Food cooked in a slow cooker has time to cook slowly and, as any good cook will tell you, that’s the real secret ingredient to a delicious meal. As you can see, slow cookers can make any meal easy to prepare, but it depends on the brand, model, size, and function of the slow cooker.
However, it depends on the brand, model, size, and function of the slow cooker you choose. But now, with this slow cooker guide, life just got a lot easier. By the end of this article, you’ll know you’re a slow cooker expert and there are things you need to know about the best and worst ones out there today.
Also Read: Best Ice Cream Maker For Home
Best Slow Cooker With Browning Feature
Types of Slow Cookers
New to slow cookers? There are three general types of countertop slow cookers to choose from. We prefer slow cookers for stir-frying, but we cover all types, so you’re sure to find the perfect slow cooker for your kitchen.
Traditional slow cookers with ceramic inserts. This type of stove is the least expensive. The larger ones are rectangular in shape, while the smaller ones are round.
This category includes manual and programmable slow cookers. Manual slow cookers are good for making sauces and dips, but they require extra supervision. Therefore, they are not recommended if you are away from home to prepare dinner (read why slow cooker timers are not the answer).
Slow cookers with metal inserts for searing and frying functions. These appliances are often referred to as “multi-cookers”. The pots are often large and rectangular. We prefer to use this type of slow cooker. This type tends to cook slightly faster than the ceramic type mentioned above.
Electric pressure cooker with slow cooking mode. Also called multi-cookers. Often round and deep in shape. Pressure cooking is the primary function, with slow cooking being a secondary function.
Best Slow Cooker With Browning Feature | Comparison Table 2023
Top Quality | 5-Star Pick | Great Prices
|All-Clad 7-qt Gourmet Plus Slow 1200 Watt Cooker with All-In One Browning||All-Clad||Check Price|
|BELLA 10-In-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté Warmer with Searing and Browning Feature, 6 Quart, 1000 Watts (14467)||BELLA||Check Price|
|Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker: Slow Cooker, Brown/Saute, Steamer||Cuisinart||Check Price|
|Chefman 6-Quart Slow Cooker, Electric Countertop Cooking, Stovetop & Oven-Safe Removable Insert for Browning & Sautéing, Family-Size Soups & Stews, Nonstick & Dishwasher-Safe Interior||Chefman||Check Price|
|Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker | Stainless Steel (SCV700-S-BR)||Crock-Pot||Check Price|
|BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker with Chalkboard Surface, Slate, SCD4007||BLACK+DECKER||Check Price|
|Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, Silver, 9-1/2 in H x 9.1 in W x 12.67 in L||Cuisinart||Check Price|
|Calphalon Slow Cooker with Digital Timer and Programmable Controls, 5.3 Quarts, Stainless Steel||Calphalon||Check Price|
|Crock-Pot Express 6-Quart Easy Release Multi-Cooker, Stainless Steel||Crock-Pot||Check Price|
Best Slow Cooker With Browning Feature | 2023 Products Overview
The All-Clad 7-qt Gourmet Plus Slow 1200 Watt Cooker is a versatile and efficient kitchen appliance that features a polished stainless steel body and a 7-quart ceramic-coated insert. It comes with a steam basket and a rice measuring cup and has a glass lid that allows you to view the food during cooking.
The slow cooker has six cooking programs, including Slow Cook, Brown, Steam, Rice Simmer, and Buffet, and three slow-cook modes with independent temperature controls and a countdown timer. With a 10-hour programmable timer and a 6-hour Keep Warm setting, this slow cooker makes it easy to prepare delicious meals. The sturdy loop side handles on the base and removable insert allow for lifting and transport.
Also Read: Best Toaster Oven for Baking
The BELLA 10-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker is a versatile kitchen appliance with a 6-quart capacity and 1000-watt power. It has a touch control method and comes with a stainless steel construction and a silver chrome finish.
This pressure cooker offers 10 pre-set functions specifically engineered to cook various types of food to perfection. It has a safe and easy-to-use design with features such as steam release valves, an airtight locking lid, and a safety-minded user interface. The non-stick removable cooking pot and moisture-catching container make clean-up a breeze.
The BELLA 10-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker is a kitchen essential that offers a wide range of functions, including the ability to cook full birds, brisket, pork, lamb, fish, stews, soups, pasta, and even risotto. You can saute, brown, pressure cook, slow cook, and cook soup, stew, meat, chicken, rice, and more, all with the touch of a button.
The Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker is a versatile kitchen appliance that combines the functions of a slow cooker, brown/saute pan, and steamer all in one. The oblong-shaped appliance has a stainless steel exterior and a removable 6-quart nonstick aluminum cooking pot.
It features a one-touch function that switches modes during recipe cooking and an extra-large blue backlit LCD display that provides easy-to-read time and temperature settings. The appliance also includes a glass lid with a cool-touch handle for clear viewing and comfortable handling.
The Chefman 6-Quart Slow Cooker is a versatile and convenient kitchen appliance that allows you to create delicious, one-pot meals with ease. With a capacity of 6 quarts, it is perfect for cooking family-sized portions of stews, soups, chilis, and braises. The removable cooking insert is stovetop and oven-safe, making it easy to brown and sauté ingredients before slow cooking for added depth of flavor.
The intuitive dial control allows you to choose between two heat settings, low and high, and a warm setting to keep your food at the perfect temperature. Cleanup is a breeze thanks to the nonstick and dishwasher-safe insert and glass lid. Additionally, this slow cooker is UL approved with advanced safety technology and comes with a 1-year assurance provided by Chefman.
Also Read: Best Food Processor for Nut Butters
The Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker is a spacious and versatile kitchen appliance that can serve 9-plus people or fit a 7-pound roast. It is made of ceramic, glass, and stainless steel and has a capacity of 7 quarts. With a wattage of 1500 watts and a voltage of 220 volts, this slow cooker has a convenient warm setting that keeps food at an ideal serving temperature for as long as you need. The lid and removable stoneware are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.
One of the pros of the Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker is its large capacity, making it perfect for large families or entertaining. It also has a manual setting, allowing you to choose between cooking on high or low, so you can have a hot meal ready in no time or have dinner cooking while you're at work. The warm setting is also a convenient feature, ensuring that your food stays at the ideal serving temperature. One-pot cooking means fewer dishes to clean. And the removable stoneware is microwave and oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, there are a few cons to consider. The wattage of 1500 watts may be higher than some people need. It also requires 220 Volts, which may not be compatible with some kitchens. Additionally, it may not fit in some kitchen cabinets due to its size.
The BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker with Chalkboard Surface is a unique and versatile appliance that can help you create delicious meals with ease. The exterior of the slow cooker is a chalkboard, perfect for drawing on and for writing down recipes or allergy concerns. This feature is great for getting kids involved in the kitchen and makes it easy to keep track of what's cooking. You also get two sticks of chalk with the slow cooker. Plus the surface works with any traditional chalk sticks (not recommended for use with chalk pens).
The slow cooker has a built-in lid holder that keeps countertops clean and allows you to stir and serve without holding the lid! The built-in holder props the lid conveniently on either of the side handles. The slow cooker has three heat settings - Low, high, and warm - for ideal slow cooker performance with every recipe. The removable stoneware crock is durable and 7-quart pot retains heat and is easy to clean.
Also Read: Best Blender for Protein Shakes with Ice
The Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker is a versatile and convenient kitchen appliance for preparing slow-cooked meals. Made of durable stainless steel, this oval-shaped slow cooker has a 3-1/2-quart ceramic pot, making it perfect for cooking for families or for preparing meals for a crowd.
One of the standout features of this slow cooker is its touchpad control panel, which makes it easy to program the 24-hour LCD countdown timer and select from its 4 cooking modes. The automatic keep-warm feature ensures that your meal is ready when you are, and the glass lid with chrome-plated knob allows you to monitor your food while it cooks. Additionally, the stay-cool handles and nonslip rubber feet provide added safety and stability while in use.
The Cuisinart PSC-350 is also easy to clean, with a dishwasher-safe pot and lid, and comes with an instruction manual with recipes included. It is built to North American Electrical Standards and is BPA free.
The Calphalon Slow Cooker with Digital Timer and Programmable Controls is a versatile and convenient appliance for any kitchen. With a 5.3 quart capacity and 200 watt power, it allows you to sear, brown, sauté, and slow cook all in one pot for maximum flavor.
The cooking pot is oven safe and compatible with electric, gas, and induction cooktops. The ceramic cooking surface is 11x more durable and provides 20% more even heat (compared to standard nonstick) which makes it perfect for cooking. The digital programmable controls allow you to set the time and temperature easily, and the fast food release feature makes it easy to clean.
