Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967
Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967

Best programmable slow cooker

The top-rated Hamilton Beach Set'N Forget 33967 programmable slow cooker lets you designate cooking times, unlike basic slow cookers that must be switched on and off manually. It can also switch automatically to a keep-warm setting when cooking is done, so you don't have to worry about overcooked meals. This model includes a built-in temperature probe, a special feature that lets you cook meat to the ideal internal temperature. The 6-quart Set'N Forget is less expensive than most programmable models, and it generally does well in both professional tests and user reviews. Read the full review

West Bend 84915 5-Quart Oblong Slow Cooker
West Bend 84915 5-Quart Oblong Slow Cooker

Slow cooker with stovetop insert

The West Bend 84915 isn't programmable -- so you can't set it to start cooking at a particular time -- but it does do a couple of neat tricks. Because its insert can be used on the stovetop, you can brown meats and onions before slow-cooking. Plus, its base unit can double as a small electric griddle, which is handy for cooking extra bacon or pancakes for breakfast. This 5-quart oblong slow cooker also comes with an insulated travel tote with handles. The nonstick crock insert is freezer-, dishwasher-, stovetop- and oven-safe. There's no light indicator to determine whether the unit's on or off, however, and a few owners say the 84915 takes several minutes to heat up to the highest setting. It's important to follow temperature guides provided in the manual to avoid overcooking foods. Read the full review

Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 33135
Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 33135

Multi-size slow cooker

Singles and small families will appreciate the versatility of the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 33135, which comes with three interchangeable stoneware crocks in 2-, 4- and 6-quart sizes. Experts say this model serves up tasty, tender meals and allows you to cater to crowds of all sizes. Users warn that the bowls are heavy but say they stack neatly, which is convenient for those with limited storage space. However, the 3-in-1 slow cooker doesn't have programmable features such as a timer and automatic warmer. Read the full review

Rival Crock-Pot 3735-WN
Rival Crock-Pot 3735-WN

Basic slow cooker

The Rival Crock-Pot 3735-WN is nothing fancy; rather, it's a basic, mid-sized slow cooker with a nonstick stoneware insert. The oval shape is ideal for cooking cuts of meat, and users say the classic 3.5-quart size is adequate for families of three to four. Reviews advise following temperature settings recommended in the manual to avoid overcooking, as this unit tends to cook hotter than other slow cookers. Overall, owner-reviewers say the Rival Crock-Pot 3735-WN is a good buy for those looking for a simple slow cooker without advanced features. Read the full review

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