Are you shopping for a Crockpot (or any slow cooker) but don’t know what size to buy?
In this quick guide, you’ll learn what Crockpot sizes are available and the most important factors to consider before you buy one.
Use the links below to navigate the guide:
- Crockpot Sizes: What’s Available
- Crockpot Sizes: Comparison Chart
- The Most Important Factors to Consider
- What Crockpot and Cookware Retailers Say
- Bottom Line: What Size Crockpot Do You Need?
Crockpot is one of the most recognizable slow cooker brands in the world. The brand is so well-known that the term “Crockpot” has become synonymous with all slow cookers, regardless of the manufacturer.
Many brands, such as KitchenAid and Hamilton Beach, manufacture slow cookers, but Crockpot was the original creator of this small appliance. The brand’s tagline is “the original slow cooker.”
While Crockpot also makes pressure cookers, it’s widely known for slow cookers.
Slow cooker sizes are measured by how many quarts they can hold — the overall capacity of the pot or insert. The insert, usually made from ceramic, is the part that holds the food. It’s placed into a heating element which cooks the food.
Crockpot slow cookers are available in 11 sizes from 1.5 to 8 quarts. The most popular sizes are between 5 and 8 quarts.
All-Clad, Cuisinart, and Hamilton Beach also make highly-rated slow cookers.
Here’s a quick look at the slow cooker sizes each brand offers:
- All-Clad slow cookers come in 4, 5, 6.5, and 7 quarts.
- Cuisinart slow cookers come in 3.5 and 6.5 quarts.
- Hamilton Beach slow cookers come in 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 quarts.
The sizes I’ve covered so far only indicate the capacity of each slow cooker. To understand the size of the entire appliance, you’ll need to look at the dimensions, which vary by brand.
The following chart shows the capacity and dimensions of some popular slow cooker models:
|Cuisinart 400||4-quart||10.5” x 16.5” x 8.7”|
|Crockpot Cook and Carry||6-quart||10.4” x 16.5” x 11.4”|
|Hamilton Beach Stay or Go||6-quart||11.22” x 17.13” x 10.94”|
|All-Clad Gourmet||7-quart||21.25″ x 15.75″ x 11″|
|Cuisinart 800||7-quart||13.5” x 19.5” x 9.88”|
|Crockpot||8-quart||9.5” x 15.4” x 15.3”|
Are you wondering how many servings you can get out of a 1-quart slow cooker? Will a 3-quart model suffice for a family of four?
Here’s a quick comparison chart to help you visualize Crockpot sizes.
|1-quart||1 serving||Small meals for one person. Dips and sides|
|2-quart||1-2 servings||Small meals for one or two people. Dips and sides.|
|3-quart||2-3 servings||Making side dishes, soups, or small proteins like a Cornish hen or chicken breasts.|
|4-quart||3-4 servings||Feeding a small family, small desserts, or hot dip.|
|5-quart||4-5 servings||A whole chicken, corned beef brisket, or medium-sized vegetable dishes.|
|6-quart||5-6 servings||Lasagna, casseroles, or cobblers.|
|7-quart||6-7 servings||Chili, stew, stock, short ribs, pulled pork, beef roasts, or large vegetable dishes.|
|8-quart||7-8 servings||Parties, potlucks, weekly meal prep, large proteins like turkeys, or large families (7+ people).|
The Most Important Factors to Consider
Now that you know the available Crockpot and slow cooker sizes, let’s discuss the factors to consider before deciding which to buy.
To make enough food for everyone in your home, you must have a large enough slow cooker to accommodate the required number of servings.
Think about everyone that frequently eats under your roof, including family and friends. Are you often preparing meals for just yourself? Do you have five or more people to feed? Or are you the go-to chef in your neighborhood?
The answers to these questions will help you pick the right size slow cooker.
If you’re single and don’t often entertain large groups, consider a small slow cooker with a 3- to 4-quart capacity. However, if you have a family of four (or more), you’ll need at least 5 or 6 quarts.
It’s always better to have too much capacity than not enough. This is especially true if you want to make large batches of food and divide them up for daily meals.
Remember, it takes hours to cook meals in a slow cooker. You can always freeze the extra. However, if you don’t have extra space in your freezer, a smaller slow cooker may be better.
Depending on your lifestyle, you could buy a smaller Crockpot for tapas (small plates), dips, and other hot appetizers, and a large one for entertaining. Just keep in mind the extra space you’ll need to store both appliances.
Slow cooker weights differ by brand, model, and capacity. The larger the slow cooker, the heavier it is — especially since inserts are usually stoneware or cast aluminum.
Remember that the weight increases once you fill it with food; liquids add to that significantly.
You don’t need to tote a Crockpot slow cooker around unless you’re a personal chef or taking it to a potluck. Once you set it up, it sits on your counter and takes care of business.
Still, you’ll need to lift it when washing and storing. So, it makes sense to buy a slow cooker that you can lift and maneuver easily.
