(Pocket-lint) - Some days, if you're anything at all like us, you simply can't be bothered with a complex set of cooking instructions, or a recipe with a hundred steps. Far better to stick everything in a pot and let it bubble away until it's ready to eat, no?
We've already taken a look at the best pressure cookers on the market, in case that's what you're looking for, but a more traditional and equally useful sort of cooker is a bit simpler - the slow cooker.
Even how it's named is an example of the simplicity that makes it so alluring. Without much more ado, though, here are some of the very best slow cookers on the market for your delectation.
Our pick of the best slow cookers to buy today
Crock-PotSlow Cooker with Digital Timer
We don't give out too many points for branding, especially in the kitchen, but we've got to say, Crock-Pot is a great bit of naming - it says exactly what the cooker is and does, and immediately removes any worry about pretension. Luckily, that theme is carried through to the actual experience of using it.
This is a superb slow cooker with a nice large capacity, and the nice added touch of a removable pot that means it's dead easy to transfer your cooked food to the table. Using a hinged lid means you don't have to worry about a heavy lid being placed anywhere, and it even has value on its side, making it our top pick.
Tefal Multicook 8-in-1
This is a great cooker from the non-stick experts over at Tefal, with a range of functions that you can choose from. Its slow cooking settings are great, though, perfect for stews and casseroles, while we really like its clean modern look.
A pop-up lid and easy to use controls make it nice and simple to get going with, and although it's not quite as stellar as our top pick, its price is still absolutely reasonable.
Breville/SageFast Slow Cooker Pro
Breville/Sage's cooker has enough functions that it's on both our list of pressure cookers and this one, an impressive accolade on its own. Although those knobs and dials could look a little complex, it's easy to use, with the screen letting you select setting simply.
From there, cooking performance is really solid and the results are delectable, although as we've noted before we're not completely wild on its design, which is a little brutal for us. Still, the proof is in the food.
Prestige 46447 5.5-litre
Stepping the simplicity up to the max is this dead affordable unit from Prestige, which has a massive capacity letting you batch cook to your heart's delight, and does it really effectively.
You lose out on some of the fancier or more complicated settings by stepping down the price, but you're unlikely to complain given its bargain value. Plus, you still have the helpful timer and power levels to fiddle with.
Crock-Pot 12-in-1 Multi-Cooker
Crock-Pot strikes again for our final choice, which matches and just exceeds Prestige's capacity, impressively. This is a cooker with a heck of a lot of options, but nonetheless it's simple to use with a simple button press getting most of the modes into action.
That 'Keep Warm' setting is particularly useful, while its delay timer can also come handy. There's not much to differentiate this from the Crock-Pot in the top spot, really, but its design is less striking and it lacks the lift-out feature, which has seen it slide down the ranking.