Buyer's Guides

The Best Slow Cookers for Hearty Home-cooked Meals

Prepare restaurant-quality meals using the best slow cookers currently available in the Australian market. Due to their versatility, these appliances can help you cook a variety of meals. 🥘
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Are you in search of the best slow cooker? If your answer is yes, our review article can assist you in finding a product that suits your needs. The beauty of slow cookers is that they allow you to cook mouth-watering meals while you go about other duties. Plus, most slow cookers are programmable, so all you have to do is select the most appropriate cooking temperature.

Additionally, some of these units have multiple cooking modes that you can use when preparing different types of food. By using a slow cooker, you’ll be able to cook your meals at a steady and low temperature, thus preserving the natural flavours of the food. As such, your food will not only be tasty but will also provide you with bountiful nutritional benefits.

TL;DR: The #1 Slow Cooker for Most People 👇

Price reduction
🥇 Sunbeam HP8555 🥇
76 Reviews
🥇 Sunbeam HP8555 🥇

The Sunbeam HP8555 is a multifunctional slow cooker that you can use for searing, stir-frying, boiling, shallow frying, and sautéing applications. This is the Swiss army knife of slow cookers!!

If you are looking for a programmable slow cooker that is also versatile, this product has got you covered!!

What’s more, slow cookers are energy efficient, so they can help you lower your utility bill. However, the market has a surfeit of slow cookers, thereby making it difficult to find the most reliable product. To make your work easier, you can choose any of the slow cookers that we have hand picked for you.

If you are unable to read the entire piece, the below listed quick links will direct you to the slow cooker that you have picked:

The Best Slow Cookers to Buy Today in Australia

1. Sunbeam HP8555 SecretChef Electronic Sear & Slow Cooker (Best for Most People)

Price reduction
76 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Multi-mode
  • The lid is made of tempered glass
  • Large capacity
What customers say:

“My family are now months into our ownership of this slow cooker, it’s been under constant use and the finished product is always outstanding. Highly recommended.” –Lee

Taking the first place on our list of best slow cookers is the Sunbeam HP8555 SecretChef Electronic Sear & Slow Cooker due to its innovative design. This feature-packed appliance has virtually all the features that you may look for in a programmable slow cooker. For starters, it provides you with multiple cooking modes that you can select when preparing a variety of meals.

With that said, you can use the slow cook mode or brown mode depending on your cooking needs. The former employs three heat settings that can help you cook your food in phases. A ‘high’ cooking temperature may be applied during the first stage of cooking, after which the thermostat will revert to ‘low’ and then ‘keep warm’. This slow cooker will adjust the settings automatically and with precision, so you won’t have to worry about your food burning or undercooking.

As for the latter, it offers up to five heat settings that can assist you when shallow frying sautéing, boiling, or stir-frying food. It also has a sear function, making it super convenient for those who prefer their meat with a little bit of crust. The LCD screen makes mode selection a cinch since it displays the parameters that are currently in use. Plus, all the buttons are labelled for frustration-free cooking when switching modes.

In addition to this, you can adjust the time based on the type of food that you are cooking. When it comes to construction, the 5.5-litre cooking bowl is made of high-quality aluminium for optimum heat conduction. It has stay-cool handles that are ribbed to prevent slippage. And since it is coated, the food won’t stick onto its surface even after cooking for an extended duration. The inner bowl is not only removable but also lightweight, allowing for quick and easy cleaning.

The base, on the other hand, is constructed from stainless steel for enhanced corrosion resistance. Like the inner bowl, it has handles for easy portability. The same applies to the glass lid, so the chances of you getting burnt when using this slow cooker are very minimal. On the downside, the outer coating of the cooking bowl has low abrasion resistance, meaning it is likely to get scratched when cooking with metal utensils.

