Crock pots are spectacular appliances. Starting with the original crock pot from the Crock-Pot brand, the popularity of this kitchen appliance has only grown since its humble beginnings. Now, there’s incredible variety when it comes to slow cookers!
This list of the 10 best crock pots for 2020 along with a set of useful pieces of information will guide you to make the best slow cooker purchase. Everyone has different needs and desires, so consider your personal preferences before settling on a final decision.
Top 10 Best Crock Pots in 2020
1. All-Clad Programmable – Best Overall
The All-Clad name is a brand of high quality and high standards. This company is known for producing superior products, and this oval-shaped slow cooker is certainly no exception. The All-Clad crock pot comes in 3 different convenient sizes: 4 quart, 6.5 quart, and 7 quarts.
This is one of the many programmable crock pots that are emerging onto the 2020 slow cooker market. The pot can be set to run for up to 26 hours, and has the regular 3 heat settings of low, high, and automatic keep warm.
The All-Clad Programmable Slow Cooker has a smudge free stainless steel exterior with a non stick black cook pot. It’s a beautiful piece that’s very easy to keep clean, and it will look excellent on any countertop, especially in stainless steel feature kitchens!
Unlike some slow cookers, this All-Clad model has handles attached to the outside of the unit. This makes it possible to easily carry the crock pot from one place to the other. The glass lid allows the cook to peek at the food during the cooking process without releasing steam.
- Heat proof carrying handles
- Smudge free stainless steel exterior
- Dishwasher safe
- 3 capacity sizes available
- Programmable LED display
- Automatic keep warm setting included
- Timer for up to 26 hours
- Quality brand
- Users have had trouble inserting the ceramic pot insert into the fridge and into the oven.
2. Hamilton Beach Set – Best Value
Hamilton Beach is one of the most reliable names in the kitchen appliance industry. A solid track record in combination with well-designed features makes this Set n’ Forget Programmable Slow Cooker one of the absolute best crock pots of 2020.
This Hamilton Beach crock pot is 6-quarts, an ideal slow cooker size for most people. It comes with a temperature probe that can be used to check the temperature of foods such as meat to ensure that they’re adequately cooked and ready to eat.
The settings on this slow cooker are a bit more complex than other models. There are three setting options: Program, Probe, and Manual. These three settings let you control the timer, temperature probe, and heat settings, respectively.
If you plan to travel with your slow cooker, this is another good choice. There’s a secure lid locking mechanism and the unit also has good, sturdy handles for easy carrying. An automatic Keep Warm function seals the deal, making this easily the best slow cooker of 2020.
- Easily programmable
- Multiple settings
- Secure lid locking
- Sturdy handles
- 6-quart size
- Temperature probe included
- Reliable brand
- Digital timer
- Dishwasher safe insert and lid
- Less durable than other models
- Stoneware glaze is imperfect
3. Black + Decker Programmable – Best Low Budget
Some readers might be surprised to find such a low budget brand name on a list of the best crock pots for 2020, but the truth is that Black + Decker produces some exceptionally high quality cookware pieces. This programmable crock pot is one of those exceptional pieces.
One super interesting thing about this particular crock pot model is that it comes with a Wi-Fi enabled app that allows the cook to monitor the pot from afar. This makes it so you can check in on the cooking and flip the pot to warm if needed to avoid drying out food.
A pressurized locking lid ensures that the maximum amount of moisture is stored in the pot during cooking. Because moisture is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to crock pot cooking, this locking lid is absolutely vital and certainly a major plus of this slow cooker.
The handles on this Black + Decker are sturdy and stable. The user can carry the unit from home to a party or gathering with ease and elegance! The combination of carrying handles and a locking lid make this an excellent traveling slow cooker.
- Sturdy; durable
- Wi-Fi enabled app
- Locking lid
- Contains heat well
- Easy to clean ceramic cook pot
- Well-known brand
- Digital programmable display
- Rubber grips on the bottom of the crock wear down easily
- Lid is not dishwasher safe
4. Crock-Pot WIFI – Most Technologically Advanced
Crock Pot is a great brand to begin with, but with this latest 6-quart WIFI enabled edition, the company has truly outdone themselves. The world of WIFI enabled appliances is a developing one, but it’s quickly becoming a highly coveted functionality.
The WIFI controls on this appliance make it so that the cook can quickly and easily control the crock pot from anywhere with simply the touch of a button via a smartphone app. This makes it so that users can monitor and manage their meals even when they’re away at work or school!
Besides being technologically advanced, the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker also has all the regular brag-worthy features too. The 6-quart capacity is plenty to cook an entire chicken or to do a roast, and it’s plenty for a group of 4 or more people.
The outside of the Crock-Pot WIFI Controlled Smart Slow Cooker is a stainless steel finish with black plastic. It’s simple and elegant, an ideal combination when it comes to a kitchen appliance that will likely become a countertop staple because of its indispensable usability.