Let’s look at how a few popular slow cookers compare, by weight, in the following chart:
|Cuisinart 400||4-quart||9 lbs, 8 oz|
|Crockpot Cook and Carry||6-quart||7 lbs, 14 oz|
|Hamilton Beach Stay or Go||6-quart||11 lbs, 4 oz|
|All-Clad Gourmet||7-quart||21 lbs, 3 oz|
|Cuisinart 800||7-quart||18 lbs, 12 oz|
|Crockpot||8-quart||14 lbs, 14 oz|
Did you know an empty slow cooker could weigh 20 pounds or more? I can’t stress enough how important it is to buy one that you can handle safely and comfortably, especially when filled with hot food.
Small slow cookers are inadequate for large family meals. Large sizes aren’t ideal for creating small dishes because they use energy inefficiently. If you’re looking for the most versatile option, shoot for the middle.
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Mid-range sizes can handle most recipes for a small family. Look at models between 4 and 6 quarts, and you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Think about where you will store your Crockpot. Measure the height and depth of your storage space to make sure your chosen slow cooker will fit before you buy it.
If you use a slow cooker frequently and have a lot of counter space, you can also opt to leave it out as part of your kitchen decor.
Here are some storage area ideas:
- In a low cabinet
- On a shelf in your pantry
- On a nearby baker’s rack, sideboard, or curio cabinet
- In a storage bench in your kitchen
- In an appliance garage or nook
Be sure to check the dimensions of the appliance and compare them with the storage area. Crockpot lists the dimensions of each slow cooker on the product pages on Crock-Pot.com.
Slow cookers are priced for a range of budgets. You can find decent options for less than $30 and premium models that exceed $200. In general, smaller slow cookers are less expensive.
Prices vary based on model, size, brand, and features.
Slow cookers with manual dials cost less than those with digital displays, pre-set programs, and smart home features.
Check the chart below for current pricing on our recommended slow cookers:
|Slow Cooker||Price||View Details|
|Elite Gourmet 1.5-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crockpot 2-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Hamilton Beach 3-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crockpot 4.5-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crockpot 5-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crockpot 6-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crockpot Cook & Carry 6-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crockpot Design to Shine 7-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crock Pot 8-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
|Crockpot 10-Quart Slow Cooker||Amazon|
What Crockpot and Cookware Retailers Say
I reached out to Crockpot to get some expert advice on this subject. When I spoke to the product specialist, I asked: what size Crockpot should most people buy?
She said, “We recommend a 5- or 6-quart Crockpot for a family of four or five.” She mentioned, “Some people love the 7- and 8-quart Crockpots. They use them for meal prep and batch cooking. If you have a family of 6 or more, I recommend an 8-quart.”
To get a second expert opinion, I spoke with a representative at Williams Sonoma.
She told me, “Six quarts is ideal for a household of four. Never buy less than four quarts. Most slow cooker meals are great for leftovers, so don’t get one that’s too small. Plus, it takes a while to cook in a slow cooker, so it’s more efficient and cost-effective to cook in larger batches.”
She added, “I always try to remind customers that you don’t want to fill the pot to the rim, so extra room is better than a pot that’s too small.”
Now you know the range of Crockpot and slow cooker sizes available and the factors that impact your purchase decision.
So, which size slow cooker should you buy?
Before I share my recommendation, let’s recap the key points:
- Crockpot makes slow cookers in 11 sizes, from 1.5 quarts to 8 quarts.
- Most slow cookers from any brand come in sizes between 5 and 8 quarts.
- The most important factor to consider is the number of servings you typically cook.
- It’s important to know the dimensions so you can make sure it fits in your storage space.
- Make sure it is not too heavy to handle.
- For a slow cooker, prices range from around $30 to over $200. A larger slow cooker with more features costs more than a smaller one with a manual dial.
Bottom Line — the right Crockpot size depends on how many servings you plan on cooking with each batch. It also must be easy to maneuver, store, and use.
If you don’t use it frequently, have limited space, or only prepare meals for yourself, a 4-quart slow cooker is ideal. However, if you have lots of space, a large family, or like to entertain, a 5- to 8-quart slow cooker is the better choice.
For most households of four or more, I recommend a 6-quart slow cooker. The smallest I’d suggest is 4 quarts because slow cooking is a long process. It’s a waste of time to cook for six to eight hours and only get one or two meals out of it.
The beauty of a slow cooker is its ability to handle batch cooking and generate leftovers.
If you’re still unsure about what size slow cooker you need, try this visual exercise:
- Grab a large mixing bowl.
- Use a measuring cup to pour 4 quarts (16 cups) of water into the bowl.
- Imagine the water is soup or chili. If 4 quarts are not enough to feed your family, keep adding a quart at a time until you get to a volume that works.
This exercise also works when determining sizes for saucepans and other cookware or appliances that use capacity for measurement.
If you’re ready to buy a slow cooker, check out all the sizes and options on Amazon or Crock-Pot.com. Although Crockpots are highly-rated, compare prices and features across several slow cooker brands to find the best deal. The best places to look are Amazon, SurLaTable.com, and Walmart.com.
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