The Best Slow Cooker In Australia For 2020: Breville, Sunbeam, Crock Pot

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A slow cooker is a brilliant solution for creating delicious, flavour-filled meals on even the busiest days. This highly convenient appliance is more energy-efficient than an oven and can cook hearty dishes for the whole family with minimal effort. The best slow cookers are versatile, simple to use and highly functional. The reviews and buyers guide below can help you find the best slow cooker for you.

Here are the best slow cookers in Australia:


1. Breville the Smart Temp Slow Cooker (Top Pick)



The Breville Smart Temp Slow Cooker is simple to use and is perfect for cooking tasty meals that will be ready when you are. The unit automatically keeps the dish warm until served so it won’t matter if you’re running a bit late, dinner will still be perfect when you are ready to eat.

This cooker has a 6-litre capacity so is ideal for family meals. The digital display lets you know the remaining cook time and there are programmable high, low and medium settings. The versatility of being able to slow cook, warm or simmer food allows you to cook a range of dishes in the Breville Smart Temp Slow Cooker.

The wrap-around heat element ensures a constant, even temperature and the Temperature IQ sensor prevents overheating by automatically controlling the temperature. The stainless steel finish of this cooker looks smart and will brighten up any kitchen worktop.


What We Like:

Automatically prevents overheating
Large capacity perfect for family meals
Easy to use controls

What We Don’t Like:

Quite bulky


2. Sunbeam 5.5L Secretchef Electronic Sear and Slow Cooker

Sunbeam 5.5L Secretchef Electronic Sear and Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel

The Sunbeam 5.5L Sear and Slow Cooker can be used as a frypan as well as a slow cooker. It is one of the best options for browning meat before slow cooking as it offers simplified “one-pot” cooking.

This unit heats up fast and offers accurate temperature control, even heat distribution and 4 slow cook temperature settings. There is an automatic keep-warm function which will use a low setting to ensure your food is warm when it’s dinner time. For additional ease of use, you can also pre-set the timer and the display shows how much cooking time is left.

The sear option is ideal for browning meat and can be used as a standalone option but can also be used prior to slow cooking as it is very straightforward to switch between settings. This is an efficient, easy to clean option that will reduce your washing up and help you make delicious meals for the family.


What We Like:

Can be used to sear as well as slow cook
Efficient
Accurate temperature control

What We Don’t Like:

Better for slow cooking larger meals


3. Russell Hobbs 6L Slow Cooker


This 6L slow cooker from Russell Hobbs can simplify your cooking process and reduce washing up as it offers stove-top searing as well as slow cooking.

There are 3 heat setting to choose from; high or low temperature and warm. The digital controls and display make it easy to set the cooker and timer as needed.

This cooker includes a removable non-stick pot so washing up after use is simple. The cooker looks great and comes with a strong tempered glass lid that lets you see how your food is looking without lifting the lid.


What We Like:

Spacious
Searing feature
3 heat settings

What We Don’t Like:

Cannot pre-set to start cooking later


4. Breville the Flavour Maker 7L Slow Cooker




The Breville Flavour Maker has a generous 7L capacity which is perfect for cooking large family meals.

The cast aluminium non-stick pan is a stand-alone piece of cookware that is oven and stovetop safe. There are removable silicone handle covers for heat protection and safety. The cooker has low, high and auto heat settings, the auto setting cooks on high for 2 hours and then reduces the heat to low for the remaining duration of cooking.

This multi-use pan allows you to deepen flavours and textures and it makes cleaning up easier as you will only need to wash one pan. The stainless steel lid is dishwasher safe and the power cord is removable for when you are serving at the table.


What We Like:

Three settings
Standalone non-stick plan
Perfect for families

What We Don’t Like:

No digital display


5. CrockPot Sear and Slow CHP700 Slow Cooker


CrockPot Sear and Slow, White, CHP700

This slow cooker from CrockPot is a very convenient cooktop to slow cooker unit that allows you to prepare delicious meals with maximum ease and minimal washing up.

The pot can be used to saute and seal ingredients directly on induction, gas and electric cooktops. This helps to deepen flavours before slow cooking and means you only need to use one pot for preparing the whole meal. The pot itself is DuraCeramic coated which cooks food faster and makes it more scratch-resistant and durable.

The cooker has an LCD screen that displays the remaining cook time and there is a 20-hour digital timer so you can set the cooker to finish at a time that works for you. The keep-warm feature automatically kicks in when the cooking time ends so your meal will be ready whenever you are.


What We Like:

Digital timer
Durable pot can be used on multiple surfaces
Auto keep warm

What We Don’t Like:

Higher price


6. Sunbeam 5.5L Slow Cooker

Sunbeam 5.5L Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel

This Slow Cooker from Sunbeam is very straightforward to use and would make a great first slow cooker. This is a simple, effective option that is the perfect size for making family meals with minimal effort.

The crock pot is evenly heated around the sides which means you don’t need to stir the food and there is no risk of food getting stuck to the bottom.