- WIFI enabled; control slow cooker from your smartphone
- 6-quart capacity
- Easy controls
- 3 heat settings: Low, High, and Keep Warm
- Elegant stainless steel exterior
- Lid and insert are dishwasher safe
- Can set cooking time
- Can be used with or without WIFI
- Technology aspects may confuse some users
5. Crock-Pot 8-Quart Oval – Best for Large Families
Another fabulous slow cooker from the brand that invented the sensation, this 8-quart Crock-Pot Oval Slow Cooker boasts excellent features and functionality. The large size is ideal for large groups and gatherings, and it’s one of the largest crock pots on this list.
This crock pot has 3 heat settings, which are Low, High, and Keep Warm. This is perfect especially for groups because it allows the cook to prepare food ahead of time and keep it warm and ready for the actual dinner.
Handles on the outside of the pot make it possible to move the entire unit from place to place. There is no locking lid, so this particular model may not be the best choice for people who want to move their crock pot longer distances beyond their household.
The Crock-Pot Oval Slow Cooker has a stoneware insert that can be placed in the oven at temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The slow cooker itself is extraordinarily energy efficient though, so it’s an awesome choice.
- Stainless steel exterior finish
- Oven safe insert up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Energy efficient
- Handles on unit
- 3 heat settings
- Keep Warm function included
- Removable crock pot insert
- Large 8-quart capacity
- Handles are not of the highest quality
6. Crock-Pot Round Mini Cooker – Best for Singles and Couples
This is one of the smallest slow cookers on this list, and because it’s from the name brand Crock-Pot, you can rest assured that it’s high quality and will stand the test of time. The Crock-Pot Round Mini Cooker is a 2-quart size, perfect for couples or single people.
The Crock-Pot Round Mini Cooker comes with a small recipe booklet upon purchase. This makes it super easy for both new and experienced crock pot users to get started cooking right away using recipes specifically suited to that crock pot size and functionality.
Unlike many other slow cookers, this Crock-Pot slow cooker has only two heat settings: Low and High. There is no Keep Warm function for this 2-quart model. Users can choose from a few different designs, including various options like a plain black or even a purple polka dot pattern.
Perfect for tight budgets, the Crock-Pot Round Mini Cooker is affordable and very reasonable for even the lowest of budgets. The stoneware insert as well as the lid are both dishwasher safe, and the crock pot insert is even oven safe!
- Small and compact
- Budget friendly
- Easy to use
- Dishwasher safe
- Glass lid included
- Stoneware insert is oven safe
- Manual settings
- Not suitable for more than 2 people
- Some users noted that the stoneware insert was difficult to clean thoroughly
7. Corosi Programmable Slow Cooker – Best Programmable Multicooker
This Corosi 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker is so much more than just a slow cooker. In fact, it’s an 11-in-1 multicooker magician with a multitude of functionalities, all designed to make your kitchen time smooth and simple!
The combination of a setting that allows cooking to be delayed until a certain time, along with a 24 hour cook timer, makes this Corosi crock pot one of the most versatile slow cookers when it comes to time management. There are plenty of timing options for cooks who need it.
An automatic shut-off feature is included to give you peace of mind. The Corosi Programmable Crock Pot automatically shuts off after a certain period of time. The slow cooker pot is completely non stick, so it’s quite easy to clean and stands up to a lot if properly maintained.
The exterior of the Corosi Programmable Slow Cooker is stunning. Made of smudge free stainless steel and updated with beautiful design qualities, this kitchen piece is sure to make an outstanding addition to any home kitchen.
- 24-hour cook time
- Delay timer
- Non stick cook pot
- Smudge free stainless steel exterior
- 11-in-1 cooker (Roast, Brown, Steam, Simmer, Rice, Sauté, Bake, Yogurt, Boil, and Manual)
- 3 slow cooker heat settings (low, medium, high)
- Keep warm function included
- Space saver
- Settings may be complicated for some users
8. KitchenAid Slow Cooker – Best for Parties and Gatherings
This KitchenAid slow cooker is particularly well suited to gatherings of people because of its unique easy serve glass lid. KitchenAid is, of course, a well-known brand that produces excellent kitchen products. This is a great crock pot choice for any home chef.
The lid of this crock pot can be opened and closed with hinged doors on two sides. This is ideal for parties and gatherings because it allows people to dish up their food and then easily close the pot again, trapping the heat and keep the food hot and delicious.
This particular slow cooker has a 6 quart capacity and is oval shaped to allow the cook to prepare whole chickens or roasts. The KitchenAid pot can cook for up to 24 hours at a time, heating in 30 minute increments, so that you can easily and safely leave the cooker unattended if needed.
