These Extra-Large Slow Cookers Are Perfect For Your Next Big Gathering


When you're short on time and have to make a huge meal, there's no better option than a slow cooker. In fact, the largest slow cookers can easily feed a ton of people with almost zero effort.

These handy kitchen devices range in size from about 1 to 8 quarts. While the smaller options are great for dips and appetizers, they don't have the capacity to take on enough ingredients to feed a crowd. To cook for a dozen people or more, an 8-quart cooker is the only way to go.

Once you've settled on the size, it's important to consider how often you'll plan on using your slow cooker and for which events. While just about anyone can get good use out of a budget-friendly basic model, you may want to consider an upgraded version with programmable cook times if you plan on using it often. And if you plan to make and take dishes to parties, picnics, or potlucks at work, you'll want to check out a slow cooker that's portable.

While there are tons of great options out there, it can be hard to choose the right model for all your needs. Here's a list of some of the largest slow cookers on the market to help you find exactly what you're looking for.


Best Basic Cooker: Crock-Pot 8-Quart Oval Slow Cooker

How Much Can This Cooker Hold? 8 quarts

Why should someone choose this cooker? This high-capacity slow cooker is a perfect starter model for anyone who's just getting started with slow cooking and has a ton of people to feed. The stoneware insert is easily removable and is dishwasher safe for super simple clean-up, plus the brushed stainless steel exterior is easy to wipe clean. And at only $34, this slow cooker is a steal.

What some people don't like: One thing to consider is that this model doesn't have a programmable timer, so you'll have to keep track of cook times yourself. This may not be a problem since there's generally a pretty decent cooking time range for most slow cooker meals, but you may want to keep another timer close by!

What fans say: Reviewers love this slow cooker for tackling huge meals. One reviewer writes, "This [slow cooker] was AMAZING for cooking a whole chicken with all the fixings for chicken soup, though!! For once, no overflowing!"


Best Programmable Cooker: Maxi-Matic 8.5-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

How much can this cooker hold? 8.5 Quarts

Why should someone choose this cooker? Not only is this stainless steel slow cooker massive, but you can pretty much set the digital timer and go. While there are programmable cookers with even more settings out there, this one will give you the functionality you need without setting you back a lot of money. You can type in how long you want your meal to cook for up to 20 hours, set the temperature to low or high, and be on your way. Plus, you don't have to worry about accidentally burning yourself: Both the side handles and lid are designed with cool-touch technology to keep you safe.

What some people don't like: Some reviewers mentioned that this slow cooker seemed to have uneven cook temperatures. A few even mentioned that even with the programmable timer, it'd be helpful to check on this device every so often to make sure it's on track.

What fans say: Reviewers with large families are totally into this slow cooker, with one writing, "I am in LOVE with this crock pot! It is HUGE which is exactly what I need for my family of 7. I love the timer feature. Instead of having to cram a roast and potatoes inside there was lots of extra room."


Most Portable: Presto Nomad 8-Quart Slow Cooker

How much can this cooker hold? 8 Quarts

Why should someone choose this cooker? This unique "cooler-style" slow cooker makes transporting hot food really easy. First, the slow cooker itself is surrounded by a cool-touch shell, and the swinging handle makes it easy to carry without spilling. There's a viewing window on the lid so you can check on your food without removing it and letting out heat, plus space for cord storage and to hold a serving spoon.

What some people don't like: Like the basic model, this one isn't programmable, so you'll have to keep an eye on the cook times. Some reviewers also noted that since this slow cooker tends to be outside at picnics and campgrounds, it can take longer than usual to cook your food.

What fans say: One reviewer writes, "Probably the best potluck invention ever. It looks like a cooler. It has a window to see the food, holds a stirring spoon, has a drip tray, Locks with a large cooler like carry handle [and it's] perfect for loading into a car for transport."


Best Upgrade: The Instant Pot 8-Quart Multi-Use Cooker

How much can this cooker hold? 8 quarts

Why should someone choose this cooker? When you're ready to take your skills to the next level, this multi-functional option is the perfect investment. It does it all — slow cooks, pressure cooks, sautés, and steams. There are even specific buttons for cooking poultry, eggs, and grains. On top of that, there's a blocking vent to keep hot air into decrease cooking times and keep your food warm. Bonus: people have been raving about the Instant Pot and there's already a ton of recipes to try out there.

What some people don't like: With so many features, there's a bit of a learning curve with the Instant Pot. However, if you're willing to put in a little trial-and-error, it's well worth it.

What fans say: One reviewer swears by it, writing, "Buy it. I'm serious. I'm so cheap it's not even funny. My crockpot broke, so I decided to try this as it was the same price as a large crockpot. I regret NOTHING."

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.