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Best Slow Cookers

If you're a fan of hearty home-cooked food, a slow cooker can help you prepare flavour-packed meals at home. If you don't mind planning meals in advance and chopping up ingredients to throw in the slow cooker, you can simply walk away and enjoy your day while your handy kitchen appliance does the rest of the work for you. Continue Reading...

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59 listings

Philips Original All-In-One Multi-Cooker HD2237/72
  • Award Winner 2021
  • 2020

Philips Original All-In-One Multi-Cooker HD2237/72

4.4 from 90 reviews
Capacity6L
Cooking Bowl MaterialCeramic Coated

Undoubtedly a popular pick, the $239 Philips Original AIO Multi Cooker allows you to slow cook, pressure cook, saute, sear, steam and bake, all using one ultra-effective kitchen appliance.

Price (RRP) $239.00

Price from$179.00The Good Guys

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  • Makes delicious dishes

  • Wide range of cooking functions

  • Generous 6-litre capacity

  • Inner cooking pot isn’t durable

  • Build Quality
    4.7 (78)
  • Value for Money
    4.7 (78)
  • Ease of Use
    4.7 (82)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.7 (79)
  • Keep Warm SettingYes
  • Dishwasher Safe PartsNo
  • DisplayLCD
  • Power1,300 W
  • Outer Body Construction MaterialStainless Steel
  • Searing FunctionYes
Philips Original All-In-One Multi-Cooker HD2237/72
  • Award Winner 2021
  • 2020

Philips Original All-In-One Multi-Cooker HD2237/72

4.4 from 90 reviews
Capacity6L
Cooking Bowl MaterialCeramic Coated

Undoubtedly a popular pick, the $239 Philips Original AIO Multi Cooker allows you to slow cook, pressure cook, saute, sear, steam and bake, all using one ultra-effective kitchen appliance.

Price (RRP) $239.00

Price from$179.00The Good Guys

  • Makes delicious dishes

  • Wide range of cooking functions

  • Generous 6-litre capacity

  • Inner cooking pot isn’t durable

  • Build Quality
    4.7 (78)
  • Value for Money
    4.7 (78)
  • Ease of Use
    4.7 (82)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.7 (79)
  • Keep Warm SettingYes
  • Dishwasher Safe PartsNo
  • DisplayLCD
  • Power1,300 W
  • Outer Body Construction MaterialStainless Steel
  • Searing FunctionYes
Breville Fast Slow Pro BPR700

    Breville Fast Slow Pro BPR700

    4.2 from 236 reviews
    Capacity6L
    Cooking Bowl MaterialCeramic Coated and Stainless Steel

    Though a tad pricey at $369.95, the 6-litre Breville Fast Slow Pro’s status as a three-times ProductReview.com.au Award winner can attest to its high quality performance in the kitchen.

    Price (RRP) $369.95

    Price from$299.00Bing Lee

    • Convenient one-touch cooking

    • Can set-and-forget

    • Easy to use and clean

    • Lid sometimes doesn’t seal properly

    • Build Quality
      3.6 (32)
    • Value for Money
      3.4 (31)
    • Ease of Use
      4.3 (29)
    • Cleaning & Maintenance
      4.3 (29)
    • Keep Warm SettingYes
    • Dishwasher Safe PartsYes
    • Dimensions 343 x 323 x 248 mm
    • DisplayLCD
    • Power1,100 W
    • Outer Body Construction MaterialStainless Steel
    • Removable CordYes
    • Searing FunctionYes
    Breville Flavour Maker BSC500

    Breville Flavour Maker BSC500

    4.5 from 63 reviews
    Capacity5L
    Cooking Bowl MaterialAluminium

    The $129.95 Breville Flavour Maker is equipped with a 5-litre EasySear pan that lets you sear foods on the stovetop before slow-cooking them.

    Price (RRP) $129.95

    • Prepares tasty food

    • One pot functionality

    • Cleaning is a breeze

    • Build Quality
      4.0 (1)
    • Value for Money
      5.0 (1)
    • Ease of Use
      5.0 (1)
    • Cleaning & Maintenance
      5.0 (1)
    • Dishwasher Safe PartsYes
    • Dimensions 245 x 440 x 256 mm
    • DisplayAnalog
    • Power230 W
    • Outer Body Construction MaterialStainless Steel
    • Searing FunctionYes
    Breville Flavour Maker BSC560

      Breville Flavour Maker BSC560

      4.2 from 90 reviews
      Capacity7L
      Cooking Bowl MaterialAluminium

      If you’re looking to slow cook a large quantity of foods in a wonderfully easy-to-use appliance, the Breville Flavour Maker BSC 560 is worthy of consideration.

      Price (RRP) $159.95

      Price from$149.00The Good Guys

      • Suitable for large families

      • Pot is stovetop and oven safe

      • Simple to use and clean

      • Build Quality
        2.8 (6)
      • Value for Money
        3.2 (6)
      • Ease of Use
        4.3 (6)
      • Cleaning & Maintenance
        4.0 (6)
      • Dishwasher Safe PartsYes
      • Dimensions 210 x 460 x 280 mm
      • Power360 W
      • Outer Body Construction MaterialStainless Steel
      • Searing FunctionYes
      Target Essentials 5.5L

      Target Essentials 5.5L

      4.3 from 70 reviews
      Capacity5.5L
      Cooking Bowl MaterialCeramic

      At just $25, the Target Essentials 5.5-litre slow cooker offers a budget slow cooker that’s decently sized and gets the job done.

      Price (RRP) $25.00

      • Highly affordable

      • Prepares scrumptious meals

      • Simple to operate

      • Build Quality
        3.0 (2)
      • Value for Money
        3.5 (2)
      • Ease of Use
        4.0 (2)
      • Cleaning & Maintenance
        4.0 (2)
      • DisplayAnalog
      • Outer Body Construction MaterialMetal
      • Removable CordNo
      • Searing FunctionNo
      Philips Original All-In-One Multi-Cooker HD2237/72
      • Award Winner 2021
      • 2020

      Philips Original All-In-One Multi-Cooker HD2237/72

      4.4 from 90 reviews
      Capacity6L
      Cooking Bowl MaterialCeramic Coated

      Undoubtedly a popular pick, the $239 Philips Original AIO Multi Cooker allows you to slow cook, pressure cook, saute, sear, steam and bake, all using one ultra-effective kitchen appliance.

      Price (RRP) $239.00

      Price from$179.00The Good Guys

      Ad
      • Makes delicious dishes

      • Wide range of cooking functions

      • Generous 6-litre capacity

      • Inner cooking pot isn’t durable

      • Build Quality
        4.7 (78)
      • Value for Money
        4.7 (78)
      • Ease of Use
        4.7 (82)
      • Cleaning & Maintenance
        4.7 (79)
      • Keep Warm SettingYes
      • Dishwasher Safe PartsNo
      • DisplayLCD
      • Power1,300 W
      • Outer Body Construction MaterialStainless Steel
      • Searing FunctionYes
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      A hearty pot of slow cooked stew with beef and veggies

      How does a slow cooker work?

      A slow cooker, also known as a crock pot, works using three parts - a heating element, a cooking pot that's usually made of ceramic, and a glass lid.

      Slow cookers use a consistently low level of heat, which usually rises up from their base (some models have a wraparound heating element that heats up the sides at power-on, too). This heat spreads upwards and around the cooker, surrounding the food inside, which cooks slowly and evenly.

      These cooking appliances are best suited to making dishes that would traditionally take a long time to simmer on a stove, or to bake in an oven. You can make slow cooker beef stew, pumpkin soup, pulled pork, or dhal, along with slow cooker curry and pot roasts. You can even make slow cooker puddings for dessert.

      Is it worth getting a slow cooker?

      Weigh up the following factors to help you decide.

      Pros

      • Slow cookers are convenient. You can prepare and place your ingredients inside your slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning, then come home to a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth meal.
      • It’s safe to leave your slow cooker on all day unsupervised, as it’s designed for this purpose. Even on the highest setting, there is little chance of burning food, as heat is distributed slowly and evenly.
      • Food doesn’t need supervision. You don’t have to stir or monitor the food inside, making it a wonderfully worry-free ‘set and forget’ kitchen appliance.
      • Food tastes amazing. Slow cooking gives foods a depth of flavour unique to this method of cooking. Cooking at such a low temperature for an extended period allows flavours to become rich and complex.
      • Saves you money - as a slow cooker works well for tenderising cheap cuts of meat and batch cooking affordable legumes. It also uses less energy than a stovetop or oven with the same operating times.
      • Season-friendly - as while foods commonly cooked in slow cookers are usually ‘winter warmers,’ a slow cooker used in summer won’t overheat your kitchen like an oven might do.

      Cons

      • Requires organisation and patience as you need to plan your meals in advance, and it eliminates the option of coming home to cook a quick meal on the fly.
      • Lack of versatility as many good slow cookers perform the one function exclusively. You also can’t use one to fry, brown or sear foods (although some models do have a sear function). For example, if you’re frying onions, garlic or spices, you’ll still need a stovetop.
      • Bulky designs mean slow cookers can be harder to store in your kitchen cupboards when not in use.
      • Uncomfortably hot to touch during cooking for some models, so remember to keep children or pets at a safe distance.

      What cannot be cooked in a slow cooker?

      The combination of moisture and low heat, applied to food for hours, means that the following foods don't fare well when cooked inside a slow cooker.

      • Dairy products become curdled inside a slow cooker. If you really must add them, do so right towards the end to avoid curdling.
      • Foods that require cooking in hot water for set periods of time. This includes foods like rice, pasta and couscous. The extended periods of time in which they sit in the water will turn them mushy, or overcook rice on the ends and undercook them in the centre of the grain.
      • Soft vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and spinach will wilt into oblivion under the prolonged heat, water and steam.
      • Raw meat. While meat can be prepared in a slow cooker, it should be seared in a pan on the stovetop first. This will cook it sufficiently so that it retains its flavours when slow cooked. An exception to this is chicken.
      • Lean meat can easily become dry when prepared in a slow cooker.

      Factors to consider when buying a slow cooker

      Capacity

      A slow cooker’s capacity is measured according to the number of litres it can hold in its cooking bowl. This capacity can range from 2.5 litres all the way to 20 litres (however this is rare). Most models range in capacity from around 3.5 litres to 7 litres.

      Here's a rough guide to the slow cooker capacity to look for, depending on how many people are in your household.

      • 1-2 people: A 3-4 litre slow cooker will be sufficient. However, source a large slow cooker if you like batch cooking, and then freezing the leftovers to defrost and eat later in the week.
      • 3-5 people: A 4.5-6 litre cooker is a good size to aim for.
      • 5+ people: Add 1 litre per person exceeding 5 people.

      Keep in mind that the larger capacity you opt for in a slow cooker, the bulkier and larger it will be - potentially making it more difficult to store inside a kitchen cupboard. Also, the more litres a slow cooker is designed to hold, the dearer the price tag will be.

      Build quality

      The build quality of a particular slow cooker will depend on two factors - the quality of the outer body construction material and the inner cooking bowl.

      The outer body

      The outer body component, or housing of a slow cooker, is usually where the sturdiest material will be found on the appliance. Look for an appliance made from an outer body of stainless steel, as this is durable. However, it may be more difficult as it attracts fingerprints easily.

      The cooking bowl

      The cooking bowl (also known as the inner cooking pot or the insert) often has more variation in terms of what it's made from. Inner bowls can be made from ceramic, ceramic coating or stainless steel. Reviewer feedback often showed a preference for stainless steel inserts. These bowls wre considered the most durable, as they were resistant to scratches and peeling.

