The Best Crock Pots

A good crock pot is an essential kitchen tool for home chefs. It enables you to slow cook foods over long periods of time so that you have tender cuts of meat and hearty stews. You can also leave your crock pot on while away from your home to come home at the end of the day to a tasty meal.

We reviewed dozens of crock pots, from multi-use crock pots to generic models, to find the best of the best. We looked for safe models with a lot of positive feedback from current customers. We evaluated crock pots that can be programmed, as well as ones that double as serving dishes.

Top pick
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Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker

Meet the infamous Instant Pot, the last kitchen appliance you’ll need to buy

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$99.95 USD

The Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker stood out as the best crock pot available for many reasons. Its extremely versatile and can replace a number of common kitchen appliances you use every day.

The 5 Top-Rated Crock Pots for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Our Top PickInstant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker4.6
Our Runner Up PickCrock-pot SCCPVL619-S-A 6-Quart Metallic Cooker4.2
Best Budget PickCrock-Pot 2-QT Round Manual Slow Cooker4.4
Best Large Slow CookerCrock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Oval Manual Portable Slow Cooker, Red4.4
Best Programmable Crock PotHamilton Beach (33969A) Slow Cooker, Programmable, 6 Quart4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker

The Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker is one of the most popular kitchen appliances of 2018. It is a slow cooker that also serves as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker. It is highly programmable with many features that make it easier for everyday use, including a delay start for up to 24 hours, automatic keep warm, and a LED panel.

The Instant Pot comes in three different sizes. The 3-quart size can make enough food to serve 2 to 3 people, the 6-quart is ideal for serving 4 to 6 people, and the 8-quart size is suitable for preparing meals for 6 or more people. The 6-quart option is the most popular choice.

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker Key Features:

  • Three sizes available
  • Delay start
  • Seven kitchen appliances in one, including a pressure cooker
  • LED screen

Our Runner Up Pick: Crock-pot SCCPVL619-S-A 6-Quart Metallic Cooker

Runner up
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Crock-pot SCCPVL619-S-A 6-Quart Metallic Cooker

Check out a Crock Pot you can count on to take with you, with a hinged lid and handles

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$69.99 USD

The Crock-pot SCCPVL619-S-A 6-Quart Metallic Cooker is a good choice if you’ve never purchased a slow cooker before. It is a large 6 quart slow cooker that’s perfect for large families,  cooking in bulk, meal prepping, and making food for parties or potlucks. It comes with a Little Dipper Warmer that you can use to create single serving meals or to heat up dips and sauces.

It has a hinged lid that locks and handles that make it easy to take this model with you for parties and group events. The easy grip handle makes it easier to hold on to. It has a manual control setting with High, Low, and Warm settings.

Crock-pot SCCPVL619-S-A 6-Quart Metallic Cooker Key Features: 

  • Three manual control settings
  • Hinged lid to lock on top of slow cooker
  • Easy grip handles
  • Includes Little Dipper Warmer

Best Budget Pick: Crock-Pot 2-QT Round Manual Slow Cooker

Budget pick
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Crock-Pot 2-QT Round Manual Slow Cooker

Check out an affordable, 2 quart slow cooker that fits in every apartment kitchen or dorm

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$17.99 USD

If you’re looking for something affordable, the Crock-Pot 2-QT Round Manual Slow Cooker costs less than $16 depending on the size and color that you choose. Its 2 quart capacity is perfect to warm up dips and to create meals for 2 to 3 people. Its small size means that you can fit this model into the smallest of kitchens.

This crock pot has three cook settings: High, Low, and Warm. Its glass lid and stoneware insert are dishwashable. It comes with a recipe book.

Crock-Pot 2-QT Round Manual Slow Cooker Key Features:

  • Small 2 quart size
  • Dishwasher safe stoneware insert
  • Three cook settings: High, Low, and Warm
  • See-through glass lid

Best Large Slow Cooker: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker

Large pick
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Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker

For a large slow cooker from a leading brand, check out the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Oval Manual Slow Cooker

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$44.40 USD

The Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker is an excellent secondary crock pot if you find yourself going to many potlucks or parties. Its large 6 quart capacity enables you to cook a huge portion of food in one pot. The insert and glass lid are lockable, with handles that make it easier to transport it to the potluck.

This model comes in either a silver or a red color, with stylish black accents that look nice in any kitchen. It has 3 cooking settings: High, Low, and Warm. It’s a manual option where you’ll select the cooking setting with a dial.

