One of the keys to ending up with mouth-watering meals is using the right tool. Since a slow cooker allows you to have tender dishes bursting with flavour, it is understandable why many people in the UK scour the market for the best slow cooker they can find.
However, with all the options available today, finding the best slow cooker is easier said than done. Fortunately, we can help you with your search. In our slow cooker review and buyer guide, you will find a list of our top five best slow cookers, along with all the information you need to help you make the right choice.
- Best Slow Cooker UK: Our Top Five
- Considerations When Buying A Slow Cooker
- Best Slow Cooker FAQ
- Slow Cooker Vs Multi-Cooker
- Best Slow Cooker: Summing Up
Best Slow Cooker UK: Our Top Five
Our review found the Crockpot Lift and Serve Digital Slow Cooker to be the best overall option you can get today. It is excellent for making perfect, succulent meals with the least amount of effort.
All you need to do is a little prep work, place the ingredients in the cooker, and then leave the
Crockpot to cook your dish as you go on with your day.
- Removable 4.7-litre bowl large enough to feed your family
- Adjustable timer that enables you to set cook duration
- Digital display that shows you the amount of cooking time remaining
- Hinged lid that makes stirring and serving easier and prevents condensation from dripping onto your worktop
- Three temperature settings
- The cooker can automatically switch to ‘keep warm’ after cooking
- Easy to use
- Adjustable timing and temperatures
- Bowl ideal for serving
- Reliable industry brand
- Lacks pressure cook option
With the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker, you can get your hands on one of the best slow cookers available without straining your budget. The best part about this slow cooker is that it comes with a hob proof cooking pot, allowing you to sear and slow cook your food in one pot.
This feature makes the Morphy Richards cooker an efficient, ideal, and affordable choice for anyone looking to make nutritious and healthy meals.
- Toughened transparent lid that allows you to monitor the cooking progress without interfering
- The glass lid and inner pot are dishwasher safe, making cleaning the cooker easier
- The cooking pot is shatter-proof, meaning it won’t shatter or crack like standard ceramic cookers
- The aluminium outer shell makes the device lightweight and easy to carry, even when full
- Affordable with excellent value
- Non-stick coating
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t have a timer
- Capacity is small
Next on our list is the Russell Hobbs 25630 slow cooker, an option that allows you to cook in three different ways. Whatever way you choose, the cooker promises to leave you with a flavour-full meal that you and your family are going to enjoy.
Simply prepare your meal by dropping in the ingredients, picking the setting, and you are all set. What’s more, you won’t need to keep an eye on the food while it’s cooking.
- It has a capacity of 6.5 litres
- It offers you three cooking options– sous vide, slow cooker, and temperature probe
- Includes a programmable digital LED display
- The lid has a rubber seal that locks in moisture, heat, and flavour
- It comes with a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee
- The removable ceramic pot is dishwasher safe
- It has extra-large cool-touch handles that allow you to carry the pot easily
- Large capacity
- Temperature probe attachment
- Includes helpful instructions
- Online registration increases warranty
- No searing capabilities
- Sous vide bags not included
Is there anything better than coming home from work knowing that the ingredients you threw into your slow cooker in the morning have transformed into a tasty, ready-to-eat meal? That’s what the Cookworks 1.5L Compact slow cooker promises to offer you.
On top of that, this slow cooker has a handy ‘keep warm’ button, which will ensure the meal is nice and warm whatever time you decide to eat it.
- 1.5-litre capacity, making it perfect for single servings or preparing a meal for two
- Removable ceramic bowl
- Toughened glass lid that you can peek through to check cooking progress
- It has three temperature settings, including the ‘keep warm’ feature
- It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee
- Features non-stick coating
- Recipe book included
- Set it and forget it
- Very economical
- Not dishwasher safe
- Limited capacity
The Breville 5.5L Stainless Steel Slow Cooker completes our list of the best slow cookers you can get today. This option has a capacity large enough to provide your family with delicious meals. It even features wrap-around heating elements that offer the slow and even cooking you need to tenderise even the cheaper cuts of meat.
- 5.5-litre capacity that can provide you with five or six portions
- Low, high, and auto temperature settings
- Removable ceramic bowl that allows you to serve your meal at the table
- Toughened glass lid
- The slow cooker comes with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee
- Ideal for various dishes
- Large capacity
- Simple but effective design
- Value for money
- Pot is hand-wash only
- Not hob or oven safe
Considerations When Buying A Slow Cooker
While having five options to choose from for the best slow cooker is much easier than the many more options out there, you might still find it challenging to decide which one of the five to purchase.
