Ask My Readers | Recommend Your Slow Cooker

Reader Q&AToday’s reader question comes from Etti. She’s wondering about the best slow cooker for a typical Shabbat user.

I was wondering if you recommend any crock pot over others. I’ve read tons of reviews but they are from people who don’t use them every week for 25 hours. Any suggestions?

I’m not much help, since while I have four slow cookers (yes – four! Meat, pareve, dairy and Pesach!), I really haven’t done extensive research. I just buy the cheapest, biggest one I can. They’ve also lasted just fine – with my most expensive cooker coming in at $25.

My one piece of advice would be not to upgrade for a timer version. You can just plug it into a kitchen timer!

Can you help Etti out? Do you have a slow cooker that you love? Or hate? A size or style or brand that you think is the bomb? Let’s talk slow cooker recommendations in the comments section!

Do you have a question about budgeting, couponing, menu planning or anything else? Please send me an email – I love hearing from my readers!


  1. i am happy with my rival slow cookers, i have had a bunch in all different sizes. my one complaint is that the cholent burns on one side (i think it has to do with the heating element)

  2. I have this one (and my mother does after my recommendation) and love it:

    While it does have a timer on it, I love the locks for the lid. You could transport it, plus I think it helps get the temperature higher (mine will boil water for matzoh ball soup in a few hours). So if you use one for meat, you know it will get high enough to properly cook it.

  3. My only suggestion is do NOT buy one that turns to warm after a certain amount of hours. It doesn’t work well for shabbos.

  4. I believe my old crockpot was a rival brand slow cooker. It was 3.5 qt and made plenty of cholent, enough for 8 people(with other dishes, of course!). It didn’t lock and just had a dial with warm, low, and high on it. The crock was removable for easy cleaning, and it did well with normal sized crock pot liners.

    I got it on sale for $15 at target. Target always has great sales on slow cookers, so I recommend checking out their deals!

    My current crockpot is actually crockpot brand 6qt slow cooker with the “little dipper” mini crockpot as a wedding gift. I think the set was around $40-50.

    I also just plug mine into a kitchen timer! This worked well during a 3 day yontiff, where I had the crock pot turn off after lunch on the first day, so it wasn’t sitting there on low for 3 whole days!

  5. I have one that comes with three different size bowls and I really like it,

  6. etti mermelstein says

    Thanks for all these suggestions…I will look into them and will post what I finally decide to go with. Perhaps a full time com delivering fresh hot chulent weekly…….LOL. KEEPthe suggestions coming. Thanks sloop much


  7. We recently bought a new one and people suggested we buy the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Crockpot. We’ve used it once. So far so good.

  8. I have 2 Rival crockpots and really like them. My 5 qt, was a gift when I got married 18 years ago and it still works! Last year I bought a 6 qt Rival crockpot for making chicken soup each week. It doesn’t have a timer, but I turn it off when I go to light candles and my soup is still hot when we sit down for dinner 1 1/2 hours later.

  9. We have had the Hamilton Beach Programmable Slow Cooker for a little over a year. REally liking it so far… although, I only use it once a week or so and it’s only on for 3-8 hours. We replaced a Rival brand one that was awful… cooked everything way too quickly. Not fun coming home from work to a burnt dinner. I can’t remember the model, but all the reviews were poor.

  10. I have a plain jane old fashioned I think West Bend. My mother had the same kind. Works great. What I like: There are 5 different heat settings and I think if you turn the knob in between two, the temperature goes in between. So there’s a lot of flexibility, takes some trial and error to get the perfect temp for your cholent but that’s because it’s so individual. I like that I can use the base as a griddle by taking off the pot, I make hot dogs and burgers on it during the week. I also like that you can use the pot alone straight on the stove, either as just an extra pot or, what I like to do, to get the cholent started by searing the meat (lets you put it up later because the meat gets done faster, so you can have lighter, less overcooked potatoes etc. Also searing locks in the meat juices or something?)

    Mine doesn’t come with different size pots, but I have a 4-qt version and my mom has a 6-qt version and they’re completely interchangeable. So that’s pretty nice if you sometimes have extra company and don’t want to swap out the entire device.

    This is the closest thing I see to it online: I like mine better because the lid doesn’t have a handle, it’s solid glass so I can flip it upside-down to warm things up over the cholent.

  11. Someone else mentioned it but I’ve been using the Hamilton beach model with 2,4,6 qt crocks for over 3 years now and I use it 2-3 times a week. I use the 6 qt to cook stocks and pasta sauce, 4 qt for chickens or roasts, and the 2 qt for batches of beans…LOVE IT

  12. I have the three crock combo, and I actually don’t like it. It’s too small for serving a group unless you do two or three crocks of something–and then it burns by Shabbat lunch.

    I also have several other crockpots from different brands, and none of them stand out. Except bigger is better because of the extra liquid needed for long-term cooking. Mine were all fairly inexpensive and have been great!

    If I had to get another one, and could find a good price, I might consider the slow cookers with different sized crocks–you can choose which size will work in each situation. That sounds pretty good to me!

  13. Gabrielle Mallin says

    I absolutely love my hamilton beach stay or go slow cooker. The size is perfect for cooking a roast, a chicken. I even made a large brisket with mine. I highly recommend it!

  14. We have two Crock-pot brand with timer cookers. We find it works well for Shabbat-we’ve only had burning once or twice. Our six quart was a wedding present, but we got our five quart one for about $19 at Sams on black Friday.

  15. The only thing I would add: I prefer the oval shaped crock pots over the round ones for having guests, because there’s more space to warm things up on the cover 🙂 I dislike working with my hot plate and this allows me to avoid using it 95% of the time.

  16. With it being a few years from previous posts, what are current 25-hour slow cooker no budget to under $50 recommendations?

    Equally, what recommendations, in addition to large groups, are given for one-two person dining and portable slow cookers?


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