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker Key Features:

  • Locking lid
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Two color options
  • Dishwasher safe

Best Programmable Crock Pot: Hamilton Beach (33969A) Slow Cooker

Programmable pick
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Hamilton Beach (33969A) Slow Cooker

For a programmable crock pot with all of the features you’d want, choose this Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker

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$49.99 USD

If you’re looking for a full featured slow cooker, the Hamilton Beach (33969A) Slow Cooker is an excellent choice. It’s a 6 quart slow cooker with a clip-tight gasket lid that makes it easy to bring meals with you to potlucks and parties. The stoneware insert and glass lid are dishwasher safe.

This model has a lot of technology features worth noting. It has a patented temperature probe that lets you check the food’s temperature without having to take off the lid and lose the heat. Its programmable, so you can set the timer and have it automatically switch to warm to avoid overcooking your food.

Hamilton Beach (33969A) Slow Cooker Key Features:

  • Temperature probe to check meat temperature
  • Programmable time
  • Locking lid
  • Dishwashable insert and lid

Who Should Buy a Crock Pot

Crock pots are a household kitchen essential for both people who cook very little and people who love to cook. For those who aren’t confident in their kitchen skills, a crock pot is an amazing way to throw a few ingredients into a pot and have something truly delicious. It’s more difficult to burn something in a crock pot because of its relatively low temperatures.

Kitchen pros love crock pots for their ability to create large amounts of appetizers and for getting meats or stews to their most tender. Whole recipe books are dedicated to crock pots, with more books on the shelves now because of the popularity of multi-use slow cookers like the Instant Pot. Many people who love to cook use crock pots to make big batches of their favorite meals.

If you host parties or go to potlucks, a crock pot is a convenient way to make, transport, and serve up food. If you have several crock pots, you could line them up on a table to create a hot buffet line your guests will appreciate. Some crock pots have been designed specifically for this purpose, with carry handles and multiple crock models available that work well for sides.

Top pick
Buy Now
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker

Meet the infamous Instant Pot, the last kitchen appliance you’ll need to buy

buy now
$99.95 USD

Important Features to Consider

Crock pots come with a wide range of available features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a crock pot:

  • Multi-functionality. While their primary function is as a slow cooker, many new crock pots can function as other cooking machines. These other functionalities include rice cookers, pressure cookers, and casserole cookers to name a few.
  • Energy consumption. As technology improves, crock pots are becoming more energy efficient. You want a crock pot with low energy consumption because it will be on for many hours every time you use it.
  • Programmable. Crock pot recipes can be more complex than just heating the ingredients for hours. A programmable crock pot can handle more complex recipes without you having to be there to make manual changes.
  • Size. The size of a crock pot is usually measured in quarts and determines how many people you can cook for at one time. A 6 qt crock pot is capable of cooking for 7 or more people.
  • Warm feature. Crock pots are designed to shut off after they reach the end of the cooking time. Pots with the warm feature reduce the temperature so that the food won’t continue to cook but will stay warm.
  • Color. Crock pots tend to stay on home kitchen counters as a portable appliance. Choosing the right color will help your pot blend in with your other appliances.
  • Dishwasher safe.  Cleaning a crock pot can take some time, but that process goes faster when the lid and insert pot can be placed in the dishwasher.
  • Locking lid.  Many crock pots are designed to be easy to transport and you can use it as a serving vessel. Having a locking lid ensures that your crock pot will stay shut while transporting it, which keeps you safe and prevents spills.
  • Handles. Although the cooking takes place in the insert pot, the outside of the crock pot can heat up too. Handles let you carry it safely, and most crock pots have heat-resistant plastic handles on the sides.
  • Timer. Since crock pots run for a long time, having a built-in time makes it easier to keep track of when it should be done cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a crock pot and how does it work?

A crock pot is a small kitchen appliance that cooks your food slowly from the bottom with a low and consistent heat that travels to the sides of the pot. You can set the temperature, usually to low or high, depending on how fast you want the food to cook.

Do you have to put water in a crock pot?

You do not have to put water in your crock pot, unless the recipe calls for it. As food cooks in the crock pot, it will naturally draw out some of the natural liquids from the food. However, if the recipe suggests to put water in, you should do so.

Is it bad to open a crock pot while cooking?

Each time you open up your crock pot while it is cooking, you let out a little of the heat. This makes it take longer for your food to heat back up and can delay the cooking process. In some cases, it can change how your food cooks. It is better to simply view your food through the glass window. If your recipe instructs you to stir the food, do so as quickly as possible to limit heat loss.

What’s the difference between a slow cooker and a crock pot?

