Nothing beats the feeling of coming home to a slow cooked, winter warmer on a freezing winter’s day. Or perhaps the satisfaction of knowing it required minimal prep time, effort and supervision. You just chopped up your ingredients, chucked them into a pot, pressed ‘set’ to cook and a few hours later, voila! That’s the beauty of slow cookers. If you’re considering investing in this nifty appliance, we’ve tracked down some cheap models for you to check out. Thank us later.
How does a slow cooker work?
A slow cooker is a small kitchen appliance designed to work completely independently and usually consists of three components – a crock pot, glass lid and heating element (similar to a rice cooker). The heavy lid creates a tight seal to trap the heat and moisture inside the pot without evaporation, to slow cook food at low or high temperatures. Slow cooking takes several hours – sometimes up to 12 hours – and more.
How much does a slow cooker cost?
For a fully self-contained and multi-functional appliance, slow cookers come pretty cheap. You can find low-range models that offer all standard features from department stores and online starting from just $25. Meanwhile, high-end models from leading brands can cost you anywhere between $50 and up to $300 or more if you want all the latest functions and tech.
Cheap slow cookers to buy
Here are some cheap slow cookers to buy for winter:
- Sunbeam 7.5 Litre Slow Cooker: $49 RRP*
- Kambrook Slow Cooker, 4.5 Litre: $49 RRP*
- Kogan 24-in-1 5 Litre Multi Cooker: $69.99 RRP*
- Morphy Richards 3.5 Litre Sear and Stew Slow Cooker: $74 RRP*
- Westinghouse 3 Pot Slow Cooker 2.5 Litre: $124.95 RRP*
- Crock-Pot Saute Slow Cooker: $149 RRP*
Sunbeam 7.5 Litre Slow Cooker – $49 RRP*
This Sunbeam slow cooker (HP5530) from The Good Guys has an extra-large capacity of 7.5L which can serve up to 10 people. It’s ideal for those who like to entertain at home and cook large meat cuts like pulled pork and lamb shanks. This model features a black ceramic finish and standard low, high and warm settings as well as a wrap-around element for even heating and to prevent food sticking to the bottom of the crock. It’s also dishwasher safe, including the lid.
Kambrook Slow Cooker, 4.5 Litre – $49 RRP*
This Kambrook slow cooker (KSC450CMP) from Amazon comes with low and high temperature settings and an automatic keep warm function, perfect for when you want to set your appliance in the morning and forget about it until it’s ready when you come home. It also features a 4.5L capacity, wrap-around heating element and a stylish champagne finish to compliment your kitchen aesthetics.
Kogan 24-in-1 5 Litre Multi Cooker – $69.99 RRP*
This Kogan model is marketed as being the equivalent of 24 appliances in one. It can sear, sauté, simmer, steam, churn, bake bread, make jelly, baby food and cook basically anything, thanks to its 24 pre-programmed functions, including a slow cooker option with a 24-hour pre-set and automatic keep warm function. It also features an easy to read LCD screen and control panel and comes equipped with a rice paddle, ladle, measuring cup and steamer attachment. This model is dishwasher safe, including the 5L bowl and lid.
Morphy Richards 3.5 Litre Sear and Stew Slow Cooker – $74 RRP*
This stylish Morphy Richards slow cooker (460016) from Appliances Online features low, medium and high cooking speed settings with a timer, so you can have your dish ready to eat whenever you want. It also has a removable pot for easy cleaning, a transparent lid so that you can keep an eye on your food and cool-touch handles. This model is dishwasher safe.
Westinghouse 3 Pot Slow Cooker 2.5 Litre – $124.95 RRP*
This Westinghouse three-in-one ceramic slow cooker from Kitchen Warehouse features a stainless-steel body equipped with adjustable dials for off, low and high settings, as well as keep warm functions and independent variable controls, so that you can cook meals at different temperature settings at the same time. It comes with a 2.5L capacity, tempered glass lids, removable ceramic inserts and metal lid holders that fit the stay-cool handles.
