(Please note, this is not an affiliate post. I just wanted to offer a review of these mini slow cooker options to help make shopping a little easier).
A 1.5-quart slow cooker may look small, but sometimes big things come in small packages. A mini cooker can make a large impact in your kitchen or wherever you need to take it.
You’ll often hear this personal-sized ceramic crock pot referred to as an electric potpourri pot or a football crockpot or a mini slow cooker. It’s beloved by many cooks for its price tag, its individuality, its portability, its snug and stylish fit in small spaces, and, yes, its dip!
Lurking at the bottom of the roster of all crock-pots in terms of food cooking size, this small crockpot carries its own weight well. In fact, many chefs who own a large slow cooker buy one of these as a complementary kitchen appliance. This one is often called a 1 quart crockpot, but 1.5 is the standard size and it goes up from there. It is generally round in shape, because you’re more likely to make soup, dip or rice then braise a roast.
Let’s take a look at nine of the reasons people buy mini crocks and also nine of the best versions available on the market today. As always, we have no affiliate relationship with any product that we review, so you always get unbiased recommendations.
8 Advantages of Cooking With A Mini Slow Cooker
Throughout history, humans have often preferred small over large. They have chosen a Mini-Cooper over a minivan, a Pomeranian over a Great Dane, a violin over a bass, a wristwatch over a clock, and small town over bustling metropolis. The same is true with kitchen appliances, and here are eight top reasons people love 1-quart crockpot life:
- Dips! Let’s say you’re going to a party in the Midwest. It’s not a question of whether to bring dip for appetizer, it’s a question or which dip to bring. IYKYK. A crock pot for dips is a must.
- Me, myself and 1 Quart. Lots of us are in the same boat, cooking out for No. 1. It’s your appetite so it’s your chance to whip up a one-pot meal or whatever suits you: chili, split-pea soup or pulled pork. Whatever’s on your mind and in your fridge.
- Counter and storage space. Whether you have a tiny home, an apartment or a cozy house, the friendly confines of many kitchen counters might have just the perfect space for a mini crockpot. Cabinet storage is less demanding.
- Rice cooker. It’s so easy. Just remember, two parts water to one part rice. Fluffy or sticky. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of butter and boom, done.
- Traveling slow cooker. If you’re bringing food to a relative’s house for a holiday dinner, it’s so easy to sit this 1 qt slow cooker in the back of your car or truck. Take it with you as a camping crockpot or for a hotel getaway.
- Campus life. Back to school often means a slow cooker so you know (or hope) they’ll eat more than pizza. Maybe. Well, you can at least steer them in the right direction.
- Easy cleanup. A 6-quart ceramic pot is more likely to be cleaned in the sink because of its much larger weight and heft, potentially snapping worn-out dishwasher prongs. There is no such concern with this much smaller version.
- Affordable. You get instant value and instant satisfaction. A 1 quart crock pot costs about the same as a fast-food drive-thru order ($15 for the top model) and it’s better for you. Plus, a food cooker like this will last and last.
- Perfect match. If you have a big Crock-Pot ceramic cooker, then pair this one with it and get even more stuff done in the kitchen.
Hands Down One of the Most Useful Personal Appliances
OK, so you’re in the market for a 1 qt crockpot. First, know exactly what you are getting. When I see an Amazon video review of someone holding her hand up to the just-delivered appliance to show how “disappointed” she is that it’s so small, I like to use my hands instead to make a clapping sound. Let’s hear it for the awesome mini cooker!
Think about what one and a half quarts of liquid looks like: It is equal to six cups. Most people know that two cups of water fill a standard kitchen measuring glass, so fill that same glass three times and that’s what you are working with here. It’s not a lot of volume because you don’t want a lot of volume. There are 3-quart, 6-quart, 7-quart and 8-quart options to work with much more food ingredients, plus many more high-tech features.
Many home cooks already own one of those large Crock-Pots or medium pressure cookers, and they opt for a mini cooker like this to complement theirs. It’s not an Instant Pot or a Ninja multi-cooker or pressure cooker, although those could be the answer for your needs as well.
The 9 Mini But Mighty Slow Cookers You Should Consider
Here is our list of nine of the best choices, based on quality and price:
It’s hard to resist at just 15 bucks. As with most of these small cookers, this personal crockpot mini features high and low adjustable settings to slow cook your food, plus a Keep Warm setting to maintain the perfect temperature. Cool touch handles and a nob make it easy to handle and transport. Melt chocolate in it to dip strawberries, or melt cheese perfectly for cheese fondue. For just $21.61, nudge up a size and grab an oval 2 quart slow cooker.
The company that put small cookers on the map in the U.S. sells this smallest version in black at $30, or twice as much for white. It’s twice as expensive as the Elite Gourmet version, with no controls, so you’re paying a good bit extra for the brand. The no-dial mini crock pot works when you plug it in, pulling just 80 watts, compared to 110 or 120 for most others we tried. It’s a dip crockpot mini that’s also good for appetizers, sauces and single-person meals. If you’ve already got the Crock-Pot 7 Oval Manual Slow Cooker from the wide range of Crock-Pot slow cookers, at the top of Amazon’s slow cooker category, then this makes a nice match.
Come on, how can you NOT use this for a holiday party? It’s better than an ugly sweater. You can buy it at J.C. Penney and serve or bring the world’s best spinach dip or fondue or appetizer and every will be in the Christmas party spirit and you did it all for . . . $13.
I liked this because it nudged the capacity up from 1.5 to 2 quarts. It’s not a huge difference, but you don’t want to fill your slow cooker past the two-thirds mark with food anyway so it gives you some extra room to play with and in a similar price range. Why not? Pretty colors for stainless steel quality and great ratings.
You might have to wipe a few more times to keep this all-white model pristine clean, but it’s the budget pick here at under $22 on Amazon as of this writing. It has a removable ceramic pot and glass lid, with adjustable settings for low, high and auto. Outside material is plastic instead of stainless steel, so again the emphasis is on cooking to stretch your dollar.
This popular brand goes down to 3 quarts for its smallest actual slow cooker, but it’s worth including Hamilton-Beach in this category because of its big customer base and because its 1.5 quart multi cooker does basically everything the others do here and more. It was out of stock as of this writing so we’re not sure this will continue to be an option.
This mini crock pot for potpourri has low and high settings, and the inside ceramic part comes out like the others to take to a family gathering or party. Dark grey color looks sharp in a kitchen. Easy cleanup and the price will appeal to many slow cooker mini aficianados.
The win here is the color. You can match this teal croc pot up with the brand’s other teal cookware and appliances like this espresso maker and have an attractive kitchen theme. Low and high setting with additional warming function after cooking has finished.
This is the mini of the mini, at least until we drop down to the popular electric lunchbox category for another day’s discussion. Qvin bills its 0.65-quart slow cooker as a fondue melting pot warmer, and indeed that’s an ideal use of its space. It also has a dishwasher-safe stoneware crock with a glass lid, and it comes in stainless steel with a wide variety of cool colors.
Want a great holiday gift or wedding gift that’s sure to please anyone? Go for the mini slow cooker, and maybe the recipient will come to your house one day with a dream dip in a football crock pot for the big game and a little extra fun.