Slow cookers are great for preparing really tasty food. Cooking for such a long time makes meat incredibly tender, and causes the flavors to get infused into all of the ingredients. But does size matter? Is a 6-quart slow cooker too big for one person?
As a general rule, a 6-quart (5.6 liter) slow cooker is too big for one person. A slow cooker of this size can cook enough food to feed a minimum of 10 people. However, slow cookers take a long time, therefore, it’s good for meal prep in large batches and then freeze it.
Slow cookers come in a range of different sizes, with the smallest being 20 oz (0.5 liters). There are pros and cons to getting a smaller slow cooker for one person.
Let’s see the reasons for and against getting a big, medium, or small slow cooker for one person.
What is a 6 quart slow cooker?
A 6-quart slow cooker refers to the capacity or size of the appliance. It means that the slow cooker can hold up to 6 quarts (or approximately 5.7 liters) of food or liquid. This measurement represents the volume of the cooking vessel inside the slow cooker.
This is considered a larger size and is suitable for cooking meals for larger families or when entertaining guests. It provides ample space to prepare larger portions of soups, stews, roasts, and other dishes. It can also be convenient if you prefer to cook larger batches of food to have leftovers for future meals.
It’s important to keep in mind that slow cookers work best when they are at least half full, but not more than three-quarters full. This ensures that the food cooks evenly and properly. If you are cooking for two people, a 6-quart slow cooker may be larger than necessary, and a smaller size like a 3 to 4-quart cooker might be more appropriate.
How Much Food Different Sized Slow Cookers Can Make
For one person, you don’t typically need a slow cooker as big as what a large family would need. But that’s is only theoretical because… you might want to roast a whole chicken and make other meals with the leftovers! Or simply cook a large roast or batch of vegetables that lasts you the whole week!
Therefore, a larger slow cooker can be good if you’re going to batch cook meals or even have friends around. Also cooking times and, therefore, energy consumption will be likely reduced.
On the other hand, a small slow cooker can perfectly cook food such as dips or sauces. Another consideration is making desserts with your smaller slow cooker while your main cooks in the bigger one. You’ll have to consider your storage space though.
As a general rule, one meal in a slow cooker is half a quart (0.5 liters) at the most. Food cooked in a slow cooker is often served with rice, or blended into a soup and served with bread. At a minimum, one serving of food cooked in a slow cooker is ¼ of a quart (250 mL) or 1 cup.
Here’s a generic table that shows the maximum and minimum amount of meals different-sized slow cookers can make based:
|Slow cooker size||Number of meals|
|20 oz (0.5 liters)||1 to 2|
|1-quart (1 liter)||2 to 4|
|2-quart (2 liters)||4 to 8|
|3-quart (3 liters)||6 to 12|
|4-quart (4 liters)||8 to 16|
|5-quart (5 liters)||10 to 20|
|6-quart (6 liters)||12 to 24|
|7-quart (7 liters)||14 to 28|
|8-quart (8 liters)||16 to 32|
Note: The number of meals a specific-sized slow cooker can cook varies because it depends on what kind of meal is being prepared.
Examples of portions/foods
For example, a slow-cooked stew is typically served with a size of rice, or bread. Therefore, you need a smaller amount of food.
Whereas, if it’s used to cook a soup, then most people will consume more of it. As you may know, an average cup is 10 oz (250 mL).
One cup of stew served with rice is typically enough for most people. Whereas, soup typically isn’t consumed with as much bread compared to the amount of rice. Therefore, an average person could consume on average 2 servings of soup in a meal.
There is some variance to these numbers based on how little or how much a person eats. For example, a child would eat about half what an adult eats or less. Whereas, some people who do a lot of physical exercise or have a physical job can have a much higher demand for calories (food).
Preparing slow-cooked meals in batches to freeze
It’s a common practice to slow cook a large amount of food and then freeze it called batch cooking. It can be frozen in meal-sized bags or plastic containers. Or, in a large container for a whole family.
Doing so cuts down on preparation time. When it comes time to prepare it, it can be left out in the morning to defrost by lunchtime or dinner time. Then heated in a pan for 10 minutes.
It is really convenient doing this and so time efficient! With slow cookers you can cook any meat (beef, pork, ribs, ham, lamb…) and even pasta.
Slow-cooked meals such as stews and soups generally taste the best when it’s left to cook overnight. Doing so, also makes meat incredibly tender, where it will fall off the bone, or melt in your mouth.
However, leaving a slow cooker to run overnight can be a bit of a waste to just make one dish. Therefore, an argument could be made that even for one person, a larger slow cooker, such as a 6 quart is the best.
The other consideration is how much fridge or freezer space you have to keep the meals that you cook.
Personal tip: Consider getting an Air fryer as your best friend. I did and never looked back 😉
How Big Is a 6 Quart Slow Cooker
Space in a kitchen isn’t unlimited, so it’s important to plan out how big or small appliances are, and where you will put everything. In my kitchen I am lucky to have space so I have my rice cookers, pressure cookers and different crockpot sizes.
Slow cookers come in a range of different sizes, here are the dimensions of a 6-quart slow cooker.
A 6-quart slow cooker is on average 14.5 inches (37 cm) wide, 9 inches (22.9 cm) tall, and 14.5 inches (37 cm) long. A 6-quart slow cooker also weighs on average 8 pounds (3.6 kg). As the name suggests a 6-quart slow cooker can hold 6 quarts (5.6 liters) of food or liquid.
A 6-quart slow cooker is roughly one foot by one foot. Because slow cookers are reasonably large it’s best to place them away off the counter and away in a cupboard or other space when not in use.
Can a Slow Cooker Be Too Big
It’s important to get a slow cooker that suits what you want it to do, and how many people you want it to be able to cook for. Having something that has more than enough space is good.
Overall, a slow cooker CAN be too big. Slow cookers can be as large as 10 quarts (9.5 liters). This is large enough to cook 20 to 30 meals at once. A slow cooker takes up space in the kitchen cupboards, and on the counter when you’re using it.
So, it’s best to get one only as big as you need.
For a medium-sized family of 4 to 5 people, a 2-quart slow cooker is pretty good. However, if you want to cook food in batches and freeze it, it’s more efficient to buy a bigger slow cooker.
What size slow cooker is best for 2?
When choosing a slow cooker size for two people, it’s generally recommended to consider the portion sizes you typically prepare and the desired leftovers. For most couples, a slow cooker with a capacity of 3 to 4 quarts (2.8 to 3.8 liters) should be sufficient.
This size allows you to prepare enough food for two servings with the possibility of leftovers for another meal. It’s important to note that slow cookers should ideally be filled halfway to three-quarters full for best results, so keep that in mind when selecting the size.
What is the biggest Slow Cooker size?
Some slow cooker models can go up to 8 quarts (or approximately 7.6 liters) or even larger. These larger sizes are typically suitable for larger families, gatherings, or occasions where you need to cook significant amounts of food.
When selecting a slow cooker size, it’s important to consider your specific needs, such as the number of people you usually cook for, the types of recipes you plan to prepare, and whether you want leftovers. Choosing a slow cooker size that suits your cooking requirements will ensure you have the right capacity for your meals.
Do slow cookers have a keep warm setting?
Yes, many slow cookers have a “keep warm” setting. The keep warm setting is a convenient feature that allows you to keep the cooked food at a safe and warm temperature for an extended period after it has finished cooking.
Once your food has reached the desired level of doneness or has completed the cooking time specified in the recipe, you can switch the slow cooker to the keep warm setting. This setting generally maintains a low temperature, usually around 165°F (74°C), which helps prevent the food from overcooking or cooling down too quickly.
The keep warm setting is especially useful when you’re not ready to serve the food immediately or if you want to keep it warm for a longer duration, such as during a party or gathering. It allows you to keep the food at a safe temperature until you’re ready to serve without the need for reheating.
