Do you love to prepare home cooked meals for your whole family? Some meals require you to spend all day in the kitchen for that. However, here is one most useful cooking appliance that will help your tasks get done: the slow cooker.
What is a slow cooker?
The slow cooker simmers food at a lower temperature for a longer cooking time and it does its job without requiring you to check on it regularly. Do you know how to spot the best slow cooker brands?
Slow cookers are offered by most home appliance manufacturers. There are many different models in various sizes from just 1 quart to extra large slow cookers of 22 quarts. Generally, there are two types: the mechanical slow cooker and programmable slow cooker.
The mechanical slow cooker generally has basic functions such as a temperature setting and power button. It has a keep warm setting too but you need to select it. You need to turn it off when the meal is cooked.
On the other hand, programmable slow cooker with timers allows you to set the cooking time as well as when the cooking is to start. A digital LED display will indicate the remaining time.
It also automatically shifts to the warm setting once the cooking time is done to keep the food warm. It also has an auto shut off feature.
Guide to choosing slow cooker brands
Slow cooker brands vary in sizes, prices, and features. If you are planning to buy one, here are some factors to consider:
As mentioned above, slow cookers are categorized into two types – programmable and mechanical. The mechanical slow cookers are usually cheaper than the programmable ones.
There is not much difference between these two types, but the extra features maximize the convenience. With programmable slow cookers, you don’t have to wait for the cooking time to finish so you can turn it off or shift it to a warm setting. It can automatically shut off when the cooking time is done.
Slow cooker sizes vary from 1 to 22 quarts. Smaller sizes accommodate meals for smaller groups or for solo living. Larger sizes are better for preparing meals for large sizes such as a larger family.
The Elite Platinum MST-900D Maxi Matic 8.5 Quart Digital Programmable Slow Cooker is loved by its many users because it has an 8.5 quart capacity suitable for preparing meals for a large family.
What size slow cooker for family of 4?
Most practical size for the average family is around 6 quart capacity. This allows for for a small turkey or a large Sunday roast. While smaller 3.5 quart slow cookers may do the job most the time, you want to be ready for that special occasion cooking with a larger model.
The lid is usually made of glass that keeps a tight seal and a visible view to your recipe while it is being cooked. It usually comes with a keep cool nob and locking lid to prevent spills.
The top pick best slow cooker brands
There are hundreds of slow cooker brands to choose from but not all of them have the quality that you want. Here is a list of the top picks of slow cooker brands based on online ratings and user feedback:
Crock Pot 3 Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker
Crock Pot 3 Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker is an easy to use 3 quart slow cooker. With the basic three temperature settings – low, medium, and high. Cleaning is as as it has a dishwasher safe stoneware and glass lid.
It looks modern and elegant and comes in a handy size that does not take up too much space on kitchen countertops. Since it is small enough, the 3 quart crock can be stored inside the fridge either in preparation for the next days cooking or to keep left overs.
Proctor Silex 33043 4 Quart Slow Cooker
Proctor Silex 33043 4 Quart Slow Cooker is also a small capacity slow cooker perfect for a small sized family. Its stoneware pot is dishwasher safe and can be removed for easy washing.
Aside from being one of the most affordable slow cookers, it is also one of the easiest slow cookers to operate. Even novice cooks can easily use this piece of cooking appliance.
Home 6 Quart Slow Cooker
If you are looking for a high quality programmable slow cooker, the Home 6 Quart Slow Cooker is a good choice. It is programmable with three settings and auto shut off and auto warm setting functions.
You can set the cooking time from 30 minutes to 10 hours and has a capacity of up to 6 quarts. It is made with safe materials, and is free from toxins and BPA. It has a stainless steel finish that looks nice.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars just to purchase high quality slow cooker brands. Just consider the above mentioned factors and features and compare the user feedback and online ratings to know more about a specific slow cooker brand.
Also check out the top pick slow cookers above. Happy cooking!