Pros
  • Innovatively designed

  • Easy to work with

  • Exceptionally versatile

Cons
  • The coating on the cooking bowl can easily get scratched if not given proper care

2. Russell Hobbs RHSV6000 Master Slow Cooker and Sous Vide Machine (Best Temperature-controlled)

Price reduction
8 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • It comes with a temperature probe
  • Auto-shutoff feature
  • Has a rack for sous vide cooking
What customers say:

“…This Russell-Hobbs has been excellent so far. The sous-vide function is simple to set and maintains temperature well. I’ve also used the temp probe mode to cook an eye of round roast and the result was excellent…”–James T. Lawton

Coming from one of Australia’s top brands for kitchen appliances, the Russell Hobbs RHSV6000, Master Slow Cooker and Sous Vide is specially designed for precision cooking. It is the only slow cooker on our review list with a temperature probe, making it a suitable option for cooking delicate foods. To get accurate temperature readings, simply stick the probe into the cooking pot.

With this unit, your food will cook to the desired level. We highly recommend this slow cooker to beginners because it does all the heavy lifting, thus making it easy to operate. Still, ensure that you go through the included user manual to better understand all the functions. This unit has a slightly larger cooking capacity than the Sunbeam HP8555. It can help you whip up a hearty meal for 8+ people.

The user-friendly digital controls will allow you to make quick adjustments in all cooking applications. This programmable slow cooker features a transparent lid that allows users to check the food without removing the lid. Aside from slow cooking, this appliance enables you to cook food using the sous vide method. Furthermore, it comes with a six-slot rack on which you can place your food after sealing it in a sous vide bag.

You can set the timer anywhere between 1 and 12 hours for perfectly cooked meals. The temperature probe can be used during sous vide and slow cooking, so rest assured nothing will go wrong when using the Russell Hobbs RHSV6000. To add to this, the cooker has locking latches, which hold the lid in place during transit. As such, you can easily carry it to your next picnic.

On top of that, it has cool-touch handles for user safety. Unlike the first product on the list, which has an aluminium cooking bowl, the Russell Hobbs RHSV6000 comes with a ceramic cooking pot. This means it has higher abrasion resistance and is equally resistant to wear. However, the ceramic pot is a bit heavy and can break if it falls.

Pros
  • Advanced temperature control

  • Removable cooking pot

  • The lid locks tight

Cons
  • Somewhat heavy

3. Breville The Smart Temp Slow Cooker (Best Programmable)

30 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Heats up quickly
  • Pre-set cooking modes
  • Temperature IQ
What customers say:

“Has made some lovely slow cooked stews and corned beef. Easy to set and forget whilst working from home.” –Alison P

Breville is known for making high-performance kitchen appliances, and the Breville The Smart Temp Slow Cooker is no different. It utilizes an advanced temperature control system that keeps the heat in check at all times. So it won’t overheat and neither will it burn your food.

The wrap-around heating element allows for equal distribution of heat, so the food will cook uniformly at the preferred temperature. It will provide you with the standard temperature settings when stewing, boiling, sautéing, etc. The intelligent control system can automatically switch the cooking temperature from ‘high’, ‘medium’, ‘low’, to ‘keep warm’ function. Moreover, the red indicator lights will let you know the mode that is currently in use.

And like the Russell Hobbs RHSV6000, this slow cooker has a 6-litre cooking bowl. The crockery bowl is very easy to clean because it is dishwasher-safe. Alternatively, you can wash it by hand. Attached to the lid is a stay-cool knob-like handle that will safeguard your hand against burns. This equipment can tenderise meat in eight hours and will keep the food warm after it has been cooked.

Ensure that you set the timer appropriately when slow cooking chicken to prevent the food from getting mushy. The control panel has a simple design, so you won’t experience any problem when tuning the timer or changing the cooking mode. Since the base is sturdily built, this slow cooker won’t fall over easily. Besides, it is non-slip, so it will firmly lock in place. The outer container is made of stainless steel and features a brushed finish for aesthetic purposes. If you are in search of a slow cooker for preparing mouth-watering meals, this is one of the options that you can go for. It is built with your needs and safety in mind, thus making it ideal for professionals and beginners. Nonetheless, you should be cautious when handling the inner pot since the handles are not non-slip.

