Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

32
Models
Considered
127
Consumers
Consulted
14
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for Best Hamilton Beach slow cookers

Good things come to those who wait, especially when it comes to what’s being made in the kitchen. Slow cookers are popular and useful countertop appliances that provide methodical, lengthy cook times in order to maximize flavor while also increasing convenience. Indeed, one of the appeals of a slow cooker is the ability to let it do its job over the course of a day or night, allowing you to mostly ignore it until you're ready to eat.

Hamilton Beach is a trusted maker of kitchen appliances that grew from the vision of two entrepreneurs over a century ago. Today, Hamilton Beach sells a range of useful items big and small, including a variety of countertop slow cookers.

Because Hamilton Beach offers a variety of slow cookers, it helps to learn about your choices before spending your money. An informational guide can help you decide which one would be right for your kitchen.

Hamilton Beach slow cooker
Most slow cooker crocks are safe for storage in the refrigerator as well as use in the microwave or oven. Some high-end slow cooker crocks can function on the stove as well.

Key considerations when choosing a Hamilton Beach slow cooker

Why get a slow cooker?

The primary reason to get a slow cooker is convenience. Simply throw items into the pot to make a roast, chicken, soup, or stew, and the cooker does the hard work. What’s more, the slow-cooked nature of recipes prepared in the cooker can make them downright delicious.

Most people set up their slow cooker with ingredients ahead of time. You can do this before bed so the food is ready in the morning. Or, you can do this in the morning so the food is ready at dinnertime.

A slow cooker emits less heat than an oven, which is another reason why people love them. They use less electricity and are designed to be left unattended. Further, they do not heat up your kitchen the way many stovetop and oven recipes do.

Slow cookers are also available at reasonable price points from popular retailers like Amazon.

Components

A slow cooker consists of three distinct parts: base, crock, and lid. The base connects to an outlet and provides a heating element under and around the sides of the crock. The crock rests snugly within the base, and the glass lid sits on top. However, most are designed to fit loosely to allow some steam to escape. It’s normal for condensation to appear on the lid when cooking.

Handles allow for easy transport of a slow cooker, and there may be knobs, dials, or a digital interface you use to program the cooking cycle.

Expert Tip
Slow cookers are great for transporting food to a potluck. If you're concerned about your slow cooker’s lid leaking, you can “deli wrap” the entire cooker with the lid. Get a big roll of plastic wrap, unroll a large sheet of plastic without cutting it from the roll, and set the cooker on the plastic. Wrap the cooker all the way around, then do the same around the sides to create an enclosed plastic cocoon for your cooker. Your car mats will thank you.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Size

Hamilton Beach offers varying sizes of slow cookers. Small options hold 3 quarts; large options boast a 10-quart capacity. Between these two extremes, you will find many slow cookers with a capacity of 6 to 8 quarts. For most busy households, a capacity of 6 to 8 quarts is ideal.

The price of a Hamilton Beach slow cooker increases with capacity. When choosing a size, keep in mind that you will need to find a place to store the cooker when not in use. Also, consider the number of people you will be cooking for.

Basic settings

Using a Hamilton Beach slow cooker—or any slow cooker, for that matter—is fairly straightforward. In most cases, you can toggle between two heat settings: low and high.

Hamilton Beach slow cookers also boast a “keep warm” function that will maintain the heat of the items after the cooking process is complete. The base features an “off” setting for when cooking is complete. Operation is conducted manually via a dial or with a digital interface.

The high setting for Hamilton Beach slow cookers is between 200 and 225°F. The low setting is between 180 and 200°F. The “keep warm” function holds food at 165°F.

Do not use the “keep warm” function to reheat food in a slow cooker, as this function only maintains heat. Opt for the low or high setting for reheating purposes.

STAFF
BestReviews

Features to look for in a Hamilton Beach slow cooker

Programmable

While basic Hamilton Beach slow cookers feature a physical knob that must be turned to operate the unit, as we have mentioned, some higher-end units have a digital control panel.

