If you entertain a lot, you probably know that having some finger foods with dips or some dishes that were cooked earlier but kept warm for the party is the way to go. If you have the best small crock pot for dips and sauces, everyone can eat whenever they want and can keep coming back for seconds. The pot is always plugged in and the heat is low enough that it won’t thicken or dry out after awhile. These can also be used as fondue pots.
This way, instead of spending all your time in the kitchen when you should be mingling, you can do everything beforehand and keep things warming on a kitchen counter or dining table and ready to serve when the guests are ready. With a large enough group, some guests might eat later or they may come back for more snacks after the first round. With these small slow cookers, your dips and sauces don’t have to be rewarmed in the microwave everytime. In fact, since they’re pretty inexpensive, you can buy several to be used at the same time for various dishes. There is even a model that allows you to plug and play several crock pots together!
These can also be used as fondue pots if you already have fondue prongs, but you should also take a look at some top rated electric fondue pot and prong sets. Looking for a way to keep entire dishes warm for the party? We have a few recommendations for a combination buffet server and warming tray.
We have chosen a select few of these small crock pots for dips to review below, but if you’d rather see a few more before buying, check out these 4 star or higher rated ones on Amazon. These also make great hostess gifts!
Hamilton Beach Party Crock (33410)
For a party crock that works best keeping fondues and other dips nice and warm, the Hamilton Beach 33410 is very good looking and extremely functional. It is also the most expensive unit on this list.
This cast iron beauty is heavy, so it will stay where it is placed. It comes with a plug-in electric cooking base and also a warming base that uses a tea light candle so you can take this camping and use it even if you don’t have an electric outlet. You choose which warming base works for you. You can even cook what you want on your counter and bring the crock pot to the table and place it on the candle warming base. It’s a neat and simple idea if you want to avoid the cumbersome cord if your guests are eating while seated at the table.
The design of this small dip crock pot is similar to a vintage bean pot and the enameled cast iron comes in 3 colors, red, blue and yellow, which should fit any festive decor you may have for a party atmosphere. Although technically the heated base with it’s low, medium and high settings makes this crock pot a genuine slow cooker, unless you are cooking for yourself or for you and a partner, it’s too small to be considered as anything but a handy addition as a party crock.
Remember, this is cast iron with no heat shielding, so it will get hot to the touch. Keep this advice in mind if you are going to be using this crock around kids.
MaxiMatic 1.5-Quart Elite Gourmet Slow Cooker (MST-250XS)
If you’d like a more conventional looking party crock, the MaxiMatic Elite Gourmet might suit your needs. Although this little crock isn’t going to cook a meal for a family, for fondues, dips, sauces and oatmeal though, it really shines.
The 3 heat settings, high, low and warm, give you a temperature that should suit the range that you need for any party favorite. It even comes with a removable inner stoneware pot that you can conveniently take right to the table with you. The outer heating case has a nice stainless steel finish and the lid is tempered clear glass, so you can see its contents bubbling away inside.
For entertaining at home, or making a cheese dip for those movie nights with the kids, this slow cooker is hard to beat.
Proctor Silex 1.5-Quart Portable Oval Slow Cooker (33116Y)
If you are taking your food on the go, than you need to consider the Procter Silex Portable Oval Slow Cooker. This is not only the least expensive slow cooker here, but it comes with lid latching straps that keep the cover safe and secure when you are on the move. The lid’s rubber seal ensures nothing leaks out even if the crock is tilted.
The 3 heat settings, warm, low and high, allow you the versatility to actually cook inside of it as well as warming things like meatballs and sauces. But no matter how gooey the sauce or the cheese is, by strapping the rubber sealed lid down, you can transport this sweet little crock anywhere and you won’t have to worry about a mess. That’s a really nice touch.
Virtually any of these smaller sized slow cookers are good for party snacks, but the Proctor Silex means you can prepare those snacks ahead of time, and then take it with you.
Kitchen Selectives 1.5-Quart Slow Cooker
If you like turquoise, get the Kitchen Selectives Slow Cooker. It is competitively priced, it comes with a low and high temperature settings, and it has a removable stoneware insert that you can take right to the table.
It does the job it is meant to do and more, and everyone will love the turquoise color! Many customers say that in addition to it keeping dips, sauces and fondues warm, they can also slow cook a stew or a small roast for two in it.
This unit is not insulated as well as some of the others, so it will get very warm to the touch. It may not be a first choice if you are having a party with kids present unless it sits far in the corner of your kitchen corner, which defeats the purpose of a party crock!
Nesco 1.5-Quart Oval Slow Cooker (SC-150B)
If you like Nesco roasters, you’ll love the 1.5 quart slow cooker from Nesco. It’s available in 3 vibrant color choices, metallic blue, metallic red and metallic plum. The removable crock can be taken to a table for convenience, and it has 3 heat settings, high, low, and one of which is called “auto.” This is nothing fancy, just another name for the warming function.
Although this may not matter much, the Nesco has the best and most even heating on this list. That makes it, overall, the best actual food cooker, as opposed to being a party crock. Not that it doesn’t excel at either of them, but if you need the best even heating unit for a meal that’s cooking, this is the one to get.
The crock can also go in the oven if your recipe calls for it.
Crock-Pot 1-Quart Hook Up Double Oval Connectable Entertaining System (SCCPMD1-GR)
By far the most versatile party crock on this list is the Crock Pot Brand Double Oval Connectible Entertaining System. This description here is for the dual 1 quart set up, but it is really only a piece in a much larger system. You can get 2 quart or 3 quart crock systems if you prefer.
The two crock units means that you can serve two different types of party treats. Put an onion dip in one and a cheese fondue in another. Or mix and match any combination of sauce and dip. You’ll be able to offer far more variety to your guests.
You can use a crock system by itself or else hook it into the other connectibles to make several different heated crocks to serve a multiple of hot party treats. For example, you can buy two 3 quart single crocks and one dual system holding two 1 quart crocks, and plug all three systems together for 4 different dishes or dips ready on the table!
Each crock base comes with a special cord that plugs directly into an outlet and a connecting outlet that plugs into another crock base. If a base is used as a second or third one, then its cord can be wound up and hidden underneath. It is available in several color combinations.
Although it has 3 heat settings, like every other unit on this list, they really are made more for warming food than cooking it. It is a perfect system if you like to do buffet-style meals for your parties, as you can choose to buy different sizes of crocks to mix and match depending on the size of your get-togethers.