Pros
  • Durably built

  • Dishwasher safe parts

  • Straightforward design

Cons
  • The inner pot can break if it falls on hard surfaces

4. Breville The Flavour Maker Slow Cooker (Most Suited for Cooking Meat)

34 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Automatic setting
  • Easy to use
  • Non-stick cooking bowl
What customers say:

“The flavour maker is a good size to make family meals, is easy to use, and heats items over long periods without burning. No complaints at all as this item does everything that I wanted.” –Brian Daly

The Breville The Flavour Maker Slow Cooker has a cooking capacity of 7 litres and is also rectangular, so it can accommodate large cuts of meat. Its most outstanding feature is the easy-to-use sear pan, which allows you to pre-cook the meat on stovetops before slow cooking. This method of cooking will lock in all the flavours, thereby providing you with a delectable meal.

But, that is not all; the aluminium pan is oven-safe, so you can use it for reheating and roasting. This slow cooker is just as versatile as the first three units that we have reviewed. The inner pan is coated to make cleaning easy. This unit has a dial that will allow you to change the temperature settings as per your requirements.

It has multiple heat settings and an auto function that will cook your food according to your preference. The low temperature setting can prove helpful when simmering, while the high heat function can greatly assist you when cooking tough cuts. The heating element covers the entire area of the base, meaning the heat will be evenly dispersed.

As a result, all parts of the food will cook properly. The aluminium bowl has removable handles that are made of silicone. If you are familiar with this type of material, then you must be aware that it offers great heat resistance, so the handles will stay cool even when cooking at maximum temperature. Despite its size, this unit is lighter compared to most slow cookers that are smaller than it.

Nevertheless, it has a larger footprint than the cylindrical models, so you should check if your countertop has enough space. The other flaw is that you will have to remove the lid when checking the food. On the whole, the ‎ Breville BSC560BSS is a reliable slow cooker that can provide you with commendable results.

Pros
  • The inner bowl is compatible with stovetops

  • Great build

  • Easy clean-up

Cons
  • The lid is not see-through

5. Russell Hobbs RHSC7 (Best Large Slow Cooker)

148 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • 7L capacity
  • Well designed
  • It has a lid holder
What customers say:

“Awesome unit – pandemic cooking at its finest, makes working from home torture smelling slow-cooked lamb all day! Great size, this was an upgrade from our old one, needed to make more chilli!!”–Jeremy

The Russell Hobbs RHSC7, 7L Slow Cooker is unlike most basic slow cookers. It is stylishly designed and is equally powerful. With a 7-litre cooking capacity, this unit can prepare enough food for up to eight people. There are three standard temperature settings that you can use when preparing food.

When you apply the low-temperature setting, the food will cook for 8 to 10 hours. This may, however, vary depending on the type of food that you are cooking. The high-temperature setting is ideal for cooking foods that would otherwise take a long time to prepare. You can use the low setting on its own or can as well pair it with the high setting.

What we mean by this is that you can cook the food at a higher temperature then apply a lower temperature for slow cooking. The ‘Keep Warm’ function will keep your food in perfect condition after the cooking process is complete. Both the lid and ceramic cooking pot are easy to clean. They can be tossed inside the dishwasher for a quick rinse once you are done cooking.

The manual dial has a gleaming chrome finish, while the base features a black matte finish that can blend well with just about any kitchen décor. And since the inner bowl is made of ceramic, it is less likely to scratch when cleaning the unit. The side handles won’t heat up, so you can safely hold this slow cooker in between the cooking session.

Plus, you can place the lid on one of the handles when checking the food. As it is with most ceramic materials, the removable cooking pot should be given proper care to prevent breakage.

Pros
  • Transparent lid

  • Easy temperature adjustment

  • High power heating element

Cons
  • Does not have a power indicator light

6. Sunbeam HP5520 (Best Budget Slow Cooker)

Price reduction
47 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Very efficient
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Stay-cool handles
What customers say:

“Pleased with our purchase. Much better than the slow cooker we replaced. Large capacity. Ideal for families.”–Stephanie

Are you looking for a slow cooker that is both simple and efficient? If so, the Sunbeam HP5520 Slow Cooker is the way to go. Like the Sunbeam HP8555, this unit is durably constructed from high-quality materials that will provide you with long-lasting service.

