EletiofeBest Slow Cookers (2023) for Soups, Stews and Casseroles

Best Slow Cookers (2023) for Soups, Stews and Casseroles

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Featured in this article

Best All-Rounder

Instant Pot Pro Plus 6-quart Smart Multi-Cooker

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Runner-Up

Breville Fast Slow Pro

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Smooth and Simple Controls

Greenpan Slow Cooker 6L

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Feeds 10 People

Crock-Pot 8-Quart Multi-Use XL Express

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Slow, low-heat cooking is perfect for delicious one-pot dishes and getting the best flavor from cheaper cuts of meat such as lamb shoulder or chicken thighs. With intuitive control panels, the best appliances allow you to throw all the ingredients into the pot, turn it on, and get on with your day while your food simmers along nicely. Prep your recipe in the morning and the keep-warm setting will ensure you have a home-cooked evening meal that’s piping hot and ready to serve come nightfall. Then all you need to do is dish up praise for your efforts from everyone at the dinner table.

In our edit of the latest and greatest slow cookers, we’ve picked out designs that not only look attractive but have convenient and clever functionality. We’ve included appliances to suit both classic and modern kitchen countertops. We’ve opted for slow cookers that have easy-to-navigate control panels and a model that can be controlled via an app on your smartphone. While not all the designs we’ve featured are dedicated to slow cooking, they do have prominent slow-cook settings as part of the overall offering.

To see how well each slow-cook mode performs, we used the cookers to prepare both a slow-cooked spaghetti bolognese sauce and a one-pot dish with braising steak and potatoes. Read on to discover our top picks for 2024.

For more of WIRED’s kitchen guides, check out our Best Stand Mixers, Best Blenders, Best Air Fryers, Best Electric Kettles, and the Best Gear for Small Kitchens.

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  • Photograph: Instant Pot

    Best All-Rounder

    Instant Pot Pro Plus 6-quart Smart Multi-Cooker

    One of the latest launches from Instant Pot is this Pro Plus 6-quart Smart Multi-Cooker, which includes up to 10 functions on its control panel, including an option for slow cooking. It has the capacity to cook for up to six people and can also be used to pressure cook, steam food, and make rice. You can sauté food inside, make yogurt, keep food warm, and use it for canning fruit and vegetables too. If you’re feeling adventurous you can also try the sous vide setting for tender fish suppers and the like—while this is something that’s never really captivated me, I’m keen to eventually try it.

    There’s also a NutriBoost setting onboard this Instant Pot design, which I found rather interesting as it claims to make healthier dishes by pulsing during cooking to “break down food, improve the texture and lock in flavor and vitamins.” Whether it enhanced my dishes in any way was honestly impossible to discern. Overall, with the Instant Pot, I was very pleased with how easy to use and delicious the results were when cooking. My spaghetti bolognese sauce came out thick, evenly cooked, and piping hot, while the braising steak and potatoes needed minimal attending to while cooking.

    I like the fact that the Pro Plus’ inner pot can be used on the stovetop or in the oven. This is a feature I find useful as my slow cook dishes often come out too watery and in need of reduction. What’s unique about this smart multi-cooker, however, is that it’s also Wi-Fi enabled and, once paired, can be controlled via the Instant Brands Connect App on a smartphone. This means you can monitor the progress of your food from the comfort of the sofa, which adds a whole new dimension to slow cooking.

  • Photograph: Breville

    Runner-Up

    Breville Fast Slow Pro

    I’m a huge fan of this brushed stainless-steel Breville design and it’s become my go-to whenever I need a decent home-cooked meal, but feel too lazy to attend to the stove. The multi-cooker has 11 pressure settings, including a slow cook mode, and has one of the easiest-to-navigate control panels I’ve used. All food options are clearly marked on the LCD display, and with a simple turn of the dial you can choose the correct high or low cooking mode for whatever food you’re cooking—from vegetables to desserts. The display also has a timer so you can see when your food will be ready, and a “keep warm” setting that retains the heat after the cooking cycle is complete.