The digital display on this KitchenAid crock pot is a huge advantage. It allows the cook to see clearly which setting is chosen, and it also adds a technological edge to the appliance. The display also shows how much cooking time is left.
- 6 quart capacity
- Can cook whole chickens and roasts
- 24 hours cook time
- Automatic keep warm function
- Digital display
- Unique glass serving lid
- Removable cooking insert for easy cleaning
- Easy storage
- Temperature settings aren’t always accurate
9. Cadet Crock-Pot Cook – Best for Transporting Slow Cooker Meals
This slow cooker from the name brand Crock-Pot is one of the best on the market for 2020. With thousands of glowing reviews and a brand reputation for the best quality products, the Crock-Pot Cook and Carry slow cooker is a strong competitor.
One of the best things about this Crock-Pot slow cooker is its unique lid locking style and built in handles for carrying. These features make it possible to easily unplug and go, an awesome thing to have if you’re making food for a group at a specific venue other than your home.
Both experienced and novice slow cooker users will appreciate the simple and straightforward controls included with this crock pot. This unit has four settings: off, low, high, and keep warm. This simplicity makes it super easy to get started cooking right away without any hassle.
The Cook and Carry Crock-Pot has a capacity of approximately 6 quarts, making it a good choice for large groups. Plus, because the lid and pot insert are dishwasher safe, cleanup is just as easy as cooking!
- Stylish design
- Locking lid and handles for carrying
- Simple settings; easy to use
- 6-quart capacity
- Lid and insert are dishwasher safe
- Ventilation hole
- Name brand; high quality
- No indicator light
- Cooking temperatures were occasionally wonky
10. Aicock Slow Cooker – Best Large Families
Aicock is a lesser known kitchen appliance brand, but that doesn’t diminish the brilliance of this Aicock slow cooker. This particular crock pot is a slightly larger model with a 7-quart capacity. This larger size is ideal especially for large gatherings of people (or for a big family).
The Aicock slow cooker comes with a timer feature built in. Cooks can choose to set the cook time for anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours depending on their needs. This adds a layer of safety and affordability to the cooking process and takes the pressure off the cook.
Thankfully, this crock pot comes with a keep warm feature. This allows the cook to step away after the dish is done while still keeping the food hot. But the cooking process is completed at this point, so there’s no concern of overcooking.
Unlike some slow cookers on the market for 2020, the interior pot of this crock pot is non stick! But besides the easy cleanup that this allows in the first place, Aicock ensured that the interior pot and lid are both dishwasher safe to make your job as the cook just a little bit simpler.
- Dishwasher safe
- Keep warm function
- Non stick interior
- 7-quart capacity
- Built in timer ranging 30 minutes to 12 hours
- 2 year warranty
- Can feed a group of 7-8 people
- Digital display
- Usage may be a bit complicated for some users
- Some customers reported that the lid sometimes didn’t fit quite right
What is a Crock Pot?
A crock pot, also known popularly as a slow cooker, is an appliance that uses slow cook technology to produce delicious meals. This appliance is electronic, and it’s a huge time saver! You can start a stew in the morning and return to a yummy meal at the end of the day.
Crock pots come in different models, from the classic ceramic models to the more updated styles with presets and digital displays. But they all function according to essentially the same principles. Read on to learn about how a crock pot works!
How Does a Crock Pot Work?
Crock pots work by cooking food slowly over time to achieve rich flavors and perfectly cooked foods. Traditional crock pots have two heat settings: high and low. Depending on personal preference, either one of these settings can be great for cooking food.
The crock pot brings the food to a low simmer and maintains this heat for a prolonged period of time. It works just like any other pot, except instead of being put on the stove the cook pot is contained within an electric heating unit that monitors temperature continuously.
But what makes a crock pot different than just boiling food on the stove? Well, the crock pot utilizes moisture creatively. While the food cooks, moisture collects on the interior of the pot because the cooker is sealed. Then, the moisture can help cook the food better.
How to Choose the Best Crock Pots
There are some very specific considerations to keep in mind when choosing the crock pot. While some things are more obvious than others, it’s important that all of these considerations be given equal weight so that you can make the best decision possible.
1. Crock Pot Size
Crock pots come in a few different sizes, and choosing the right size is vital for having a versatile and functional appliance. When it comes to choosing the right crock pot size, you must consider how you plan to use the crock pot.
If you’re a single persona and you want to use the crock pot for meal prep, then a smaller size crockpot is likely to work just fine. But, if you’re planning to use the crock pot during large gatherings or if you have a large family, make sure you get an adequately sized pot!
A good rule of thumb is that a 6 quart crock pot is good for groups of 7 or more people. But crock pots can get as large as 8 quarts in size! The smallest crock pot size is 1 ½ quarts. Again, think about your personal needs and desires when making this decision.
