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.
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.