Find the Slow Cooker Size That’s Best for You

You don't want to buy the wrong slow cooker and end up with endless leftovers—or not have enough food to go around! Take a closer look at the slow cooker sizes below to find one that's right for you.

Slow cookers are absolutely dreamy. You load them up with meats, veggies and spices, then a few hours later you have a hot meal! But when it comes to slow cooker sizes, which one is right for you?

There are a couple of factors to consider as you choose: How many people are you cooking for? Are you banking on having leftovers? What kind of meat are you making? Do you already own a small cooking appliance, like an Instant Pot?

Keep those questions in mind as you discover which crock is best suited for your specific needs.

What size should I get?

The 6- or 7-quart models are among the most popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best choice for everyone. (By the way, here’s our favorite slow cooker brand.) Find yourself among the descriptions below to learn which slow cooker we’d recommend for you.

The Small-Batch Queen: 2- or 3-quart slow cooker

If you’re most often cooking for one or two people, opt for a 2- or 3-quart slow cooker. These are great for small-batch cooking, as they prep just enough food for a couple of people. You won’t be able to fit larger cuts of meat in this model, so if you cook for two people, but like cooking roasts, opt for a larger model. Otherwise, if you’re sticking to soups and small dinners, this is the perfect choice for you. These recipes fit perfectly in a 3-quart slow cooker.

Purchase a 3-quart slow cooker here.

The Family Chef: 4- or 5-quart slow cooker

Larger families are well-suited for 4- or 5-quart slow cookers, which can feed up to six people. It’s a great choice for bigger dishes—like casseroles, stews and full dinners—and it can fit a roast! Not a huge one—stick to a 3–4 lb. roast for this size, and if you need a larger cut, you’ll need a bigger slow cooker. Once you have your new appliance, give these 5-quart slow cooker recipes a try.

Purchase a 5-quart slow cooker here.

The Leftover Lover: 6-quart slow cooker

The 6-quart slow cooker is very popular, and with good reason—it can feed a crowd and leave you with leftovers for the week. That’s every chef’s dream! This model is ideal for roasts and large-batch recipes. Fill your crock with these recipes designed for a 6-quart slow cooker.

Purchase a 6-quart slow cooker here.

Ever the Entertainer: 7- or 8-quart slow cooker

If you’re known as Patsy the Potluck Princess, the 7- or 8-quart models are made for you. Larger slow cooker sizes are meant for crowds of 12+ people, whether you’re bringing food to a sporting event or cooking for a holiday party.

Purchase an 8-quart slow cooker here.

Psst! Here’s how to convert your slow cooker recipes to fit any size crock.

What features do I need?

Regardless of size, slow cookers come equipped with various features that may help you on your culinary journey. As you consider which sizes are best for your family, don’t forget to look at features and accessories that can make cooking easier and tastier:

  • Smartphone syncing: On some slow cooker models, you can sync your smartphone, meaning you can start and stop cooking from the touch of your screen.
  • Lid locks: If you travel often with your slow cooker—like to potlucks or picnics—get a lock that will keep everything secure as you go. And check out a few more life-changing slow cooker accessories.
  • Automatic stirrer: Slow cooker lids are made for accessories, and if you make soups, sauces or mashed potatoes in yours, you should check out the automatic stirrer, which can prevent heat from escaping when you open the lid to stir (because it stirs for you!).
Our Most Impressive Slow Cooker Recipes
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Kate Ellsworth
Kate is an avid baker, knitter and writer. Her passions include Star Wars, stress baking and—of course—chocolate. When she's not chasing her partner around the house asking him to try her latest recipe, Kate is probably knitting (another) sweater.