If you’re a busy person who is trying to balance eating well with a hectic lifestyle, check into preparing your meals in either a slow cooker or a multi-cooker. Either of these will be a perfect addition to your healthy lifestyle.
If you’re new to cooking, you might have some questions.
“What’s a slow cooker?”
You might be wondering this. A slow cooker is an electric countertop cooker. You add your own healthy ingredients and liquids to the pot. You cover the pot with the lid provided, set it and allow it to simmer long and slow all day long. It’s a convenient way for career-minded people to set it in the morning, work all day, and return at the end of the day to enjoy a hot meal.
The next question that ran through your mind was probably this.
“What’s a Multi-Cooker?”
A multi-cooker is also a countertop electric cooker. Slow cooking is one function included in most multi-cookers. In addition to slow cooking foods, some models allow you to pressure cook, cook rice, make healthy yogurt, cook eggs, and more. The features vary widely according to manufacturer and model.
If that leaves you just a little bit confused, don’t worry. We are here to share our research on the best slow cookers and multi-cookers in today’s market with you. Read on to learn more.
Benefits of a Slow Cooker
Slow cooking has numerous benefits to the consumer. From saving time to saving money, here’s a rundown of how you can benefit from using a slow cooker to prepare meals.
- Time Saving: Slow cookers offer the ultimate in convenience. You can prep all your foods the night ahead, add them to the slow cooker as you sip your morning coffee, and turn the pot onto a low setting. The pot will slowly cook your meal as you go about your business for the day. When you return home, your home will be filled with the enticing aroma of a hot, fresh, home-made dinner.
- Money Saving: Slow cookers and multi-pots allow you to pass up the high dollar cuts of meats at the grocery store. You can select lower grades of meats. Why? The long, slow, steamy cooking process will break down the tissues that toughen up those cheaper cuts of meat. You will enjoy the flavors of your favorite meats at a slashed cost.
- Skip the Temptation: It’s easy to fall into the chicken nugget trap after work. It sometimes just seems easier to roll up to the closest drive-thru and pick up dinner on the fly. You’ll have a much better time bypassing the temptation of pizza and cheeseburgers when you know that you have a delicious hot meal waiting at home to nourish your family.
If this leaves you still wondering which slow cooker you should purchase, don’t worry. We’ve assembled product information on six of the best-selling slow cookers and multi-pots on the market today.
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Instant Pot Slow Cooker Review
The Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 6-quart 9-in-1 Multi-Use is one of the best-selling electric kitchen appliances in the world. It’s trusted by home cooks around the world for slow-cooking, pressure cooking, steaming, cooking rice, baking cakes, sterilize cycle, food warming, making yogurt, and cooking eggs.
- Replaces nine kitchen electrical countertop units in one
- 10 built-in safety features ensure safe foods and your personal safety
- Accessory kit includes two spoons, steam rack, measuring cup, and recipe book
- Easily connect to Alexa for start-up instructions and more recipes
- Inner pot is constructed of 304 stainless steel and not a non-stick coating
- It lacks custom temperature control option for slow cooking.
- It also lacks altitude adjustments but this feature is available in Instant Pot Ultra variant.
The Instant Pot is a multi-tasking meal making marvel for any kitchen. Adding this to your kitchen repertoire will help you make healthy and quick dining options for your family.
Crock-Pot Multi-Use Express Programmable 8-in-1
Crock-Pot is one of the most highly respected names in kitchen electric wares. The company holds a proud place in many households and in every corner of the globe. Their reputation for excellent quality assures the buyer of a great user experience.
- All-in-one appliance allows you to do slow cooking, pressure cooking, steaming, browning, sauté, cooking rice, or chili-making
- Easy to use digital display can be set with a simple touch of a button
- Large 6-quart size feeds the entire family
- Comes with an accessory kit of steaming rack, spoon, and cookbook
- Delay start to allow you to prep food well in advance of the cooking start time
- There is no manual function to allow you to cook up customized recipes
- Issues with the pressure valve sealing correctly when pressure cooking
When you look at any Crock-Pot Multi Cooker review, it is consistently praised by consumers. It’s a well-respected brand name in kitchen appliances.
- Large, oval 6-quart shape can accommodate a large roast or full chicken
- LED display panel with 4 temperature control settings
- 24-hour timer functions
- Hold warm setting to keep food warm until you’re ready to serve dinner
- The highest temperature setting is too low compared to the above reviewed brands
- No extra functions other than slow cooking
If you’re interested in a slow cooker that’s only a slow cooker and not a multi-use unit, this is a popular choice. It will easily handle all your slow cooking needs.
Cuisinart MSC-600 3-in-1 Cook Central Slow Cooker
The Cuisinart Cook Central Slow Cooker allows home chefs to have a slow cooker with a few easy to use extra features without making the leap into a full-blown pressure cooker unit. Take a look at this Cuisinart Multi Cooker review.
- 3-in-1 functions include the following: slow cooking, browning, steaming
- Easy to read LCD display
- Non-stick inner pot for easy cleaning up after use
- Safe in the dishwasher
- Glass lid for easy viewing as you cook
- Short cord frustrates users
For an electric cooking unit that has more functionality than a slow cooker but less complications than a 6- or 8-in-1 multi-pot, this strikes a nice balance.
Hamilton Beach 33866 Temp Tracker Slow Cooker
Our Hamilton Beach slow cooker review concurs with popular consumer opinion. The Hamilton Beach Temp Tracker Slow Cooker assists the busy home cook to turn out perfectly cooked meals day after day. It is a product many home cooks include on their list of kitchen essentials.
- Generously sized, oval 6-quart capacity allows you to cook a large quantity of food at once
- Can be set to either low, medium, or high settings depending on the cook time desired
- Digital control panel with timer
- Digital probe improves food safety by monitoring the internal temperature of foods like chicken
- Lid clips to easily carry food to your next get together
- Inner pot is ceramic instead of stainless steel, leaving it more prone to cracking
This product will help you create amazing meals for entertaining a crowd or feeding the family every day.
Cosori 6-quart 8-in-1 Multi-Functional Programmable Slow Cooker
Finally, here is our review of the Cosori 8-in-1 Multi-Functional slow cooker. With 8-in-1 functionality, you’ll have a kitchen powerhouse capable of: slow cooking, pressure cooking, cooking rice, steaming, sauté, making yogurt, hot pot, and a food warmer. That sounds like a recipe for some smart multi-tasking in the kitchen!
- 8-in-1 functionality allows you to free up storage space by ridding the kitchen of duplicate appliances
- 17 pre-programmed settings at the touch of a button
- Delay timer allows you to set the pot 12 hours ahead of time
- Full accessory kit includes: steaming tray, glass lid for the slow cooker, extra sealing ring for the pressure cooker lid, two spoons, cookbook, and measuring cup
- Pressure cooking reduces cooking times by 70%
- Built-in safety features to keep your family safe
- Weighs 15 pounds, making it somewhat heavy to move around
- Bulky in appearance
If you want a small kitchen appliance that is truly multi-functional, the Cosori 8-in-1 is a fantastic option for you.
Choosing a slow cooker or a multi-pot can be overwhelming due to all the options on today’s market. Once you have decided to invest in one of these units, decide how you’d like to use it. Keeping that in mind, look for a unit that will handle the jobs that you require from it on a day to day basis. Finally, invest in the best quality that your budget will allow.