice if the slow cooker included a timer. As it is, you need to activate cooking by touch, although you can determine for how long.
Crock-Pot iStir Slow Cooker Review
The Crock-Pot iStir has something of a unique feature among slow cookers. This machine doesn’t just slow-cook your food, it stirs it for you, too. It comes with two different types of paddles – one for thick stews and another for thinner soups and sauces – which are attached to the underside of the lid. They can be set to stir at different rates depending on what you are cooking. The inner stoneware pot has a volume of 6.5 Qz, and can be cleaned in the dishwasher along with the lid. The cooker has a digital countdown timer and will automatically switch to keep warm mode once the timer has counted down.
Why It’s a Winner and Why It’s Not
The fact that you can leave your dishes completely alone with this cooker is a massive plus – it can make a big different in helping flavors spread evenly in the stoneware, and allows for much less sticking at the bottom and sides. It will stir your dish for five minutes every half hour, after an initial wait of two hours. If you think it needs more, you can always push a button prompting it to stir right then.
It could do better by allowing a greater variation in cooking times – rather than the two-hour intervals it offers.
Proctor-Silex 33043-4 Slow Cooker Review
If you’re in the market for a slow cooker, but you’re hesitant to go with one of the larger capacity crocks, then you might want to take a look at this smaller model by Protor-Silex. It’s a round, four quart slow cooker with a removable crock and dishwasher safe glass lid. It’s available in both black and white. It has a keep warm setting, which can be used to stop your food from going cold or drying out once it has been slow cooked. It has a simple design and is easy to use, with two different heat settings – low and high. There are large handles either side of the pot, to enable you to move it around easily and safely.
What’s to Like about this Slow Cooker and What Isn’t
For a simple, smaller slow cooker, it looks remarkably charming, and you can choose it in white or black, depending on which color is more in keeping with the rest of your kitchen. It’s straightforward to use and easy to clean. Both the lid and crock can be washed by machine, while the outer body can simply be wiped down with a wet cloth. It cooks beautifully and doesn’t get too hot on the keep warm setting, unlike some other models on the market.
Elite Platinum MST-900VXD Slow Cooker Review
The MST-900VXD is the flagship in this range of slow cookers built by Maximatic. It is oval-shaped and features a removable ceramic inner pot with a volume of 8.5 Qt. It also has a lid made of tempered glass, which locks onto the body of the cooker. Its handles are designed to be cool to touch even when your food is piping hot. This model can be programmed via a digital touchpad, up to 20 hours in advance. It can cook at both low and high heats, and has a keep warm function, too. The main body of the cooker also features brushed stainless steel.
What’s to Love about It and What’s Not?
First of all, this slow cooker really looks the part – sleek and modern. It’s a large model which is designed with convenience in mind. The inner ceramic pot is fully removable and dishwasher friendly -as is the lid. If you need to remove the pot when it’s still hot, you won’t be needing protective gloves, either, thanks to the cool-touch handles.
On the downside, this cooker doesn’t have a medium setting, so it’s really a case of having to wait up to 12 hours if you cook certain meats on the low setting. The locking lid can also be an obstacle.
Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget Slow Cooker Review
The Hamilton Set n’ Forget is a high quality slow cooker at the larger end of the range, with a handful of useful features. It has an oval-shaped 6 quart capacity crock, making it ideal for traditional slow cooker dishes as well as things like chickens and joints of meat. The crock is dishwasher friendly, as is the lid. It’s a gasket lid, which can be clipped to the slow cooker in order to prevent steam from escaping and rattling. This slow cooker also has a thermometer which will show you the temperature of your food as it cooks. It has full-grip, large handles to make it easier to carry.
What Are Its Good and Bad Points?
The Hamilton Set n’ Forget is pretty much an all-round winner. It has the capacity to feed a large family, and can be left for long periods without any danger of spillages or mess, thanks to its clip-on gasket lid. There are three different cooking settings, each of which is designed to cook in a certain way, depending on what you want. It will switch from slow cooking to keep warm once the timer runs out. One drawback of this slow cooker is it doesn’t allow you to set the timer to a later time.
Some Final Words
The slow cookers I’ve reviewed here represent the best of those which will be available in 2017. They come with a variety of capacities, with a range of different features and selling points. Try to think about what you want from a slow cooker and then find your match here.