Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

Slow Cooker Size Guide | All You Need To Know

A slow cooker is one of the best appliances to tenderize and get the best flavors out of our meats.

Slow Cooker Size Guide

Most slow cookers become one of our kitchen go-to’s, next to having the best small crock pot.

Today, we will be introducing you to the different slow cooker sizes. We want you to find the best slow cooker to satisfy your cooking mission.

What Are the Different Slow Cooker Sizes?

What Are the Different Slow Cooker Sizes?
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

Whether you’re cooking a feast for yourself, a friend, or a large family, you need to find the perfect slow cooker. This ensures you can satisfy a hungry crowd with your delicious cooking.

Let’s go through the different sizes and find the perfect crock pot for you.

1-2 Quarts

1-2 Quarts

Image Link

Cooking up small meals is much easier in a small slow cooker. It can whip a small batch of food perfect for you and two other friends!

Generally, a 1 to 2-quart slow cooker offers a decent cooking capacity. It cooks enough food to satisfy a hungry couple on a date night. You can even use it to serve a hot dip for your chips!

Drawing from our experience, the only drawback with a standard size slow cooker is fitting large cuts of meat and vegetables, especially if you’re using a one-quart slow cooker.

That said, we recommend cutting your ingredients smaller than you usually wood. The size is perfect enough for cooking small dishes at home.

Number of servings: Good for up to 2 persons | Ideal for: A person living alone | Starting price: $30 | Perfect for: Beans, dips, rice, sauces, and soups | Shape: Usually round shape

2-4 Quarts

2-4 Quarts

Image Link

The average crock pot size is usually anywhere between 2 to 4 quarts. It’s perfect for feeding a small family without ending up with too many leftovers.

Preparing meals for up to six people is a lot easier, and you don’t have to worry about going back and forth to the kitchen to whip up a delicious meal.

It’s perfect for roasting whole chickens or can sometimes serve as a rice cooker!

A 3-quart slow cooker provides the best compromise for whipping a small to medium amount of food.

Despite its cooking capacity, this slow cooker is still pretty compact. It can easily fit on your kitchen counter without it being too bulky.

Number of servings: Good for up to 3 persons | Ideal for: Small household | Starting price: $40 | Perfect for: Casseroles, starters, side dishes, and vegetables | Shape: Usually rectangular or round shape

5-6 Quarts

5-6 Quarts

Image Link

You should go for slow cookers weighing five and six quarts if you want to cook your favorite foods for large groups.

It’s enough to satisfy our food cravings and have leftovers to share with family.

Based on our first-hand experience, meal prepping with a medium to the large slow cooker is a breeze. Cooking a whole chicken with some side dishes won’t be a problem!

Just throw all your ingredients inside the crock pot and leave it to stew! A 5 to 6-quart slow cooker can satisfy your slow-cooking needs.

However, some may find a 6-quart slow cooker to be really large. At the same time, it also tends to be heavy, which makes it a hassle to bring during a picnic.

Number of servings: Good for up to 5 persons | Ideal for: A person living alone or a small household | Starting price: $50 | Perfect for: Deserts, mains, soups, and stews | Shape: Usually oval shape

7-10 Quarts

7-10 Quarts


Image Link

Large slow cookers are one of the best to have around the house when planning to host a party and feed a large family.

Batch cooking with a big pot is also much faster and more convenient when preparing meals.

You can whip a delicious and savory meal at home and share it during your next family outing! We’re sure you’ll wow them with your food.

The heating element on a larger slow cooker works perfectly, just like its smaller versions. It can heat up and cook evenly, ensuring your large roasts are perfectly cooked.

Because of its large size, there’s a reasonable expectation that it also comes with a large price tag.

Rest assured; this will be a worthy investment for slow cooking.

Number of servings: Good for up to 7 persons | Ideal for: A person living alone or a small household | Starting price: $60 | Perfect for: Meal prep, mains, roasts, and stews | Shape: Usually rectangular or oval shape

Things to Consider When Buying Slow Cookers
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


Things to Consider When Buying Slow Cookers

There are several slow cooker sizes and slow cooker brands out there. You won’t run out of products to choose from.

