Heats evenly and thoroughly
Simple, intuitive operations
Classic, elegant design
Easy to clean
Heavy build and large footprint
Exterior gets very hot
For nearly 50 years, All-Clad has been manufacturing professional-grade cookware that’s been a mainstay in restaurant kitchens. Now, their quality products have been increasingly swept onto the pot racks of home cooks. To test whether the All-Clad 6.5-Quart Oval Slow Cooker lives up to the brand’s reputation, we put it through the wringer, cooking classic fare like slow-simmering soups. In the ever-crowded slow cooker market, is the All-Clad worth its high price? Read on to find out.
Performance: Streamlined, reliable cooking
Eschewing unnecessary bells and whistles, this slow cooker has just three pre-programmed temperatures and an intuitive process to get started. When your food is done, a loud beep alerts you and the cooker automatically switches to the warm setting for up to six hours. This model features the longest continuous running time we’ve ever seen on a slow cooker—a whopping 26 hours—minimizing the likelihood that dinner will get cold if you’re stuck in traffic.
In our testing, this slow cooker performed consistently and reliably. Chunks of sweet potato and lentils melted into a hearty soup without scorching or sticking, signaling an even heating element without hot spots. The ceramic insert allows you to use an immersion blender without worrying about scratching the surface, but you’ll need to be careful once the appliance heats up, because exposed parts of the insert will get quite hot, too.
Check out our other reviews of the best slow cookers and pressure cookers available on the market today.
Design: Elegant simplicity but not always practical
Straight out of the box, this slow cooker begs to be shown off. With a polished stainless steel exterior, remarkably solid construction, and All-Clad’s telltale riveted handles, it matches the industrial-style pots and pans that many view as synonymous with serious cooking. You’ll be tempted to display it on the countertop—a good strategy since its large 18 x 11.5-inch footprint could be a tight squeeze in a cabinet and its 18-pound weight makes it hard to carry around.
The control panel is simple and straightforward, with a bright and easy-to-read LCD display, and just four buttons made of sturdy metal. The instructions take up a single page without illustrations, rather than the IKEA-like diagrams we’ve seen for other slow cookers.
Cleaning: Best served by dishwasher
A quick rinse of the ceramic insert and glass lid are all you need before loading these pieces into the dishwasher for hands-off cleaning. If you opt to hand wash them, you might struggle to fit the insert into an apartment-sized sink, and the ceramic is slippery when wet, which could spell disaster given its heft. The exterior only requires a few swipes of a wet sponge to get clean, though you may find yourself chasing (but quickly wiping away) fingerprints and smudges.
Chunks of sweet potato and lentils melted into a hearty soup without scorching or sticking, signaling an even heating element without hot spots.
Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best roasting pans available online.
Settings: Sufficient for most uses
Three programmed settings—high, low, and warm—take much of the guesswork out of meal prep, but the lack of flexibility with cook times limits the versatility of the All-Clad slow cooker. Each heat setting is pre-programmed with minimum and maximum run times—two to eight hours on high, four to 20 hours on low, and up to six hours on warm—which are adequate for most traditional recipes.
However, we found it slightly more difficult to get creative with our repertoire. When we were poaching salmon in white wine, we needed to stay vigilant and set our own timer because the fish required a bit over an hour on low—well under the setting’s minimum. That said, cooking off-script is rarely what people expect of a slow cooker, and the standard heat settings suffice for traditional all-day recipes.
Price: Beauty worth the premium—for some users, anyway
At nearly triple the price of other ceramic insert slow cookers, the All-Clad 6.5-Quart Oval Slow Cooker is best for those who value beauty as much as power and intend to use the appliance for classic slow cooker recipes.
A quick rinse of the ceramic insert and glass lid are all you need before loading these pieces into the dishwasher for hands-off cleaning.
Competition: Better aesthetics and construction but slightly less functionality
The All-Clad 6.5-Quart Oval Slow Cooker's sturdy construction, intuitive control panel, and long continuous run time set it apart from competitors. That said, the minimum time allowances for high and low settings limit its functionality when you're making nontraditional slow cooker recipes, and its size and heft limit your storage options and portability.
One competitor, a 6-quart slow cooker from Hamilton Beach, sells for considerably less but also has some drawbacks. The light stainless steel casing is designed for portability but dents easily and the LED panel is tough to read. It's continuous cooking time significantly shorter—14 hours—but it comes with a temperature probe, which allows you to cook meat to the perfect doneness.
Take a peek at other options by reading through our list of the best slow cookers available for purchase now.
For style-minded cooks.
For an elegant, intuitive slow cooker that you’ll be proud to display on the countertop or serve from right at the table, the All-Clad 6.5-Quart Oval Slow Cooker can’t be beat. However, it’s best used for more traditional slow-cooker recipes and takes up a fair bit of storage space.
- Product Name 6.5-Quart Oval Slow Cooker
- Product Brand All-Clad
- Price $179.99
- Weight 18 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 18 x 11.5 x 12 in.
- Product Number SD700450
- Material Type Stainless Steel
- Complete Cycle Time 26 hours
- Warranty Two years
- What’s Included Polished stainless steel base, black ceramic insert, glass lid, user’s guide booklet, and recipe booklet