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Slow cookers make life easier, and make the task of cooking dinner something you don’t have to worry about after a long day at the office. With slow cookers, you can throw some ingredients in them before you go to work (say, meat and veggies), and while you’re at work, the slow cooker will slowly cook your food and leave it ready and packed with flavor by the time you get home.
When buying a slow cooker, you want one that is easy to transport, includes a digital timer, has a tight locking lid, and a probe thermometer that lets you check the temperature of the meat. The rest as they say, is “set it and forget it.” Place the ingredients in the pot, set the timer (to a pre-set setting for your dish or a setting of your choice) and then let the slow cooker works its culinary magic.
We’ve found three of the top slow cookers that will make you look forward to prepping dinner every night — and even more excited to eat it.
1. Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker
The Crock Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker is great for transporting and can be set to customized times and temperatures. This slow cooker can be set to cook in thirty minute increments or as long as twenty hours. You can also adjust the temperature to low or high and after the timer you set goes off it will automatically switch the temperature to warm, to keep your food from over cooking but warm enough for you to eat when you get home.
This is a user-friendly crock pot that can be used for a variety of different recipes with its customized settings and it’s easy to transport from your home, to the car, and to its final destination without spilling.
PROS: Digital customized timing and temperature features.
CONS: Doesn’t come with a temperature probe to test meat temp.
2. Cuisinart Slow Cooker
The Cuisinart Slow Cooker comes in three sizes: 4, 6, and 8 quarts. Most slow cookers only come in 6 quarts so it’s a nice feature to be able to choose the specific size you need. If you are looking for a slow cooker that can be used a variety of ways for sauteing, browning, searing meat and more, than this slow cooker is a good choice.
This slow cooker is priced within the same range as the other slow cooker mentioned above but can be used for all types of cooking besides strictly slow cooking. If your stove top is in use and you need to brown some chicken, this slow cooker can do the job. Despite its multi-functionality, it’s also a great slow cooker that has one-touch switch modes that is helpful when a recipe calls for different temperature settings.
PROS: Is more than just a slow cooker.
CONS: Doesn’t come with a lock lid or temperature probe.
3. Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker
The Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker includes all of the top-of-the-line features you want in a crock pot. This slow cooker lets you set the cooking temperature to a specific temperature and specific time for recipes that require exact temperatures rather than just cooking between a range of temperatures at low, medium, or high.
One of the best features about this slow cooker is that it comes with a temperature probe that you stick into the center of the meat you’re cooking. You can then close the lid with the temperature probe intact and the inside temperature of the meat will be displayed on the control panel while it cooks. This tool lets you cook your meat for the perfect amount of time without over or under cooking.
PROS: Comes with high-quality temperature probe that makes this a great slow cooker for making a delicious roast.
CONS: The power cord it comes with is short, therefore the slow cooker needs to be plugged in near an outlet.