You can have over a hundred selections yet still find it challenging to find the best slow cooker for you.

To help you with your search, we’ve listed several factors to consider when looking for a slow cooker. This ensures you land only the best product out there.

1. Household Size

Always base the size of your slow cooker on the number of people you plan to feed at a time. In general, a smaller crock pot is perfect for feeding a small family.

However, if you want to feed a hungry crowd and still end up with a few extra servicing, the correct slow cooker size would be a large one.

With the different crock pot sizes out there, you’re sure you’ll be able to score only the best deal. Not just that, but it also helps you narrow down your search.

2. Type of Food to Cook

Certain crock pot sizes are best for certain food types. Take the case of a whole chicken, for example, where a large and oval-shaped crock pot would be better to use.

With that said, always keep in mind what type of food you plan to cook. This ensures they can fit your pot perfectly, and you don’t waste your ingredients.

You’ll risk overcooking your food when your pot is too big. Food tends to cook faster when it’s underfilled.

On the other hand, overcrowding your slow cooker means food will get cooked slower than usual.

3. Price

Thankfully, crock pots come in different price points.

There are many slow cooker brands out there that offer a reliable line of products, ranging from budget-friendly to the most expensive.

Always set a budget for yourself before buying a slow cooker. This helps you narrow your search, to ensure you score the perfect slow cooker for a certain price point.

Regardless of how much you’re willing to spend, ensure it also comes with an awesome set of features and versatility that can get your money’s worth.

4. Storage Space

If you only have limited kitchen storage, the best crock pot for you would be anywhere between 1 to 4 quarts.

It doesn’t take up too much storage space and looks like a small appliance.

Thus, find a slow cooker that will fit inside your kitchen storage. This ensures your counter doesn’t look too cluttered.

But if you have extra storage, you shouldn’t have any problem using large crock pot sizes. You can cook a feast enough to feed a large family.

5. Versatility

Finding a versatile and multifunctional kitchen appliance will be a good idea to get the most out of your slow cooker.

Regardless of what size crock pot you need, you won’t have trouble finding one with impressive functionality. You might even be surprised to find others that can double as pressure cookers!

Through the years, we’ve found a lot of uses for our slow cookers besides slow cooking. In some cases, we could even use the oven-safe bowl for baking some of our favorite dishes.

6. Weight and Maneuverability

The larger your slow cooker is, the heavier it becomes. Maneuvering around with a large crock pot can be challenging, especially if you go on a picnic.

The material of your crock pot can also affect its weight.

Take the case of stoneware and cast aluminum inserts, which could require some heavy lifting, especially if it's 10 quarts.

It isn’t exactly the wrong slow cooker to choose from, but it’s not the most ideal for bringing around. Thus, choose the right crock pot sizes you’ll be comfortable handling.

7. Accessories

We’re sure you want to get the most out of what you paid for, so having a few accessories in the packaging is always a welcome addition.

We always look forward to some of the usual accessories, including insulated bags and heat-resistant carrying handles!

Having a few extra accessories also ensures you can try different cooking styles in a single pot. You can try sautéing and browning meat to add flavor to your dishes.

What Rules Should You Remember When Cooking in a Crock Pot?

It’s no secret that crock pots are one of the handiest kitchen appliances. Through the years, we always get excited to test out the different crock pot sizes and how it fairs compared to others.

But before you get excited to start cooking, there are a few rules you should keep in mind to enjoy your crock pot.

1. Choose Meat Wisely

The beauty of using a crock pot is that you can tenderize even the toughest meat. Take lamb shanks and pork ribs, for example.

You can easily pull them apart with a fork, with the least resistance possible.

That said, make sure you choose the right type of meat for slow cooking. Drawing from our experience, we figured that choosing tough cuts of meat would be BETTER.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t cook tender cuts of meat like sirloin and steak. You can still use a slow cooker. However, it would be better to cook it on stovetops instead.

2. Layering Is Important

Learn how to layer your crock pot effectively so that you’re able to cook every ingredient properly.

Whether you’re cooking meats alone or meats and veggies together, layering them is important.