Crock-Pot Saute Slow Cooker – $149 RRP*
This Crock-Pot slow cooker (CHP700) from Harvey Norman features a 20-hour programmable timer to cook your food well in advance, LCD screen display, DuraCeramic surface with scratch resistance and auto switch functions to keep your food warm when the set cooking time is complete. The pot of the cooker can be placed onto all different styles of cook tops, so you can sauté your ingredients before setting your slow cooker.
Kmart Slow Cookers
Kmart may be a favourite among Aussies for its range of budget homewares, but it’s also stocked up in cooking appliances. The cult favourite department store offers a small range of affordably-priced slow cookers, with prices starting from just $19. Kmart’s range includes 3L, 5L and 6.5L capacity slow cookers, pressure cookers and four-piece multi-cookers.
Here’s our top pick for a Kmart slow cooker:
3 Litre Slow Cooker – $25 RRP*
This slow cooker features an iron housing with chalkboard coating, ceramic pot and tempered glass lid. It offers low, high and keep warm settings and a 3L capacity, perfect for a slow cooked dinner for two. It’s available to purchase online and in store, as well as on Afterpay and Zip Money.
Big W Slow Cookers
Big W stocks a decent selection of slow cookers ranging in capacity from 4.5L to 6L, from popular brands like Kambrook, Russell Hobbs, Contempo, Philips and Sunbeam. The range also includes some all-in-one models, with prices starting from just $24, and reach up to $199 for a Tefal model.
Here’s our top pick for a Big W slow cooker:
Sunbeam Slow Cooker 5.5 Litre – $39 RRP*
This Sunbeam slow cooker (HP5520) features a brushed stainless-steel exterior, and a wrap-around heating element to ensure even heating and prevent food sticking to the crock. It also comes with your standard low, high and keep warm settings, as well as a removable ceramic crock inset and a glazed surface.
Target Slow Cookers
Target’s range of slow cookers also includes models from leading brands like Kambrook, Russell Hobbs, Sunbeam and Bellini, with prices starting from $25 for a generic model. Some models are only available to purchase online, so check the Target the website for details.
Here’s our top pick for a Target slow cooker:
Bellini 5.5 Litre Sear Slow Cooker – $39 RRP*
This Bellini slow cooker (BSSC19) comes with a 5.5L capacity, removable non-stick pot for easy cleaning, digital controls with a timer, stainless steel exterior and auto, high and low heat settings. This model is ideal to cook everything from stews, casseroles, soups, to desserts and more.
Can I leave food in a slow cooker overnight?
Slow cookers are designed to cook foods over long periods of time. So, you can leave yours on overnight, as long as you follow all setting and cooking instructions mentioned in the owner’s manual. Most modern slow cookers come with programmable settings which allow you to set your appliance to cook on low or high heat for a predetermined length of time, after which the pot automatically ticks to a warm setting to keep your food warm for when you’re ready to eat. Most slow cookers can be left on for about 12 hours, with some models even offering up to 24 hours run time.
What can I cook in a slow cooker?
Curries, stews, soups, lamb shanks, corned beef, steak, chicken, tacos, pastas, bread, desserts and basically everything in between. There’s nothing you can’t do with a slow cooker, but be sure to follow the cooking recommendations carefully for ingredients like raw meats, seafood, delicate vegetables and dairy.
Is a slow cooker worth it?
Slow cookers are multi-functional and can cook all different types of dishes, including desserts with almost no prep time and supervision. You just get your ingredients, place them in the crock pot, set your cook time, and that’s it. No need to stir anything or monitor heat settings. They’re also pretty cheap to buy and consume very little energy, compared with other small kitchen appliances like a microwave or toaster. Need we say more?
Picture credits: Kiian Oksana/Shuttestock.com, Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com.