Help me pick out my new slow cooker
August 27, 2012 5:31 PM   Subscribe

What size slow-cooker should I get?

What size slow cooker should I get for just my boyfriend and I? He doesn't like leftovers much, but I don't mind having a little leftover (preferably just for a meal or two, not several). I was leaning heavily toward this 1.5 quart that has very good reviews, but I am starting to worry it may be too small. Would we be better off with a 3 quart?

I'd like to be able to adapt recipes to the size, cook beans, oatmeal, pulled pork, a couple chicken breasts/thighs. If you recommend a 3 quart, what brand and model? Thanks!
posted by queens86 to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You should get the 6-quart one. I own it, and it is currently simmering three pounds of buffalo chicken thighs for this week's lunches. YUM. Anything else would be too small.

Though, I do have a much smaller one, 1- or 2-quart, and it's the perfect size for making and serving artichoke spinach dip at parties.
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:48 PM on August 27, 2012

And you can always put less food in the larger one.
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:49 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I own the same 6 quart unit and can't recommend it enough. Easier to fill one partway than to rue the day you bought one that is too small.
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:12 PM on August 27, 2012

I have a 3 qt one. It takes up very little room, thus I can keep it on the counter all the time, thus I remember to use it more often. That was the logic that I had when buying it, and three years later, it's seen a ton of action because of it.

3 qts is plenty for two people; generally, two meals of meat can fit in it, and anything more than that is pushing most people's leftovers limit.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:24 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cuisinart 3.5 quart slow cooker here. Upgraded from a 1.5 quart slow cooker and am very glad I did.
posted by brina at 6:28 PM on August 27, 2012

Which 2 quart model do you have?
posted by queens86 at 6:29 PM on August 27, 2012

Sorry, 3 qt
posted by queens86 at 6:29 PM on August 27, 2012

I don't like to buy stuff twice, so, for something like this, I'd say figure out what you think you'll need, then buy the next-larger size (maybe the next-fancier model, too, while you're at it, especially if the next-fancier model has additional features--for a slow cooker, I think a programmable timer is a good one).

So I guess in this case, that'd be the 3-quart, or maybe even a 4 or 4 1/2 (why, yes, I did just browse Amazon's slow-cooker selection).
posted by box at 6:46 PM on August 27, 2012

Just like you guys, we're a 2-person household that's OK with but not too keen on leftovers. I have the same as brina - a 3.5 qt Cuisinart. I use it mainly for ribs, whole chickens, and flank steak/tri tip. I can *just* fit a chicken, or a slab of ribs (cut in 2 pieces) in there, or a chunk of beef/pork for shredded meat. If you're a meat lover, don't get anything smaller! The thing is a bit huge for making oatmeal, however. I did that once or twice but a 4 person serving barely covered the bottom of the cooker....
posted by The Toad at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2012

I advise against getting anything bigger than you need. I have one that i never use because it's just me, and you really can't just put less in because of the shape and liquid requirements. There are some things you won't be able to do (like roasting a whole chicken) but as that is not your primary use for it, that shouldn't affect your decision.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:33 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely go for the 3 or 3.5 quart. The 1.5 quart is more like for preparing dips for parties or something.
posted by katyggls at 10:48 PM on August 27, 2012

I also have a Cuisinart. They're solid machines.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 3:37 AM on August 28, 2012

A 3-4-quart model (I can highly recommend this Cuisinart) really is the perfect blend of compactness and versatility. The problem with a 1.5-quart model is that most of the best things to slow-cook-- chickens, roasts, etc.-- aren't going to fit.
posted by Bardolph at 8:32 AM on August 28, 2012

Just to confirm the 1.5 qt is too small. I got one of those because it said for cooking for 2-3 people but it is ridiculously small, even the recipes it came with were too much for it to hold.

I now own two slow cookers, the 1.5qt and a 4.5qt.
posted by magnetsphere at 2:42 PM on August 28, 2012

3 quart ordered! Thanks all :)
posted by queens86 at 8:00 PM on August 28, 2012

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