We always recommend putting tough cuts of meats or root crops at the bottom of your slow cooker or any ingredient which requires a long cooking time.

On the other hand, you can place vegetables at the topmost layer since they get cooked easily. You can take them out of the pot immediately once they’re done.

3. Understand the Recipe

You might find things complicated if it’s your first time using a crock pot.

Given the different crock pot sizes, knowing how to play around with the recipe may seem like rocket science.

So before you power on your slow cooker, take some time to understand the recipe you want to use.

What kind of temperature setting does it call for, and what crock pot sizes should you use?

Smaller slow cookers tend to heat up faster because of their small cooking surface, unlike a bigger pot, where you must carefully temper the crock pot's settings.

4. Use Half the Amount of Liquid

If your recipe calls for 4 cups of water, cut it in half and use 2 cups instead. One of the first things you need to remember is slow cookers keep moisture well.

That being said, you don’t have to worry about the liquids inside evaporating. No wonder slow cookers are perfect for cooking stews, sauces, and soups!

The same idea applies to a smaller slow cooker. Reduce the number of liquids in half to ensure you get the best results.


If you’re cooking rice, you might need to add more liquid than you normally use.

5. Add Seafood and Dairy Last

If your ingredients call for seafood or dairy products, consider adding them last. If not last, at least a few minutes before they’re served.

Remember, both of these food items cook pretty fast. You’ll risk burning or overcooking them if you keep them inside a slow cooker for a long time.

To prevent any cooking mishaps in the kitchen, check out the different slow cooker recipes you can master at home.

How to Clean Your Slow Cooker Properly

Whether you have a two or 10-quart slow cooker, knowing how to clean them properly is important. This ensures your well-loved instant pot can last you a long time.

You might think putting your crock pot inside the dishwasher is enough.

Soaking it in warm soapy water might do the trick, but there are several things you can do to make sure you cover all your bases.

Let’s discuss cleaning your small and large slow cookers at home.

1. Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaners

Removing tough and stubborn spots can be challenging, and you might think you need to use abrasive cleaners to do the job. But this is the last thing you should use.

Unfortunately, abrasive cleaners such as scouring pads and steel wool can damage the coating of your slow cooker. You might have many scratches on your pan, which can be a big eyesore.

To prevent this from happening, use cleaning sponges and cloths instead. You can also use rubber spatulas to scrape off any hardened particles.

2. Don’t Soak Your Slow Cooker for Too Long

After braising and stewing for hours, oil has probably accumulated on the surface. Once the oil has hardened, it becomes hard to remove.

One of the solutions you probably have in mind is to soak it in warm water to remove any oily parts. But before you do this, STOP!

Yes, you can soak the pot but don’t leave it in for too long.

It may also affect the quality of your stoneware insert, which could mean you have to buy a new one anytime soon.

3. Make a Deep Cleaning Schedule

Consider deep cleaning your slow cooker once in a while. This ensures your slow cooker retains its perfect condition, even after many uses!

You can make your crock pot look brand new once again! And the best part, you can save yourself the trouble of buying a new slow cooker each time.

However, no deep cleaning can save your slow cooker from the usual wear and tear.

Slow Cooker Size FAQs

  • Before we leave with our parting words, we’ll answer some of the FAQs we get about slow cookers. Keep reading because you might learn a thing or two from what we’re about to share.

  • Can You Cook Small Meals in a Large Crock Pot?

    You can cook small meals even in a 10-quart slow cooker. 

    You don’t always have to cook meals in your pot to their maximum capacity, especially if there’s just one of you. 

    Make sure you get the measurements right so you still have enough food. Don’t worry because most recipes indicate how much food it serves. 

    Unfortunately, you can’t cook a large meal on a small slow cooker. We don’t have to expound on this, as the reason is apparent.

  • What Is the Most Common Slow Cooker Size?

    You won’t have difficulty finding slow cookers within the 5 to 7 quarts size range. It’s one of the most common and flexible sizes because it’s perfect for cooking small to medium meals.

    It’s large enough to roast a whole chicken but also small enough to ensure you don’t have too many leftovers in your fridge.