This slow cooker may not be programmable as the first model on the list, but it will give you full control when it comes to temperature adjustment. It has a manual dial that allows for hassle-free temperature adjustment. The available temperature settings will supply the ceramic insert with enough heat to slow cook the food to the desired doneness.

When you buy this slow cooker, you will get a recipe book with flavoursome dishes that you can try out. You can choose a high or low temperature setting when preparing your favourite meals. The Sunbeam HP5520 can slow cook food extensively without altering the flavours. Furthermore, the insert won’t leach chemicals into your food.

If you don’t want your food to get cold, you can apply the keep warm setting. The insert is neatly designed, so it can double up as a serving pot. In terms of safety, the lid and the outer casing are fitted with cool-to-touch handles. The main limitation of this slow cooker is that it does not have a timer.

Pros
  • Wrap-around heating element

  • Easy cleaning

  • Removable insert

Cons
  • No auto-shutoff function

7. Russell Hobbs RHSC650 (Best Value Slow Cooker)

44 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Searing function
  • It has a timer for precise cooking
  • Powerful heating element
What customers say:

“Really simple to use and works well. I am happy with this for all of my slow-cooking needs. Smaller than my old one, however, it works super well and is much lighter.”–BabbleonBombus

The Russell Hobbs RHSC650 Slow Cooker 6L is quite affordable and has a long list of features that will completely change how you cook your food. Additionally, it comes with a 6-litre non-stick insert that is dishwasher-safe. The fact that it has a timer makes it even more convenient because the food will cook regardless of whether you are there or not.

Also, the removable insert allows you to sear your food on stovetops before slow cooking it. It has large handles with high heat resistance, so you can handle this unit without hurting your hand. The transparent lid is made of tempered glass for durability purposes. As such, it won’t break even if you place it in a dishwasher.

Thanks to its see-through design, you can check the progress of the food, while keeping the temperature constant. The digital display is backlit to increase readability. Another feature that is worth mentioning is that the cooker has indicator lights that will show you the temperature setting that you are using. This eliminates guesswork when switching from one cooking mode to another. The Russell Hobbs RHSC650 is ideal for everyday use and is also aesthetically pleasing to look at.

It boasts a 1,200-watt heating element that delivers optimum heat. Weighing only 4.1 kilograms, this is the lightest slow cooker on our list. It comes in two different colours, so you can choose the one that blends well with the style of your kitchen. Unlike the Russell Hobbs RHSV6000, this model does not have a temperature probe.

Pros
  • Easy-to-grasp handles

  • Large cooking capacity

  • The parts are dishwasher-safe

Cons
  • It only has basic features

How We Researched the Best Slow Cookers

Our search for the best slow cookers was challenging yet rewarding. With so many options to choose from, we had to employ the most feasible selection strategy to find the right products. We started our search by sourcing top-rated and best-selling slow cookers from Aussie online retail stores like The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, Kitchen Warehouse, and Bunnings.

Nonetheless, we didn’t stop there; we proceeded to Amazon and eBay to expand the scope of our search. After trawling through the above-mentioned online marketplaces, we were able to compile a shortlist of eleven slow cookers, but we only needed seven. So we had to trim the list. We were more interested in finding products that are popular in Australia, so we went through the reviews left by consumers on trusted sites like ProductReview.com.au.

From this, we were able to see what independent reviewers had to say about some of the products that we had included in our list. The reviews were not only insightful but also objective. After careful consideration, we made our final selections based on capacity, ease of cleaning, features, construction, ease of use, and overall functionality.

Slow Cookers: Buying Guide

If you are shopping for a slow cooker, you need to know what you are looking for and the benefits that you can get from the product in question. Plus, different brands offer slow cookers, so finding the right appliance can be a daunting process. And the fact that there are many models in the market makes it even harder to find a reliable product.

Here are some of the benefits of using slow cookers and the factors that you should consider when buying these appliances:

Benefits of Using a Slow Cooker

Slow cookers can provide you with a long list of benefits:

Healthy cooking

Slow cooking is one of the healthiest ways of preparing food. This is primarily because slow cookers tenderise the food by keeping the temperature low and steady throughout the cooking process.

