On a chilly evening, what could be nicer than arriving home to meltingly tender beef stew followed by a comforting sponge pudding? Or perhaps you’d prefer a succulent roast chicken for Sunday lunch, or a bowl of creamy overnight porridge for breakfast?


Used correctly, a slow cooker can be an incredibly versatile tool in the kitchen – slowly simmering ingredients over hours to create hearty and wholesome dishes that are ready to serve as soon as you walk through the door.

Which slow cooker is right for you?

Slow cookers vary in price greatly, so it’s important to consider exactly what you’ll be using yours for before splashing out. Options range from affordable cookers with two heat settings, to investment-worthy multi-cookers with several functions (such as air frying, pressure cooking and even Masterchef-style sous vide).

‘If you want to batch-cook or have a large family, you’ll need to go for a model with up to a six-litre capacity, such as the Crockpot SCV655B-IUK slow cooker. If you’re cooking for a smaller number, such as two people, smaller versions like the Swan Retro DF17011BLN 1.5-litre slow cooker might be more suitable,’ explains Tori Miller, slow cooker expert for AO.com.

If you want to cook the widest variety of dishes with your slow cooker, keep an eye out for those with more than one temperature setting (and possibly a keep-warm function, which is great for families who want seconds).

Opting for an oval cooker, rather than a round one, means you can cook whole chickens or larger joints of meat, and an easy-to-set timer can help to keep track of your supper's simmer time.

Pork goulash

Best slow cookers UK

Crockpot TimeSelect 5.6L Digital Slow Cooker

Crockpot TimeSelect 5.6L Digital Slow Cooker
  • 5.6L cooking pot
  • Low and High heat settings
  • Keep-warm function
  • Oven and dishwasher-safe stoneware cooking pot

The simple-to-use 5.6L Crockpot is a treat for bigger families or batch-cooking, and can be set up to 12 hours in advance - perfect for busy lifestyles! The generous capacity and two heat settings make this perfect for low-and-slow curries, bolognese or gently cooking joints of meat for a yummy Sunday lunch. It makes lovely soups too - you can see more of our favourite soup-makers here. Plus, you can use the Schedule Meal feature to select the optimal cooking process based on desired meal time, food type and quantity. A clear lid and keep warm function are included and the stoneware pot is oven and dishwasher-safe too - and all for a fair price!

In 2021 Crockpot® collaborated with food distribution charity FareShare to help redistribute the equivalent of 200,000 meals to families in need across the UK. This year, FareShare predicts there will be even more households struggling to put quality food on the table. That’s why Crockpot® is renewing its commitment by encouraging people to help the brand reach its goal of helping to fund the equivalent of an additional 250,000 meals in 2022– with a total pledge of 450,000 meals to date.

This year, Crockpot® is giving everyone the chance to donate meals to families in need via Andi Oliver’s (@AndiOliver) and Crockpot’s® (@CrockpotUK) Instagram channels. To donate a meal, simply share your favourite family dish in the comments of this post and tag a fellow foodie - anyone who comments and  before 8 November and follows Crockpot® will also be automatically entered into a prize draw, where 10 lucky winners will receive a Crockpot® Sizzle & Stew slow cooker.

Andi Oliver

Wahl WL9290 James Martin Digital Slow Cooker

10. Robert Dyas Wahl WL9290 James Martin 4.7L Digital Slow Cooker Silver Packaging
Wahl WL9290 James Martin 4.7L Digital Slow Cooker
  • 4.7L cooking pot
  • 3 cooking settings
  • Keep-warm function
  • Delay timer
  • Comes with a recipe booklet

Designed to fit around busy family lives, this large capacity digital slow cooker from the Wahl x James Martin collaboration has a clever delay timer – so you can add your ingredients in the morning and schedule supper to be ready as soon as you arrive home. A durable glass lid helps to retain heat and moisture in your dishes and the low, high and keep warm settings means you can have a delicious hot meal no matter how long it takes to get everyone around the table and serve up!

Swan Retro Slow Cooker

Swan Retro Style Slow Cooker
  • Fun, retro colour palette
  • 3 temperature settings
  • Keep-warm function
  • Non-stick and oven-safe inner pot
  • Comes with a recipe book

For a vintage-inspired slow cooker that’s pretty enough to have pride of place on your kitchen counter, look no further than this retro design from Swan. It has a removable inner pot which makes serving up easier and 32 page recipe book is also included to inspire you with your cooking. You can choose from an array of pastel shades and the toughened-glass lid means you can keep an eye on your supper as it cooks.

More like this

Russell Hobbs Chalk Board Slow Cooker

5. 24180_MAIN V2
Russell Hobbs Chalk Board Slow Cooker, 3.5L,
  • Chalkboard casing (and 2 pieces of chalk)
  • 3.5L cooking pot
  • Dishwasher-safe parts
  • 3 heat settings

We love that this easy-to-use cooker is coated in a matt chalkboard casing, which allows you to write on the side and let your family know what’s for dinner, or keep a note of timings. Technically speaking, it has all the slow-cooker essentials; a low, warm and high heat setting; a glass lid so you can see your food while its cooking, and it also cool-touch handles which makes it safe to handle.

Ninja Foodi Mac 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker

Ninja Foodi Multi-Cooker OP300UK (2)
Ninja Foodi Mac 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker, 7.5L,
  • 7 cooking functions
  • TenderCrisp technology, to pressure cook then crisp dishes
  • 7.5L cooking pot
  • Non-stick, dishwasher-safe parts

This practical cooker has seven cooking functions, including slow cook, pressure cook, air fry, steam, roast, sauté and grill, so it’s perfect for an array of meals, from hearty casseroles to crisp roast chicken. It has one of the largest capacities out of our reviewed slow cookers, with 7.5 litres, making it a great choice for dinner parties and family meals.

Russell Hobbs Good To Go Multi-Cooker

Russell Hobbs Good To Go Multi-Cooker
Russell Hobbs Good To Go Multi-Cooker
  • 8 cooking functions
  • Removable cooking pot
  • 6.5L cooking pot
  • Dishwasher-safe parts
  • Digital control panel and timer

With its on-trend metallic finish and cool-touch body, the removable cooking pot on this Russell Hobbs multi-cooker is designed to go straight from your kitchen counter to the dining table (and into the dishwasher afterwards, too). It has a whopping eight cooking functions; sear, roast, sous vide, slow cook, steam, rice, boil and a keep warm setting too and its generous capacity makes it a great all-rounder.

Sage The Risotto Plus™

Sage the Risotto Plus™
  • 3.7L cooking pot
  • 6 cooking settings
  • Special risotto-making function
  • Easy-to-clean cooking pot

What could be nicer than a creamy risotto with none of the lengthy, tiresome stirring? This kitchen gadget has multiple functions, including slow cook, sauté, steam and a special risotto setting, that’s great for dinner party aficionados and it makes wonderful fluffy rice. A clear lid lets you keep an eye on your cooking and it has a keep-warm function for up to five hours.

If you enjoyed our round-up, check out our other Buyer’s Guides. We’ve got tried-and-testsed reviews of the best air fryers, as well as the guides to the best toasted sandwich makers, coffee machines, and many more household appliances.


Feature Sophie Hannam