There's nothing quite like coming home to a meal that's already cooked, and if you don't have a live-in chef, a slow cooker is probably the next best thing. There are plenty of options on the market, but we've rounded up the best right here to help you make a final decision.

Keep-warm probe: Hamilton Beach 33969A

This 6-quart slow cooker has a programmable interface that lets you select exact temperature and cook time, plus an included probe will ensure your meal stays warm once cooked. The lid has a clip on either side to keep it securely in place, and the crock is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

$50 at Amazon

Easy to carry: Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S

If you're taking a meal to a party or potluck, this Cook & Carry option from Crock-Pot makes it easy thanks to sizeable side handles and sturdy clips on either side of the lid to keep it locked down. You get six quarts of cooking space in a dishwasher-safe crock, and it has a programmable interface to get food just right.

$40 at Amazon

A larger cooker: All-Clad SD700450

This cooker is made almost entirely from stainless steel for a premium look, and its oval shape translates to 6.5-quarts of cooking space for a bit of extra room over other conventional cookers. A digital display lets you set the perfect temperature and cook time, and the ceramic crock is dishwasher safe.

$148 at Amazon

True versatility: Instant Pot DUO60

The Instant Pot craze is just getting started, propelled by a device that can slow cook, pressure cook, rice cook, steam, warm, and sauté. Did I mention it can also make yogurt? A robust programmable interface makes it easy to keep tabs on your meals, making this altogether a great choice for anyone who wants a slow cooker that can do it all.

$80 at Amazon

Aluminum cooking pot: Cuisinart MSC-600

Cuisinart's 6-quart slow cooker has an aluminum pot that makes it easy to steam, brown, and sauté when you're not slow cooking, and it's dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. The oval shape makes it easy to fit in larger cuts, and dual LCD displays display exact temperature and time remaining.

$101 at Amazon

Best budget: Elite Gourmet MST-250XS

This little slow cooker has a 1.5-quart capacity for smaller meals, and it has a budget price to match. The crock and glass lid are both dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, and a dial on the front lets you choose from three different cooking presets. If you don't want to spend big money on a big cooker, this should be your first pick.

$13 at Amazon

If we're making a suggestion

All of the above slow cookers will no doubt find a home with someone, but if you're still stumped and wondering where to turn for delicious meals, we recommend checking out Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S. Its 6-quart capacity is large enough for most families, it's easy to carry thanks to a lock-down lid and wide handles, and the programmable interface makes it easy to keep tabs on what's cooking. If you'd rather have a cooker that can also replace a bunch of your other devices, clearing up counter space, there's always the impressive Instant Pot DUO60.

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