The good news is certain factors can help you make the right decision. With the following considerations, buying your slow cooker promises to be a much more straightforward process.
The first thing you should determine is the amount of money you are willing to spend. The good news is, slow cookers are usually not as costly as other kitchen appliances. The price ultimately depends on the number of features it has.
Features like auto functions, various cooking functions, timers, and fancy controls could significantly increase a cooker’s price. Fortunately, most people don’t use such features in everyday cooking; therefore, you can do without them in many cases.
Also, you could get an affordable low-end slow cooker that performs just as good or even better than the costly high-end options.
While cost is essential, it should not be the only factor you use when making your choice. After all, who wants to end up with a cheap slow cooker whose performance is subpar at best?
Slow cookers come in both oval and round shapes. The shape to go for will depend on the type of food you intend to cook. For instance, ribs, briskets, and whole chickens are more suited to oval-shaped slow cookers.
On the other hand, if you mainly intend to make stews or beans, then the correct shape to go for will depend on the one that would fit better on your counter or in your kitchen cabinet.
On top of looking at the shape, you should also consider the slow cooker’s size. If you have a small household or you don’t like having leftovers and do not mind scaling down recipes, then a small slow cooker would be ideal for you. However, if you have a larger family or love cooking for a crowd of friends, then you should get a slow cooker that has a larger capacity.
Of the five options above, the smallest is the Cookworks slow cooker with a 1.5-litre capacity. The largest option on the list is the Russell Hobbs option at an impressive 6.5-litre capacity.
The best slow cooker is the one that evenly distributes the heat. Most slow cookers include a base that encloses a removable insert and often have their heating element only on the bottom. Other cookers have a crock placed on top of the heating element.
With both of these options, the heat will not be evenly distributed. This uneven heat often forces you to stir your food as it cooks to prevent it from getting scorched. However, with some options, the heating element goes up the side of the base, allowing heat to be distributed more evenly.
Another factor to consider when it comes to heat is if the ceramic pot is hob or oven safe. For some cooks, switching between cooking methods is crucial, while others don’t consider it essential.
Time To Heat
In addition to looking at how the slow cooker distributes heat, you should also look at how long it takes to heat up. The slow cooker’s time to heat will determine how long it takes to cook.
Typically, slow cookers have high- and low-temperature settings. Cooking your food on a high setting will generally take you three to four hours. The low settings can take up to double that time.
Settings And Features
The last consideration to keep in mind when buying a slow cooker is its features and settings. Some slow cookers come with ‘keep warm’ settings, digital controls, and timers that turn the appliance on or off. Some also have an automatic setting that starts cooking your food at a high temperature then switches to the ‘keep warm’ or low setting as soon as your food is ready.
Apart from operational features, you might also want to look at the cooker’s design features, such as digital displays and hinged lids.
Keep in mind that the more features it has, the more costly it will be. Therefore, if you are not sure you will use all these additional features, you might be better off going for a standard option that meets your desired basic functioning.
Best Slow Cooker FAQ
Why Do You Need A Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers are a fantastic cooking appliance that every kitchen should have. Below, we list a few reasons why you need a slow cooker.
Aside from how affordable most slow cookers are, there are various ways that purchasing one can save you money. For starters, you can buy cheaper cuts of meat without worrying about them being tough to chew because of how tender a slow cooker will make them.
Slow cookers also allow different spices and flavours to mellow and fuse with your meal, leaving you with an affordable, simple meal that has a gourmet taste.
It’s Fast And Easy To Clean
Sometimes when you are cooking, you might find yourself using different pots, pans, skillets, and sometimes even the oven. At the end of the day, this leaves you with a large pile of dishes to clean. With a slow cooker, however, all this is done away with. You have fewer dishes to clean and a cooker pot that is usually dishwasher safe.
While most people associate slow cookers with making pot roasts, casseroles, and meatloaves, they are more versatile than many people think. Just because a slow cooker uses one pot to prepare your meal doesn’t mean that your options have to be limited.
Whether you are interested in making some French cuisines or Indian-inspired meals, a slow cooker has most likely got you covered.