That way, most of the nutrients will remain intact even when the food is cooked for long hours. This method is highly recommended when cooking tough cuts of meat like brisket, chunk, shank, etc. If you are looking for a healthy way of cooking meat and other foods, a slow cooker can help you get the job done.

Flavourful meals

In addition to cooking healthy meals, food that has been prepared in a slow cooker is rich in flavour. To get the best results when cooking stewable foods, you should consider using a slow cooker.

Worry-free cooking

Slow cookers are unique compared to most cooking appliances in that they save you the hassle of checking the food every so often.

Simply place the food and the ingredients that you want to use inside the cooking bowl and let the cooker do its thing. Your food will cook for hours without it burning.

Energy efficient

As stated earlier, slow cookers can help you reduce your energy consumption, thus saving you money. According to Uswitch—one of the most reliable price comparison websites in the UK

Slow cookers are among the kitchen’s most energy-efficient appliances. Although they take longer to cook food, they’re rated at as little as 200 watts – less than a tenth of some electric ovens…

Types of Slow Cookers

Slow cookers can be categorised based on several factors. However, they are often classified depending on the controls:

Programmable slow cookers

These types of slow cookers are highly preferred by foodies because they are easy to use. They have smart features that allow you to automate the cooking process by choosing the ideal temperature and appropriate cooking time.

Most programmable slow cookers will cook the food at a high temperature before reducing the heat. The cooker will switch to the “Keep Warm” function once the food has been properly cooked. All adjustments are made automatically, allowing for effortless cooking.

Basic slow cookers

Unlike programmable slow cookers, basic operated cookers have easy to use manual control knobs that will allow you to adjust the cooking temperature accordingly. Basic slow cookers have Off, Warm, Low, and High functions.

Best Brands That Sell Slow Cookers in Australia

Slow cookers come in different shapes and sizes. Also, they vary in terms of performance, and each brand has a way of designing its slow cookers. During our search, we only went for reputable brands with good reviews as rated by Aussie consumers.

To find the best brands, we used data from Canstar Blue — an Australian based comparison website. According to the website’s annual report, the top-rated brands include Russell Hobbs, Breville, Sunbeam, ALDI Lumina, Bellini, just to mention but a few. We only selected products from Sunbeam, Russell Hobbs, and Breville for this review.

What to Look For When Buying Slow Cookers

Capacity

This is one of the most important things that you should consider when buying a slow cooker. These units are fitted with different sizes of cooking bowls, so ensure that you choose one that fits your requirements. Slow cookers can be as small as 1.5 litres, while others have a capacity of up to 7 litres.

Controls

As earlier highlighted, slow cookers can have manual or automatic controls. You can go for either depending on your needs and budget. Automatic slow cookers are generally costly compared to their manually operated counterparts.

Cooking functions

Some slow cookers can come in handy when sautéing, steaming, searing, pressure-cooking, etc. It is, therefore, recommended that you go for an appliance that can perform all the functions that you require.

Build quality

When buying any kitchen appliance, you should consider the quality of the materials used in the construction. Well, nothing changes when shopping for a slow cooker. You should check the type of material used in making the cooking bowl, base, lid, handles, and other components. A good slow cooker should have cool-touch handles for user safety.

Timer functionality

If you opt for an automatic slow cooker, you should select one with a timer. The timers work in concert with the built-in thermostat to ensure your food cooks at the right temperature within the selected cooking time.

The timer will alert you when the food is ready, so you won’t have to worry about anything when cooking. Some models feature an auto-shutoff function that will power down the cooker when the time expires.

Ease of cleaning

Many slow cookers have dishwasher-safe parts that you can clean with ease. Plus, the inner surfaces are often coated to prevent food from sticking. Moreover, some have removable cooking bowls, making them even more convenient.

How Slow Cookers Work

A slow cooker is made up of three main components—the heating element, cooking insert, outer casing, and lid. The heating element generates heat and transfers it to the base of the outer casing, which then conducts the heat indirectly to the cooking insert. This will cause the temperature of the insert to rise gradually, thus providing you with enough heat to cook the food. The lid ensures the cooking temperature remains constant as the food cooks.


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Last update on 2022-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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