Crock Pot is a brand of slow cooker. It was the first brand of slow cooker to become available in the 1970s. As a result, the term “crock pot” has become synonymous with “slow cooker,” and “crock pot” is now a name used to describe slow cookers from a variety of brands. When this phenomenon occurs, it’s called a proprietary eponym or genericized (or generic) trademark. Other examples include Saran Wrap and plastic food wrap and Q-Tip and cotton swab, which are also used interchangeably. Therefore, there’s no real difference between a slow cooker and a crock pot, although technically, the term Crock Pot refers to one specific slow cooker brand.

Other Crock Pots We Reviewed

Top pick
Buy Now
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker

Meet the infamous Instant Pot, the last kitchen appliance you’ll need to buy

buy now
$99.95 USD

We looked at 20 other crock pots. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best crock pots list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your home. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Large Slow Cookers

Chefman Slow Cooker, All Natural XL 7 Qt. Pot

Chefman Slow Cooker All Natural XL 7 Qt Pot Glaze-Free Chemical-Free Stovetop Oven Dishwasher Safe Crock-min

The Chefman Slow Cooker is one of the better options for home slow cooking. It is available in three sizes, although the 7 qt is likely your best option for a variety of needs. It is one of the only slow cookers to be made of 100% natural components, as well as to be certified for the paleo diet. It achieves this by using a stone insert pot rather than a manufactured metal one. This stone insert pot is also non-stick, making it much easier to clean.

Key Features:

  • 100% natural
  • Stone insert pot
  • Paleo diet certified
  • Non-stick pot

Cost: $48

Crock-Pot SCV700SS Stainless Steel 7-Quart Manual Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot SCV700SS Stainless Steel 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker-min

The Crock-Pot Stainless Steel SCV700SS Crock-Pot is among the more recognizable crock pots as it features the standard stainless steel finish with black pot and handles that many people associate with crock pots. It is available in a 7 qt size, which makes it the right size for cooking for groups. The stoneware insert is safe for dishwashers. With this pot, you’ll also get a set of recipes that are easy to follow and helps you get started slow cooking right away.

Key Features:

  • Stoneware insert pot
  • Recipes included
  • Machine washable insert
  • Classic look

Cost: $30

Crock-Pot SCV800-B, 8-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot SCV800-B 8-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker-min

For a different look, try the Crock-Pot SCV800B. It is slightly bigger than most crock pots at 8 qt. It also has an all-black design with a steel accent ring. The lid and insert pot are removable and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning and care. One of the best features of this pot is that the controls are simple. That way, you can start using without having to learn complex automated control systems.

Key Features:

  • 8 qt size
  • Black design
  • Easy controls
  • Dishwasher-safe lid and pot

Cost: $35

KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt. Slow Cooker with Standard Lid – Stainless Steel

KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt Slow Cooker with Standard Lid - Stainless Steel-min

The KitchenAid KSC6223SS is one of the first automated options on this list. It can be programmed for up to 24-hours of cooking. That way, you can set it and forget it. At 6 qt, it is slightly smaller than other models in its class. However, this allows you to save counter space with a thinner and slightly taller design. It is available with a standard set of handles or the easy-serve handle design.

Key Features:

  • Standard and Easy-serve lid options
  • 6 qt
  • LED display
  • Programmable

Cost: $85

Programmable Slow Cookers

COSORI 6 Qt 11-in-1 Programmable Multi Cooker

COSORI 6 Qt 11-in-1 Programmable Multi CookerSlow CookerRice CookerBrownSauteBoilSteamerYogurt Maker with Delay & Keep Warm Function-min

For many people, crock pots are a set it and forget it way of cooking. The COSORI 6 Qt 11-in-1 Programmable Multi Cooker can make automated slow cooking easier with a set of controls that offers customizability for whatever you need to cook. It comes with a non-stick pot and steam rack, both of which are safe for dishwashers. It is preprogrammed for 11 different cooking methods, which makes it easy for you to cook a wide range of meals. It has a built-in delay function that lets you set when it starts cooking, as well as an auto shut-off feature to stop cooking even if you are not there to turn it off.

Key Features:

  • 11 preprogrammed cooking methods
  • Steam rack included
  • Delay and auto shut-off
  • Customizable settings

Cost: $130

COSORI 6 Quart 8-in-1 Multi-Functional Programmable Slow Cooker

COSORI 6 Quart 8-in-1 Multi-Functional Programmable Pressure Cooker Slow Cooker Rice Cooker Steamer Sauté Yogurt Maker Hot Pot and Warmer Full Accessories Included-min

The COSORI 6 Quart 8-in-1 Multi-Functional Programmable Crock Pot combines eight cooking machines into one. It can be used as a slow cooker, but also as a pressure cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, hot pot, and more. A two, eight, and two 6 qt versions are available, although the Version 3 6 qt is your best option in terms of value. This cooker is also programmed with 17 smart cooker programs to handle a wide range of meals without input from the chef. That way, cooking becomes a lot easier.

