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In the market for a Crock-Pot? Whether you have had one before, or this is your first time purchasing one, navigating the range of different slow cooker sizes out there can be a minefield. Depending on your needs, you will need to make sure you pick the correct size Crock-Pot.
The capacity of your Crock-Pot is very important, because if you use the Crock-Pot to prepare a meal that is too small or too large in size, the end result may not even be edible. It is common to end up with undercooked or overcooked food if the Crock-Pot is not used with the correct amount of ingredients.
But not to worry! We are here with a handy Crock-Pot sizes guide to help you with your search for a new Crock-Pot. Keep reading to find the answers to all your slow cooker-related questions and learn about the different Crock-Pot sizes on the market!
Make sure to check out our list of cheap crockpot recipes once you get your crockpot.
Why Is It Important To Choose The Right Size Of Crock Pot?
Choosing the wrong slow cooker can result in food that is either underdone or overcooked. For this reason, it is paramount that you purchase the right size pot for your household.
If you regularly cook for a large number of people or tend to meal prep often, then a larger size pot will be perfect. In the same respect, a small size crock pot is ideal if you usually only cook for one or two people.
Read more: Is a slow cooker worth it?
How Are Crock Pots Measured?
Crock pot sizes are measured using quarts and range from 1.5 quarts to 10 quarts, meaning that you definitely will be able to find one that is the perfect size for your kitchen!
If you are struggling to work out the capacity of your crock pot or slow cooker, then don’t worry; you can simply use water to help you find out. All you need to do is fill your slow cooker with water one cup at a time, keeping count as you go. Once the pot is full, use the calculation four cups = one quart, and you will have your answer as to which of the different Crock-Pot sizes you own!
What are the Different Crock Pot Sizes Available?
The smallest crock pot size you can find is 1.5 quarts and will be suitable for a single person or small family. On the larger side, you can find slow cookers with a much bigger capacity, around 10 quarts, making them ideal for a large family or meal prepping.
As well as the size of the slow cooker, it is important to consider the shape too. Smaller size crock pots only come in a round shape, which definitely puts a limit on the quantity of food you will be able to cook.
Round crock pots are restricting, which means that just because you may be a part of a small household, you might still want to opt for a large slow cooker due to the flexibility it offers.
Small Crock Pots
The fact you can buy a crock pot in a small size makes it the perfect kitchen appliance for those that live alone or in a small household. And while they may seem small, a slow cooker of this size is perfectly capable of cooking food such as dips and soups.
Small crock pot start at around $30, making this a very affordable option for consumers. Even if you have a bigger family, it could be a great idea to purchase a small crock pot just to try pressure cooking for size and to see if you like it.
Small Crock Pot example – Elite Gourmet Electric Slow Cooker
- This small crock pot has a 1.5 qt capacity, making it suitable for cooking food such as sauces, dips, and starters. It could also be suitable for a smaller family for making lunches and dinners.
- It has a variety of temperature options to choose from, including low, high, and keep warm, ensuring your food is cooked perfectly.
- The glass lid and removable oval pot are dishwasher safe, and the base of the slow cooker can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, making after-dinner clean-up a very swift process.
- It also has temperature-controlled knobs, ensuring you don’t burn yourself while prepping your meals.
Medium Crock Pots
A medium slow cooker allows for a little more flexibility with portion sizes without breaking the bank. Coming in at around five or six quarts, a slow cooker of this size can fit in a significantly larger amount of food, ensuring more mouths can be fed, or a small family can be kept fuller for longer.
If you are looking to own more than one crock pot, a medium-size pot can be great for helping you navigate cooking a number of different dishes. This second Crock-Pot can act as an accomplice to your larger model and can be useful for cooking starters and side dishes.
A medium-size slow cooker is also a great option for novices to this method of cooking, as most recipes are geared towards slow cookers that are five and six quarts. This means that you will not need to alter the instructions at all; you can just follow the guidelines exactly how they have been written to end up with yummy food!
Medium Crock Pot example – Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker
- Unlike the smaller slow cooker, this model has digital programmable controls, allowing you to choose the best option when you cook meals.
- This programmable slow cooker has a large 5.3 quart capacity, perfect for a medium-sized family or a small gathering of people.
- It has multiple temperature controls as well as a setting for keeping food warm.
- There is an LCD display screen that shows the user the different cooking modes available. This makes it even easier to ensure your meals are cooked in the best way possible.
- Even better, the oven-safe bowl can be removed, making this appliance perfect for those meals where you need to brown or sear your ingredients first. The pot is compatible with electric, gas, and induction hobs, making it easy for you to use a variety of methods to get the tastiest meals.
Large Crock Pot
Now, if the slow cookers we have mentioned already do not quite match up for size, then you probably need a bigger crock pot. How does an 8-quart slow cooker sound? Perfect for larger families or for catering for parties, a slow cooker of this size will enable you to cook enough for a vast amount of people with total ease.
Large slow cookers that are oval in shape are great for slow-cooking meals such as large beef roasts or a whole chicken, as these dinners can not be made in round ones due to the lack of space available.