  • Are Large Crock Pots Expensive

    On average, the LARGER the crock pot, the PRICIER it becomes. So in that aspect, large crock pots are more expensive than others.

    But don’t worry because you can get a large crock pot without breaking the bank.

    There are large crock pots out there that come with great value for money to make sure you get what you’re paying for.

  • What Features Do I Need for My Slow Cookers?

    Kitchen appliances of today come with neat and awesome features that can make your life in the kitchen a breeze. 

    You can leave your food to cook in your instant pot and work on other things! 

    Smartphone Syncing

    Believe it or not, you can find “smart” slow cookers today that are highly advanced, so much so that you can pair your slow cooker with your phone, to control it wherever you are. 

    The beauty of this feature is you can turn on and off your slow cooker WITHOUT standing up and breaking a sweat. 

    You could be in a different room while you control this cooking vessel. 

    Consider getting a new slow cooker with this advanced feature! Despite this feature, you don’t have to worry about it working differently than your usual slow cooker. 

    You can enjoy it the same way as using your favorite slow cooker. Get straight to cooking your food without worrying about any learning curve. 

    Lid Locks

    Never underestimate the power of having lid locks for your slow cooker. This small contraption is perfect for anyone who loves bringing their crock pot for a picnic. 

    Just lock the glass lid and go! You don’t have to worry about your pasta sauce spilling all over your car seat and have nothing to serve your friends. 

    You’d be surprised that even a 2-quart slow cooker would have glass lid locks. Your food can stay safe and warm inside your cooking pot. 

    Automatic Stirrer

    Many slow cooker models today come with different accessories that can change how you enjoy your crock pot. Regardless of the sizes, make sure to look for accessories. 

    One of our favorite and most used accessories is the automatic stirrer. It makes sure you can cook soups and sauces without burning them. 

    Leaving your food to slow cook feels a lot better knowing you’ve got this feature to fall back on. 

    Warm Setting

    Many slow cookers today come with an automatic warm setting that ensures your meals stay warm for hours after being cooked. 

    We love this feature because we can always expect a warm bowl of stew when we get home from a tiring day. Imagine your 6-quart slow cooker filled with braised beef you cannot devour!

    Now that got us feeling hungry. No matter what size crock pot you have, an automatic warm setting will be very handy. 

    Digital Programmable Controls

    A programmable slow cooker takes two-thirds of your work away. 

    You can set your crock pot to cook based on your settings, and that’s it! Even a basic digital timer can make your kitchen life easier.

    The great thing about a programmable slow cooker is that it is a versatile kitchen appliance. Not only that, but most of them are also very energy efficient. 

    You don’t have to worry about your electricity bill skyrocketing, even after you leave your whole chicken to cook for many hours. 

    If you notice your crock pot blinking red light, ensure you know how to troubleshoot it.

  • Are Crock Pots and Slow Cookers the Same?

    In general, crock pots and slow cookers are the same. Crock-Pot is a famous slow cooker brand that has become a global household name.

    So famous people have interchanged the two terms, referring to a slow cooker as a crock pot. Regardless of the term you use, they mean the same thing.

    Both fare well if you want to cook food for long hours and even overnight!

    Key Difference Between a Crock Pot and Slow Cooker

    Despite the two terms being used interchangeably, there are key differences between the two, such as the heating element.

    The heat element of slow cookers is usually found at the bottom of the pan. It provides even cooking, regardless of the different slow cooker sizes.

    On the other hand, crock pots have heat elements on almost all sides, making them ideal for reaching a desired temperature.

    Another thing is that crock pots usually have a removable stoneware insert, making it very easy to wash and even dishwasher-safe!

  • Slow Cooker Size Guide Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    Regardless of how demanding your cooking needs are, there are many slow cooker sizes out there to suit you!

    You can explore different slow cooker recipes and discover various cooking tips that can help you wow your friends and family.

    Learning to cook the food you know people will love is always a dream.

    We hope you enjoyed this article. Let us know in the comments what's the go-to size for your slow cooker. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

    You can also check out take on the best broiler pan in the market, which lets you cook food you’ll be happy to serve.