      Ceramic-coated bowls, on the other hand, often had a top layer that peeled or chipped away over time. This coating can sometimes contain toxic materials that are unsafe for consumption, but end up in food. Sourcing a 100% ceramic bowl is both a safer and sturdier option, however these are less commonly found on slow cookers.

      Features

      Auto setting

      This automatically adjusts the heat settings, so you don’t have to keep a constant eye on your slow cooker. Since the main appeal of slow cookers is that you can set-and-forget the handy appliance and walk away - returning to delicious home-cooked meals - an auto setting is important, as it allows you to actually do this.

      An auto-setting may turn the heat up to high initially, and then reduce it to low heat automatically after a set period of time. If you’re looking to have your slow cooker bubbling away while you’re at work, this is an important feature - it’s what equips the appliance with a set-and-forget functionality.

      Multiple cooking functions

      Some of the most popular slow cookers double as multi-function cookers. This means they can perform a variety of other cooking functions, which may include pressure cooking, sauteing and searing, steaming and baking.

      Investing in a multi-function cooking appliance may be handy if you cook using a variety of methods, and would like a handy kitchen helper that's capable of pulling its weight with all of them.

      Multi-purpose pot

      This refers to an inner cooking pot than can be removed and used on the stovetop or in the oven. This allows you to sear foods on the stovetop in your slow cooker bowl - and transfer it effortlessly into the slow cooking housing when you're done.

      It will also reduce the amount of time it takes for the slow cooker to reach the right heat, as the pot will already be hot. Having a multi-function will also conveniently give you a quality piece of cookware that you can use in other parts of the kitchen.

      Timer

      Slow cookers with timers count down the time until your meal is ready, and then alert you, usually using an audible alert. Some work in conjunction with an auto-off setting, which will automatically switch the appliance off after the timer has finished counting down to zero.

      However, keep in mind that you shouldn't leave a lot of time between the appliance switching off and returning to the cooker to dish out food. This is because slow cooked food contains a lot of moisture, which breeds bacteria when its kept warm for a prolonged period of time.

      So while having your slow cooker automatically timed to switch off at 2 p.m. may be handy if you're at work, this leaves plenty of time for bacteria to grow and contaminate food, before you're back home from work at 6 p.m.

      Ease of storage

      Slow cookers are available in both round shapes (which are more common) and rectangular shapes. The rectangular shaped models are easier to pack away as they fit more seamlessly into a fairly packed kitchen cupboard (think Tetris!)

      The ease with which your new appliance can be stored also depends on its size - which will increase proportionate to its capacity.

      Ease of Cleaning

      If a manufacturer indicates that the removable bowl and glass lid of a slow cooker are dishwasher safe, this is likely to save you a lot of time when it comes to cleaning your cooker. Most slow cooker materials are dishwasher safe, which makes the whole process a less time-consuming ordeal.

      Even if your chosen appliance requires you to hand wash the pot (or you’d simply prefer to do so), cleaning a slow cooker doesn’t call on much elbow grease. Due to the high amount of moisture in the pot, food doesn’t get a chance to stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, making cleaning a breeze.

      Price

      If you have your sights set on buying a slow cooker, it doesn't have to set you back a great deal of funds. You can pick up a budget slow cooker from Target, Kmart and Big W for under $30. For example, the highly rated Target Essentials 5.5L Slow Cooker is only $25, while the Kmart Anko Stainless Steel Slow Cooker 5L is just $19.

      However, the price will go up if you'd prefer a slow cooker with multi-function cooking capabilities, a wider range of features, or just sold by a household name brand when it comes to kitchen appliances. These more premium models can cost up to $350.

      Wrapping up

      If you have the patience for it, you can prepare hearty, home-cooked slow cooker meals full of flavour. Slow cookers vary greatly in their cooking functionality. For those who prefer simplicity in cooking, there are models with limited settings that are easy to use. Other models showcase a variety of features and multiple cooking functions.

      Also remember to weigh up the price of a prospective slow cooker with its size, capacity, durability, and ease of cleaning. Reading reviews can also provide a world of help through real-to-life feedback from our trusted reviewers.