Crock Pot Sizes (What Size Slow Cooker Is Best For Me?)

Slow cookers are a great time-saving countertop cooking device that allows you to input your ingredients, set your cook time, and forget it until its ready to eat.  They are wildly popular for their convince.   Are you confused with crock pot sizes and what you should get?  If so, this guide will explain what to look for when purchasing a slow cooker.

But what about crock pot sizes?  Are you confused about what size to purchase?  This guide will shine some light and help you make a more informed decision.  Deciding on what size slow cooker to purchase can get tricky because of the different sizes and features you can get. 

Before you purchase a slow cooker you should decide on what you are planning to cook, and for how many people then you can make a more educated purchase once you know what crock pot sizes you should be looking at.  

Available slow cooker sizes

Crock-pots or slow cookers come in varying sizes.  Ranges in size will be from 1.5 quarts all the way up to 8 quarts and pretty much everything in between.  To give you an idea a 1.5 quart would be something you could heat up spinach dip in. 

You may want to have two slow cookers one for small dips to heat up for parties and another larger one to cook full meals in.  The rule of thumb is you would want to fill the slow cooker up at least half but no more than two-thirds.  Filling a slow cooker to much could result in longer cook times and undercooked dishes.  The same holds true for not adding in enough foods.  This can lead to over-cooking dishes. Depending on what you cook will depend on what crock pot sizes you’ll want to look at. 

What do you plan on cooking?

If you are a larger family or plan on using your slow cooker to make big meals then you will want to make sure you purchase a slow cooker that is larger in size.  If you are looking for something to keep your dips or party snacks warm in then you could get away with a smaller crock pot. 

It is our belief that you should scale up one size.  This will allow you to cook more when you need to.  It also allows you to not have to add more food into the crock pot than you should result in food that may not cook properly.  

How many people do you cook for?

If it is just you or you and a significant other then you can easily get away purchasing a smaller slow cooker.  If you have a larger family you are going to need to up your size and get a slow cooker that can handle the extra food that it will take to feed your entire family.  Here are some rules of thumb to follow in terms of the number of people and the size of the slow cooker you might need.

Amount of people Size of Slow Cooker
1 to 2 people
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 quarts
3 to 5 people
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 quarts
Large family and want leftovers
7 - 8-quart models

What should you look for in a slow cooker?

This will depend on what you want to do with your slow cooker.  If you like to cook dinners and then bring them to friends or family houses you will want to find a larger slow cooker that allows for lids and or carrying handles that you can then transport the slow cooker to the final destination easily.

There are even slow cookers that can do more than just cook your ingredients over a period of time.  They have cookers that can also steam, cook rice, and more.  These are multi-pot slow cookers that are very useful.

Some cookers even have inserts that can be used on top of your stovetop to brown meats then returned to the slow cooker for the long slow cook to make your meats tender.  

Frequently asked questions

Q: Are instant pots the same thing as a slow cooker?

A: No, instant pots are more used for pressure cooking, but there are multi-cookers with settings that will allow for pressure cooking, searing, rice cooking, and more.  Instant pot cooks much faster because of the controlled pressure that is within the pot. 

Q: Are larger slow cookers more expensive?

A: No, in fact, some smaller sizes will cost even more than the larger ones.  Most prices for a slow cooker will range from $40.00 to $150.00 or more for premium models.  It is worth mentioning that manual slow cookers will be cheaper then programmable models.  

Q: What is the biggest size slow cooker?

A:  The largest slow cookers you can purchase will be between 8 quarts and 10 quarts.  These are big capacities that can cook up a lot of food for a bunch of hungry people.   You can a whole chicken or a roast around 12lb into the large 10-quart crock pots. 

Some great slow cooker options by size

As we stated above crock pot sizes will be determined on what and how many people you cook for. Below are 3 examples of some of the best crock pots by size. 

1. Small Slow Cooker

The Elite Gourmet MST-250XS Electric Slow Cooker is an excellent 1.5 Qt capacity stainless steel slow cooker that is perfect for heating up spinach dips for parties, making soup, and other small capacity foods.

The Elite Gourmet MST-250XS Electric Slow Cooker

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Medium size slow cooker

This is an excellent 6-quart pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer 6-quart cooker.  Easily program the cooker with 14 one-touch programs.

Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in1 Electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker 6 Quart

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

large Slow Cooker

The crock-pot Oval manual slow cooker is a large 8-quart stainless steel crock pot that will allow you to cook a lot of food easily.  This is a great crock pot for larger families or for someone who wants to make a larger quantity of food for storage. 

Crockpot 2.5-Quart Mini Casserole Crock Slow Cooker

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


Depending on what crock pot size slow cooker you may need will be determined on what you want to cook and for how many people.  Always try and go up one size.  If you feel like you can get away with a 5-quart slow cooker opt for a 6 or even 8 if you feel like you would make larger meals a few times a year.  Regardless of what size you choose using a slow cooker will definitely make preparing meals much easier and quicker. 

5/5 (3 Reviews)
About ASmith

Adam loves cooking and cooking products like cookware, tools, gadgets, and more to help make cooking easier in the kitchen. When Adam is not trying out new kitchen tools in the kitchen you find him researching the next best kitchen gadgets.