How Do You Use A Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers are easy to use and, as long as you prep the ingredients correctly, they can produce excellent results. There are three aspects to using a slow cooker.
If you want your slow cooker to operate correctly, ensure that you fill it at least halfway. However, your slow cooker shouldn’t be more than two-thirds full.
Most slow cookers have two settings, though, as we have mentioned above, some come with three. After you have filled the cooker, you can choose the settings, depending on the model, the ingredients you are using, and how quickly you want to cook the meal.
This aspect deals with how long it will take for the meal to be ready. Variables like temperature settings and how full your cooker is will impact how much time the cooker takes to prepare the meal.
What Are The Best Foods To Cook In A Slow Cooker?
While slow cookers can prepare a wide variety of meals, there are a few options that work perfectly. Some of the best foods you can cook in a slow cooker are included below.
Whether you are preparing root vegetables like carrots and potatoes or more delicate options like kale and spinach, a slow cooker is the perfect appliance to use.
You can also use your slow cooker to make dried or canned beans. However, when using dried beans, avoid adding salt at the start because this would prevent them from becoming tender.
Old-fashioned oats are another excellent food option to make with your slow cooker.
What Are Some Foods You Should Avoid Cooking In A Slow Cooker?
Though slow cookers provide you with several cooking options, they are, unfortunately, not a jack-of-all-trade appliance. Here are some of the foods you should avoid cooking with a slow cooker.
Fish And Seafood
Seafood tends to cook very quickly. If you use a slow cooker, you will end up with dried up, rubbery meat.
Cooking couscous in your slow cooker will only make it mushy and unappetising. We recommend preparing it separately then adding it to your slow-cooked meal during serving.
A slow cooker will leave you with undercooked grains in the centre and brittle rice around the edges. Better to use one of these rice cookers.
When you cook lean meats for a long time, they tend to dry up and get super tough to chew. If the chicken has got a bone, however, you can cook it with a slow cooker. Just be sure to remove the skin.
Adding wine to stove-top cooking is okay because the alcohol can evaporate and cook off. However, since slow cooking means covering up the food, the alcohol will have no way to escape and could leave your meal with an unpleasant flavour.
Gammon cooked in a slow cooker is delicious. Check out our how to cook gammon in a slow cooker guide.
How Should You Clean And Maintain Your Slow Cooker?
Just like every other appliance in your kitchen, proper maintenance goes a long way in ensuring that you keep enjoying your slow cooker for longer. With that in mind, we will share with you three easy ways of cleaning and properly maintaining your slow cooker.
The Routine Clean
While you might not have used your cooker in a while, you must clean it regularly, even if it looks clean to you. Start by filling the cooker with water, then add a little bit of soap. Next, turn it on and let it sit for one hour. After an hour, pour out the soapy mixture and rinse the cooker with clean water.
Removing Tough Stains
Always ensure that the cooker is clean before putting it away for storage. Sometimes, however, you will find yourself dealing with stains that just won’t come out. When this happens, grab some baking soda and a kitchen brush. Sprinkle the baking soda on the sides, scrub for a few minutes, and rinse your cooker.
The Deep Clean
Your slow cooker will need a deep and thorough cleaning every once in a while. On such occasions, fill the cooker with water and add vinegar and baking soda. Turn the cooker on for an hour, occasionally scrubbing the inside with a brush. Feel free to leave it on for longer, depending on your desired results.
Slow Cooker Vs Multi-Cooker
As great as slow cookers are, there are other bench-top cooker options you might be interested in getting. One such alternative is a multi-cooker.
While slow cookers are a good choice, you might not have the patience or time needed to wait for them to cook your meal. On the other hand, multi-cookers can prepare the same meal in a fraction of the time. On top of that, they are an excellent option if you would like to reduce the number of kitchen appliances you have.
The downside, however, is that multi-cookers won’t offer you the same depth of flavour that slow cookers do. You also cannot leave a multi-cooker unsupervised like you can with a slow cooker. Read more about the slow cooker vs multi cooker argument.
Best Slow Cooker: Summing Up
When you are looking for the best slow cooker, you cannot go wrong with the Crockpot. From its features and settings to its quality and capacity, this option is almost flawless.
With that being said, the other options we have shared with you here would still offer you the perfect balance of performance and quality that we are looking for in all our kitchen appliances.