Also Read: Best Milk Steamer for Home Use
The Crock-Pot Express 6-Quart Easy Release Multi-Cooker is a versatile and convenient kitchen appliance that allows you to pressure cook, slow cook, brown/sauté, or steam with just one device. It features 3 advanced functions: Manual Pressure, Simmer, and Boil, making it a great option for those who want to prepare a variety of dishes quickly and easily.
One of the standout features of this multi-cooker is the Stress-free Steam Release Dial, which keeps your hands away from the steam when releasing pressure. Additionally, the progress bar tracks the pressurization time, so you know exactly when your food is ready. With the ability to cook up to 70% faster than a conventional oven, this 6-quart capacity multi-cooker is perfect for serving 7 or more people.
How To Choose The Best Slow Cooker With Browning Feature| Ultimate Guide 2023
Removable inner pot
Slow cooker inner vessels can be round, oval or rectangular and are most often made of ceramic or stoneware.
If you are making desserts in a slow cooker, a round cake pan or springform pan will fit the round inner pot.
However, for chili, soups, and stews, we've found that oval or rectangular inner pans distribute heat more easily and require less stirring.
Also Read: Best Pizzelle Makers
A glass lid that closes with a rubber seal and locks onto the slow cooker helps maintain a constant internal temperature in the inner pot. A sealed/locked lid is also essential for transporting the inner pot without spillage.
Slow cookers come in several sizes, from 1.5 quarts to 8 quarts. The instruction manuals for the slow cookers we tested recommend filling the slow cooker up to three-quarters full of water. So capacity is important for what you plan to cook and how many people you plan to cook for. Most manufacturers recommend a 5 or 6 quart model for a family of four, which can easily accommodate a whole chicken, roast beef or pork shoulder for pulled pork. If you're making chili, soups or stews for a large number of people or in large quantities and freezing them, a 7- or 8-quart model is ideal.
This is the number one reason people buy slow cookers. The night before or in the morning, place the recipe ingredients in a stoneware or ceramic pot and refrigerate. Plug it in, turn it on low and eight hours later you'll have a sumptuous roast beef or whole chicken and vegetable stew.
Slow cookers are ideal for holiday meals, family gatherings, potlucks and even tailgate parties. Jewish religious authorities also allow traditional cholent stews to be partially cooked and served hot on Shabbat (when all cooking is prohibited).
Most slow cookers are inexpensive and, as mentioned above, inexpensive to use. However, using a slow cooker can allow you to buy less difficult meats and reduce your grocery bill, as the slow cooker cooks them to an incredibly tender state.
Newer models are digitally controlled, allowing you to program the time and temperature settings. Programmable models automatically switch from cooking to keep warm mode to prevent overcooking, which is especially useful when cooking throughout the day.
"On" indicator light Surprisingly few slow cookers have an "On" indicator light. The manual models we tried didn't have an "On" light, so unless you touched the side of the slow cooker's housing, you couldn't tell if it was working. Some digital models have an "on" or "ready" light that indicates that the inner pot has reached the programmed temperature.
Also Read: Best Meat Slicers for Home Use
Most slow cooker inner pots are oven safe but cannot be used on the griddle. Therefore, meat and vegetables must be browned or sautéed in a separate pan. The browning feature is not essential, but it allows you to brown a roast without having to wash another pan.
Low energy consumption
Slow cookers are definitely an economical way to cook. The slow cookers we tested average between 180 and 320 watts. (In comparison, electric ovens have a much higher power consumption of 2400 watts. Using this calculator to compute energy use at 10 cents per kilowatt hour, four hours of electric oven use would cost about $1 per day; eight hours of use of a 250-watt slow cooker (the average wattage of the models we tested) would cost only $1 per day. 19 cents a day. Even the Cuisinart, with its higher wattage, uses only half the energy of an electric oven.
How slow cookers heat up
As the name implies, slow cookers take longer to cook, but that means they can be left on without fear of burning or overcooking. Slow cookers are designed to cook for long periods, such as 12 hours, which is convenient and saves time and money.
However, there is a slight difference between a stockpot and a slow cooker. The difference is that the pot has heating elements on the bottom and sides.
