Slow cookers are a fantastic way to create a warm, nourishing meal at the end of the day. With a little prep work and planning in the morning, you can leave for the day and return to the delicious smells of a home-cooked meal. Using your slow cooker to prepare a meal in advance means much less work and fewer dishes in the evening after a long day.
One of the challenges, however, is the number of hours required to cook a dish in the slow cooker. If you leave home early in the morning and will not be back home for at least 10 hours, how do you cook a recipe that requires only six to eight hours of cooking? Can you delay the start time? While this is possible, delaying the start time is something that requires extra caution, especially if you are cooking meat.
Raw meat should not be left out at room temperature more than two hours. If your intent is to delay the slow cooker’s start for more than two hours, it can lead to contamination. However, if you are cooking things like rice, oatmeal or beans – or you only want to delay a short amount of time, then this is a great feature. Here are some of the top slow cookers that include a delayed start feature.
The Wemo Smart WiFi-Enabled Slow Cooker is a unique crockpot that allows you to control it from an app on your phone. If you want to delay the start, simply wait to turn it on. Or switch it to “warm” mode after so many hours of cooking, even while you are at work. This slow cooker has many great features like:
- Smart-feature allowing you to control your slow-cooker remotely using the Wemo App.
- Removable, dishwasher-safe oval stoneware container.
- Three different heat setting options.
- Six-quart capacity stoneware with cool-touch handles.
The Instant Pot DUO Plus 3-Quart Slow Cooker is a versatile, multifunctional pot that allows you to cook a variety of foods in. Make your very own yogurt, cook eggs or steam vegetables with this small slow cooker. You can even delay your start time up to 24 hours. The Instant Pot Duo’s top options include:
- Three different temperature settings for slow cooking or sautéing.
- Even heat distribution with three-ply base.
- Stainless steel interior with no chemical coating.
- Warming feature that can stay on up to 10 hours.
The Instant Pot Duo Mini is a 3-quart, multi-use pressure cooker and crockpot. It is one of the top-selling instant pots with over 26K reviews on Amazon. Its compact size is perfect for smaller portions or to take along when traveling. This slow cooker is programmable and allows you to delay the start time by up to 24 hours.
- Eleven different smart, programmable controls to cook rice, beans, chili, soup, and more.
- Comes with useful accessories like a rice measuring cup, condensation collector, soup spoon and stainless-steel steam rack.
- Keeps warm up to 10 hours with a sound on/off button.
- Stainless steel pot with 3-ply, dishwasher safe bottom.
The T-fal 10-in-1 Rice and Multicooker comes with a delayed timer that you can set to start at the desired time. It includes 10 preset functions that allow you to steam, bake, brown, slow cook and more. This multicooker is ideal for slow cooking, making rice, risotto, oatmeal, and soup. It’s most notable benefits include:
- Removable inner pot that cleans up easily in the dishwasher.
- Fuzzy logic technology that will adjust the temperature when needed during cooking.
- Micro pressure valve that helps keep the food’s natural aroma intact.
- Easy to program with preset buttons.
The Nesco 4-in-1 6-quart pressure and slow cooker is ideal for making delicious meals fast or slow. It comes with a delayed start feature that is up to 8 hours. So, set it for when you are ready and come home to cooked food that is ready to enjoy. The Nesco’s best features include:
- Self-locking lid that can be released automatically or manually.
- Fully programmable with preset buttons for slow cooking, steaming, browning and more.
- Cool touch lid and handles to prevent burns.
- Comes with a cooking rack trivet that fits inside.
The Aobosi Multi-Functional Pressure and Slow Cooker is a large, 8-quart cooker. It is a multipurpose cooker that can be used for slow cooking, pressure cooking, rice, steaming, sautéing, baking and stewing. You can delay the start time for up to 14 hours with the Aobosi.
- 18 different preset controlled programs allow you to choose your method at the touch of a button.
- Includes three adjustable cooking levels.
- Helps retain up to 95% of the vitamins and nutrients in food.
- Eco-friendly and fully sealed cooker.