newest review of slow cookers, Cook’s Illustrated introduces a new “digital 6-quart slow-cookers under $100″ review that digs into some of the new technologies that are now available in slow cookers. They tested a total of seven models, some of which include recent innovations such as self-stirring pots, combo units that go from the stove to the cooker base, internal temperature thermostat jobbers, and models that speed up or slow down cooking time so the meal is completed at a specific time.
Bottom line: the tried-and-true technology variables of even cooking and easier-to-use interfaces won the day with a new winner in the category:
the KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker. The previous winner, the Crock Pot Touchscreen was bumped to a highly respectable second place, while the All Clad Slow Cooker with Ceramic Insert (once upon a time featured in second place in “no longer available online” review) wasn’t in the running at all due to its price coming in over $100.
The content below updates our original 1/5/14 blogpost to incorporate findings from the latest Cook’s Illustrated slow cooker review.
The “Highly Recommended” winner of the latest
Cook’s Illustrated slow cooker review is a KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker that features four temperature settings, 24-hour programmability, and a 6-quart removable, oval-shaped ceramic vessel:
KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker
The winner of an earlier Cook’s review (and the second-place finisher in the current review) is the
Crock-Pot Countdown Touchscreen Digital Slow Cooker, an oval-shaped slow cooker with 6-1/2-quart removable stoneware crock, touchscreen control panel, and programmable cooking time:
Crock-Pot Touchscreen is easy to use (read: don’t need to be a computer scientist to work the control panel), features a glass lid so you can monitor wazzup, and a timer that goes to 20 hours, even on high.
Too bad we hadn’t read the Cook’s review before we bought our All-Clad.
All-Clad Slow Cooker with Ceramic Insert is in the increasingly rare “Slow Cookers Over $100″ category. Even though this slow cooker is marketed as being a “26-hour max cycle programmable” model, it will only stay on the high setting for a max of 8 hours before switching to the warming mode.
That 8-hour maximum on the High setting has complicated the preparation of more than a few of our meals. I have, on several occasions, stumbled through the dark to re-boot a batch of 24-hour baked beans that needed LOTS of liquid and the high setting, fer instance.
Small Slow Cookers
Now this makes a lot of sense to me: a small slow cooker for smaller families or smaller kitchens. Of course, you are still looking for a model that is consistent, easy to use, good-looking, low maintenance, and cheerful first thing in the morning.