Large slow cookers can also be great for trying out new recipes that require the pot-in-pot method. This is a type of cooking where a separate dish or pan is placed inside the cooking pot itself. Of all the different slow cooker sizes, this is likely the only one you’ll be able to use for this cooking style.
If you get a large one, check out our favorite cheap crock pot soup recipes!
Large Crock Pot example – Crock Pot 8 Quart Slow Cooker
- Similar to the medium model, this is a programmable slow cooker but has a much higher capacity of 8 quarts, making it ideal for cooking food for 10+ people.
- It has a digital timer that can be set for up to 20 hours.
- The advantage of a model like this is that even though it is pricier, you do get extra features such as an auto-warming mode that will be set as soon as your food is cooked. This kitchen appliance makes cooking a huge amount of food in one pot a total breeze.
- As well as this, the baking pan and lid are dishwasher safe, and the crock pot itself has a sleek design that will make any kitchen look trendy.
- Keeping it clean requires minimal effort, as you simply need to wipe the slow cooker with a dry cloth to get it sparkling again.
How To Choose The Right Size Crock Pot For You?
In order to pick the correct size slow cooker, you’ll need to think about the kind of food you want to slow cook and how many people you are likely to be catering for. For instance, if you are looking to cook a whole chicken, then you will definitely need to opt for a larger crock pot size.
A helpful tip to remember is that slow cookers operate best at 2/3 or 3/4 capacity – anything outside of these measurements can result in either underdone or burnt food. Therefore, you’ll want to buy a model that is the perfect size for the meals you regularly want to cook.
Are Crock-Pots The Same As Slow Cookers?
A Crock Pot is the term for the branded slow cooker that first came onto the market in the seventies and is one of the most famous manufacturers of slow cookers. For this reason, the terms crock pot and slow cooker are used interchangeably when referring to the versatile kitchen appliance.
However, there are differences between a crock pot and a slow cooker, one of the main ones being the way the heating works. With a slow cooker, the pan sits on top of the heating element; however, crock pots have parts on the sides and at the bottom that heat up. This means that crockpots are able to offer a better heating capability.
Overall, a slow cooker and a crock pot are very similar, though, as they both use the same technique to cook food. Heat is applied in a measured way, over a long period of time (you can even cook food overnight), to gently tenderize food and achieve maximum flavor.
There’s also the Instant Pot. This all-in-one device combines the functions of many kitchen appliances – the Instant Pot can slow cook, pressure cook, steam, and much more. Like a crock pot, it’s a great option for slow-cooking your favorite meals with maximum convenience.
Common Questions About Slow Cookers
Families of 4 will benefit from a 5-6 quart slow cooker. You might wish to choose a slightly bigger model if your family of 4 doesn’t mind eating the same meal again the next day or you prefer to make bigger batches to freeze.
You can get slow cookers with a massive 10-quarts capacity- they’re perfect if you have a huge family or want to do a big batch cook for the entire month!
A 6-quart slow cooker is about the average size for a crock pot and is the capacity that most slow cooker recipes are geared towards. This is medium in size and can usually make enough food for about six people or a meal with leftovers for a smaller family.
Absolutely, a large size slow cooker can be too big if you are only looking to cook for a small number of people. If you don’t have enough food to fill the slow cooker, then it can result in a meal that is way too overcooked. It is also inefficient to cook a small amount of food in a large slow cooker, as the bigger capacity will require more energy to heat up, which in turn will be mostly wasted. This will also mean your food will take longer to cook, so if you’re only cooking for a small number of people, it makes much more sense to go for a model with a 1-6 quart capacity.
The heating element of a large slow cooker works best when the appliance is about 2/3 or 3/4 full. If the amount of food in the slow cooker is smaller, then the energy generated will cause your food to overcook. However, if you need to cook a small quantity of food in a larger size Crock-Pot, you can, but you’ll only want to do this in a modern version cooker that will automatically switch off once the food inside has been cooked, otherwise you will end up with burnt food.
Crock pot sizes vary, and a lot of people opt for a medium-size crock pot as it is still affordable but can cook a decent amount of food. For this reason, the average size crock pot is around 6 quarts. This size crock pot will make enough food for a larger family and is ideal for making things like casseroles, stews, and even desserts. You will find that most slow cooker recipes will yield the correct amount of food for 6-quart slow cookers.
There are a variety of different crock pot sizes out there. Depending on your specific culinary needs, you will be able to choose a model that is perfect for your household.
Overall, the main feature that you will need to look out for in your new slow cooker is the capacity of food it can cook in one go. This is very important, as you need to ensure you cook the right amount of food in relation to the size of the slow cooker, as otherwise, you are likely to end up with either undercooked or burnt food.
Either way, a 6-quart slow cooker is about average for a medium to large size family and can also facilitate meal prep, which in turn can save you money and time. If you have a smaller household, opt for a 1.5-3 quart model to ensure you get food cooked perfectly every time.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.