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Bone broth is a versatile, nutritious base made simply by boiling marrow bones in water for a long time. To get the maximum nutritional punch, you add a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar and simmer the bones over low heat for around twenty-four hours.
To do this on the stovetop would mean someone staying awake all night to monitor the pot and top up the water. In addition, it would require a lot of electricity. That’s why a slow cooker is a much better tool to use when making this broth.
All you do is to add the bones, cover them in water, add a bit of apple cider vinegar and you are all set. Cook them on high for an hour and then switch down to low and leave it until the next day.
It’s not difficult to get right if you have a decent quality slow cooker. In this review, we’ll go through the top options on the market today.
|Material||Other Functions?||Easy to Use?||Settings||Auto/ Manual/ Stove Top|
|#1. Instant Pot |
Our Best Pick
|Stainless Steel||No||Yes||N/A||Stove Top|
|#4. Cook n Home|
|Stainless Steel||No||Yes||N/A||Stove Top|
What’s to Look For
Most good slow-cookers have a self-cook facility. This makes it possible for you to program the machine so that you can well and truly leave it to do its thing. Along with the self-cook facility, you should also look out for an automatic cut-out feature.
That way, if you forget about the food, or something goes wrong it will switch itself off.
Being able to control the temperature for your cooker is important. A basic cooker has an auto, low and high setting. By paying a little more and getting one that allows you to set a range of temperatures, you’ll be able to get a lot more use out of your slow cooker.
A good feature to stay on the lookout for is a setting that allows you to keep the food in the cooker warm.
It is also important to take note of the size. Smaller models are useful for smaller families, but the bigger ones are more versatile. For example, you could make batches of food and freeze what you don’t eat straight away.
The material that it is made out of is also important. Aluminum and stainless steel are the two top choices. Stainless steel lasts longer, but aluminum is better at heat conduction.
Many contain a removable ceramic insert that can be used to transport food, or for easier cleanup. We prefer this type because cleaning is easier. The interior may or may not be non-stick.
Finally, most models come with a glass lid. This can be useful in checking to see how the food is doing as it gets started. In all honesty, though, this is not that important as the condensation that builds up inside usually limits visibility at the same time.
The final thing to consider is whether or not you want a general model or something more specialized, like a stock pot.
The general models are normally the most versatile as you can make a range of different meals in them. You can make every component for your dinner, from the meat and veggies through to the desert afterward.
On the other hand, you are limited in terms of capacity when it comes to the more general models. That’s where something like a stockpot could prove more useful.
The Slow Cookers For You!
#1. Instant Pot DUO60
This is one of the bestsellers and comes up as our top choice. It is made of stainless steel and is more than just a slow cooker. Depending on the setting you choose, it can be a slow cooker, warmer, steamer or pressure cooker.
It might be overkill if all you want to do is to make bone broth, but it is the most versatile option. The 24-hour time gives your bone broth lots of time to simmer. And, there is the advantage that it will keep your food warm until you serve it.
#2. Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker
This is considered the brand that started them all and it is a very basic model. It is a lot lower in price than the Instant Pot but will only act as a slow cooker. It doesn’t have a timer, and you have to choose the settings manually.
You get to choose between High, Low and Warm when it comes to settings. It is more than enough if you plan to make some broth or perhaps some stew.
#3. T-Fal Stockpot
This is a stock pot, so you would need to put this on the stove. This is a good choice if you are keen on making your own stocks and broth to use in the kitchen.
T-Fal has a good name for quality in this industry, and this product won’t disappoint.
It features a glass lid that has a steam hole in it to help reduce pressure built up inside the pot. You can move it straight from the stove into the oven if you like.
It has a non-stick coating, so cleaning is pretty simple.
#4. Cook n Home Stainless Steel Stockpot
This is another stovetop stockpot, but we’ve included it here because it makes a useful addition to any kitchen.
It will work well for creating a bone broth, but you will have to monitor it on the stove. What we like about this one is that it looks really polished and clean.
The lid is made of glass, and the handles on the pot are wrapped in silicone to make them cool-touch. There are plenty of different sizes available.
Stock pots are a traditional tool that chefs making soups and stocks make extensive use of. When it comes to value for money, these have the advantage of being less expensive than your actual cookers.
Still, when it comes to choosing our top pick, we had a hard time deciding. There is no doubt that the Instant Pot is the most versatile on the list. The cost of it may, however, be prohibitive, especially if many of the features go unused.
That is what led us to decide to nominate the Crock-Pot as our top option for soups. It offers the best value for money and enough versatility for most cooks.