Top 5 Best Budget Slow Cookers (US) – Compact and affordable convenience

New to the world of slow cooking and not looking to splash out on an all-singing, all-dancing model and just want a standard and reliable slow cooker, here are 5 best budget models.

These are manual slow cookers which means you have to set your own timer or watch the clock which is not difficult if you are around. But if you need to leave the slow cooker while you run errands, get to the gym or go to work, all you need is a straight forward hack, simply add a plug-in timer switch (electronic or manual) to the power socket and set the cooking time before connecting your slow cooker. Just remember to set the cooking function (power level) on your slow cooker. Depending on your slow cooker, this could be low, medium, high or keep warm.

SlowCookerWithStrapWith its small and compact size, it is tempting to want to travel with the slow cookers. If you are looking to transfer this from one place to the next, make sure the content is not boiling hot. Transport it cold and when you get to the destination, connect it up to the power again to heat it up.

But if you need to keep the content hot while in transit, make sure you secure the cover with a strong and big rubber band or piece of string if a latch is not supplied and keep the cooker upright inside a heat resistant protective cover. This could be a cooler bag or thick jut bag or if you had to improvise a cardboard box with sufficient padding around the cooker to stop it from sliding around inside.

5 Best Budget Manual Slow Cookers in the US – Small and Mighty

An overview of our line-up of under 5-Quart capacity slow cooker:

  1. Proctor Silex 33116Y Portable Oval Slow Cooker 1.5-Quart – SMALLEST, PORTABLE
  2. Crock-Pot SCR300-B Manual Slow Cooker 3-Quart
  3. Proctor-Silex 33043 Manual Slow Cooker 4-Quart – BIGGEST
  4. Crock-Pot SCR300SS Round Manual Slow Cooker 3-Quart
  5. MaxiMatic MST-250XS Elite Gourmet Slow Cooker 1.5 Quart – SMALLEST, PORTABLE

And there is more, here are three more alternatives to the above. They may be slightly more expensive than those listed above on capacity but do come with a countdown timer on the Cuisinart, clip tight lid on the Hamilton Beach and colourful motifs on the Crock-Pot. And, being under 5-Quart, quality to be on our list of small and mighty.

Now for a closer look:

Proctor Silex 33116Y Portable Manual Oval Slow Cooker 1.5-Quart – SMALLEST, PORTABLE, OVAL

Proctor Silex 33116Y Portable Oval Slow Cooker

  • Available in White or Orange
  • Capacity: 2-Quart (just the right portion for appetizers and dips)
  • Cook Settings: High, Low and Warm [3 Settings]
  • Lid with rubber seal and lid latch strap for spill resistant travelling
  • Removable and dishwasher proof oval stoneware and lid
  • Recipe folder included

Crock-Pot SCR300-B Manual Round Slow Cooker 3-Quart

Crock-Pot SCR300-B Manual Slow Cooker 3-Quart

 

  • Available in Stainless Steel (see below) or Black body
  • Capacity: 3-Quart (3 or more people / three pound roast)
  • Cook Settings: High, Low and Warm [3 Settings]
  • Removable and dishwasher safe round stoneware and lid
  • Recipe Book included

If you are a fan of the Crock-Pot, a smaller variant of the above manual slow cooker is also available: Crock-Pot SCR200-B Manual Slow Cooker with 2-Quart capacity

Proctor-Silex 33043 Manual Round Slow Cooker 4-Quart – BIGGEST

Proctor-Silex 33043 4-Quart Slow Cooker

  • Available in White with Gray Handles or Black with Gray Handles
  • Capacity: 4-Quart capacity
  • Cook Settings: High, Low and Keep Warm [3 Settings]
  • Removable and dishwasher safe round stoneware & glass lid

Also sold as Hamilton Beach 33043 4-Quart Slow Cooker.

Crock-Pot SCR300SS Manual Round Slow Cooker 3-Quart

Crock-Pot SCR300SS 3-Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker

  • Available in Stainless Steel Silver or Black (see above)
  • Capacity: 3-Quart (three or more people or three pound roast)
  • Cook Settings: High, Low and Keep Warm [3 Settings]
  • Removable and dishwasher safe round stoneware & glass lid

MaxiMatic MST-250XS Elite Gourmet Round Slow Cooker 1.5 Quart – SMALLEST

 MaxiMatic MST-250XS Elite Gourmet 1.5-Quart Slow Cooker
  • Available in Stainless Steel Silver or White
  • Capacity: 1.5-Quart (three or more people or three pound roast)
  • Cook Settings: High, Low and Keep Warm [3 Settings]
  • Removable and dishwasher safe round stoneware & glass lid

And More

Hamilton Beach 33249 Stay or Go Slow Cooker 4-QuartCLIPS FOR LID

Hamilton Beach 33249 Stay And Go Slow Cooker

  • Available in Black and Silver or White and Silver
  • Capacity: 4-Quart
  • Cook Settings: High, Low and Keep Warm [3 Settings]
  • Removable and dishwasher safe oval stoneware and glass lid with clips to secure it while travelling

Cuisinart PSC-350 Programmable Slow Cooker 3.5-QuartPROGRAMMABLE

Cuisinart PSC-350 3.5-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

  • Touchpad control panel with 24 hour LCD countdown timer, 4 cooking modes and automatic keep warm
  • Capacity: 3.5-Quart
  • Cook Settings: High, Low, Simmer and Keep Warm [4 Settings]
  • Removable and dishwasher safe oval stoneware and glass lid with clips
  • Recipes included.

Crock-Pot SCR250-DA Slow Cooker 2.5-QuartCOLOURFUL MOTIFS

  • Available in Polka Dot Purple, Yellow Daisy and other design options.
  • Capacity: 2.5-Quart
  • Cook Settings: High, Low [2 Settings]
  • Removable and dishwasher safe oval stoneware and glass lid with clips
  • Recipes included.

Bigger and Feature Rich Slow Cookers

If you are looking for something bigger, check out the Top 5 Best Slow Cookers and if you are the geeky kind and want something you can control remotely check out the Crock-Pot with WeMo. And, if you like the versatility of being able to cook with the stoneware in the oven or hob and back into the slow cooker, check out the Crock-Pot Saute series.