Do you love tender, delicious, super savory slow-cooked foods? If so, then a crock pot might be for you. Everyone seems to love the convenience and peace of mind that comes from cooking with a slow cooker. Of course, they are terrific for putting food in them early in the morning, heading out for the day, and coming home to a delicious home-cooked meal.
Not only do crockpots require no supervision, but their long, gentle cooking process creates tender, deeply flavorful, satisfying dishes. They can also help you save money in that you can buy cheaper, tougher cuts of meat and still have them cook to tender soft, tender deliciousness in a slow cooker. So instead of having to shell out for a strip steak or center-cut pork chop, you can buy beef chuck and pork butt for a gourmet meal.
Crockpots are also terrific for bringing food to potlucks and other get-togethers, holding food hot for a long time without drying it out, and slowly simmering things that need to cook overnight. What’s more, is that there is already a wide index of great slow cooker recipes available online, and many crockpots even come with recipe books.
So you don’t even necessarily have to be a great cook or be particularly creative to put your crockpot to great use, it’s all there for you already. When dispensed properly, slow cookers are one of the most useful and convenient things you can own in a kitchen.
Not only that but among kitchen appliances, slow cookers are one of the most affordable; a high-quality crockpot could easily cost you less than $50. Clearly, for all of those reasons, buying a crockpot is a great investment in your kitchen. But you have to ask yourself: what size of slow cooker should I buy?
Across the market, there are so many different sizes of crock pots and it can be hard to tell which crock pot size is best for you. Luckily, we’ve done some investigating for you and have curated this helpful crock pot size guide to help you discern what size slow cooker you need.
What are the Different Crockpot Sizes?
The first thing you need to do when determining what size crockpot you need is to understand what different sizes are available. The size of a crockpot is measured by the internal cooking capacity and is recorded in quarts. Surprisingly, there are many more different crockpot sizes out on the market than you might think.
Crockpot sizes range anywhere from 1.5 quarts on the small end all the way up to 12 quarts on the high end. Generally, slow cookers can be divided into three sizes: small, medium, and large. With the different sizes of crockpot come corresponding differences in price and cooking capabilities.
What is the Standard Crock Pot Size?
On average, the standard size for a crockpot is between 5 and 6 quarts of cooking capacity. Small roasts, soups, stews, braises, and other commonly slow-cooked foods are all great for crockpots in this range. This size is ideal for average-sized families.
What is the Largest Crockpot Size?
The largest crockpots are usually between 8 and 10 quarts, although there are a few models that are as big as 12 quarts. Most likely, you don’t need a crockpot that large, but they do have some benefits. These models are very convenient in that they can easily hold large quantities of food and still cook them to tender delicious perfection. Very large roasts, whole chickens, and even small turkeys can be cooked in the largest of crockpots.
What Size Crockpot do I Need?
What size crockpot you need depends on a few factors. How much you want to spend on a crockpot, how often you plan to cook with it, how many people you’re cooking for, and what kinds of food you plan to cook with your crockpot.
If you’re just cooking for yourself or one other person, a crockpot between 1.5 and 3 quarts is plenty. These units don’t take up much space on the counter and cook just enough food to make meals for a couple of people. These smaller models are also great for keeping foods warm, such as gravy or hot dips.
Better yet, many of the small slow cookers are portable, coming with locking lids and can even be purchased with spill-safe insulated bags for easy transport. Some of the cheapest of these small models can be as little as $10 but can run up to just under $40.
For an average-sized family of 4 to 5 people, a crockpot with the standard capacity of 4 to 6 quarts would be best. This size will allow you to easily cook dinners for the whole family and maybe even have some leftovers now and again. These are also the most common and easy to find the size of the slow cooker.
They are also very convenient in that most crockpot recipes are designed to fit cookers between 4 and 6 quarts of capacity. Although less common than the smallest of crockpots, there are some medium-sized slow cookers that are also designed to be portable. For a quality standard-sized slow cooker, expect to between $30 and $60.
Any crockpot of 7 quarts or more is best suited for larger families of 6 people or more. These units can take on larger roasts and give you leftovers of your favorite soups and stews consistently. Additionally, large crockpots are ideal for anyone who frequently cook food for potlucks or any other gathering where you might large numbers of people.
Typically, larger crockpots such as these run from about $40 all the way up to over $100 for some of the more exclusive models.
So, with the above in mind, you can determine what size crockpot is best for you. Remember that as rule, the larger crockpots tend to be, the more expensive they are. Also, consider that most crockpots are not designed to cook at total capacity.
Ideally, your crockpot will be about 2/3 to 3/4 full when you’re cooking in it. If the crockpot does not have enough food in it, it may cook too quickly, causing food to burn or dry out whereas if it is too full, the food will take much longer to cook. So, if you have a 6-quart crockpot, you can likely only cook 4.5 quarts worth of food in it at a time. Just about every slow cooker recipe you read will take this into account.
What Size is my Crockpot?
Let’s say you already have a crockpot but aren’t sure how big the cooking capacity actually is. An easy way to tell is to just fill it up. Simply fill up your slow cooker or crockpot with water and measure it as you do. If you have a pitcher that measures quarts, use that. But if not, you can use cups. Remember that one quart is equal to four cups.
Crockpot Size Comparison
Regardless of size, different slow cookers can come in different shapes, have different features, and be made from different materials. Most commonly, crockpots are either circular or ovular, with the rare unit being square. As far as materials go, slow cookers of all sizes can be made from plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, stoneware, or other materials.
Some of the more exclusive slow cookers have features such as pressure cooking functions and touch screens with programmable heat control. However, most crockpots have the basic options to cook on low, medium, or high and to use either a cook or keep warm function. Below are some popular crockpots of the most common sizes.
What’s The Difference Between A Crockpot And A Slow Cooker?
Most of us think they are the same thing, or asking which is a better slow cooker or crock pot?! well here is a comprehensive guide that explains the differences and similarities.
A slow cooker is a great investment in your kitchen that is sure to pay many delicious dividends. Since crockpots are such useful, convenient appliances, you will hopefully end up using them to cook with quite often. Thus, it is important to do your research and pick a slow cooker that is best for you.
Remember to consider how often you cook with crockpots, how many people are in your family, what kinds of foods you want to cook, and what type of features you are looking for in a slow cooker.
Now that you are armed with this helpful guide slow cooker size guide, you can make a more informed decision on the different crockpot sizes that are available and how they fit into your kitchen. Happy cooking!
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