The rain and cold has truly set in. This means one thing and one thing only: it’s the perfect time to blow the dust off your slow cookers — and we all know the best slow cooker recipes are always hearty ones, which means it’s soup and stew season, baby. Whether you’re a single full-timer, who wants a quick set-and-forget dish after a long day, or someone who needs a big pot to feed an even bigger family, a slow cooker is the appliance of the season. And if you haven’t got one of these godsends, let us give you the lowdown on the best slow cookers in Australia.
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What do they actually do?
Essentially, they’re an electrical appliance that simmers food at a low temperature over a long period of time. Thanks to this elongated method of cooking, they’re great for breaking down and tenderising large pieces of meat like one-pot roasts or beef stews, as well as giving flavours optimal time to infuse and marinate.
What’s the difference between a slow cooker and a pressure cooker?
It’s no doubt that both look very similar. Typically, they each have well-fitting lids, two outward-facing handles, and a control panel or dial with temperature and time settings. They both usually have an internal piece of cookware that can be removed for easy cleaning, too. However, their main point of difference is that while the pressure cooker cooks things fast, the slow cooker cooks things, well, slow. This means it’s a great way to prep a meal, then chuck it in a pan on an easy set-and-forget method while you work, play or rest — and because it works at such a low heat, you don’t run the same risk of burning your food, unlike other cooking methods.
Best slow cookers in Australia
The best all-rounder: Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker
With over 2,500 positive reviews on this baby, it’s claimed the top spot as Australia’s best all-rounder slow cooker. Not only can you sear and stew in the same pot to enhance the flavours of your soup and stew creations, but the Morphy Richards slow cooker also comes with dishwasher-safe accessories for autopilot clean-up as well.
Note: depending on the size of your family, please keep in mind that this appliance has a 3.5L capacity, serving around 3-4 portions.
The best cooker for singles and couples: Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Mini
If you’re a one-man show and hate buying kitchen appliances because they’re often built for families and multi-person households, you can finally rejoice in the fact that this CrockPot Mini was pretty much made for you. Feeding just one to two people (or one with lunch leftovers for the next day), this baby offers three heat settings — low, high and keep-warm — suitable for anything you might be cooking. The removable stoneware pot can even be taken straight to the table for serving, and if you have leftovers, it can also be stored in the fridge or freezer.
For added versatility, the pot is oven-safe, and both the pot and removable lid are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Where to buy: Amazon ($47.82)
The best value cooker: Russell Hobbs 7L Cooker
The Russell Hobbs 7L Matte Black Cooker is perfect for slow-cooked meats, soups, casseroles, and so much more. Three heat settings give you options to find the best temperature for your schedule — low often works for 8-9 hours of cooking, and high for 3-4 hours. There’s also a warm function for keeping food at the ideal serving temperature.
Aside from being one of the more affordable slow cookers ($49) on the market, the Russell Hobbs 7L Matte Black Cooker also boasts a built-in lid holder, allowing your lid to hang off the cooker, which keeps countertops clean.
The best for cooker for big families: Sunbeam SecretChef Electronic Sear & Slow Cooker
From hearty casseroles to a breakfast fry-up, it’s easy to see why this little baby made our list of the best slow cookers in Australia. You can create a host of delicious meals in this large 5.5L Sunbeam SecretChef Electronic (which feeds up to 6-8 people). The slow cook mode uses gentle heat with three convenient heat settings that work for a range of dishes like soups, curries, stews, desserts and more.
On the other hand, the fry-pan mode offers five heat settings ranging from 100 to 180 degrees, allowing you to boil, shallow fry, stir fry, saute and sear. This makes it especially great for use on its own or before the slow cook mode to brown and sear meat for prime tenderness. The simple digital display also makes it easy to choose your cooking mode, as well as setting temperature and cooking time.
The best cooker if you like to entertain: Westinghouse Triple Pot Cooker and Buffet Server
If your heart lies in entertaining, and you’re looking for the best slow cooker in Australia when it comes to multi-pan cooking, this epic Westinghouse Triple Pot Cooker will do the trick. With adjustable heat temperatures and a keep-warm function for buffet mode, your dinner parties just got a million times easier.
Where to buy: eBay via The Nile’s official store ($183.88 with code ‘SNSHOGA’)
The best slow cooker recipes
Unsure what to do with your newly-purchased kitchen essentials? Let us give you some of the best slow cooker recipe ideas…
- Make Almost Any Recipe Work In A Slow Cooker With This Chart
- Delicious Dishes You Didn’t Know You Could Make In A Slow Cooker
- Yes, You Can Make Pavlova In A Slow Cooker
- Slow-Cook Your Breakfast To Make Mornings More Relaxing
- Caramelise Onions And Make Easy French Onion Soup With A Slow Cooker
- These Slow Cooker Breakfast Kits Make Your Mornings Beyond Easy
- Make Tomato Sauce In A Slow Cooker With Just Two Ingredients
Got your fix of the best slow cookers in Australia? Here’s some other kitchen essentials that should be on your radar.