With a digital interface, you have the option to set a timer. Upon completion, the unit will automatically switch to the “keep warm” setting. You may be able to program your unit to run for as little as 30 minutes or as much as 20 hours.

Temperature probe

This feature allows you to check the internal temperature of meats and other ingredients while the slow cooker operates. For the preparation of certain meats, this is a valuable option. Some models have up to four different locations where you can insert the probe.

Temperature control

Some units allow you to cook at a specific temperature for a certain amount of time. This is helpful when preparing items that require added precision. In addition to “low” and “high” cooking modes, some slow cookers have a “medium” setting as well.

Oversized handles

Some larger Hamilton Beach slow cookers feature oversized handles for easier carrying and transport. These handles fold to allow for storage as needed. Since slow cookers can get heavy when full, oversized handles can be a real asset.

Secure closure

Some models feature a lid latch or wire clips to hold the lid in place when moving. This prevents items from seeping out when moving, which could create a mess and potentially burn the user. Lid latches and wire clips are only for temporary use when the unit is moving, not when it is stationary and in operation.

hamilton beach slow cooker2
Expert Tip
If your slow cooker is slightly too tall to store with the lid in place in your cabinet, try flipping the lid upside down to reduce the overall height.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Hamilton Beach slow cooker prices

Inexpensive

For under $25, you can find small Hamilton Beach slow cookers with manual controls.

Mid-range

Most Hamilton Beach slow cookers, including programmable options, cost between $25 and $50.

Expensive

For over $50, you can purchase large Hamilton Beach slow cookers with added features, like temperature tracking.

Expert Tip
According to the USDA, food handling rules require reheated food to reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celcius before being held in your slow cooker to keep warm for serving. Use a stove top or oven to reheat foods, then place it in your slow cooker to keep warm.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Tips

  • Resist stirring your food. A slow cooker requires little to no stirring of its contents. In fact, if you are using a low-temperature setting, removing the lid would allow valuable heat to escape. You may opt to stir infrequently on high heat.
  • Thaw meat before adding it to the unit. With food safety in mind, frozen uncooked meat should not be added to a slow cooker. When you add uncooked meat to your slow cooker, start the cooking process immediately.
  • Fill the crock at least halfway, but not more than three-quarters full. If you do not do this, cooking may complete sooner than expected. For soup, leave a couple of inches at the top to allow it to simmer.
Hamilton Beach slow cooker
The bottom of a slow cooker base may warm up slightly when in use, whereas the exterior will heat up significantly. Station an active slow cooker away from pets and out of the reach of children.

FAQ

Q. How should I clean my Hamilton Beach slow cooker?

A. Slow cookers are just as easy to clean as they are to operate. The lids, as well as the interior stoneware crocks of most units, are dishwasher safe. These parts are also easy to clean by hand using warm water and soap. Avoid using any abrasive pads or brushes. The base can be wiped with a soft, damp cloth.

If washing by hand, allow some time for the unit to cool down before cleaning it, as going from extreme heat to cold could damage the components.

Q. How long should a slow cooker run?

A. In most cases, recipes call for slow cooking on low for 6 to 8 hours or cooking on high for 4 to 6 hours. Depending on what you’re cooking, particularly if it involves meat, you may want to check the temperature toward the end of the cooking time. If your slow cooker doesn’t have an automatic timer, you’ll have to set a timer elsewhere and switch the unit to “keep warm” upon completion.

Q. What’s the difference between a slow cooker and a pressure cooker?

A. Slow cookers and pressure cookers are popular countertop appliances that look similar to one another, but they use different methods to heat and cook food. A pressure cooker uses steam and pressure to rapidly cook items, reducing the cook time for a variety of legumes and rice. Slow cookers use low heat and longer cook times. They are ideal for cooking meats, desserts, and even bread.

 

Our Top Picks