Best Crock Pot

A crock pot is a slow cooker. This is an example of what is sometimes considered the holy grail of advertising. The brand Crock-Pot makes the first commercially successful slow cooker. Others follow, but the Crock-Pot slow cooker is by far the most popular, so popular, in fact, that crock pot becomes synonymous with slow cooker.

The crock is made of ceramic, which can conduct heat but does so slowly. The advantage is that you can adapt a wide range of recipes (even desserts and bread) for the crock pot, and you don’t have to attend to the cooking.

The other awesome advantage is that, since you don’t have to attend to the slow cook, all crock pots have virtually the same cooking performance. For this reason, choosing the best crock pot comes down to the additional features that make slow-cooking even more convenient.

There are 3 types of crock pots. In the first group, we have the totally manual crock pots, followed by the programmable crock pots that can be programmed to cook for a set amount of time in the second group. Lastly, you can get smart crock pots with built-in Wi-Fi that you can control via different smartphone apps.

For this article, we have excluded multifunction cooking machines suitable for slow-cooking, steaming, pressure-cooking, and so on. Sometimes, manufacturers add other cooking functions to their slow cookers to compete with the ones made by Crock-Pot. We’re restricting the selection of the best crock pot to dedicated crock pots.

But does Crock-Pot make the best crock pot? Read on to find out.

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610 Programmable Slow Cooker (6qt)

The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610 is the best crock pot that’s programmable. The digital timer and control is fairly standard and lets you program when to cook with times ranging from 30 minutes to 20 hours (in 30-minute increments).

The programmed cook mode automatically switches to “warm” when the dish is done. Our experience showed that this crock pot is marvelous at reducing the temperature quickly from “high” to “warm”. No doubt, this feature minimizes overcooking.

The control panel with touchpad buttons is durable and easy-to-clean, while the display is bright, albeit of average size. The interface instructions after you hit “select” are straightforward and quite foolproof.

Thanks to the locking-lid design this crock pot is easy to carry and the lid gasket is great for preventing spills. On a final note, the large handles are of perfect size and shape for use.

Pros

  • Oval crock pot with the 6-quart capacity. This is the most popular size because you can cook a whole chicken or a large pot roast to feed the whole family.
  • Easy programming interface and buttons
  • Fast cool-down to “warm” after cooking
  • Available in two colors: stainless steel and red
  • Both the crock and the lid are dishwasher safe
  • Portable design with gasketed locking lid

Cons

  • This 240W crock pot’s high heat setting runs on the hot side (not the temperature which is standard 215oF, just the heat output cycle). Keep this in mind and tweak the cooking time of your recipes
  • The lid gasket retains food odor and requires heavy-duty washing
  • No delayed cooking time setting

Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 WeMo Smart Slow Cooker (6qt)

The Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 is the best crock pot with smart features and Wi-Fi connectivity. We thought controlling a crock pot remotely would be unnecessary and even a little silly until we tried the Crock-Pot WeMo.

If your schedule changes for any reason, you’ll love the peace of mind of knowing that you can modify the crock pot’s cooking settings on your smartphone (including turning it off). Download the WeMo app for free and make sure your crock pot is connected to your wireless router.

You can schedule the start time with the app, and monitor it to make sure it’s on. The app also lets you notify others that the food is ready.

The Crock-Pot WeMo doesn’t have to be so smart all the time either. You can manually turn on and program it like a regular crock pot.

Pros

  • It’s a smart crock pot!
  • 6-quart capacity
  • The WeMo app is easier to use than manually controlling the unit
  • A terrible nightmare of using a crock pot is power interruption. With this smart crock pot, you can turn it back on remotely if power is interrupted
  • The build is solid and heavy

Cons

  • We wish the WeMo series would come in more than one size
  • Other crock pots in this price range come with stovetop-safe crocks, but this one doesn’t

Crock-Pot SCR300SS Manual Slow Cooker (3qt)

TheCrock-Pot SCR300SS is our value choice for the best crock pot. The 3-quart model is unbeatable in price and performance but there are other sizes in the series that you can choose from.

This is a no-frill manual crock pot. It does all the basics well. It cooks evenly with zero hot spots even for the more delicate fish and meats.

Like all conventional Crock-Pots, the cook modes are “high” and “low” only. You won’t find a recipe that specifies medium heat only. This is because different brands of crock pots have different heat cycles in mind for “medium”, while the differential of “high” and “low” settings among different brands is much smaller.

Pros

  • Unbeatable value and performance
  • Cooks evenly with no hotspots
  • Although smallish, handles don’t get hot at all
  • The crock is dishwasher and oven safe
  • Recipes included – since this is the beginner’s best crock pot
  • Nice polished stainless-steel finish.

Cons

  • The crock smells weird when you take it out of the box. It’s a good idea to put it in the dishwasher on the hot water setting before using.
  • Unless you fill up the 3-quart capacity, it can overcook even at “low” setting if you turn it on and go to work for long hours.

Conclusion

Yes, it’s true. Crock-Pot also makes the best crock pot.

The Crock-Pot SCR300SS is the perfect manual crock pot for singles or families of two. It cooks evenly and retains moisture like the best of them.

Programmable crock pots take convenience to a whole other level. Our favorite is the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610. It also happens to be the most portable crock pot with its locking gasketed lids. Turn it on, go on your way, pick it up and take it somewhere else to share the food.

Our choice for the best crock pot (and the most pleasurable) is the Crock-Pot WeMo. Yes, you still have to prepare the ingredients and put them in this smart crock pot, but after that, anything is possible. It’s a bit silly to say “you can have your cake and eat it” – but rest assured, with this crock pot you will definitely get to eat.

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