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What size slow cooker should I buy?

New to the community; hi, all.

I'd like to buy my first slow cooker and I've done some research but I'm still not sure what size to get.

I'm single and would mostly be cooking just for myself, but I'd like to make enough for several meals at a time so I can freeze individual portions for later reheating. On rare occasions, I cook for up to six people.

I'm thinking about a 4-quart. Is that big enough for a whole chicken? A good-sized roast?

I read the last four months or so of posts in the community and also checked the memories, but didn't see an answer to this question.

Thanks for your help.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2007 06:09 am (UTC)
A 4-quart should work pretty well-- an oval one if you intend to cook whole chickens.
Jan. 4th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
Great. Thanks! :-)
Jan. 4th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
Most slow cooker recipes I've seen are written for the 3 1/2 - 4 quart cookers, so that would probably be your safest bet, even if you want leftovers for freezing. If you're really not sure which size you want but you can see yourself using a slow cooker a lot, I'd suggest going ahead and getting a 4 qt. *and* a larger one. I have a 6 qt. cooker with a timer that I use all the time for pot roast and such - it's just me and the hubs, but having the leftovers is great. While the larger cookers can get a bit more expensive (especially the ones with extra features), in the grand scheme of things, they're not that bad cost-wise. The 4 qt. cookers are usually really reasonable in price (I've seen them around for maybe $20, and I bought a 1.5 or 2 qt. cooker for $5), so you might find the initial cost of getting two worth it. Of course, I don't know if you have the storage space for more than one slow cooker, but if you do it's something to consider.

P.S. I probably sound like a slow cooker nut or something (I have 3 of them), but it's not like I use them *all* the time. I do find it handy to have the extra cookers because sometimes I want to do a bunch of extra veggies with my roasts (or turkey thighs, which come out delish and reheat really well), or sometimes I'll make a dessert in one of the smaller cookers.

P.P.S. I think most of the roasts I buy weigh maybe about 3-4 lbs. (same with the turkey thighs), and I can usually get one of those along with a big bag of carrots and like 10-12 peeled and cut potatoes into my 6 qt. pot. If you wanted to go with a 4 qt., you could probably get a decent size roast in there with a fair amount of veggies and have leftovers for yourself. I bet you could get a chicken in a 4 qt pot too, but you might have to cut it up first.
Jan. 4th, 2007 06:53 am (UTC)
Sorry to be a pest, but I just thought of something else: if you do go with just one slow cooker, better to err on the side of getting a smaller one. If most of the recipes you try out are written for 3 1/2 - 4 qt. cookers and you try them out in a 6 qt. one, the food might dry out or burn if it doesn't fill the cooker at least halfway. Of course, you can try doubling certain recipes... or in the case with roasts, you can always ad extra veggies and the like - most of those kinds of recipes are pretty forgiving. ;-)
Jan. 4th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is all wonderful! Thank you so very much for taking the time to type all this out. It's very much appreciated! :-)
Jan. 4th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
I have a 5.3-qt model (5 liters) and it's too big for me; even though I want leftovers, I don't generally want weeks worth.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )