Slow Cooker Sizes – The Bigger The Better???

When you are on the mission of buying a slow cooker then finding the ideal size is most important. The various slow cooker sizes have different benefits depending on what dish you plan on cooking and for how many people you are going to cook.

If you prepare meals only for yourself and your partner then a small slow cooker should be enough. But if you have a large family to cook for or you do intend to cook and warm up the next day, then you should definitely look for a larger slow cooker. There are various slow cooker sizes available from tiny 1.5 quarts to about 8 quarts capacity.

The right Slow Cooker Size

One thing to keep in mind when choosing the right slow cooker size is the fact that the given capacity is not really what you are going to get out of it.

A slow cooker may have a large capacity printed on the box, but the usable cooking space is about three-quarters to four-fifths of the capacity indicated. This is the amount at which fill level they work best and are safe to use.

If it says 6 quarts slow cooker, you can effectively cook only about 4.5 to 5 quarts.

Slow Cooker Size Guide

The bigger the better is not always right when it comes to slow cooker sizes. For a slow cooker to work properly, it must be at least half full, even better about three-quarters full.

Slow Cooker Size Best for  Slow cooker
1.5 to 2 quarts Cooking for one to two people Proctor Silex 33116Y Portable Oval Slow Cooker, 1.5-Quart
 3.5 to 5 quarts Ideal choice for a family of 3 or 4 Cuisinart PSC350 3.5 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
5.5 to 8 quarts Best slow cooker size for family of 5 or to stock up on food Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel (SCV700-S-BR), Versatile Cookware for Large Families or Entertaining
8 quarts and more Cooking for large families and groups Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker, Extra Large 10 Quart, Stay or Go Portable With Lid Lock, Dishwasher Safe Crock, Black (33195)

What size slow cooker for one person

These would be the 1.5 to 2 quarts models. They are really small and are only suitable for one – or two-person households. The small amounts of food that can be cooked with them at a time, making them also ideal for people who don’t have space to store or simply don’t want to eat warmed up leftovers the next day.

The often round design of the small slow cookers of around 1.5 quarts capacity makes them unsuitable for large meat cuts or even a small chicken won’t fit really in.  However, they can be useful for making side dishes, dips, sauces, small batches of soups, stews, casseroles.

3.5 to 5 quarts – best size slow cooker for 4

This is a good size to prepare an ideal dish that is sufficient to feed a family of 4. There might not be much left over when there are 4 good eaters at the table, but this got the benefit of no food been wasted if one doesn’t like to warm up leftovers.

A two-person household, however, may have a filling meal to be eaten right away, and there will easily be enough leftovers for warming up a quick meal on the next day.

Slow cooker sizes of around 5 quarts are great for preparing big pots of stew, hot chilies, tasty curries, and slow cooking bigger meat cuts or cooking a whole chicken.

6 to 8 quarts Sizes

That’s the slow cooker size for family of 5 or more, whenever there are a lot of big eaters around.

Large 6 to 7-Quart slow cookers are the most versatile. They can fit large cuts, like beef brisket, a big ham, a turkey breast or a whole chicken easily. Even a goulash or a stew for 10 people can easily be prepared in one of them.

They a great for cooking in large batches, that you can then freeze in portions so there is always a tasty meal for those days when there is no time for cooking.

Biggest Slow Cookers – 8-quarts and over

This is about as large as slow cookers get. Those sizes are ideal when cooking for a real crowd. Whole large chickens, big pieces of turkey, big roasts, ham and other big cuts of meat can be cooked in one piece.

stew Slow Cooker Sizes


What else is important besides the Slow Cooker Size?

In addition to getting the right size, buying an item made by a reputable kitchen appliance manufacturer is important. It pays to buy a high-quality product which is of the best possible workmanship and good materials. This not only ensures safe and reliable operation but in most cases, reflects in the long life span of the device.

Unfortunately, it is often not easy to tell if a particular Slow Cooker is of high quality or not. Find out where it is made, make sure you read the product specifications properly, check for safety standard certifications, and best avoid super cheap stuff and buy from a reputable household appliance manufacturer.

What size Slow Cooker should I Buy?

The right slow cooker size depends on:

  • How many people you want to cook for
  • Type of food or dishes you plan on cooking
  • Do you cook often for stocking up on food

The best size slow cooker for 2 -person household, are the small models of under 3 quarts. Sizes of 3.5 quarts to about 5,5 quarts are suitable for families of 4 that are good eaters.

The big slow cooker sizes of 6.5 quarts and more are often too big for most families. They are only suitable for very large families, when cooking up for a feast, or when stocking up on food and freezing leftovers.

When choosing the slow cooker size to buy, please remember that for a slow cooker to work efficiently and energy economic the inner pot should be filled at around three-quarters.

Investing in 2 slow cookers of different sizes may be a  good idea as the additional purchasing price can be offset by saving on electricity cost and reducing your and your family’s environmental footprint.

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