Which is the best slow cooker? We review energy efficient, easy to use models from Ninja, Russell Hobbs, Sage
Our expert reviews the UK’s best slow cookers for 2023, to find the easiest to use, most energy efficient models, for comforting, nutritious meals
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The irony of an appliance with a name like slow cooker actually speeding up meal prep isn’t lost on us. But, because of the one-pot-wonder nature and the very minimal effort a recipe often requires once it’s bubbling away, it really is a time-saver where cooking is concerned.
Ideal for families, batch-preppers, busy folk, and anyone who favours faff-free cooking, slow cookers tend to take the stress out of meal prep. You pop your ingredients in, switch it on, and a few hours later – having simmered away on a low temperature – Bob’s your uncle – dinner is served. But, how do you choose the best slow cooker for you?
Best slow cookers at a glance
- Best for function: Crock-pot CSC026 5 Litre Duraceramic Digital Saute Slow Cooker
- Best for additional features: Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker 6L OP350UK
- Best for cooking meat: Russell Hobbs Sous Vide Slow Cooker
- Best for family sized portions: Morphy Richards Easy Time 6.5L Slow Cooker
- Best advanced slow cooker: Sage The Fast Slow Pro
- Best for two-person meals: Lakeland 3.5L Slow Cooker
- Best value for money: Tower Cavaletto 6.5L Slow Cooker
- Best budget option: Next Copper Slow Cooker
How to shop for the best slow cooker
Generally speaking, slow cookers are pretty straightforward to use. Some have more settings than others, so it’s worthwhile considering if you’re in the market for easy and breezy or something a little more sophisticated.
Capacity and size are also important to bear in mind – a larger capacity feeds more mouths or makes leftovers for meals later in the week, but takes up more counter – or cupboard - space.
Finally, think about ease of care (is the pot non-stick, and is it dishwasher friendly?) and, importantly, your budget.
Are slow cookers energy efficient?
You may logically assume that because slow cookers are on for such a long time, they use a great deal of power. To the contrary, they’re a very energy efficient means of cooking food - because the element uses a very low current, instead relying on trapped heat to cook food.
For example, a slow cooker running for around 9 hours will use about 1300 watts, where by comparison an oven uses between 2000-5000 watts (depending on its energy rating) for 60 minutes use at 180 degrees celsius.
You can also utilise cheaper cuts of meat - indeed, fatty cheap cuts are ideal for slow-cooking, as they render and tenderise beautifully over time - and vegetables that are near the end of their shelf life, so they’re great for creating less expensive, but still wholesome family meals.
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