How we pick our products
Slow cookers are suitable for preparing a wide variety of dishes. Whether you want to prepare a curry, a chilli, vegetables or a stew, thanks to the simple operation of the slow cooker you will easily achieve the result. The energy consumption is lower than with an oven. Depending on the appliance, further advantages are the timer function and the automatic shut-off function. With the help of our slow cooker test 2022 we would like to help you find the right slow cooker for you. We have compared conventional slow cookers with multifunctional slow cookers and steam cookers and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages for you. This should make your purchase decision easier.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The Best Slow Cooker: Our Picks
- 3 Buying and evaluation criteria for slow cookers
- 4 Decision: What types of slow cookers are there and which one is right for me?
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about the slow cooker answered in detail
- 5.1 What exactly is a slow cooker and what can it do?
- 5.2 What dishes can I prepare with the slow cooker?
- 5.3 Which foods are not suitable for the slow cooker?
- 5.4 Who is a slow cooker suitable for?
- 5.5 What volume should my slow cooker have?
- 5.6 What are the alternatives to the slow cooker?
- 5.7 How can I convert the cooking times?
- 5.8 What can I do if the slow cooker gets too hot?
- The slow cooker is an easy-to-use kitchen appliance. The Slow Cooker consists of an outer pot, a ceramic inner pot and a lid. The outer pot is heated and transfers heat to the inner pot. In this way, the food is cooked slowly and gently over a longer period of time.
- The slow cooker has two heat settings “low” and “high”. Depending on the model, slow cookers are available with a timer function, an automatic shut-off function and a keep-warm function. When choosing the size, the intended use should be considered. The appliances are available in different sizes from 1.5 litres to 3.5, 5, 6 and 8 litres.
- Cooking with the slow cooker is particularly characterised by the low preparation effort. All you have to do is cut the ingredients and put them in the pot – the appliance does the rest for you. The slow cooker can easily be operated before leaving the house.
The Best Slow Cooker: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for slow cookers
Below you will find various factors to consider when choosing the right slow cooker. Important criteria that can be used to compare different slow cookers with each other:
You can find out what the individual criteria are in the following paragraphs:
Size / capacity
For a slow cooker to work properly, the appliance should be at least half full of ingredients. When choosing the size of your new slow cooker, it is therefore important to consider family size, cooking habits and lifestyle.
The smallest Slow Cooker has a capacity of 1.5 litres and is suitable for preparing a meal for up to two people. For a single household that likes to cook ahead and freeze menus, the small slow cooker is also ideal. If you want to spoil your family of four with it, a slow cooker with a capacity of 3.5 litres is recommended. There are different sizes from 1.5 litres up to 8 litres. What you will primarily use your slow cooker for therefore plays a central role in the selection of the size. Therefore, think carefully about whether you will use the slow cooker for large family celebrations, one-off meals for your family or for cooking provisions.
Timer function / automatic switch-off
Ready, Set, Go! – The timer function and automatic switch-off allow you to make the necessary clicks in the morning before work, leave the house and come home to a ready dinner.
Thanks to the timer and automatic switch-off, you can leave the house safely while cooking.
With the timer you can set the exact time when the slow cooker should start cooking. You can also set the desired cooking time, which varies depending on the dish. The backwards running clock informs you about the remaining cooking time. But beware: It is not recommended to use the timer if the raw food, especially meat, remains in the pot for more than two hours before the timer switches on. Bacteria could multiply too much during this time. Conversely, it doesn’t matter if you come home a little later than planned. The automatic switch-off function ensures that the slow cooker switches itself off after the cooking time has elapsed.
Keep warm function
The automatic switch-off function ensures that the slow cooker switches off in good time. But maybe you’re stuck in a traffic jam on the way home, or a spontaneous coffee with a colleague at work is keeping you a little longer? No problem, the keep-warm function ensures that your dish is kept warm after the cooking time has elapsed. If you can’t plan your exact arrival time at home in advance, make sure your new slow cooker has a keep-warm function.
The standard slow cooker consists of three parts. The heating element, the inner pot and a lid.
The heating element is made of metal and may have controls. The well-closing lid is usually made of glass.
Decision: What types of slow cookers are there and which one is right for me?
If you are thinking about buying a slow cooker, you should consider the following points when making your choice:
|Slow Cooker||Easy to use, Time efficient, Low power consumption, No burning, No supervision needed, Gentle cooking process, Different sizes||Not suitable for frozen foods, Not all appliances have additional functions, Number of recipes limited, Normal recipes need to be converted|
|Multicooker||Easy to use, Multifunctionality, No cooking odours, Energy-efficient thanks to insulated housing||Moisture cannot escape in slow-cooking function, Results in residual liquid and less thickening of sauce|
|Steamer||Easy to use, Suitable for frozen food, Gentle cooking process||Due to the water container, somewhat larger compared to ordinary slow cookers|
If you would like to know more about the individual types of slow cooker, you can read more about each in the following paragraphs.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about the slow cooker answered in detail
What exactly is a slow cooker and what can it do?
This method of preparation is not only convincing thanks to the preservation of vitamins. No, the slow cooker is like a kitchen elf who cooks you dinner. Thanks to various programmable functions, such as the timer function and the automatic switch-off, the food can be left unattended during the preparation time.
What dishes can I prepare with the slow cooker?
Because all the ingredients are added at the same time, slow cooker recipes are often stews, soups or curries. The number of possibilities is limited, but with a little creativity there is enough scope for varied dishes. Particularly praised is the preparation of rather tough meat, which becomes very tender and juicy thanks to the slow cooking process. Even shoulder cuts can be prepared excellently. Slow cooking is ideal for preparing hard root vegetables. Root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and onions can be added at the beginning of the cooking time. Watery and delicate vegetables such as courgettes should only be added at the end.
Which foods are not suitable for the slow cooker?
- Raw meat: The gentle heat means that the meat does not turn golden brown. It is advisable to sear the meat in a pan first before cooking. Otherwise there is a risk that the meat will taste bland.
- Lean meat: Lean meat such as chicken breast or pork tenderloin will become tough when cooked in the slow cooker.
- Delicate vegetables: Zucchini, asparagus or peas should only be added to the pot towards the end, otherwise the vegetables will become mushy.
- Fresh herbs: Fresh herbs should also only be added in chopped form at the very end. If the herbs are in the slow cooker for too long, they will not only lose their colour but also their flavour.
- Fish: Fish is already cooked after half an hour and should therefore only be added towards the end of the cooking time.
- Milk and cream: With dairy products such as milk and cream, the long cooking at low temperature can trigger an acidification process. They should also only be added at the end. Alternatively, condensed milk can be used – this can be added at the beginning.
- Cheese: With cheese, there is a risk of loss of flavour and separation of the fat and whey components due to long cooking.
- Hot sauce / hot spice: The hotness increases with the cooking time! A careful dosage of spices is recommended.
- Dry beans: Dry beans, such as kidney beans, contain toxic substances. Cooking at a high temperature destroys these and they are then safe to eat. However, most slow cookers are too gentle for this. Dried beans should therefore first be cooked on the hob for 10 minutes and then be cooked further in the slow cooker.
- Rice and pasta: Rice and noodles risk becoming mushy when cooked in the slow cooker.
Who is a slow cooker suitable for?
Thanks to its ease of use, the slow cooker shines for people with little experience in cooking who appreciate delicious and tasty meals no less.
The gentle cooking process ensures that valuable vitamins are not washed out.
In this respect, the slow cooker is suitable for all those who want to maintain a conscious approach to nutrition and for whom the natural absorption of vitamins is important. Cooking with the slow cooker is therefore also considered healthy. Depending on the size of the slow cooker, you can easily cook and then freeze provisions. In this way, you can be sure of an enjoyable meal for hectic days.
What volume should my slow cooker have?
What are the alternatives to the slow cooker?
How can I convert the cooking times?
The conversion ratio for the high setting is: 1:4 and for the lowsetting : 1:8
This means that food that is normally cooked for one hour can be prepared for four hours on the “high” setting and eight hours on the “low” setting. Handling with this blanket formula should be taken with caution. Cooking times can vary depending on the food. In addition, not all slow cooker models reach the exact same temperature.
What can I do if the slow cooker gets too hot?
- Kitchen thermometer
- Period from four to eight hours
Fill your slow cooker 2/3 full with water. Activate the “Low” or “High” setting and then check the temperature every hour. On the “low” setting, your thermometer should read about 80 degrees. On the “high” setting, it should read about 90 degrees. Only temperatures that are too low (less than 70 degrees) can have a harmful effect on health. Then there is a risk of food poisoning due to bacteria that have not been killed. Temperatures that are too high can only result in the loss of vitamins or overcooked dishes. However, before you buy a new appliance, you can play with the cooking times and shorten them a little. Another sign that your slow cooker is getting too hot is heavy bubbling.