The humble crockpot has been warming bellies (and souls) across the globe since the 1940s. Also known as a slow cooker, this versatile workhorse can deliver a broad spectrum of comfort foods, from soups, chowders and stews to cinnamon rolls, cakes and cobblers. On top of that, the nifty appliance does all the legwork for you. Forget slaving over a stovetop for eight hours, simply combine all the ingredients in the pot before you leave for work, set the cooking time and temperature, and you’ll return home hours later to a fully completed dish.
Depending on what you require, slow cookers are available in a variety of different sizes and price points, but small crockpots are a great place to start. These all-rounders still have an impressive capacity but won’t take up too much space on your bench top and they can be easily stored when those winter dishes are off the menu. To ensure you select the best, we’ve rounded up four of the top small slow cookers on Amazon to add to your appliance arsenal.
1. COSORI 11-in-1 Programmable Slow Cooker
Why limit yourself to just curries and stews? Cosori’s multipurpose slow cooker features 11 different settings to give you an incredible amount of flexibility in the kitchen. Not only can you slow cook in low, medium and high, but you can also roast, brown, steam, simmer, sauté, bake and boil. There are even special programs for yogurt and rice. No dish is off limits with this six-quart cooker and thanks to its all-in-one design, you’ll have less to wash up each night. It has two control dials which are relatively easy to use, as well as a 24-hour delay timer that allows you to program when you want each meal. After the cooking is done, the “Keep Warm” function will ensure your meal stays at the optimal temperature until you’re ready to eat. Clean up is a breeze, too, since the non-stick inner pot is dishwasher safe.
Pros: You do everything from brown a cut of meat to bake a cake.
Cons: Some cooks may find 11 different cooking options a little unnecessary.
2. All-Clad Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker
All-Clad is renowned for designing high-quality cookware and this slow cooker is no exception. With a 6.5-quart capacity, it’s large enough to cook for a crowd and is perfect for catering potlucks and parties (serve up mac and cheese, hearty stews or chili con carne). The removable ceramic bowl is fitted with integrated handles and can be taken right to the table to feed your guests, which will also save you from having to wash up serving dishes. The straightforward cooker is intuitive to use and features large push-button controls so you can select the program and timing. When it does come time to clean, the bowl can be popped straight in the dishwasher so you can get back to the party.
Pros: With a capacity of 6.5 quarts, it’s the largest of the small slow cookers on this list.
Cons: The mirror polish finish does tend to show fingerprints a little more than brushed stainless steel.
3. Cuisinart 6-Quart Slow Cooker
There’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple. Case in point: Cuisinart’s 6-quart slow cooker. It has just three preset functions to saute, steam or slow cook your one-pot meals to perfection. The built-in 24-hour timer allows you to schedule dishes at specific times, while the automatic “Keep Warm” mode will ensure your food stays nice and toasty until you’re ready to tuck in. The non-stick pot sits within a brushed stainless steel unit that will look great atop any benchtop, but it can also be transferred to the table for family-style serving. In addition to the cooker, you’ll also get a book of recipes that run the gamut from stuffed artichokes to pot roasts.
Pros: The slow cooker comes with a bonus steaming rack to create top-notch steamed veggies.
Cons: It has fewer cooking options than some of the other models on this list.
4. Instant Pot 6-Quart Slow Cooker
If you want one pot that does it all, you can’t go past Instant Pot’s best selling slow cooker. Touted as “America’s most loved multi cooker,” the multipurpose workhorse is basically seven different appliances in one. You get a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, warmer and pressure cooker that’s capable of cooking dishes up to 70 percent faster. Thanks to its 14 one-touch programs, you can make everything from ribs to roast chicken simply by pressing a button. Featuring the latest tech, the microprocessor monitors the overall pressure and temperature, while keeping the time and adjusting the intensity. This guarantees you get a perfectly cooked meal every time and the machine itself never overheats. The 6-quart pot can cook for up to six people and is dishwasher safe.
Pros: Download the free Instant Pot app and you can peruse hundreds of recipes.
Cons: The high amount of settings may be overwhelming to some. Also, the round bowl isn’t great for cooking longer cuts of meat, like a whole chicken or rack of ribs.