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The 6 Best Slow Cookers and Crock Pots to Buy

By Jean Lanoue | Submitted On June 22, 2012

Looking for a slow cooker that has all the right features that you want and need can sometimes seem like a Herculean task with so many companies making slow cookers these days. So, in order to help make your task just a little easier here are 6 of the best slow cookers that are known for their great and useful features.

Hamilton Beach 33967 Set It And Forget It Slow Cooker
The Hamilton Beach 33967 Set It And Forget it all of the features you will probably ever need. Let's take a look at these features and see what actual users think about this handy kitchen appliance.

Size- 6-1/2 quarts, large enough to make dinner for a family of 4, roast an entire chicken, or make a pork or beef roast. It is also plenty large to make a casserole for that church dinner, or soup for that winter skating party.

Shape- This cooker is oval shaped making it easy to roast that chicken in the traditional position.

Insert- Easy to wash stoneware insert.

Lid-Glass lid that seals to make transporting easier.

Programmable cooking time- You program this cooker to cook for a set amount of time and then the cooker will turn itself to warm.

Temperature Control Settings- For those who aren't sure just how long they want that stew to cook, the Hamilton Beach 33967 also allows you to set this appliance to a range of 3 temperature settings, high, low and warm.

Temperature Probe- For those who want their meat to be cooked to just the right temperature to be safe and healthy to eat. You can also use the temperature probe for cooking. Just insert the probe and when the internal meat temperature reaches the right temperature this slow cooker automatically turns itself onto warm.

Most users seem to love the Hamilton beach 33967 Set it and Forget it, awarding it 4.3 stars out of a possible 5.

Crock Pot SCCPVL610_S

I chose this model partly because it won the editors choice from Wired magazine. From the company that began the slow cooker trend, the Crock Pot SCCPVL610_S offers users a nice slow cooker for making meals.

Crock Pot SCCPVL610_S features

6-quart capacity is perfect for 7 or more people or a 6-pound roast
Easy-to-use locking lid featuring lid gasket provides extra seal for less mess on-the-go
Programmable digital control lets you program cook times anywhere from 30 minutes up to 20 hours
Shifts to warm setting automatically once the cook time is complete
Removable oval stoneware that is also stylish for your table and is safe for the dishwasher, oven and microwave
The Crock Pot SCCPVL610_S has aprogrammable timer. Users like it, giving it 5 stars.

Crock Pot SCR 3000 SS
From the company that began the slow cooker trend, the Crock Pot SCR 3000 SS offers users a nice slow cooker for making meals for one or two people, or soups and casseroles for a group.

Size- 3 quarts. Just big enough for that small chicken, that pot of hot soup, or a small roast for two.

Shape- round. While many people prefer the oval slow cooker, the truth is that a round crock pot takes up less space on the cabinet making it easier to use on a daily basis.

Insert- Easy to clean stoneware insert

Lid- Glass

Temperature control settings- High, low and warm

The Crock-Pot SCR 3000 has no programmable timer and no meat probe; it is just a simple and easy to use slow cooker made in the Crock Pot tradition. Users like it, giving it 4 stars.

Breville BSC 560XL Series Slow Cooker
Another one of the best around is the Breville BSC 560 series. It is designed to meet the needs of large families or those people who love entertaining. Its larger size makes it great for entertaining large crowds.

Size- 7 Quarts large enough to make to make Sloppy Joes for your son's entire football team. Can easily cook a 7 pound chicken, 2-3 pound roasts, or make enough chili for that chili cook-off competition.

Shape-The Breville BSC 560 Series is a rectangle cooker that looks more like an electric roaster than a handy soup and casserole cooking appliance.

Insert-Cast Alum Insert allows you to sear and cook meat all in pan.

Lid- Stainless steel

Temperature Control Settings- High, low, and warm. This Breville slow cooker has no programmable timer and no meat probe.

Users who purchased this appliance seem to find many uses for it awarding it 4.4 stars out 5.

Cuisinart PSC 3 1/2 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
Cuisinart appliances have become quite popular and the Cusinart PSC 350 is no exception.

Size- 3 1/2 quarts

Shape- Oval

Insert-ceramic

Lid-Glass

Programmable cooking timer-Up to 24 hours

Temperature Control Settings- This Cuisinart has something slightly unique when it comes to temperature control settings. As well as having the traditional High, Low, and Keep Warm settings. this appliance also has a setting for simmer making it the ideal cooker for making those soups and broths. It does not have a meat probe.

This cooker is ideal for families of 2 or 3 people.

Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1 Slow Cooker
The Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1 offers more options for people who need of varying sizes. This cooker comes with a stainless steel base and 3 different size inserts.

Size- 2, 4, And 6 quart cooking

Shape- Roundish

Inserts-3 varying size ceramic

Lid- Glass and fits all three vessels

Temperature Settings- High, low, and warm. This cooker is not programmable and has no meat probe.

The Hamilton Beach 33135 is the ideal cooker for that couple who often has company for dinner and loves entertaining. The three various size vessels are all nestled together for easy storage while allowing you to cook the right amount of food for any occasion. It rates 4 stars from users.

The different features offered by these slow cookers go from simple traditional slow cooking to all the latest technology. There is sure to be one that meets your specific needs. If you have one of these models already, let us know which one you think is the best slow cooker in the comments below.

Here is a recipe for you to enjoy http://cookingqueen.com/blog/2011/slow-cooker-pulled-pork.

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