Cooking can be quite time consuming. Between preparation time and the actual, physical act of cooking, cooking a meal can feel like it takes far longer to prepare than it does to eat. Utilizing a slow cooker, however, might just be the shake-up you need. Sure, it sounds a bit counterintuitive — after all, why would you opt for a process that is, technically, longer? The answer is simple: because it tastes better and requires minimal supervision. For the most part, slow cooking requires you to set your appliance to a single temperature setting and check on it every so often. After a few hours, you’ll have a delicious home-cooked meal that hardly took you away from any of your other responsibilities. Don’t believe us? Well, you’re going to have to check one out for yourself then.

Best Programmable Slow Cooker

If you’re looking for a device you can program in order to save time and still make delicious, home-cooked meals, the All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert and Glass Lid is a fantastic choice. With cooking options between 4-20 hours with a complete cycle time of up to 26 hours, you can program this slow-cooker for a wide array of meals on a customizable schedule. It comes with two cooking settings: high mode, which is between two and eight hours, and low mode, for meals that take between four to 20 hours. And with an easy-to-read digital display and intuitive design, you’ll pick up on the overall process in no time.

Best Slow Cooker for Large Meals

For those who prefer to prepare larger meals — whether it’s in preparation for the week or you have a lot of mouths to feed — the Hamilton Beach Extra-Large Stay or Go Slow Cooker, 10 Quart Capacity, Clip Tight Sealed Lid will get the job done. The extra-large capacity can fit a 10-pound turkey or 12-pound roast, making it perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or any type of dinner party. With three temperature settings — warm, high, and low, a clip-tight sealed lid, and full-grip handles for easy carrying, this slow-cooker has everything you need for an easy-to-make, quality meal.

Best Slow Cooker for Value

When it comes to value, the Crock-Pot Cook & Carry 6-Quart Oval Portable Manual Slow Cooker is unrivaled. Crock-Pot is essentially synonymous with “slow-cooker,” making this inexpensive, quality item a steal. This Crock-Pot can serve over eight people or fit a six-pound roast. The stainless steel pot is of the highest quality and contains a locking lid featuring a lid gasket to help ensure a secure seal and less of a cleanup. So if you’re looking to make a one-pot meal and eliminate some of the hassles of regular cooking, this Crock Pot provides great value, both monetarily and time-wise.