How do you choose the best slow cooker? What functions and features should the ideal slowcooker electric pot have ? Read our guide to choosing informed.
A slow cooker , also called a crock-pot by many consumers, is a blessing for those who cook at home regularly.
Many of the inconveniences of cooking are lessened by the use of a slow cooker: you no longer have to sit next to a hot oven or hob, you do not have to watch the food for long periods to avoid burning it and you no longer have a large pile of pots and pans. to wash after each cooking session.
As can be easily deduced from the name, slowcookers cook food very slowly at low temperatures. Although this prevents you from organizing an ad-hoc dinner just 1-2 hours before, it also saves you a lot of work and offers you much tastier meals.
To help you decide which is the best slow cooker for your and your family's needs, we have put together a comprehensive guide below that will help you choose the perfect device.
Top 3 recommended slowcooker devices
The benefits of a slow cooker
If the space in your kitchen is limited, you may be wondering why you should buy another appliance to take up space. The benefits of using a slow cooker may be worth the space. These are:
You have less work: You prepare the ingredients, add them to the pot and you can leave the slow cooker to work while you spend your day as you want.
You save: If you like meat dishes, you can save significant amounts of time. You will be able to buy cheaper pieces of meat and cook them in slow cooker. The slow cooking process ensures that they will be tender and delicious every time.
Consume less energy: Because it uses a low temperature for cooking, a slow cooker will use less energy than other cooking methods.
It is easy to clean: Because you cook everything in one container, you will have only one washing pot at the end of cooking.
The flavors are better: For foods such as soups, broths, stews and other meat dishes, the longer they are cooked at low temperatures, the tastier they are. Consequently, you will be able to cook much tastier with a slow cooker.
The initial investment is not large: A slow cooker does not have a high purchase price. With the exception of large and complicated models, most slowcooker devices will cost you less than 100 Euros. For tastier foods, convenience and savings, the purchase price is very attractive.
Types of slowcooker devices
The best slowcooker electric pots available on the market fall into one of the following categories:
Manual slow cooker
This type of slowcooker is called manual because you have to turn it off at the button when you finish cooking. This is not a major inconvenience for everyone, but if you want to leave the food to cook and go to work or take a nap, it is good to have a slow cooker that stops by itself.
Manual slow cookers are also the cheapest purchase options and the easiest to use. You don't have to bother with complicated settings , you only have an on / off button and high / low temperature settings and keeping warm.
Suitable for any budget.
Extremely easy to use.
You must turn off the appliance when the cooking time is over to prevent the food from burning.
Programmable slowcooker machines have additional functions for increased utility, the main one being a timer that turns off the machine when the food is cooked. In addition, they usually have several temperature settings , and some models even allow you to adjust it exactly.
Programmable slow cookers are more expensive than manual ones, but this is due to the additional functions that make your life easier.
Programmable slowcooker electric pots are the most popular due to the useful functions they offer.
Comfortable and easy to use.
It offers advanced functions and options for cooking.
Due to the advanced functions it costs more than manual slow cookers.
In many kitchens, space is a big problem. Inampinarea to accommodate those with limited space, some manufacturers offer devices slowcooker offering other functions such as pressure cookers, rice cookers , frying and cooking steam .
Thanks to these additional functions , multi-cooker machines offer many benefits. Unfortunately, multi-cookers usually have a much higher price.
More cooking options.
You save space in the kitchen.
Easy to store when not in use.
Usually more expensive than a slow cooker.
Much more complicated to use – you have to be an expert in advanced settings.
Electric ovens are usually larger and have a rectangular shape compared to the oval shape that most slowcooker appliances have. These work similarly to a slow cooker , but usually have more cooking options.
The main function for which they are used are the steaks on the tray, but they can also be used for many of the recipes that can be cooked in a slow cooker.
Excellent for steak on the tray.
Many cooking options.
Available in both small and large sizes.
Very friendly price.
It does not offer the same types of cooking as a slow cooker.
The best slow cooker: what to look for
For a cooking process as simple as slow cooking, you will be surprised by the multitude of options you will discover when looking for the best slow cooker . To choose the device according to your needs, here are some useful tips.
You can find slowcooker electric pots with capacities between 2 and 6 liters, and even more generous models. As expected, the cost increases with the capacity of the device.
The right size for you depends on the space available in the kitchen and how you will use the appliance. If you want to be able to cook large amounts of food for the holiday meal at once, for example, or if you want to cook a whole chicken or turkey, a large slow cooker is best.
If you just want to cook a slow cooker recipe from time to time or use it for everyday cooking, a smaller and cheaper appliance is the right choice.
The types of food you will cook
Do you have any idea what you will use the slowcooker for more? If you want to cook a lot of meat, cooked or stewed, the best slow cooker for you will be different from the one chosen by someone who will most often cook beans and vegetables.
