Crock-Pot Stainless Steel 7-Quart Manual Slow Cooker
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Looking for the best Crock-Pot (or other slow cooker) you can buy? Your personal favorite will depend on your particular needs and lifestyle (there’s even a slow cooker specifically for paleo eaters), but these are some of our top picks.

Do you need a slow cooker?

We wouldn’t want to be without ours, and here’s why: Slow cookers and Crock-Pots are pretty great appliances. They can cook hearty, heaping piles of meat, comforting soups and stews, even breakfast and dessert, all in the most delightfully hands-off way while you get other stuff done.

Slow Cooking 101How to Use a Crock-PotThey’re certainly useful for helping you stick to resolutions like eating healthier and cooking more at home instead of dining out. And while they’re obviously great in winter, when they’re called upon for warming dishes and drinks to fight the chill, they’re perfect for parties all year round, and handy in hot weather too, when they save you from standing over a steamy stove (or turning on the oven and heating up the entire kitchen).

If you don’t have a slow cooker yet, or are maybe looking to replace the relic you inherited from your parents, you may be surprised by the range of options out there. Many are pretty basic, but plenty of others have intriguing extra features—and then there’s the Instant Pot, of course (which also functions as a slow cooker).

So, what’s the best Crock-Pot or slow cooker to buy?

That depends on a few factors, but we bet one of the ones below will be perfect for you.

Here’s an at-a-glance look at our picks, tagged with who we think each one will most appeal to—but keep scrolling down to see more details for each and find your slow cooking soulmate.

For Pretty Much Everyone

Hamilton Beach Programmable 7-Quart Slow Cooker, $44.99 on Amazon

Hamilton Beach Programmable 7-Quart Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach/Amazon

This digital 7-quart slow cooker is roomy and has all the standard features of modern models: dishwasher-safe stoneware crock insert, dishwasher-safe glass lid, three settings (high, low, and warm), the ability to set the length of cooking time, and a feature that automatically switches the temp to warm once that time is up. It’s simple and affordable and should meet all of your slow cooking needs.Buy Now

For the No-Frills Fam

Crock-Pot Cook ‘N Carry Stainless Steel 7-Quart Manual Slow Cooker, $29.69 at Walmart

Crock-Pot Stainless Steel 7-Quart Manual Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot/Amazon

If you’re not in the market for anything even kind of fancy, this is perhaps the most basic you can get—there’s just a manual dial you turn to low, high, or warm (so no setting a cook time or automatically switching over to warm), and the 7-quart ceramic crock and glass lid are dishwasher-safe. It gets the job done, and sometimes that’s all you need.Buy Now

For NFL Fans

Crock-Pot NFL Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Little Dipper, price varies on Amazon

NFL Crock-Pot sports team slow cookers

Crock-Pot/Amazon

When you’re a true fan, you want to show your team spirit any way you can—and now that can even include your choice of slow cooker! This is obviously the perfect thing for making and serving warm dips and slow-cooked sausage and onions for your next tailgating bash. (Check out some of our favorite Super Bowl Crock-Pot recipes for inspiration.) It’s your basic slow cooker in every way but one: you can get it emblazoned with whatever team colors and logo you love (prices vary depending on your team allegiance, but most are between $38 and $60). And it comes with a bonus “Little Dipper” for keeping your beer cheese and queso warm! (You can also find various NFL logo Crock-Pots at Walmart, generally for cheaper.)Buy Now

For the Precision-Minded

Hamilton Beach Programmable 6-Quart Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe and Transport Clips, $42.55 on Amazon

Hamilton Beach Programmable 6-Quart Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe and Transport Clips

Hamilton Beach/Amazon

This slow cooker builds on the usual features (digital display and buttons, programmable cook time, and automatic “keep warm” function) by adding a removable digital probe that can cook your roast to the precise temperature you choose (and it displays the temperature in real time on the LED panel). Plus, it has lid clips that lock the top in place, in case you need to transport your beautiful hunk of beef to a tailgating party or potluck.Buy Now

For Multi-Function Fans

Cuisinart 3-in-1 Multi-Function 4-Quart Slow Cooker, $97.54 on Amazon

Cuisinart 3-in-1 Multi-Function 4-Quart Slow Cooker with Searing and Steaming Functions

Cuisinart/Amazon

This digital slow cooker isn’t just a slow cooker—it also has settings that allow you to steam and sear food. If you make a lot of meaty dishes, you know the annoyance of having to brown it in a pan before adding it to the slow cooker, so this model means it’s much easier to make truly one-pot meals (it also means the crock insert is aluminum rather than the usual ceramic). It comes with a steaming rack for making healthier fish and vegetable dishes. Another nice feature is that you can set specific cooking temperatures if you want something more precise than low, medium, or high—but like most other slow cookers, it still automatically switches over to warm once time’s up. (If you need a larger model, there is a 6-quart option too.)Buy Now

For Cheffy Cooks

Hamilton Beach Professional 6-Quart Sous Vide & Slow Cooker, $79.99 on Amazon (originally $129.99)

Hamilton Beach Professional Sous Vide & Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach/Amazon

