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The Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker is a true one-pot cooking solution thanks to its excellent searing and sautéing functions. We loved its generous capacity and a lightweight pot with a lockable lid that was safe and easy to transfer to the table. But tepid food, a short lead and baking fails mean it’s not for everyone.


  • Large capacity
  • Easy to use
  • Great at searing and sauteing
  • Lightweight pot


  • Doesn’t keep food piping hot
  • Poor at cakes
  • Short cable

Key Features

  • Large capacityThe lightweight 6.5ltr aluminium pot has a capacity of 6ltrs.
  • Searing and sautéing functionsFive pre-set browning settings for searing meat and vegetables.
  • Four cooking pre-sets Has four cooking functions: low, high, steam and yoghurt.


Not sold on an air fryer’s myriad functions? Maybe a simple slow cooker is more your speed. With fewer settings, but the promise of one-pot cooking due to its searing functions, the Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker offers sizeable simplicity come dinner time.

Lakeland has been in the slow cooker game for years now, and I’ve used its small 3.5-litre models before. But what attracted me to this new design was its searing modes, meaning I wouldn’t need to brown off meat or vegetables on the hob before transferring them to the cooking pot.

Design and features

  • 6-litre pot
  • Searing and slow cooking modes
  • Controls can be hard to read

At £129.99, the Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker is one of the more costly large-capacity searing slow cookers on the market. That said, it is currently reduced to £79.99, which brings it in line with comparable models by Morphy Richards and Instant Pot.

First impressions of this slow cooker are good. It comes packaged in cardboard, with each part wrapped in recyclable plastic bags. Lifting it out of the box was easy – despite its size, it was surprisingly light.

It’s a smart-looking cooker, albeit the exterior feels a little plasticky. There are six buttons on the front. You cycle through the cooking modes by pressing the menu button repeatedly, while a red LED lights up each one. This is intuitive, though a little irritating if you ‘miss’ your mode as you have to cycle through again.

The writing is also quite small, so although I could read it fine, my mother (who would act as my sous chef on occasion) really struggled. It’s not a game-changer though, as I quickly learned how many button presses I needed for the settings I used most often, so that it became second nature.

Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker controls
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The cooker feels nice and stable on the worktop, and the lid locks to the removable cooking pot, so that you can safely transfer the contents to the dining table. I loved the silicone-sealed lid, which I was confident to set directly on my laminate worktop between stirring at the sautéing and searing stages. 

An aluminium cooking pot fits within the main slow cooker. This is marked as dishwasher safe, although confusingly, when you read the instruction booklet, it states ‘we do not recommend washing in the dishwasher, as this can damage the non-stick coating on the cooking pot’. However, it’s very easy to clean in soapy water, and the coating is excellent. I’ve seen no peeling or drop in performance over the three-month testing period.

Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker dish
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It offers five searing slow cooker functions: Gentle (approx 100°C), Low (approx 120°C), Medium (approx 150°C), Saute (170°C) and High Sear (180°C). Each of these is set to a default time of 15 minutes. You can then press the + and – buttons to cycle through time intervals from 5 to 60 minutes. As most of the recipes I tried only required the Saute or High Sear for 5 minutes, I found that the 15-minute default was a little long. However, I tended to keep it as default and pressed the Cancel button when I was ready to switch to slow cooking, as this gave me more flexibility.

There are then four cooking functions and a ‘keep warm’ function. Slow Cook Low is ideal for meat that needs to be cooked low and slow, such as beef brisket or lamb. Slow Cook High will shorten cooking times, and is great for vegetable and chicken dishes. Steam requires using the provided cooking rack, and works with fresh and frozen vegetables, or fish. Finally, there is a Yogurt function.


  • Sears beautifully
  • Excellent slow cooking
  • Disappointing keep warm feature

The first thing I made in the cooker was a vegetable soup, which required me to test the sautéing function. It took around six minutes to heat up, and then a few beeps alerted me to the fact I could start adding ingredients. The timer on the front counts down each minute, rather than in seconds, which is a little frustrating during searing but obviously isn’t an issue when you are slow cooking. 