Slow cookers and crock pots work by trapping heat, which means that if the slow cooker or crock pot is opened during cooking, heat escapes and cooking time increases.
Heating elements are designed to maintain a constant temperature, usually between 174°C and 199°C.
Basic slow cookers have three settings: high, low and medium. However, most modern programmable slow cookers have a "keep warm" function.
This function is activated at the end of the programmed cooking time and is intended to keep food warm by maintaining the temperature inside the slow cooker at 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slow Cooker Facts
Slow cooker cooking times vary depending on the recipe. However, cooking times generally depend on what you are cooking.
For example, meats and roasts can take anywhere from six to eight hours, depending on the meat and the cooking utensil. Dips, for example, can also take four to six hours to cook.
Slow cookers are safer than griddles and other cooking methods because they operate at a lower temperature and the lid is closed. The stove can also be used with the lid closed.
Slow cooker brand warranty and parts replacement
Let's say, for example, that you purchased your slow cooker today. Let's say you bought your slow cooker today and two weeks later you notice a crack in the ceramic insert.
All I can tell you is that without a warranty, you are completely screwed. A warranty is an insurance policy designed to protect the buyer against defective goods and the purpose of obtaining one is as follows
A warranty is an insurance to protect the buyer against defective products, the purpose of which is to guarantee replacement or repair if something goes wrong with the slow cooker within a specified period of time.
Best Slow Cooker With Browning Feature | Infographic
Is the slow cooker easy to use?
Is it easy to use and switch between cooking modes? Is the control panel intuitive?
Does it produce tender, flavorful chicken in the allotted time with recipes specifically designed for slow cookers?
Slow cookers can overcook meat and potatoes, so we looked for an appliance that wouldn't. As a result, the machine was chosen to produce chicken that is tender and falls apart, without being gummy or oddly soft, and potatoes that are tender but not deformed.
Is it easy to clean?
We looked for a machine with parts that are easily removable, hand washable and dishwasher safe.
How big and bulky is it?
We chose one that would be easy to store and would allow us to use the counter space in a more spacious way, since we don't use it every day. We also considered the weight of the inner pot (stoneware or coated aluminum) and how easily it could be removed from the unit.
Can it reach and maintain the desired cooking temperature?
While slow cooking at low speeds is a good thing in the culinary world (and that's kind of the point of slow cookers), we looked for an appliance that could reach a safe but not too hot cooking temperature in a reasonable amount of time.
What are its features?
Does the slow cooker have a browning function? Does it automatically shut off and switch to keep warm mode after the cooking time is up?
Are you planning to cook a large roast or a whole chicken?
Make sure the shape of the pot matches the type of meal you're preparing. You can choose a traditional rectangular slow cooker over a round electric pressure cooker. Read more about slow cookers and pressure cookers.
How many people do you cook for regularly?
The average household uses a large 6 to 7 liter model and most cooking recipes are suitable for this size. On the other hand, if you have limited kitchen space and are cooking for two people, you may prefer a smaller slow cooker. Learn more about slow cooker sizes.
Want to maximize the flavor of your food?
Many foods are baked or sautéed before being cooked in a slow cooker. Consider a slow cooker with a browning feature (also known as a multi-cooker) to reduce cleanup.
Are there any concerns during cooking?
A glass lid allows you to see inside the pot without the lid.
Are you buying a slow cooker to bring food to a party or potluck?
If so, a locking lid will help prevent spills.
Is simplicity important to you?
Look for one that is easy to use and intuitive. Avoid gimmicks such as hinged lids. The fewer parts to clean, the better.
Are you likely to be home late?
Most people prefer a digital model that automatically switches to "keep warm" mode when cooking is complete.
Replacing an older model?
If so, be prepared for higher cooking temperatures. If you're used to cooking at high temperatures, you'll want to try the low setting first.
Also Read: Best Electric Tea Kettle for Hard Water
Slow cookers have come a long way since the 1970s, but some companies haven't changed their models much since then. We think that with all the technology available, it makes sense to buy the Best Slow Cooker With Browning Feature that guarantees a consistent temperature, is easy to program and gives consistent cooking results.
Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence, Went to Calhoun High School (Georgia) my goal is to make the kitchen fun by providing a mathematical and logical component to our approach to cooking good food. I look not only at delicious recipes but also at kitchen tools and gadgets to give you the tips and tricks we hope you will find useful. Read More Here