Paul has been passionate about preparing, cooking, and eating healthy food for over 30 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.
I have been making meals with a slow cooker for many years. These useful appliances are an easy way to make tasty and healthy food, often with only a limited amount of preparation.
Most of the time, you brown off some meat in a pan to seal in the flavor, then put all your ingredients into the slow cooker, mix them together, and allow the low, steady heat to do its thing. While the meal cooks, you can go off and do your own thing for a few hours or more. Slow cooked meals do require a degree of planning, but it's wonderful to come home to a hot and hearty meal.
Over the years, I've made a wide variety of recipes and explored the surprisingly varied cuisine that slow cookers enable. The core types of meals that you can make with these useful devices tend to be "liquidy", foods such as soups, stews, chili, essentially anything that has some sort of sauce going on will usually work out well in my experience. This article looks at three stainless steel slow cookers that I've used and recommend.
Top 3 Slow Cookers Made From Stainless Steel
Here, in no particular order, are my suggestions:
- The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry: Easy and Affordable
- Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable: Sleek and Versatile
- All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped: Quality and Reliability
I will explain my reasoning and experiences below.
1. The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry: Easy and Affordable
The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry maybe doesn't come with all the technological bells and whistles that more expensive slow cookers have, but it's a solid and easy to use device that does all the essentials very well.
I bought one for the kitchen area of my office, so that I could cook meals while I worked. I ended up donating it to my daughter when she went away to college, so that she would have one of her own, as she loves the low effort of many slow cooked food recipes.
My Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A Pros:
- The relative simplicity of this slow cooker is actually an advantage in many ways, as you don't have to spend a week studying a booklet on how to program it.
- The timer is great: you don't have to spend any time watching over the Crock-Pot, and it will keep the food warm after it stops cooking. That's useful if you get distracted, or are late for some reason.
- The combination of stainless steel construction with a stoneware liner makes it super easy to clean.
- I've had a lot of use out of this cooker, as has my daughter, but it still works as well as the day I first used it.
- The lid locks shut, making it easy to transport a meal without making a mess.
- The 6 quart capacity can hold plenty of food, making it great for when family and friends come over for a meal.
- It's affordably priced.
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My Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A Cons:
- This Crock-Pot doesn't beep or make a sound when the timer's done, it just switches straight to warm mode, so there have been times when I've assumed it's still cooking after the food is done. It's not a huge problem when the cooking process is slow, but a buzzer might have been useful
2. Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable: Sleek and Versatile
I use a Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker in the kitchen area of my office nowadays. I love the versatility of this product. As well as being an awesome slow cooker, it also gives me multiple other options, including the ability to roast, bake, steam, stew, sauté, ferment, warm and make rice.
I use the 6 quart capacity, as I am usually just cooking for myself, or a few people, but there is an 8 quart version too for those who need to produce more food.
My Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable Pros:
- This standalone cooking appliance really is 10 appliances in 1, it's a great alternative to using the stove and gives you multiple menu options. That's the true strength of this Instant Pot. I can eat a different style of meal every day.
- Excellent for sous vide, a cooking technique I'd not really explored beforehand.
- Very reasonably priced for a product of this quality, especially when you consider that it's effectively taking the place of multiple appliances.
- It always cooks the food evenly, in my experience.
- The settings give you a good balance between control and ease of use.
My Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable Cons:
- "Instant Pot" is a brand name, but it seems to confuse some people according to the reviews I've read - although this cooker is versatile, there is no pressure cooker option.
- Cleaning was a bit of a chore sometimes, as my old dishwasher didn't always leave the inset completely clean. However, I discovered that when this happened, I could just add a few cups of water and set it to steam for 15 minutes, after which it comes out spotless.
3. All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped: Quality and Reliability
I use an All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped as my main slow cooker in the family kitchen nowadays. It's quite simply the best I've tried. You do pay more for an appliance of this caliber, but it's worth every penny in my experience.
The controls are intuitive to use and enable any slow cooking schedule imaginable. I have the 6.5 quart, but there are 4 quart and 7 quart options for those with different needs.
My All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Pros:
- The ceramic insert enables you to use metal utensils without concern for scratching.
- This is a high quality appliance, it looks awesome and works well.
- The lid's handle stays cool, so you don't burn your fingers.
- The heat settings are spot on in my experience, I've made beef stews, pork chops, chilli, soups, curries, Chines chicken, pasta sauces... you name it! And they've all come out perfect!
- The heat settings with cheap slow cookers can go awry after a time, in my experience, so it's worth investing in quality and reliability and this appliance delivers.
- It is well constructed, I wouldn't be surprised if it outlives me.
My All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Cons:
- As with most slow cookers, the insert is a little on the heavy side, making it awkward to wash by hand. That's not the end of the world in this case, as the insert is ceramic and dishwasher safe.
© 2020 Paul Goodman