Key Features:

  • 8 cooking machine functions
  • 17 cooking programs
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Steam rack included

Cost: $62

Crock-Pot 6 Qt 8-in-1 Multi-Use Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker (SCCPPC600-V1)

Crock-Pot 6 Qt 8-in-1 Multi-Use Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker Pressure Cooker Sauté and Steamer Stainless Steel SCCPPC600-V1-min

For added convenience and easy cooking, choose the Crock-Pot 6 Qt 8-in-1 Multi-Use Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker. Unlike similar crock pots, it has an extensive button array so that you can simply find the right button for what you want to do. It makes programming the slow cooker easier than other models that require lengthy navigations through program menus. You also get a steaming rack, recipe book, and serving spoon with it.

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-understand controls
  • 8 cooking machines in one
  • Air-tight locking lid
  • Recipe rack, serving spoon, and steaming rack included

Cost: $70

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Programmable Oval Slow Cooker with Dipper, Stainless Steel, SCCPVC605-S

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Programmable Oval Slow Cooker with Dipper Stainless Steel SCCPVC605-S-min

If you want to go straight from cooking to the table without the hassle of transferring to another vessel, you can go with the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Programmable Oval Slow Cooker. It has the classic stainless steel crock pot look and is big enough to feed most groups. The controls include an LCD display that makes programming much simpler. You can program this pot for up to 20 hours. This pot also comes with a dipper, a smaller heat-containing pot that is great for adding dips and other sides to meals. The best part is that you can remove the insert pot and place it on your table so that you won’t have to find another vessel and transfer your meals over.

Key Features:

  • Dipper (thermal small pot) included
  • Available in a 3-pack
  • Stylish, table-ready stoneware
  • Programmable up to 20 hours

Cost: $50

Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Oval Manual Portable Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel

Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook N Carry 6-Quart Oval Manual Portable Slow Cooker Stainless Steel-min

Moving your meals to the table can be easy since crock pots have removable insert pots, but transferring it to the table is safer with a locking lid. The Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook’ N Carry Crock Pot has a locking lid that keeps the food in place and firmly sealed. That way, you can safely carry the pot over to the table without worrying about splashing hot liquids everywhere.

Key Features:

  • Locking lid
  • Large handles
  • Tempered glass lid
  • Non-stick pot

Cost: $30

Crock-Pot SCCPVL605-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Oval Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel

Crock-Pot SCCPVL605-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Oval Slow Cooker Stainless Steel-min

The Crock-Pot SCCPVL605-S Programmable Cook ‘n Carry adds a few more deluxe features that make cooking safer and easier. This pot has a locking lid that makes transporting it easy and safe. The insert is also removable for service and cleaning purposes. This model has a built-in cooking timer that lets you choose the cooking time in two-hour increments.

Key Features:

  • Dishwasher-safe parts
  • Cooking time selection control
  • Removable insert pot
  • Locking lid

Cost: $49

Crock-Pot SCCPVP600-S Smart-Pot 6-Quart Slow Cooker, Brushed Stainless Steel

Crock-Pot SCCPVP600-S Smart-Pot 6-Quart Slow Cooker Brushed Stainless Steel-min

The Crock-Pot SCCPVP600-S is a reliable alternative to other models for its look and easy-to-use features. It has a brushed stainless steel finish for a subtler and more textured look. A black pot and large plastic handles give it an accented look while keeping your hands safe when carrying it.

Key Features:

  • Built-in timer up to 10 hours
  • Simple button controls
  • Low energy consumption
  • Brushed stainless steel finish

Cost: $35

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6Quart Multi-Cooker Slow Cooker Brown Saute Steamer-min

You’ll likely choose the Cuisinart MSC-600 3-in-1 Cook Central for its combination of safety and convenience features. It has large solid-piece handles on both the cooker body and the pot, which makes carrying either piece safer. The control display includes a large, double screen LCD display for setting the cook time and temperature. This pot can be used as a slow cooker, saute pot, or steamer. Getting started with it is even easier since it comes in certified frustration-free packaging.

