Cuisinart Slow Cooker

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Plug in your personal cook.

Slow cookers have always been popular. They can be used to cook a wide variety of foods such as meats, soups, stews, dips, and more, and they are relatively hands-off appliances. Lid goes off. Food goes in. Lid goes on. Wait. They’re perfect for busy cooks, casual cooks, and those who love a good one-pot meal (and hate a sink full of dirty dishes). What slow cookers haven’t always been is reliable. Hot spots, soggy food, dried-out meats, mushy vegetables, etc. Sounds appetizing, right? Well, don’t give up on your slow cooker recipes just yet. We’ve tested standard-size (6-quart) slow cookers and small (4-quart) slow cookers, and we’re happy to report that we found a few models that will give you the results you’re looking for.

Cuisinart 6-Quart 3-in-1 Cook Central


We loved the lightweight, nonstick metal crock and stay-cool plastic handles that made this model so easy to maneuver and clean. The pot cooks directly over a built-in hot plate, and the long, rectangular crock provides abundant surface area that’s in contact with that heat source, so this model tends to run a little hotter and finish faster than our winner but cooks evenly (built-in temperature control was evident when we monitored using a thermocouple). We suggest checking recipes early for doneness. Its brown/sauté function eliminates the need for a separate skillet, but it’s slower than a skillet and food steamed a little due to the crock’s high sides. Our testers disagreed on whether setting the cooker was easy or a little confusing. A solid performer, it’s a great choice if you hate to lift heavy crocks or worry about breakage.

We maintain strict objectivity in all testing.*
KEY: GOOD ★★★   FAIR ★★   POOR ★

Cuisinart 4-Quart Cook Central 3-in-1 Multicooker


This new "multicooker"—a slow cooker that can also brown/saute and steam food—produced perfect chicken, steaks, and ribs, with no scorching or hot spots. Its programmable timer can be set to cook for up to 24 hours and then automatically switches over to “keep warm." We liked its lightweight, easy-to-clean, unbreakable metal insert with extra-large, comfy handles, and its oval shape, clear lid, and intuitive controls. The brown/saute and steam functions both work as promised. A nice bonus is that the browning function, with adjustable temperature control from 150 F to 400 F, lets you sear food before slow-cooking, or reduce sauces afterward, without dirtying a second pan.

We maintain strict objectivity in all testing.*
KEY: GOOD ★★★   FAIR ★★   POOR ★

Style: Digital programmable
Features: Low, high, simmer, and warm settings; brown/sauté and steam functions; metal rack for steaming; will keep warm for 24 hours after cooking
4 Qt Maximum Temperatures: 198 degrees on low, 195 degrees on high
6 Qt Maximum Temperatures: 199 degrees on low, 207 degrees on high
Crock and Lid Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Item Number: ATKCSCK
Item Weight 4Qt/6Qt: 9.5 pounds/16 pounds

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How We Tested Slow Cookers

Standard Size (6- to 7-Quart)

We tested eight 6- to 7-quart models, priced from about $39 to $150. Some of the foods we prepared: boneless, skinless chicken breasts; whole bone-in turkey breast; and pot roast. We gave the highest marks to cookers that produced evenly cooked, juicy, and tender foods every time. To map the heating patterns, we used temperature probes to track the temperature of each cooker’s contents as it heated 4 quarts of room-temperature water over a period of 6 hours on high and 12 hours on low. We also evaluated how easy the cookers were to fill, set, and maneuver, including the intuitiveness of controls, displays to monitor cooking, the weight of the crock, the size and shape of the handles, and whether the handles became hot. We washed each model six times by hand and 10 times in the dishwasher (unless the manual instructed us not to do so). We preferred the models that were easy to clean, with few nooks and crannies to trap food or water.

Small (4-Quart)

We tested eight 4-quart models, priced from about $20 to about $130. Some of the foods we prepared: chicken thighs in tomato sauce, smothered steaks for two, and sweet-and sticky ribs for two. We assessed how quickly the models could heat up and cook the meat to a safe internal temperature, the texture of meat produced, and how the foods cooked with little moisture for an extended period of time. To understand our results, we recorded the temperature of each cooker while heating 2½ quarts of water for 6 hours on high, then on low. Our favorite models reached 140 degrees quickly and slowly climbed over a few hours. We also evaluated the models’ control settings, handles, and insert shapes, and we found that we preferred the models with digital programmable controls and easy-to-grip handles but that the shape of the insert didn’t have a huge impact on the finished dish. No surprise: When cleaning the cookers, we favored the models with dishwasher-safe inserts.

Winning Traits of the Standard Size (6-Quart)

  • Low, high, simmer, and warm settings
  • Light, unbreakable metal crock with generous capacity
  • Stay-cool plastic handles
  • Metal rack for steaming
  • Crock and lid are dishwasher-safe

Winning Traits of the Small Size (4-Quart)

  • Programmable timer
  • Lightweight frame with a clear lid
  • Extra large, comfortable handles
  • Features brown, sauté, and steam functions (brown function offers adjustable temperature controls and searing capabilities)
  • Cooks food with no scorching or hot spots
  • Easy to Clean


Confidently slow cook with this valuable companion to any slow cooker!

ONLY $15.00 (50% Savings!)
when you buy today alongside either slow cooker

Discounts Applied in Cart


America’s Test Kitchen does not accept advertising and conducts equipment tests without the knowledge of product manufacturers. Exclusive equipment offers are sourced only after the test results have been published in our magazines and on our websites.