This slow cooker works like any other digital model (you can program the cooking time and have it keep food warm afterward), but it also functions as a sous vide machine, which is a pretty big deal for fans of the water bath cooking method (or those who have been dying to try it). It may not be quite as precise as more expensive sous vide equipment, but it’s great for the more casual experimenter, and it’s still a 2-in-1 appliance, which is always nice.Buy Now

For Fashionistas and Potluck Perfectionists

Hamilton Beach Wrap and Serve 6-Quart Slow Cooker, $36.51 at Walmart

Hamilton Beach Wrap and Serve 6-Quart Slow Cooker with Decorative Wraps

Hamilton Beach/Amazon

This is your basic manual slow cooker, with no bells or whistles where functionality is concerned—but plenty of pizzazz on the outside. You can change up the look for holidays and special occasions with reusable decorative wraps that attach to the sides. This one comes with blue chevron wraps and a chalkboard surface wrap that lets you draw on your own labels or designs, but additional patterns can be purchased separately. (If you’re just after a prettier-than-average slow cooker, check out these floral Crock-Pots by the Pioneer Woman.)Buy Now

For Couples and Singles

Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Mini Slow Cooker, $27.20 on Amazon

Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Mini Slow Cooker for One or Two

Crock-Pot/Amazon

This manual Crock-Pot’s petite size is perfect for cooking for just 1 or 2 without a lot of leftovers (anyone who’s made pulled pork in a standard size slow cooker can attest to the never-ending mountain of meat that remains even after several dinners). It could also work for small batches of hot dips or appetizers for a party—and it includes locking lid clips, so carrying it to a potluck is easy.Buy Now

For App Lovers and Tech Fiends

Black + Decker WiFi-Enabled 6-Quart Slow Cooker, $31.89 at Walmart (currently out of stock)

Black + Decker WiFi-Enabled 6-Quart Slow Cooker

Black + Decker/Walmart

That’s “app” as in application, not appetizer. Honestly, this Crock-Pot works just like most other digital models, except it can also be controlled remotely via an app on your phone, which enables you to increase or decrease cooking times and temperatures, or even remotely shut off the slow cooker if you need to. The app also has options to look up new recipes and share your creations on social media, but sadly, no text alert feature to let your friends and family know when dinner’s done. (The Crock-Pot WeMo Smart Wifi-Enabled 6-Quart Slow Cooker does have that functionality, but also a massive price tag that cannot possibly justify the added convenience.)Buy Now

For Paleo People (and Other Health-Conscious Folks)

Chefman 7-Quart Paleo-Certified Slow Cooker, $49.99 on Amazon

Chefman Paleo-Certified Stoneware Crock Pot with 70% less lead than traditional slow cookers

Chefman/Amazon

If you follow the paleo diet, you may want to look into this slow cooker, which has an all-natural stoneware crock that’s nonstick without the addition of any chemical coatings, and with 70 percent less lead than standard slow cookers. If you’re not following a totally caveman-appropriate life, you’ll be glad to know that the insert is also dishwasher-safe.Buy Now

For Eco-Friendly Fans

Wonderbag Non-Electric Portable Slow Cooker, $33.98 on Amazon

Wonderbag Non-Electric Portable Slow Cooker

Wonderbag

This slightly unconventional option is great for those who want to save electricity (and otherwise help the environment). It works by bringing food to a boil on the stovetop and then enclosing the pot inside the Wonderbag itself, an insulated, machine-washable pouch that’s made from recycled material. The retained heat continues to cook the food, or can just keep it warm if it’s already done—handy for camping, tailgating, and far-afield picnics. Even better, for every Wonderbag sold, $1 is donated to the Wonderbag Foundation, which provides these fuel- and time-saving slow cookers to families in need—and helps save lives, since wood smoke from cooking fires is a major health and environmental issue in many countries. Learn more about their mission.Buy Now

For Everyone Who Doesn’t Have One Yet

6-Quart Instant Pot 7-in-1, $74.96 on Amazon

6-Quart Instant Pot 7-in-1

Amazon

While the Instant Pot is most often touted for its quick cooking abilities (I mean, it’s right there in the name…), it does also function as a slow cooker when you want it to, among several other things. This 7-in-1 model, for instance, adds rice cooking and yogurt making functions to the mix, but all Instant Pot versions and sizes include the slow cooker function (and a saute function) in addition to the main draw of the pressure cooker. So you may as well give in and get one if you haven’t already! When it’s not making speedy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, it’s great for any given slow cooker recipe—and if you’re at all concerned about possible trace amounts of lead in ceramic or aluminum crocks, you’ll also like the fact that the Instant Pot’s insert is stainless steel. It does cost a little more than your basic Crock-Pot, but you may find it well worth the price.Buy Now

Read More: Yes, an Instant Pot Is Worth Getting | The Best Instant Pot Accessories for Healthier Eating

Related Video: How to Make Slow Cooker Pork Ramen

Jen is an editor at Chowhound. Raised on scrapple and blue crabs, she hails from Baltimore, Maryland, but has lived in Portland (Oregon) for so long it feels like home. She enjoys the rain, reads, writes, eats, and cooks voraciously, and stops to pet every stray cat she sees. Continually working on building her Gourmet magazine collection, she will never get over its cancellation. Read more of her work.
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