Everything You Need to Host a Winning Super Bowl Party
Top TVs, slow cookers, air fryers, and more from CR's tests to help you score a successful soirée
You can’t control the players, the referees, or the weather on Super Bowl Sunday. But you can throw a great Super Bowl party for yourself and your fellow fans on Feb. 2, when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs. From TVs that let you see every detail on the field to small appliances that will help you serve up tasty snacks and chili, check out these top-performing products from CR's tests.
Watching the Big Game
CR's take: This 65-inch 4K TV from Samsung, in the series just below the Q80 sets, is a top-notch performer with Excellent overall picture quality and effective HDR performance, just short of the very best sets. It also scores well for sound, so you'll be able to hear the action on the field.
CR's take: This 65-inch 4K OLED smart TV from LG, a step above the company's "B-series" entry-level 4K OLED TVs, offers a great balance between price and performance. It's among the best TVs we tested last year, with great overall picture quality and very effective HDR performance. Like all OLED TVs, it has an unlimited viewing angle, and great sound. (It supports Dolby Atmos audio.)
For more options: Best Super Bowl TV Deals
CR's take: Want to hear the roar of the crowd to make it feel like you're there in person? Give your TV a boost with the Sonos Beam sound bar. This compact smart sound bar speaker delivers very good sound quality. It has Amazon's voice assistant Alexa as well as Google Assistant built in, so you can control it, other Sonos speakers, and additional smart home devices. The Beam also includes support for Apple AirPlay 2.
For more options: Great Sound Bar Speakers at Every Price
Cooking & Cleanup
CR's take: Yes, it's possible to stick to your New Year's resolutions and have tasty snacks with an air fryer like the NuWave 37001. Our experts find its electronic controls with preprogrammed settings to be among the easiest to see and use. This air fryer is on the noisy side, according to our measurements, earning only a Good rating in our noise tests. The fan is as loud as a countertop microwave, so you'll hear it running. That is, when you're not cheering at the top of your lungs.
For more options: Best Air Fryers of 2020
CR's take: Keep the chili warm and your guests happy with the 6-quart Crock-Pot Cook & Carry. It has a ceramic pot, a hinged lid that locks, and—in case you're party hopping—a handle on the lid to help make carrying this 12-pound slow cooker easier. It earns an Excellent in our low-setting tests, telling you that it can serve up tender beef and veggies when it cooks low and long. It’s impressive on the high setting, too, making it the best we tested overall. You can also program it for up to 20 hours.
For more options: Best Slow Cookers of 2020
CR's take: If you have mini quiches that need toasting, check out the Breville BOV650XL toaster oven. It earns a Very Good in our reheating test, evenly cooking a single serving of lasagna after 15 minutes of baking. Functions include bake, broil, and roast, and dedicated settings for pizza and toasting bagels. This toaster oven offers a temperature range of 120° to 450° F.
For more options: Best Toaster Ovens From Consumer Reports' Tests
CR's take: Don't let the dip go cold: The Panasonic NN-SN736B isn't even the biggest microwave in our ratings but can accommodate a 9x15-inch baking dish, which is handy if you're reheating a casserole. It has a doneness sensor and earns an Excellent rating in our speed of heating test, which gauges how hot food gets in less than 5 minutes. It's fairly quiet, and we found the controls easy to use. At this price, it's hard to find another large countertop microwave that performs as well.
For more options: Best Microwaves of 2020
CR's take: Cooking up delicious dishes for your guests? The 12-piece Cuisinart Green Gourmet nonstick set is top-rated and makes our recommended list, earning an Excellent in cooking evenness. And the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brings water to a boil. This set is made of anodized aluminum, which you may find a plus—you can prepare acidic food in anodized-aluminum cookware without aluminum leaching into it.
For more options: Best Cookware Sets of the Year
CR's take: Margaritas, anyone? The Ninja Professional NJ600 serves up crushed ice with the texture of snow—perfect for icy drinks. This blender weighs only 7 pounds but is built to last, slaying our durability test. And of the 15 Ninja blenders in our tests, this model is the only one to ace all of the ice tests.
For more options: Best Blenders for Frozen Drinks
CR's take: A trusty robotic vacuum like the Eufy 30C can help tidy up crumbs and dropped chips. It's an extremely quiet model—our testers note that they couldn’t even tell it was on or running. This is one of the less expensive robotic vacuums that really does the job: It earns an Excellent rating for bare floors. It's compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa; you can also program the robot through the manufacturer’s app.
For more options: Best Robotic Vacuums for $300 or Less