When the cooking is finished make sure you switch the cooker to the keep warm setting to prevent overcooking. When it comes to cleaning this unit, both the pan and lid are dishwasher safe.


What We Like:

Simple to use
Evenly heated pot
Dishwasher safe

What We Don’t Like:

Keep warm setting is not automatic


7. Crock Pot 4.7 Litre Hinged Slow Cooker




These Hinged Crock Pots are user friendly, compact and perfect for preparing dinner for up to 4 people. The hinged lid makes 1 handed serving easy and also helps to keep your kitchen worktop clean.

The digital display lets you know how much cooking time is left and you can set the flexible 20-hour programmable timer to suit your schedule. After cooking is complete the pot will automatically switch to a low temperature to keep the dish warm.

The CHP550 uses a wrap-around element to ensure the heat is distributed evenly, this also means no stirring is required so you can go about your day while dinner cooks. The crock is conveniently dishwasher safe so cleaning doesn’t need to be a hassle either.


What We Like:

User friendly with clear labelling
Digital display
Hinged lid

What We Don’t Like:

Slightly pricey but includes convenient features


Slow Cooker Buyer’s Guide


Slow cookers are game-changers in the kitchen, delicious meals practically cook themselves while you can carry on with other things. They have long been appreciated as the kitchen appliance that can give you meals with maximum flavour and minimal effort. The best slow cooker is lightweight, easy to use and remains cool to touch. As slow cookers vary in their features and abilities, this buyers guide will help you find the one best suited to your needs.

Material

The most common materials for slow cookers are:

  • Aluminium with non-stick coating – these are lightweight and nonstick but the coating may get worn over time.
  • Stoneware – these are durable but heavy. The removable pot can usually be put into the oven too.
  • Ceramic – a ceramic pot is heavier than aluminium but is easy to clean and usually oven safe.

Note: not all pots are oven proof so check the specification of the product to check if they can be put into the microwave or oven (this can be a convenient feature for reheating the food or making other dishes).

Heating Method

Some slow cookers have their heating element on the bottom while others have the element wrapped around the sides. Having the element around the sides tends to be the better option as it offers more evenly distributed heat and prevents the food from sticking to the bottom of the pot meaning you don’t need to stir the food while cooking.

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Size

The size of cooker you choose will come down to personal preference. There are small sizes available that are ideal for small servings or warming dips and there are large options that can feed large families (with leftovers too!). The size you choose is dependent on your requirements but for ease of use and best results, it is always best to at least half-fill a slow cooker. You should also not fill a slow cooker all the way to the top as the mixture needs room to bubble and simmer.

Slow cooker sizes vary from compact models to much larger options. This general guide should help you choose the right size for your requirements:

  • 1-2 litre slow cookers are best for up to 2 people.
  • 3.5 litres is best for up to 4 people.
  • Up to 6.5 litres is best for entertaining or very large families.

Timer

A timer is very important when it comes to slow cookers. The timer is especially handy if you’re not around when the cooking is complete as it prevents the food from becoming overdone by either switching off or switching to “keep warm”. The keep-warm function is extremely useful as it will keep your food at a low temperature so it stops cooking but remains at a good serving/ eating temperature. If you’re not sure how long to leave the slow cooker on for, check out this handy cooking time guide.

The timer is usually easy to set and most slow cookers that have a timer will also have a display that shows how much time the cooker has left. A programmable slow cooker allows you to delay the start of the cooking for a period of time giving you more flexibility and control over what time the cooking starts and when the dish will be ready.

RELATED: How to Use a Slow Cooker

Controls

There are only a few controls on a slow cooker which makes them very simple to use. The most basic controls are simply low and high heat. High heat is best for cooking meals in just a couple of hours while low setting is best for all-day cooking. Whichever setting you choose the cooker will get the food up to temperature and maintain this evenly for the duration of cooking.

More advanced options will have a keep-warm function, a programmable timer and may even have a wider selection of temperatures to choose from. The controls are normally positioned on the front of the cooker and some have a display or a light to indicate when the cooker is on and how much time is remaining.

Other Key Considerations

Other factors to consider when choosing between slow cookers include:

  • Lid Material – generally it is better to use a cooker with a glass lid as this allows you to check on the dish without opening the lid and allowing heat to escape.
  • Ease of use – look for a slow cooker with a removable pot as this makes it so much easier to clean after use. An indicator light is a good way to see that your slow cooker is on and working, it can also be a key indicator of when the cooking is complete if there is no display.
  • Sear Function – several of the models reviewed above also have a sear function that allows you to sear meat or sautee vegetables before slow cooking. This is a useful feature that allows you to cook the whole dish in one pot, preserving flavour. The sear function normally comes with a higher price tag but if you will make use of it, it is worth the extra cost.
  • Hob-proof pots – some slow cookers have a pot that can be used directly on the hob for searing. They can commonly be used on electric and gas hobs and some can also be used on induction hobs. This is a convenient way to sear food when there is no separate sear function within the cooker itself.
  • Auto setting – the auto function starts cooking on a high temperature and then automatically drops to a lower cooking temperature for the remaining cooking time.