What Is The Best Slow Cooker To Buy In Australia?

Whether cooking is your therapy or your greatest fear, there’s no denying that having the right gadgets on hand can make the job a whole lot easier.

“A man is only as good as his tools,” the saying goes – and equally, we’re of the belief that a cook is only as good as their appliances.

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Do-it-all benchtop appliances that reduce cook and clean-up time; everyday essentials that get you out the door quicker while saving you money; special gadgets that rejuvenate your love of cooking: if your kitchen is lacking in these departments, it’s time to start your search, and we’ve got the list to get the ball rolling.

BEST KITCHEN APPLIANCES GUIDE

From kettles and toasters to air fryers and slow cookers (and everything in between), we’ve rounded up our picks of the best appliances to kit out your kitchen in style.

BEST PRESSURE COOKER

Instant Pot Duo Nova Electric Multi-Use Pressure Cooker, Amazon Australia, $230 (RRP$299)

Instant Pot Duo Nova Electric Multi-Use Pressure Cooker. Image: Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Duo Nova Electric Multi-Use Pressure Cooker. Image: Instant Pot.

The best appliance is one that offers versatility and value for money – and that’s why this cult favourite Instant Pot Duo Nova takes out the top spot of this roundup. It offers seven-in-one functionality, not only allowing you to use it as a pressure cooker to reduce cook times while boosting flavour, but also as a saute pan, steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker, food warmer and yoghurt maker. Buy it in one of three sizes, each of which includes a wide range of one-touch smart auto cook programs that take the work out of your meal prep, and a clear and bright LCD display that makes it easy to keep track of your progress and settings.

The Duo Nova boasts a 4.7-star average rating on Amazon where it’s been reviewed over 800 times, but Best Of Editor Mariela took the model for a spin herself.

“I love that the Instant Pot has allowed me to do away with a great number of cooking items. Cooking chicken noodle soup? Go ahead and saute your chicken directly in the unit, then switch to the soup function when adding your broth ingredients. The internal pot is removable and easily washed. One appliance for every step of your meal preparation,” she said. “An intuitive interface to the front of the pot allows you to select from different preset programs – rice, soup, chilli and more – meaning you needn’t hover over your stove, and are assured of a perfect dish every time.”

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DISCOVER MORE: Top-rated pressure cookers to take the guesswork out of home-cooked meals

BEST AIR FRYER

Ninja Airfryer Deluxe, The Good Guys, $199 (RRP$349)

Ninja Air Fryer XXL. Image: Ninja.
Ninja Air Fryer XXL. Image: Ninja.

Air fryers have taken the world by storm in the past few years, thanks to their ability to make fried food healthier, easier and quicker. This Ninja Air Fryer boasts a stylish and sleek design with a mid-sized 5.2-litre capacity ideal for households of four. It has six preset programs -Max Crisp, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate – that allow you to cook everything from crispy fries to fresh scones. You can also adjust the temperature between 40 and 200 degrees Celsius, set the digital timer as needed, and enjoy the convenience of dishwasher-safe parts.

The machine has a 4.5-star average rating from over 100 reviews, with one reviewer calling it “life-changing” and writing, “basically, this thing cooks beautifully … It works – the kitchen is clean, and the food is better than pan-fried! Less oil is used, it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s crisp outside, moist inside, and delicious”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Best air fryers to buy in Australia in 2021 revealed

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BEST SLOW COOKER

Breville The Smart Temp Slow Cooker, Myer, $109 (RRP$139)

Breville The Smart Temp Slow Cooker. Image: Breville.
Breville The Smart Temp Slow Cooker. Image: Breville.

Slow cookers offer set-and-forget convenience and make flavourful meals from stews to casseroles an absolute breeze. The Breville Smart Temp has a six-litre capacity ideal for cooking meals for up to eight people, with an intelligent IQ temperature sensor that prevents overcooked meals. The wraparound heating element ensures constant even temperatures, and there’s an automatic function to keep your dish warm until dinner.

It has a 4.8-star average rating from over 100 reviews, with one reviewer leaving five stars and writing, “I bought this about 6 months ago and have been extremely pleased with the variety of things I can cook in it and it’s large capacity. I have cooked wonderful, stews, casseroles, cakes, desserts and also porridge in it and it has never let me down”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Best slow cookers to make you the master of winter meals

BEST RICE COOKER

Kambrook 10 Cup Rice Cooker, The Good Guys, $49

Kambrook 10 Cup Rice Cooker. Image: Kambrook.
Kambrook 10 Cup Rice Cooker. Image: Kambrook.

This rice cooker from Kambrook has a super-low price tag and a super large capacity, making it the perfect addition to your kitchen line-up. It takes all the guesswork out of cooking, with one simple switch to flip to achieve perfectly tender rice every time. The non-stick bowl is removable for easy cleaning and serving, and it comes with a measuring cup and serving spoon.

It has a 4.5-star average rating, with one reviewer writing, “Excellent – cooks quickly with nice fluffy rice” and another commenting, “Handy, convenient and good bargain”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Why a rice cooker is an essential addition to your kitchen appliance artillery

BEST TOASTER

Russell Hobbs Brooklyn 4 Slice Toaster – Black, The Good Guys, $99

Russell Hobbs Brooklyn 4 Slice Toaster. Image: The Good Guys.
Russell Hobbs Brooklyn 4 Slice Toaster. Image: The Good Guys.

Offering good value for money, this Russell Hobbs Toaster can handle up to four slices of bread at once – perfect for getting everyone fed quickly. It has wide, self-centring toasting slots with frozen, bagel, reheat and cancel functions. The high lift feature is perfect for avoiding sore fingers when you retrieve your toast, and the removable crumb tray prevents that lingering burnt toast smell.

“Looks great, cooks well and has a special feature for cooking crumpets and muffins,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “A great toaster for the morning rush,” added another.

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DISCOVER MORE: Your guide to picking a new toaster to suit your household

BEST MICROWAVE

Samsung 40L 1000W Stainless Steel Microwave, The Good Guys, $249

Samsung 40L 1000W Stainless Steel Microwave. Image: Samsung.
Samsung 40L 1000W Stainless Steel Microwave. Image: Samsung.

This large microwave offers plenty of power and space to reheat and defrost large portions. Dedicated auto defrost settings take the guesswork out of choosing which power and time to set, and the auto sensors prevent overheating. The ceramic interior cooking surface is scratch-resistant and easy to clean, and reduces the growth of common bacteria for hygiene.

It’s been awarded over 280 five-star reviews with a 4.5-star average. “Quiet, light and bright enough to see through the glass door. User friendly panel and heats evenly. Modern look,” wrote a five star reviewer.

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DISCOVER MORE: Best microwaves to heat up leftovers in record time

BEST SANDWICH PRESS

Breville the Toast & Melt Sandwich Press, Amazon Australia, $99

Breville The Toast & Melt Sandwich Press. Image: Breville.
Breville The Toast & Melt Sandwich Press. Image: Breville.

This classic four-slice sandwich press is fitted with a 2200-watt heating element that toasts sandwiches evenly and consistently, and the adjustable height control allows you to fit in even the most ambitiously large toasties and squish down to your desired level.

Not only does this model have Best Of Editor Mariela’s tick of approval, it also has a 4.7 star rating from over 90 reviews, with one five-star reviewer commenting, “this is a brilliant product. Particularly love that I can toast a whole range of breads from thin slices to baguettes (even baguettes that have gone hard!) and each time it cooks them perfectly. I also love how easy it is to keep clean – one wipe and you’re done”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Elevate your humble lunch with our picks for best sandwich presses

BEST KETTLE

Russell Hobbs Addison Digital Kettle, The Good Guys, $79

Russell Hobbs Addison Digital Kettle. Image: Russell Hobbs.
Russell Hobbs Addison Digital Kettle. Image: Russell Hobbs.

This one’s for the tea enthusiasts. A step above any other kettle you’ve owned, despite its relatively low price tag, the Addison Digital Kettle sits on a smart base that allows you to select the perfect temperature for the tea of your choice. Green tea lovers can choose the 70 degree temperature, black tea drinkers can opt for 100 degrees, and coffee addicts can go for 95 degrees. Best of all is the handy “keep warm” button, in case you need to top up your cuppa.

It has a 4.5-star average rating, with one reviewer commenting, “Love this kettle, with its shape it fits well on the bench. Good range of temperatures – saving a long boil if I don’t need it. Also like the flip lid – do not have to take it off for refilling”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Kettles that will help you make a perfect cuppa every time

BEST COFFEE MACHINE

Sunbeam Cafe Barista Coffee Machine, Myer, $229 (RRP$329)

Sunbeam Cafe Barista Coffee Machine. Image: Sunbeam.
Sunbeam Cafe Barista Coffee Machine. Image: Sunbeam.

For a semiautomatic coffee machine complete with an integrated milk frother, this Sunbeam modelcomes at a great price point. It makes at-home cappuccinos, espressos, and lattes a breeze with its one-touch control panel. The milk reservoir is removable so you can store leftover milk in the fridge to avoid waste, and parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

The unit has a 4.2-star average rating from over 184 reviews, with one five-star reviewer writing, “For an amateur barista, this machine is easy to use and make a delicious coffee every time”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Our guide to the best manual, automatic and capsule coffee machines

BEST BLENDER FOR SMOOTHIES

Nutribullet 1200 Series 10-Piece Blender, Amazon Australia, $135

Nutribullet 1200 Series 10-Piece Blender. Image: Nutribullet.
Nutribullet 1200 Series 10-Piece Blender. Image: Nutribullet.

Nutribullet is a household name for a reason. Their 1200 series 10-piece blender set features an Autoblast cycle that shuts off the motor base automatically after optimum extraction of fruits, veg, nuts and seeds into their most absorbable forms. It’s easy to operate and easy to clean, with dishwasher-safe cups. Added accessories include flip-top lids for smoothies on the go, too.

It has a 4.5-star average rating, with one five-star reviewer writing, “The unit is solid and well-made with a strong, fast motor churning out all sorts of combinations of nuts, seeds and smoothies. The Nutribullet takes up very little space on the kitchen counter and is easy to clean”.

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DISCOVER MORE: How to pick the perfect smoothie blender that delivers deliciousness in every cup

BEST BREAD MACHINE

Smith & Nobel Multifunction Bread Maker, Harris Scarfe, $119.99 (RRP$149.99)

Smith & Nobel Multifunction Bread Maker. Image: Smith & Nobel.
Smith & Nobel Multifunction Bread Maker. Image: Smith & Nobel.

An affordable option from Smith & Nobel, this clever machine makes baking fresh loaves of bread simpler than ever. Choose from three loaf sizes, select your desired level of crustiness, and experiment with the 12 preset programs including basic, French, whole wheat, cake and even yoghurt or jam. It has a 13-hour programmable timer with an LCD display, and thanks to the included mixing paddle, measuring cup, measuring spoons and dough hook, all you need to do is throw in your ingredients and wait for that delicious aroma to waft through your home.

It has a 4.5-star average rating, with one reviewer leaving five stars and writing, “I’m very happy with this Bread Maker. It does a really great job of cooking the different loaves of bread that I particularly enjoy (Brioche, German dark bread, Sourdough, Rye, Seeded Wholemeal, Multigrain Soy & Linseed and Spelt). I haven’t had any failures with it (yet) and it’s a very neat machine”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Bread makers for creating bakery-quality loaves at home

BEST PASTA MACHINE

Al Dente Pasta Machine W/ Detachable Cutters 180mm, Myer, $79.95

Al Dente Pasta Machine with Detachable Cutters. Image: Myer.
Al Dente Pasta Machine with Detachable Cutters. Image: Myer.

Designed for creating spaghetti, fettuccine, and lasagne (all the essentials), the Al Dente Pasta Machine has a slick stainless steel design that makes homemade pasta a breeze. The machine comes complete with a clamp to keep it in place on your benchtop, and a hand crank for rolling out your pasta.

It has a 4.5-star average rating, with one five star reviewer writing, “Easy to use and clean, good purchase for first timer and casual pasta making”.

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DISCOVER MORE: Best pasta machines starting from just $60

BEST FRIDGE

LG 420L Bottom Mount Refrigerator, The Good Guys, $1,199

LG 420L Bottom Mount Refrigerator. Image: LG.
LG 420L Bottom Mount Refrigerator. Image: LG.

This bottom-mount LG refrigerator comes with a five-star energy rating, making it a great choice for efficient consumption so your bills stay as low as possible. Surround cooling ensures that food is kept fresher for longer, and the LG Inverter Linear Compressor (with a 10 year parts warranty) reduces internal temperature fluctuations. Its sleek black steel design will look chic and modern in your kitchen, and the side-recessed handles make for a flush finish with no fingerprints smudged all over the door – genius.

It has a 4.5-star average rating from reviewers, with one leaving five stars and writing, “love the black finish, it’s like something out of Star Wars. Plenty of space in both the fridge and freezer compartments. Super quiet and keeps everything cool”.

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DISCOVER MORE: How to pick the best fridge for your household

BEST DISHWASHER

Euromaid Eclipse 60cm 14 Place Setting Freestanding Dishwasher, Harvey Norman, $488

Euromaid Eclipse 60cm 14 Place Setting Freestanding Dishwasher. Image: Euromaid.
Euromaid Eclipse 60cm 14 Place Setting Freestanding Dishwasher. Image: Euromaid.

This Euromaid dishwasher offers great value for money. It has six variable wash programs and two auxiliary functions offering customisability for your needs, as well as an adjustable cutlery basket and upper basket height that makes loading oddly-shaped tableware easy. The delay start function allows you to set it off whenever you desire, and it boasts a 4.5-star water and three star energy efficiency rating.

“Does what its supposed to do, that is wash dishes and for the price does it really really well,” wrote a five-star reviewer.

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DISCOVER MORE: Dishwashers for every household, no matter budget or space

WHAT ARE THE MOST USEFUL KITCHEN APPLIANCES?

When kitting out your kitchen, there are a few major appliances that are essential: an oven and a fridge, for starters. Smaller appliances that are useful on an everyday basis include toasters, kettles, and microwaves. Additional benchtop appliances that are worth the investment for their convenience and value for money are coffee machines, food processors, slow cookers, air fryers, sandwich presses, multi-cookers, blenders, and rice cookers.

WHAT ARE THE BEST KITCHEN APPLIANCE BRANDS?

The world of kitchen appliances is a wide one, and there are plenty of brands to choose from. For benchtop appliances, some of the consistently highest-rated options include Philips, Breville, Smeg, Russell Hobbs, Instant Pot, Sunbeam, KitchenAid and Kambrook. For larger appliances, our top picks include Samsung, LG, Fisher & Paykel, and Westinghouse.

HOW TO CHOOSE KITCHEN APPLIANCES

Unsure which appliances to invest in? Here’s what to keep in mind when making your decisions.

• Size: We aren’t all blessed with endless storage space, so consider the size of the appliance you’re buying and make sure you have room for it on your benchtop, if it’s something you’ll use regularly (like a coffee machine or kettle) or if you have adequate space in your cabinets to store it.

• Budget: Spending a little extra can sometimes ensure greater quality and longer lasting durability, however there are also budget-friendly picks for all appliances that can get the job done on a dime.

• Style: If you’re the kind of person who likes the cohesive appearance of matching appliances, consider buying from the same brand or product line, or choose matching materials and colours (like all stainless steel).

• Function: Consider how frequently you plan to use the appliance. Even if it’s only once a week or even once a fortnight, the cost per use will continue to reduce as you continue to use it, so your investment will be worthwhile.

• Warranty: It’s always a good idea to check the warranty period of your appliance, so you can guarantee long-lasting quality and be aware of the terms and situations in which you can receive repairs or replacements.

Looking for more home appliances to make life easier? Check out our guides to the best cordless stick vacuums, best washer dryers, and best robot vacuums.

Make sure you always get the best price on your purchase by visiting news.com.au Coupons, where you’ll find discounts on top brands from Harvey Norman to Bing Lee.

Lastly, sign up to the free Best Of newsletter to stay informed on the latest shopping tips and sales.

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