Slow Cooker Shopping: 7 Key Factors to Consider Before Buying
Image Credit: iStock

Prior to making any purchases related to slow cookers, you must determine if you plan to use one in the first place. If you plan to use your family's 6-litre slow cooker only once a year, there's no need to purchase the large, room-consuming appliance. Let us thus begin at the outset. What is the reason for purchasing a slow cooker?

You may either give up eating and survive off of snacks, prepared meals, and coffee if your profession requires you to work long hours. Many individuals would never be able to choose this. Alternatively, you may limit yourself to low-effort, quick-to-prepare foods like stir-fries and omelettes. Though not a horrible option, there are moments when you wish for something a bit more thrilling. Purchasing a slow cooker is your last and third alternative. This smart device prepares your meals while you are away at work.

You read correctly—slow cookers prepare your dinner. They are helpful for people who work long hours, families who want to lighten their workload, those who are less able to stand in the kitchen and cook for extended periods of time, and anyone else who simply wants to save time because they eliminate the stress of juggling multiple pots and pans over the stove.

So, if you are planning to buy a slow cooker for yourself, then you must consider these things before you make the final purchase.

Method Of Heating

The base of most slow cookers encloses a detachable insert tightly. Sometimes the heating element is only on the bottom, and if you're lucky, it extends up the side of the base as well, increasing the distribution of heat.

Certain slow cookers just feature a crock that rests over the heating element. It may be necessary to stir the food more frequently to avoid burning because the heat distribution isn't as even in this manner, which seems counterintuitive considering the benefits of slow cookers.

The Lid Material

A slow cooker should not have its lid opened since doing so wastes heat and increases cooking time. Glass-covered slow cookers are a preferable option to more opaque or plastic ones since you can see inside without having to remove the lid.

The Size

A slow cooker's size is the next crucial factor to take into account while making your purchase. A sufficient quantity of food for every member of the family should be cooked in the slow cooker due to its size.

The size of the cooker as stated on the box may not always correspond to the actual size of the cooking bowl. Relying on the size specified by the manufacturer in this case can prevent you from feeding your whole family. A 1.5–3.0 litre slow cooker is perfect for 1-2 people, 3.0–5.0 litres for 3–4 people, and 5.0–6.5 litres for 5 people or more.

The Shape

Typical slow cookers are oval or circular. Which is superior? There truly isn't a correct response. The form you pick for your slow cooker should be determined by what you want to cook in it. For example, an oval form works better for whole chickens, briskets, or ribs. However, if you typically make beans or stews, the shape is less important, and you may get the one that will fit best in your cupboard or on your counter.

The Functionality

Taking this into account while purchasing the finest slow cooker for you is also recommended. Your slow cooker may cost more if it has features like digital controls, a timer to switch the appliance on or off, and keep-warm settings.

However, to save money without sacrificing functionality, you might choose to get one with a keep-warm option in addition to other standard capabilities if you won't be using them all. A slow cooker with a browning or sautéing function is what you should have if you want to cook with only one pot. You also need to think about the slow cooker's elegant appearance to ensure that it complements your kitchen's design, among other things.

Power Consumption

Using a slow cooker to prepare food can be economical, provided that the appropriate meat and vegetable cuts are used. On the other hand, leaving an appliance on all day might get costly.

Think about whether your electricity expenses or the power consumption of the cooker will be your priority when choosing a slow cooker. The slow cooker will be more effective the more watts it has, especially when it is set to its maximum level. But a low-wattage cooker can be ideal for you if you want to cook slowly and inexpensively.


This might not be an issue if you want to spend all of your time cooking and eating at home. Having a slow cooker that is convenient and safe to transport is essential if you want to be able to bring it to potlucks and holiday feasts. You won't have to worry as much about spills or dropping the meal you've worked so hard on because many slow cookers include locks on the lid and handles. Its weight is another important consideration. Is it easy for you to transport from the kitchen to the vehicle? If so, that will negate one of the primary reasons you purchased a slow cooker.