2. Standard and Additional Features
Most crock pots today have some standard features that are included with every model. Although most have these standard features, keep an eye out for those that don’t because they are likely to be of a lower quality.
Some of the standard features that are generally included are a Keep Warm feature (common but not included in all models), a locking lid (not in ceramic models), and a minimum of 2 heat settings (high and low).
Different crock pots also may sport special, additional features that cater to specific cooking needs. These features can be anything ranging from being dishwasher safe to having a built in timer and on/off function. Carefully investigate these before making a final decision.
It’s pretty likely that your crockpot is going to end up sitting on your countertop on a regular basis, so it’s important to make sure that the appearance of the crock pot is pleasing enough to you and to your guests.
Some crock pots have very simple designs. They aim to fade into the background. Other crock pots have more dramatic designs that make more of a statement. Like always, consider your personal preference on this! Different people like different things.
4. Countertop and Energy Footprint
The countertop footprint of a crock pot refers to how much space it will take up on your kitchen counter. Now, just because a crock pot has a large capacity doesn’t mean that it has to take up your whole counter! Some crock pots are made to be more compact than others.
The energy footprint of the crock pot is important to consider because the crock pot is likely going to be turned on for large portions of the day. Thus, it has the potential to use a lot of energy. Make sure to choose a crock pot with energy efficiency so that it remains affordable.
Of course, the price is always a necessary consideration when it comes to buying a kitchen appliance. Crock pots range in price from $10 to $100 (or more sometimes), so it’s good to think about your budget when you start hunting for the best crock pot for you.
Slow Cooker Using Tips
1. Prepare food the night before
If you’ve got work the next day and you want to have a steaming hot meal waiting for you when you get home, consider preparing your meal the night before so that you can start slow cooking straight away in the morning.
By cutting up the ingredients and adding spices and flavoring the night before, you avoid having to wake up early to prepare. Put the crock pot in the fridge overnight, and then get it out in the morning to start cooking.
A word of caution: when you take the crock pot out of the fridge, consider leaving it for 20 minutes to acclimate to room temperature. Crock pots cook best when the pot and its contents are at room temperature when the heating starts.
2. Avoid taking off the lid
The slow cooker works by trapping heat inside the pot, so every time you check your meal to see how it’s doing, you’re sacrificing precious heat. The crock pot is perfectly capable of managing itself, so you don’t need to constantly check in on it.
3. Use the low setting more than the high setting
Why should you be cooking your food on the low setting instead of the high setting? Well, it has to do with flavor and maintenance. If you leave the slow cooker on low, more of the natural flavor of the ingredients used will emerge and create a scrumptious meal.
Other than flavor aspects though, leaving the crock pot on the low setting to cook is smart because it diminishes the need for checking on the meal even further. The slow cooker is sure to take care of itself if it’s left on low to cook.
4. Use cheaper meat cuts
Slow cookers are amazing. They can make even the cheap meat cuts into rich, fall-apart, moist pieces of delicious meat. That’s the beauty of slow cooking. So, you can easily get away with using lean meat and still achieve great results.
5. Don’t put frozen foods in the slow cooker
A rule of thumb when it comes to crock pot cooking is to avoid cooking foods when they’re simply too cold. If you plan to cook a frozen food in a slow cooker, make sure that you bring it to room temperature first before adding it into the mix so that you get the best results.
Crock Pot FAQs
Q: Which temperature settings should be used?
With a crock pot, different foods should generally be cooked at different temperature settings, according to certain specifications. Of course, if you’re combining multiple ingredients into one meal you may need to bend the rules, but there are some guidelines to consider.
For example, meats and poultry, especially the leaner cuts, should be cooked on the lower temperatures (about 195 degrees Fahrenheit). Vegetables may thrive at higher temperatures. Like with many things though, this is somewhat to the discretion of the cook.
Q: How long should I slow cook my meals?
The answer to this question is truly variable. Some people cook their meals in a crock pot for up to 12 hours (or sometimes even a bit longer), while other meals can be cooked easily in just a few hours. Either way, recipes are going to take a little time. Consult a recipe if you’re in doubt.
Q: How much liquid should I use in my slow cooker?
The amount of liquid that you should be using depends on the ingredients, recipe, and cook time, but generally the amount of liquid will be less than if you were cooking the same meal on the stovetop.
Of course, following a recipe is usually a good idea if you’re new to using slow cookers. But, a good rule to follow is that the amount of liquid should be half of that which you would use if you were using a pot on a stovetop.
The reason why you use less liquid in a slow cooker has to do with the way the crock pot traps moisture. While on a stovetop sauces and soups will thicken the longer they’re cooked, this isn’t necessarily true with a crock pot because less liquid leaves the pot during the cooking process.
There are numerous fantastic crock pots on the market today. With so many to choose from, hopefully these guidelines and tips will help you make the best possible choice for your unique needs.