Which? Don't Buy slow cookers
Any slow cooker that fails to make the grade in our expert cooking tests is given our Don't Buy warning logo.
These Don't Buy-rated models are not only difficult to use, but also miss the mark when challenged with everyday tasks such as making a hearty stew or roasting a succulent joint of meat.
We name and shame the slow cookers to avoid
We test slow cookers more thoroughly than anyone else to separate substandard models from those which are genuinely worth your cash.
Each slow cooker we review undergoes more than 70 separate assessments in the Which? test lab. The worst models we see deliver casseroles with over or undercooked lumps of meat, and can't be relied upon to evenly roast a chicken or keep a meal warm without drying it out. Unclear controls, poor instructions and tricky-to-clean parts are also hallmarks of slow cookers that attract our Don't Buy warning.
At the other end of the scale, our independent tests have uncovered Best Buy slow cookers that will treat you to delicious, evenly cooked hot meals time after time. And with Best Buy slow cookers available for less than £20, you can be confident that our reviews will guide you to the best value models.
How we uncover the best and worst slow cookers
- We test how well each slow cooker can make a stew on both the low and high settings and how long it takes on each. We assess the quality of the food after cooking, and then leave the meal on the 'keep warm' setting for an hour to check whether it works correctly and doesn't dry out the ingredients.
- If a slow cooker is capable of roasting a whole chicken, we test how well it does it. We check how evenly it roasts, what the meat looks like and whether it comes away from the bone easily.
- Each slow cooker's instruction manual is assessed to ensure it offers good quality, straightforward advice, including adequate guidelines on what you can make, how long ingredients take to cook and if they offer any recipes to get you on your way.
- Our tests also focus on how simple a slow cooker is to dismantle and clean, ensuring there are no stubborn dirt traps, and that the slow cooker is dishwasher safe.
If we declare a slow cooker to be a Don't Buy, you can be sure that it's one you should 100% avoid. No matter how tempting its price tag might be, you'll inevitably end up regretting your purchase.
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