When looking for a suitable slow cooker , it is good to consider the types of food you will cook most often , how you want to cook them and how much you will cook.
In general, a slowcooker is not very expensive , the price can start from about 100 lei for a small device with manual control and can reach several hundred lei for large and advanced models that offer a multitude of functions and options . There is little point in saving money by buying a cheaper slow cooker if you get home with it, you realize that you will not be able to cook the food you bought it for. Choose wisely!
Programmable cookie cutters offer a multitude of programming options. The most important thing is to turn off the appliance automatically once the food is cooked. Because slowcooker cooking takes a long time, you won't have to watch it for hours to always check the food. You can even let him cook and go to work without worries knowing that a delicious stew will be waiting for you when you return.
Some more advanced models also offer more programming functions , such as multiple temperature settings and cooking modes. In electric ovens you will find options such as: baking, slow baking, steam cooking, etc. And multi-cooker devices can offer you even more combinations of settings to choose from.
For most buyers, a simple slow cooker that manages to cook their food slowly and safely will suffice. For those who are curious to try more cooking methods, or who have limited space in the kitchen and prefer to buy a multifunctional appliance, more complex models will be much more suitable .
If you plan to cook at slowcooker only at home, this may not matter to you. If you want to be able to take the slowcooker with you when you go on holiday, then a device that is easy to transport is the best choice.
Many slowcooker models have a lid and a handle that can be locked, so you don't have to worry about spilling the food you just prepared. You will also need to pay attention to the weight of the device. Ask yourself if you will be able to take him comfortably from the kitchen to the car. If not, then the chosen model will not be suitable for travel and you will have to use it only in the kitchen at home.
Type of cooking container
This may seem insignificant, but it may offer differences in functionality . The cooking container is the inner pot of the slow cooker in which the food is cooked. Usually, it can be removed mainly for easy cleaning.
Some cooking containers are made of a special metal that allows use on the stove when you need to saute or brown certain ingredients before or after they have been cooked. Usually the metals used for this function do not distribute heat as well as other materials that can be used for cooking, such as stone or ceramic.
Slow cooking is easy, inexpensive and produces extremely tasty food. In search of the perfect slowcooker you will find a lot of options, and most of them will have good prices. After following our guide, it should not be very difficult for you to choose the right model for you.
The best slow cooker: recommendations
Taking into account the above tips and the opinions of buyers, we still chose some slowcooker models that offer an excellent quality / price ratio.
1. Slow cooker Crock-Pot CSC027X-01 , 6 l, 3 Cooking settings
Crow-Pot Slow Cooker has 3 cooking settings ‚Low and High for cooking and Keeping warm. Both the High mode and the Low mode reach the same temperature, the difference being only the time required for the Crock-Pot slow cooker to reach boiling point (100 ° C) .
As soon as the cooking program ends, the slow cooker automatically switches to 'Keep warm' mode.
The dish in which the food is cooked is detachable, made of aluminum with a non-stick coating.
See details and price
2. Tefal CY505E30 One Pot electric pressure cooker
Automatic cooking programs will allow you to cook rice, oats, stew, steam cooking, browning, slow, fast cooking and much more.
The Tefal One multifunctional electric pressure cooker can have the Automatic Start and Hot Storage function – both with a duration of up to 24 hours.
The tight-fitting lid provides increased safety.
The package consists of the following accessories: spatula, steaming basket, bowl and container for dosing ingredients – perfect for all recipes.
See details and price
3. Slow cooker Crock-Pot CSC028X-DIM , pot capacity 3.5 liters
Crock-Pot Slow Cooker has 2 cooking settings ‚High and Low.
In 'High' mode the cooking time is shorter , while in 'Low' mode it will increase , giving you the break and free time you need.
The 'Keep warm' option keeps the food at a perfect temperature to be served.
The dish in which the food is cooked is detachable and is made of a heat-resistant ceramic material .
See details and price
4. Slow Cooker Russell Hobbs Cook @ Home Searing 22740-56
The 3.5 L Searing Slow Cooker has been specially designed to make life easier.
Ideal for families, prepare up to 4 servings at a time.
Includes a frying pan (searing) that can be detached and used on the stove.
Stainless steel housing – Glass lid
3 temperature settings: high, low and hot.
See details and price
5. Slow Cooker Heinner HSCK-C57IX, 5.7 L, 220 W
The programmable timer with LED display allows you to set the cooking time, but also the automatic shutdown of the appliance.
Using a revolutionary concept, it helps you prepare food at low temperatures, thus preserving nutrients.
The device comes with a heat-resistant and detachable ceramic vessel.
With a capacity of 5.7 L, the device is large enough to allow you to prepare delicious food for the whole family.
See details and price