The 10 Best Crockpots

Updated February 28, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Crockpots
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you’re preparing a family meal, looking to impress friends and relatives at a dinner party, or seeking a simple way to avoid slaving over a hot stove for hours, try one of the crockpots from our selection. We’ve considered slow cooking options that vary in capacity, price, and features, so that you can find the model best suited to your needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best crockpot on Amazon.

10. 4.5-Quart Manual Slow Cooker

The 4.5-Quart Manual Slow Cooker sports an attractive damask motif that makes it a nice decorative piece, slow-cooking prowess aside. Its glass lid and stoneware insert are both dishwasher-friendly, which helps make cleanup less of a hassle.
  • surface is nonstick
  • hardware is corrosion-resistant
  • heating is a bit inconsistent
Brand Crock-Pot
Model SCR450-PT
Weight 10.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Proctor Silex 33043

Thoroughly tested for long-term durability, the Proctor Silex 33043 may very well become a staple of your kitchen for years to come. Its low-heat settings bring out the natural flavors in meat and avoid the rapid boiling issues you may encounter with some other models.
  • available in black or white
  • extremely inexpensive
  • some units have ill-fitting lids
Brand Proctor Silex
Model 33043
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. WeMo Smart

The WeMo Smart is proof that the Internet has truly infiltrated every aspect of our lives. It connects to your home network via Wi-Fi, allowing you to start cooking, turn it off, and even adjust temperatures on the go using its companion mobile application.
  • push notifications when cooking ends
  • also works without wi-fi
  • not the most reliable option
Brand Crock-Pot
Model SCCPWM600-V2
Weight 15.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Hamilton Beach Stay or Go

Can’t decide whether you’re going to cook at home or set up shop at your friend’s house? With the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go, either works. Its clip-locked lid has a tight seal designed specifically for traveling, and is hinged to stand out of the way at serving time.
  • snap-up folding handles
  • football-themed version available
  • cord is a bit too short
Brand Hamilton Beach
Model 33461
Weight 13.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Chefman XL

The stoneware insert that comes with the Chefman XL is not only naturally nonstick, coating- and chemical-free, and paleo-friendly, it can also be used without its countertop heating unit on your stove or in the oven. It's even dishwasher-safe to sweeten the deal.
  • includes access to a recipe club
  • backed by a 1-year warranty
  • must be seasoned before initial use
Brand Chefman
Model RJ15-5-N
Weight 13.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Cook & Carry

The Cook & Carry is easy to program via its digital interface, which displays the internal temperature and time remaining clearly. It also has a locking lid to keep curious hands out, making it safe to use in homes with kids and ideal for transport.
  • timer settings of up to 20 hours
  • auto-shifts to warm after cooking
  • small feet hamper stability
Brand Crock-Pot
Model SCCPVL610-S
Weight 13.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. SharkNinja 4-in-1

Much more than initially meets the eye, the SharkNinja 4-in-1 features a system that functions as a slow-cooker, steamer, a countertop oven, and a portable stovetop. Its innovative heating mechanism allows you to sear, sauté, bake, or braise at the turn of a dial.
  • available in black red or silver
  • includes a roasting rack and pan
  • handles get very hot
Brand SharkNinja
Model MC950ZSS
Weight 18.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Bella Triple

Bust out the Bella Triple for serving a spread at parties or save it for a night at home indulging in a multipart meal that requires an extended amount of slow cooking. Unlike traditional models, you aren’t limiting yourself to a one-pot dish with this one.
  • independent heat settings
  • spoon rests for serving utensils
  • great for family gatherings
Model 13698
Weight 25.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Instant Pot Duo60

With too many features and settings to list here, the Instant Pot Duo60 is not your mother's slow cooker. While it's great for traditional day-long braises and stews, it also boasts a pressurized system that can significantly speed up the process.
  • available in three sizes
  • up to 24-hour delay timer
  • 14 automated programs
Brand Instant Pot
Model IP-DUO60
Weight 12.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Hamilton Beach Set & Forget

The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget is packed with useful features, such as a locking lid, full-sized cool-touch handles, and a probe thermometer that can be inserted through the lid and left in place for close monitoring throughout the cooking process.
  • can hold a 6-pound chicken
  • tight gasket seal
  • retains settings in brief power cuts
Brand Hamilton Beach
Model 33969A
Weight 14.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Crockpots Versus Slow-Cookers: Why The Confusion?

