"Kitchen gadgetry has come a long way. But when it comes to making immensely delicious, simple, comforting home-cooked meals, I don't think there's anything better than the Crock-Pot. Slow cooking is inarguably the best kind of cooking, BUT making time to dote on a bubbling dish on the stove all day is just...not it. The Crock-Pot allows you to dump in all of your ingredients in the morning, go about your business all day, and then sit down to the most amazing meal you've ever made eight hours later after barely lifting a finger.
^Take that pork, for example. In the morning, I threw a pork roast, garlic, onion, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, ground ginger, gochugaru, and some stock in the Crock-Pot and eight hours later was greeted with tender, shreddy goodness. It's literally the easiest appliance in the universe to use. There are only three settings that you choose between with a dial. You definitely don't have to be a top chef to choose between High, Low, and Warm! I have a 6-quart Crock-Pot and we always have SO many leftovers. So all my meal planning-heads: This is a fantastic way to yield simple, delectable dishes for the week. And it may look difficult to clean, but think again! The stoneware insert and lid are dishwasher-safe, but even when I've lived in apartments without a dishwasher, I haven't had much trouble getting stuck-on food out of there. As for the shiny exterior, a simple wipe-down should suffice!" —Rachel Dunkel
Get it from Amazon for $22.02+ (available in 3-quart–8-quart sizes). If you're in love with my red Crock-Pot, get an 8-quart version from Amazon for $40.09. Or if you just feel like browsing, check out all of Crock-Pot's appliances here.