It’s important to refer to your specific slow cooker’s manufacturer instructions manual to understand the exact temperature and duration of the keep warm setting, as it may vary between models.
Is it better to have a slow cooker with a timer?
Having a slow cooker with a timer can be beneficial for several reasons, depending on your needs and cooking preferences.
Here are some advantages of having a slow cooker with a timer:
- Convenience: A timer allows you to set a specific cooking time for your recipe. This is particularly useful when you have a busy schedule or won’t be able to monitor the cooking process. You can set the timer and leave the slow cooker unattended, knowing that it will automatically switch to the “keep warm” setting once the cooking time is complete.
- Precision: With a timer, you can ensure that your food is cooked for the appropriate duration. Different recipes have varying cooking times, and having a timer helps you achieve the desired level of doneness without overcooking or undercooking the food.
- Flexibility: A timer enables you to delay the start of the cooking process. This feature is handy when you want to prepare meals in advance, such as overnight oats or slow-cooked breakfasts. You can set the timer to begin cooking at a specific time, allowing you to wake up to a freshly cooked meal.
- Energy efficiency: Using a timer can help optimize energy consumption. By setting the cooking time accurately, you avoid unnecessary additional cooking time, which can save electricity or gas.
While having a timer can be advantageous, it’s not an essential feature for everyone. If you have the flexibility to monitor the slow cooker and adjust the cooking time manually, or if you prefer more hands-on control over the cooking process, a timer might not be as crucial for you.
Ultimately, the decision to have a slow cooker with a timer depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and cooking habits.
Is a slow cooker cheaper to run than an oven?
Yes, a slow cooker is generally cheaper to run than an oven. Here are a few reasons why:
- Energy Efficiency: Slow cookers are designed to cook food at a low and consistent temperature over a longer period. They are designed to be energy-efficient and use less electricity compared to ovens, which require higher temperatures and more power to heat up and maintain the desired temperature.
- Cooking Time: Slow cookers typically take longer to cook food compared to ovens. However, during this longer cooking time, slow cookers use lower power settings, resulting in reduced energy consumption. Ovens, on the other hand, tend to heat up quickly and may need to maintain higher temperatures for shorter cooking durations, leading to higher energy usage.
- Size and Capacity: Slow cookers are smaller in size compared to ovens. When you’re cooking smaller portions of food that can fit in a slow cooker, using an oven can be overkill in terms of energy consumption. Slow cookers allow you to cook smaller quantities efficiently, saving both time and energy.
It’s important to note that energy consumption can vary depending on the specific models and features of both the slow cooker and oven. Additionally, the duration and frequency of usage will also affect the overall energy costs.
However, in general, using a slow cooker tends to be more energy-efficient and cost-effective than using an oven for slow cooking purposes.
Are slow cookers bowls oven-safe?
Most slow cooker bowls are oven-safe, but it’s important to check the specific instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturer for your particular model.
The majority of slow cooker bowls are made of ceramic, stoneware, or other heat-resistant materials that are designed to withstand high temperatures. These materials can typically withstand the temperatures of a conventional oven without any issues.
If you’re unsure about the oven safety of your specific slow cooker bowl, it’s best to reach out to the manufacturer directly or consult the product’s documentation to obtain accurate and reliable information.
Is there a slow cooker that you can control with your phone?
Yes, there are slow cookers available that can be controlled using a smartphone or mobile device. These smart slow cookers are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect them to a corresponding mobile app.
You can adjust cooking settings, change temperatures, set timers, and even receive notifications or alerts on your phone when the cooking is complete or if any adjustments are needed.
Smart slow cookers with app control offer convenience and flexibility, as you can manage your cooking from anywhere within the range of the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. This means you can start or stop the slow cooker, adjust settings, or check on the progress of your meal even if you’re not at home.
Brands such as Crock-Pot, Instant Pot, and Hamilton Beach offer smart slow cooker models with app control features. It’s advisable to review the specific product details and features to ensure the desired functionality before making a purchase.