You might think slow cooker seasons are fall and winter, but you should keep yours out all year—because there’s never a bad time to come home to a healthy, stress-free dinner that didn’t come out of a package. Plus, when it’s too hot to turn on the oven, your slow cooker will deliver deliciousness without heating up the whole house. (Even when the temperatures dip below freezing, your slow cooker can be your best friend when it comes to creating delicious meals.)
While it’s easy to find new slow cooker recipes online (thanks, Pinterest), picking out the right device can be more challenging. Here, we found the most popular slow cookers on Amazon.com—all rated over 4 out of 5 stars—so you can buy the one that’s best for your slow-cooking style.
Best for: Cook time control
Not every recipe cooks perfectly in exactly four, six, or eight hours. That’s why this 6-quart one is designed to program cooking times that range from 30 minutes to 10 hours. You can put a party dip in on low for just a couple of hours, or simmer a savory lamb curry for that full 10. Either way, the cooker automatically switches to warm when the timer is up.
Buy it: $34.99, Amazon.com
Best for: Cooking meat
If you rely on your slow cooker for tender pot roast or whole chicken, this one’s got you covered with a thermometer probe that you can set to the desired temperature for your meat. The probe displays the temp as the meat cooks, and it cues the cooker to switch to warm once the meat is done. Cooking for guests just got a lot less stressful.
Buy it: $49.99, Amazon.com
Best for: Dips and sauces
This Crock-Pot comes with a 16-ounce “Little Dipper” so you can make a lil’ extra sauce on the side—and keep it warm until dinner is ready. Whether your meal’s coming with scoops of queso or gravy, you can just remove the stoneware insert and set it on the table for serving.
Buy it: $59.99, Amazon.com
Best for: Small spaces
Have a teeny-tiny kitchen but still want to channel your inner Rachael Ray? This super-affordable 1.5-quart option has your name on it. It’s equipped with the basic low, high, and warm settings, and it’s so tiny you can leave it out on a counter or easily stash it in a cabinet. Plus, the pot and lid are conveniently dishwasher safe.
Buy it: $18.64, Amazon.com
Best for: Potlucks
When you have a signature slow cooker recipe that’s requested at every party you attend, it’s important to have a slow cooker that travels as well as you do. This one has a clip that seals the lid onto the base so you don’t wind up with pulled pork or mini meatballs all over the trunk of your car. It also comes with trusty handles for easy carrying. We dig the football field and “plays” on this green model.
Best for: Tailgating
Here’s another one for hungry sports fans. It’s a basic slow cooker, but the official NFL designs show off where your loyalty lies as you dig into those smoky baked beans on game day. Choose from 32 available NFL teams, and maybe tell rival fans to get their grub elsewhere.
Buy it: $41.94, Amazon.com
Read the full article on Prevention.
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