Buying A Slow Cooker

If you want to purchase a slow cooker you should know what to look for, where to buy, the price and all other things that are necessary for a good purchase. Though this small appliance is small and does not seem much or that involved at least you need know things to look for when buying a slow cooker.

What To Know When Buying A Slow Cooker

If you don’t own a crockpot aka slow cooker yet, or you simply want to upgrade to a newer model, here are some things you want to keep in mind when choosing a new one. We’ll go over various features and functionality in the sections below.

However, remember that what to look for when buying a slow cooker also depends on your needs and how you want to use it. Further you may also have questions like “should I buy a slow cooker or Instant Pot?” since an Instant Pot is a multi-cooker with slow cooker function.

So you might be torn between the two and though the Instant Pot would seem like an obvious choice, it is not necessarily so. Like mentioned above, it depends on the circumstances. Or simply you may be asking yourself “should I buy a slow cooker or not” and in need of a bit of advice on buying a slow cooker.

Or if you are simply wondering where to buy a slow cooker online, the best place to start is This is because generally sells cheaper in price for the same item were to find it elsewhere, you also get to learn a lot more about the unit from buyer reviews. This also gives you the opportunity to compare slow cookers easily. You will find different types of slow cookers to choose from.

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Wondering “should I buy a used slow cooker”? If you want to save even more you can opt to buy a used or refurbished slow cooker and you can find them at the link below!

Click here for used or refurbished slow cookers at reduced prices

With that said let us dig in into what to know and look for when buying a slow cooker;

The Design Basics To Consider Have Not Changed

A few considerations when choosing which crock pot to buy never change. Here are just a few suggestions about what to look for when you make your decisions about what crock pot meets your family’s needs.

Size and Shape

How many people will you be cooking for routinely? What sort of dishes will you be cooking? Large families who cook a lot of roasts, for instance, will be happier with a larger slow cooker with an oval shape, as the size and shape will accommodate a big slice of meat better than a smaller round crock pot.

What size slow cooker for whole chicken? In same way you will need a larger oval slow cooker. The oval shape will make it easier to fit the whole kitchen.

If you cook a lot of soups and stews, then a deeper, round crock pot may better suit your needs. If you are cooking for one or two people, a smaller slow cooker will be more economical and more sensible for your needs.

Here are examples;

Basic Design

If you buy a crock pot that doesn’t have a removable liner, you are very likely to be disappointed. As a matter of fact, most manufacturers have discontinued manufacturing anything that doesn’t have a removable crock. If you find a crock pot that has a separate “hot plate” type cooking mechanism, keep looking.

Although most of these types of crock pots are off the market, there still exist a few stragglers. The idea of the heat source being just on the bottom of the pot defeats the effectiveness of crock pot cooking, turning your crock pot into not more than a saucepan on a burner. Look for a solidly built slow cooker with a removable crock insert and tight fitting see-through lid. The rest of the features are in addition to this basic design.


Will you be routinely transporting your crock pot full of goodies to a potluck, office party, family gathering, or other event? If so, look for a tight fitting lid, preferably with a latch of some kind if available.

There are also slow cookers on the market that have cases and insulated covers to help in getting your food safely to its destination, and keeping it warm once you get it there. There are also models with retractable cords so you won’t be losing your crock pot cord at the church potluck.

Here are few examples of slow cookers that are portable to give you a few options.

The Cooking Features To Consider Have Changed A Great Deal

If you haven’t seen a new crock pot since they first came out in the 1970’s, you are in for a big surprise. Even if your crock pot is somewhat newer, there are still some changes that you should be aware of as this buying slow cooker guide will show. It’s true that some of the high-end slow cookers have always had fancy features, but those features are starting to creep into the mid-priced crock pots, and even lower-priced crock pots.

What are all those “bells and whistles” for, anyway? Let’s take a look at some of the features to consider when purchasing a new crock pot these days, starting with some of the fanciest features. Here is some more tips on buying a slow cooker, what to look for;

Programmable Timer

Programmable Slow Cooker

You can buy slow cooker with timer. This feature may be very desirable to folks who would benefit from being able to have the crock pot start cooking while they are still away from home at work or school, etc. You set the timer to start the meal while you’re away at work so it’s ready when you get home. See Cosori 6 Quart 8-In-1 Multi-Functional Programmable Pressure Cooker

If you need your meal ready to eat at 7:00 p.m., but you work a ten hour shift that doesn’t end until 4:00 p.m., it’s rather difficult to start the crock pot to cook for only 6 hours before you leave the house.

Another advice buying slow cooker, programmable timers can be a real asset for a family who works long shifts, or have other demands that don’t allow for setting a crock pot manually.

Programmable Temperature Probe

Hamilton Beach (33967A) Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe

This feature is geared toward the meat and fowl connoisseur, or anyone who wants to make sure the meat has reached the right temperature inside and is done perfectly. The temperature probe not only reads the internal temperature of the meat, but actually is connected to the electronic temperature controls.

The probe monitors the temperature of the meat, not just reads it, and automatically adjusts the crock pot temperature to cook the meat until the desired internal temperature of the meat is reached, ensuring that the meat is cooked as specified in your settings.

The Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker model 33967A is an example of crock pot with temperature probe.

Electronic Temperature Monitoring

One of the high tech advancements made in slow cookers is the use of microprocessors to guarantee precision temperature control. A sensor monitors the temperature and actually regulates it to keep your food cooking properly.

If constant supervision of your crock pot has been a problem for you, this feature would put an end to that inconvenience. This one of the features that make it worth buying a slow cooker.

More Cooking Temperature Ranges

If you are used to choosing cooking temperatures of either Low or High, you’ll be surprised to see the choices now available. Many of the new crock pots offer an array of settings, which can include Buffet, Warm, Low, Simmer, High, and Auto.

Even some of the less expensive models offer temperature ranges such as turning to warm after the pre-set cooking time has been reached, eliminating the worry of having to be home to unplug the crock pot before your dinner burns.

Digital Settings and Displays

Many models now offer digital displays with easy to read and clean LCD panels. The more programmable a crock pot is, the more likely you are to find a well-designed display panel. However, even some of the less expensive slow cookers offer some sort of touch-pad control panel to replace the dial.

Special Features To Consider

Continuing to look at what to consider when buying a slow cooker there are some special features worth noting. Some features to consider as you choose a new crock pot may not have a lot to do with the design or the cooking, but may make a difference in whether you choose one over another.

Retractable Cord

One of the tips for buying a slow cooker is get one with a retractable cord. This may make a big difference if you are taking your crock pot to events often. There’s nothing worse than either battling with a dangling cord or forgetting to bring it with you when you take food to a potluck or holiday party.

Rubber Feet

If you’ve ever owned a crock pot that didn’t have rubber feet, you’ll know what I mean.
A big, heavy pot of hot food needs to stay put on your counter top. This is a feature that I would recommend and even the less expensive models now normally have good, solid rubber feet.

Cooking Guides Written On Lid Or Sides

All crock pots now come with good printed guides and recipe books, but there are some models that offer a little cooking reference printed directly on the lid or the side of the crock pot, much like many microwaves. This is handy, but certainly not necessary, although sometimes it’s nice just to glance at the reference to see if you’re on track with your planning.

Reserve Power

Some of the more expensive models offer a reserve power which restores the cooking temperature after the lid has been lifted or the power goes out for a brief time. This is not designed to regain a slow cookers settings after an extended power outage, but could help if you experience frequent short-term power failures.

Also read guide to buying a slow cooker