Both Crockpots and slow-cookers run on electric power, and typically feature three standard parts–a ceramic base insert, a glass lid, and a heating element–, but they are not one in the same. You see, all Crockpots are slow-cookers, but not all slow-cookers are Crockpots. Actually, the term Crockpot is a brand name, like Band-Aids are to bandages.

The number one difference between the two boils down, pun intended, to heat distribution. Slow-cookers generally have one heating element running along the base of the unit, whereas Crockpots have multiple heating elements on the bottom and the sides.

This may not seem like a huge difference, but when it comes to slow-cooking larger cuts of meat, Crockpots are the clear winner, as they evenly distribute heat all around the meat, lessening the chance of improperly cooked meals that may lead to food-borne illnesses.

Though slow-cookers lack additional heating elements, they offer a broader range of temperatures at which to cook. This may be a better option for some, but they commonly require more babysitting than Crockpots to prevent burning and scorching.

The Science Behind Crockpots

Why do people like tender meat so much? Why does it taste so much better when it's "falling off the bone"?

We cannot actually answer those questions, but our guess is it has to do with the fat meat contains; since our bodies and brains are wired to consume fat to create energy. Not to mention its great for skin and hair health. Besides, it just tastes so darn delicious.

Which brings us to our next question: What makes meat so juicy and tender?

Believe it or not, there's an actual science behind slow-cooking meats.

Some crockpot enthusiasts swear up and down that searing meat before placing it into the crockpot will either make, or break your meal. This step isn't necessary, but absolutely worth the effort. Why is that?

Searing meat at a high temperature, a technique called browning, aka the Maillard reaction, caramelizes the surface of the meat, creating all those phenomenal flavors we know and love; not to mention, this step also kills bacteria. But like we said, this isn't necessary, if you're into boring foods.

What does this all have to do with crockpots? This is where the science comes in.

At 160-degrees, collagen within the meat begins to breakdown, which may sound disgusting but it's actually building even more flavors. This is referred to as a kinetic process, or rate of reaction in a chemical process. This is where temperature and length of cooking time make all the difference.

In order to liquify the collagen, the duration of cooking has to be increased, while the cooking temperature needs to be decreased. Not only that, but the steam created and captured within the crockpot is continuously adding moisture to the meat, greatly reducing its risk of drying out.

Now you understand why they're also called slow-cookers?

Furthermore, crockpots are huge time savers. In a world where everyone always seems so busy with life's responsibilities, though we've had it easy when compared to our ancestors, crockpots are an economical way to make sure there's food on the table.

Our last question: What's not to love about them?!

The Slow-Cooked History of the Crock-Pot

The first crockpots introduced to consumers were produced solely for the sake of making beans, hence their first name: the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker. This was in 1936.

All the credit goes to Chicagoan, Irving Naxon, leading the Naxon Utilities Corporation. This guy was a pretty big deal in his time; some say he invented a precursor to the modern fax machine we still use today.

In 1970, the Rival Company bought Irving out, and put these devices on the market one year later, under the Crock-Pot name. Rival also published several crockpot cookbooks, but it was the inspiring author of Mable Hoffman's "Crockery Cookery" in 1975 who got the ball rolling with crockpot cooking.

It also helped that by this time in the mid-1970s, more women were leaving households to work than ever before. The two ideas finally came hand in hand, and the market had to catch up with demands.

Since then, crockpot designs have changed drastically, into more efficient, high-tech devices, but the same concept still remains. Sales go through the roof in winter, when cold temperatures conjure up images of a hot, slow-cooked meal just waiting for you to sink your teeth into it.

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Last updated on February 28, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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