Once preheated, the pan sizzles nicely, and the ingredients don’t stick to the base. The instructions warn that you might experience a slight burning smell on first use. I didn’t notice this, but my partner sensed a slightly metallic smell. It soon passed. I have been careful to only use wood or silicone tools inside the pot, so as not to damage the non-stick surface, and it has survived well over time.

Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker cooking vegetables
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

While the outer body of the slow cooker stays relatively cool during the cooking process, the glass lid and rim of the cooking pot get very hot. You’ll therefore want to lock the lid carefully and keep it well out of reach of children and pets. The instructions advise using oven gloves to handle the pot in use. I found the lid handle cool enough to lift and touch during cooking, but would advise following the manufacturer’s guidance. 

The next recipe to try was a BBC slow cooker brownie recipe, which I’d previously cooked successfully in a Morphy Richards slow cooker. This turned out to be a disaster. Despite following the recipe to the letter, and setting the slow cooker on high as instructed, after the two-and-a-half hour cooking time the brownie mixture was still a dense liquid. After six-and-a-half hours, it still hadn’t baked and was a mousse consistency, at which point I gave up.

Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker brownie
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

As lots of condensation forms on the lid, so the cooker simply stays too ‘wet’ to create the right conditions for baking.

Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker condensation
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I had more success with a simple slow-cook bolognese recipe, which required me to use the high-sear function.

This was, and continues to be, extremely effective at searing meat and softening onions. I always feel that I have more control than I do with my gas hob. It seems to hit the perfect temperature and meat browns quickly and evenly

Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker searing meat and onions

The resulting Bolognese – made with braising steak rather than mince – was delicious. The only issue was that it seemed to go cold very quickly, to the extent that I needed to decant the mixture and microwave it to make sure it was piping hot for serving to guests.

Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker bolgnese
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Another feature that gets regular use in our home is the steaming function, which we use for frozen veg, especially broccoli, and for fresh salmon fillets.

I often use the sear mode to crisp up the skin after cooking. It works very well – the vegetables are tender but not soggy, and the fish is firm but flakey. This really helps the appliance earn its place on my worktop.

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Should you buy it?

You should buy if you’re after a large-capacity slow cooker

The Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker works best when it’s searing meat and veg, then cooking it low and slow as a casserole, bolognese or soup. It’s also great at steaming vegetables, and I was impressed with its capacity.

You shouldn’t buy if you want to keep food piping hot for long periods

The slow cooker’s ‘keep warm’ function was disappointing. I found I needed to microwave soups and stews if I wanted to serve them piping hot.

Final Thoughts

The Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker makes it easy to make large quantities of soup and casserole without having to constantly fuss over a hot stove. And the consistency of the dishes was perfect. Nothing was over-reduced, as I have found with other slow cookers, and it was great at steaming vegetables as sides. I’d happily use it as a replacement to a standalone steamer.

Baking slow cooker brownies was less successful. I also found its keep-warm function insufficiently hot for some dishes, and the short 1-metre cable might not stretch to your plug socket.

If you are looking to make meat dishes for a crowd and intend to serve them straight away, this slow cooker does everything you need well and in one lightweight pot. It’s not dishwasher safe but it is very easy to clean.

However, if you’re using this cooker to keep dishes warm when catering for a crowd, you may find you may need to reheat some dishes. And as the pot isn’t suitable for placing in the oven or microwave, this can be a bit of a faff. Check out our Best Slow Cooker guide for more options.

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How we test

We test every slow cooker we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main slow cooker for the review period.

Used to cook a variety of dishes.


Is the Lakeland 6.5L Searing Slow Cooker dishwasher safe?

The pot says it can go in the dishwasher, although the manual recommends handwashing to protect the non-stick coating.

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