Meal preparation can be seen as an already lengthy process that makes leisure time nearly impossible for the ordinary working person, which understandably leads to the popularity of the slow cooker (also known as the crock-pot). As the name suggests, the slow cooker provides a method of cooking that does not entail an ever-watchful chef in the kitchen – it instead dutifully simmers food on its own until dinnertime arrives. If pot roasts, soups, and stews, are your kind of fare – or if you simply want to get better results from less-prized cuts of meat, take a look at our top five favourite slow cookers here.
The characteristic clay components of this slow cooker’s lid and inner pot are unlike any other entry in this list. Composed of the same zi ni (紫泥) – or purple clay, used in antique Yixing teaware, the unglazed surfaces of Elba’s Purple Clay Slow Cooker absorb traces of seasonings over time, resulting in more complex mixtures of flavours in food. Despite the traditional culinary influences expressed in this slow cooker, the metallic inner housing ensures complete three-dimensional heating, while a simplistic control knob enables the selection of low or high heat, in addition to an automatic simmering program suitable for cooking through the day or night.
This 5.7-litre slow cooker from Kitchen Aid comes with a dishwasher-safe ceramic inner pot and an innovative lockable hinged lid design that enables easy serving while minimising the kind of heat loss expected with a conventional glass lid. The inner pot’s design puts its handles far above and beyond the rim of the slow cooker, making for the relatively easy removal of the contents, while the integrated cord storage in the base of the slow cooker enables transport without worrying about a trailing power cord.
The frill-free design of Panasonic’s 5-litre slow cooker takes after the original Crock Pot to provide the standard features of a stereotypical slow cooker: a stainless steel outer body, a detachable inner pot made from ceramic, single-button operation, a simplistic control knob for the selection of heating programs, a transparent and heat-resistant borosilicate glass lid, in addition to Panasonic’s energy-saving innovations included to enable the sustaining of low temperatures with just 170 watts of energy.
As a manufacturer of home appliances since the mid-90s, Singapore-based East Peak Pte Ltd’s Takada brand is a literal household name for many living in the South-East Asian region. The 3.5-litre stainless steel slow cooker from Takada offers the best of Crock Pot designs amalgamated into a single unit: a stainless steel body with an elegant oval-shaped design to maximise the surface area for heating and condensation – making occasional lifting of the lid and stirring unnecessary, and a medium temperature setting for meticulous heating control.
Malaysia’s own home-grown home appliance provider brings us a slow cooker representing a significant departure from the traditional Crock Pot designs. While most other slow cookers will bear warnings against placing their inner pots in microwave ovens, Trio’s intriguingly-designed TSC-655 features an inner pot made from high-resistance glass – the kind that can take extreme temperature fluctuations from microwave ovens to refrigerators.
* Brands are listed alphabetically