Key Features:

  • Limited 3-year warranty
  • Backlit LCD display
  • 24-hour cooking programs
  • Certified frustration-free packaging

Cost: $108

Hamilton Beach 33861 Programmable Slow Cooker, 6 Quart

Hamilton Beach 33861 Programmable Slow Cooker 6 Quart Dual Digital Timer Stainless Steel-min

One of the most difficult problems with slow cooking is the need to change heat settings. The Hamilton Beach 33861 Programmable Slow Cooker solves this by giving you a programmable flex cooking mode. It lets you choose multiple heat options and when each option starts and stops. That way, it can change the temperature in the middle of cooking when you need it to.

Key Features:

  • Locking lid with extra support
  • Large digital display
  • Customizable cooking settings
  • Flex cook mode with multiple heat settings

Cost: $44

Ninja CS960 Cooking System with Auto-iQ, 6-Quart, Stainless Steel

Ninja CS960 Cooking System with Auto-iQ 6-Quart Stainless Steel-min

If you need help with certain recipes, the Ninja CS960 Cooking System with Auto-iQ can give you the automated help that you need. The Auto-iQ system lets you select a recipe and it will coordinate the cooking process. Once you add the right ingredients, it will take over the cooking process including setting exact temps and cooking times.

Key Features:

  • Auto-iQ system
  • Accutemp temperature controls
  • Three heating zones
  • Programmable cooking systems

Cost: $129

Crock Pots for Parties

BELLA Triple Slow Cooker and Buffet Server, 3 x1.5 QT Manual Stainless Steel

BELLA Triple Slow Cooker and Buffet Server 3 x15 QT Manual Stainless Steel-min

The BELLA Triple Slow Cooker and Buffet Server is designed to cook and serve buffet style. It has three separate slow cooker pots with individual controls and lids. You can cook up to three different things at the same time and serve them buffet style. It also has built-in lid rests to make serving easier.

Key Features:

  • 3-pot system
  • Individual controls
  • Buffet-style design
  • Built-in lid rests

Cost: $73

Crock-pot SCCPTOWER-B Swing and Serve Slow Cooker, Black

Crock-pot SCCPTOWER-B Swing and Serve Slow Cooker Black-min

If you need to cook and serve buffet style in a small space, try the Crock-pot SCCPTOWER-B Swing and Serve Slow Cooker. Its unique design features a 3.5 qt crock pot at the base with two smaller 1.5 qt pots in a raised position. This design lets you cook and serve three things at once while saving you space. The smaller pot arms also fold in to save even more space when it is stored.

Key Features:

  • 3 pots
  • 2 raised pots
  • All-black design
  • Separate pot controls

Cost: $64

Small Crock Pots

Crock-Pot 3.5-Quart Casserole Crock Manual Slow Cooker, Black and White

Crock-Pot 35-Quart Casserole Crock Manual Slow Cooker Black and White-min

Crock pots like the Cork-Pot 3.5 Qt Casserole Crock Manual Slow Cooker can be the right option when cooking for smaller groups too. Its size makes it just right for 3-5 people. This cooker has cook and carry locking handles for securely transporting it to different places. It is also available in five different finishes to meet your style needs.

Key Features:

  • Five finishes
  • Locking handles
  • Small profile
  • Pot can go in a conventional oven too

Cost: $38

Crock-Pot 4.5-Quart Manual Slow Cooker, Damask Pattern

Crock-Pot 45-Quart Manual Slow Cooker Damask Pattern-min

Round slow cookers can take up less space while still cooking enough for a small group of people. The Crock-Pot 4.5-Quart Manual Slow Cooker is completely round, which takes up less counter space. It is available in a flowered finish. The controls are simple and easy to set as well.

Key Features:

  • Attractive finish
  • Small footprint
  • Manual controls
  • Dishwasher-safe lid

Cost: $25

Crock-Pot SCR300-SS 3-Quart Manual Slow Cooker, Silver

Crock-Pot SCR300-SS 3-Quart Manual Slow Cooker Silver-min

The Crock-Pot SCR300-SS 3-Quart Manual Slow Cooker is a small alternative if you don’t need to cook for large groups or want to make something to go with a larger meal. It has a small footprint due to its size and round shape. It also features the classic stainless steel and black finish.

Key Features:

  • Ceramic pot
  • Dishwasher-safe components
  • Stainless steel finish
  • Recipes included

Cost: $21

Crockpot 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker, White/Blue

Crockpot 25-Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker White Blue-min

If you like making casseroles, then the Crockpot 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker is a good option. The pot is removable and oven-safe. It is also casserole shaped and has easy-to-use controls.

Key Features:

  • Small profile
  • Warming feature
  • Oven-safe pot
  • Simple controls

Cost: $35

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Melanie Green