Call it a Crock-Pot or call it a slow cooker.
There’s one in every Jewish home. But which one should you use?
We’ve broken down slow cookers into three main categories: the flat top slow cookers, the ceramic slow cookers, and roasting ovens. Which one is right for you? That all depends!
And what about those new fancy digital slow cookers that make up most of today’s market? Sure, some of them are pretty, and they may be very useful for weekday use, but they may have a problem for Shabbos.
Note that prices on the links below may fluctuate, and prices on these types of items may or may not be less in your local shops.
Magic Mill 6 Quart Slow Cooker
The flat top-style of slow cookers are the most mehudar halachically, as they come with a blech and the pot sits on top. They also come with a cover for the knob, which many poskim say must be covered. The lid turns upside down, making it easy to warm up other foods on top. West Bend also makes flat top slow cookers.
These are best purchased at your local Jewish houseware shop.
Best Overall Cooking
Ceramic Slow Cookers
The classic ceramic slow cookers that most people use simply do the best job at cooking. In these slow cookers, the pot is an insert so it receives heat at all sides. The one drawback is that the ceramic inserts are meant to only cook inside the slow cooker (so you can’t put it on the stove to saute an onion, then transfer it to the slow cooker. You’ll have to start in a separate pot). Classic ceramic slow cookers are also very well-priced. Popular brands are Crock-Pot, Hamilton Beach, and Brentwood.
Note: That mini sauce warmer has lots of uses, both for Shabbos day or for fun weeknight dips (i.e. chocolate).
Here are some picks:
Hamilton Beach 4-Quart ($27)
Hamilton Beach 6-Quart ($20)
Hamilton Beach 7-Quart ($40)
Crock-Pot 7-Quart ($27)
Hamilton Beach 8-Quart ($33)
Hamilton Beach 10-Quart ($56)
Best for a Crowd
If you entertain often, or simply have a large family, you may have a lot of use for an extra large slow cooker. They do, however, all feature a metal bowl, not ceramic.