Photo of Irish Stew or Guinness Stew made in a crockpot or slow cooker.

Best Inexpensive Slow Cookers

A slow cooker is an ingenious appliance. It’s simple. It cooks slowly. Real—like it takes 8 hours to get a meal ready where other methods can take 30 minutes. But unlike that 30-minute meal, a slow cooker doesn’t require work. It doesn’t need a babysitter. No coddling required with a slow cooker. You can just throw the ingredients into the cooker, set it, and walk away.

Photo of Irish Stew or Guinness Stew made in a crockpot or slow cooker.

But that’s not all. A slow cooker requires very little energy. It costs on average, 21 cents to run a slow cooker for 10 hours. If you roast a pork roast for 2 hours in the oven instead of using the slow cooker for 10 hours, you would spend $2.51 to operate an electric oven or $1.49 to operate a gas oven. Multiply the low cooking costs for a slow cooker over an entire year, and you will experience real savings.

 

 

There’s one more thing: A slow cooker doesn’t heat up the kitchen the way a stovetop or oven can. During the hot season especially, with temperatures soaring right along with home cooling costs, that’s a big deal.

Slow cookers are pretty basic. Some have programmable timers, but generally, it’s On or Off plus a dial to tell the thing how many hours to cook. Slowly.

The thing you want to pay most attention to when selecting a slow cooker is the size. For peak performance you want it to be about 3/4 full while doing its job. That means that a 7-quart model would be inappropriate for say a family of 2. And conversely, a family of six would not be happy with a 1.5 quart model.

Best Inexpensive Slow Cookers

Here for your consideration are my picks for the three Best Inexpensive slow cookers on the market today.

 

 

 

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5 replies
  1. Denise says:

    Does anyone know if there are any of these crock pots that have truly been tested to be lead free? I think they’re mostly made in China. Please let me know! I do have an Instant Pot that I’ve used on slow cooker setting, but it doesn’t seem to work as well as the others on that setting. Thank you for any input or your research findings on the lead issue!

    Reply
  2. Pat C says:

    I’ve always hated cooking things like stews on the stove top because of the need to continually check that the stove isn’t too hot or not hot enough and that the food isn’t burning to the bottom of the pot. What I’ve always loved about my slow cooker, besides the fact I can just ignore it once the food is in it. is that it separates the food prep clean up from the after dinner dishes. If you clean up as you prep everything for the slow cooker, all you have left to wash after supper is the slow cooker itself and your plates and cutlery.

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Orr Gamauf says:

      I have a slow cooker and an Instantpot. The instant pot is my go-to appliance because it can be used for each step of preparation and cooking.

      Reply

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