    I found that the Fast Slow Pro did well to produce evenly cooked food with little to no intervention needed midway through cooking. Slow-cooked mince comes out lean and tasty here every time, while potatos and carrots retain their form and flavor after four hours of cooking. As the pot and lid are removable, I found it easy to load ingredients inside before setting it to cook. Cleaning after use is equally convenient as there are dishwasher-safe parts. Note: The exact same model also goes by the name of Sage the Fast Slow Pro in the UK.

  • Photograph: GreenPan

    Smooth and Simple Controls

    Greenpan Slow Cooker 6L

    I love the retro styling of this Greenpan slow cooker, which has a rectangular body and comes finished in a selection of sober colors, including Blue Haze and Cloud Cream. Its 6-quart (6-liter) capacity is finished in Thermolon Volt—a diamond-infused nonstick ceramic coating that is made to stand the test of time and won’t scratch or break down like traditional finishes. It’s also free of nasty PFAs and PFOAs for peace of mind.

    The controls are refreshingly simple in their design, with easy one-touch presets for browning and sautéing food prior to opting for the slow cook setting. This can be done directly in the heavy-duty pot to save on washing up a separate pan. I found the Greenpan’s 6-quart pot is deep and a great size for larger cuts of meat, whole chickens, or batch cooking stews. Its silicone side handles don’t get too hot and make the pot easier to remove from its base. I particularly love the traditional old-school vibe this slow cooker offers, with a tempered glass lid that makes it easy to check up on the food inside so you can watch things bubbling away nicely without disturbing the heat.

  • Photograph: Crockpot

    Feeds 10 People

    Crock-Pot 8-Quart Multi-Use XL Express

    This 8-quart multi-cooker takes a lot of ingredients and can cook portions for up to 10 people, but its styling is smooth and circular so it sits neatly on the worktop. Unlike the Ninja, which folds up, the lid comes off completely here too, so you can move it out of the way when you’re attending to your dish. As well as slow cooking, you can pressure cook a range of meat, fish, and vegetables here. There are far more one-touch cooking modes than you’re likely to need if you’re simply looking to slow cook, but I like how the different modes are presented. There are controls for simple soups, poultry, rice, grains, and meat stew, and the plus and minus buttons make it easy to tailor the cooker to how long you want to cook.  

    While the Crock-Pot does have a decent-size lip to hold onto, the cooking pot doesn’t have any handles, which meant I needed to use oven gloves to take the pot out when it was hot. As it’s nonstick, washing up with warm water and dish soap after use was straightforward. Alternatively, I could pop it in the dishwasher for a more thorough clean to get any remaining grease off effectively. A steam rack, serving spoon, and recipe book are useful added extras.

  • Photograph: Ninja

    Beautiful and Functional

    Ninja Deluxe Foodi MAX Multi-Cooker 7.5L [UK Only]

    First and foremost, the Foodi MAX is a stunner of a design and has a lever that allows you to switch quickly and simply between pressure cooking, steam cooking, and slower cooking. It’s part of Ninja’s special-edition copper and black range, which also includes a few air fryers, a kettle, a toaster, and a knife set, which are all head-turning pieces for the countertop. The functionality doesn’t disappoint either and I really like just how many cooking settings it can pack in here—15, to be precise, that range across pressure cooking to steaming and slow cooking.

    The Ninja Deluxe set comes with a pair of silicone tongs and apron included in the price and it’s easy to set up. At 36 cm high, it’s quite bulky on the worktop—particularly when the lid is hinged up. When pressure cooking, you also need to ensure there’s enough space around the cooker for the steam to release. Spaghetti bolognese sauce was easy to prep here as I was able to brown off the mince in the pan first, throw in all the ingredients, and simply choose to slow cook on high for four hours. A simple stir of the recipe midway through cooking ensured the finished results were tasty. As the pot is 7.5 liters and circular, this means longer cuts of meat will need to be trimmed, but there is space to slow cook or air fry a whole chicken. There’s also a digital cooking probe so you can monitor food temperature and achieve perfect results when cooking meat and fish.

Emily Peck is a journalist with 20-plus years of experience writing about interiors, food, well-being, gardens, technology, and everything in between. She has held in-house positions at the BBC and Ideal Home magazine, and regularly contributes to WIRED, GQ, The Telegraph, Livingetc, Techradar and GoodtoKnow.

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