So you’ve made up your mind to buy a new cooking appliance but you’re unsure whether an Instant Pot would best serve your needs or a Crock Pot is the way to go. Sit tight as we guide you through the key similarities and differences of Instant Pot vs Crock Pot and help you in determining which cooking appliance would best fit your kitchen.
What is a Crock Pot?
The Crock-Pot, often referred to as a ‘slow cooker’, is a cooking appliance that works on slow heating technique and cooks food at a varying temperatures with slow boiling and simmer technique. This slow simmering technique is ideal for food like roast, tender meat, ribs etc.
How does a Crock Pot Work?
So basically, crock pot is programmed in a way that it can cook from half an hour to almost 20 hours depending on what sort of food you are cooking. It has usually 3-4 standard buttons standard through which you can set the temperature and leave it for cooking on slow heating.
Features of Crock Pots:
Crock pot has standard built in features for cooking. You will simply have 3-4 button on the exterior of the pot and must adjust according to whatever you are cooking. See the picture below
It gets a little confusing sometimes because if you aren’t used to using a crock pot you won’t know how much time and temperature few dishes take. Some of the basic timings and temperature schedules are given in the manual that comes within the box when you buy it, but it is often risky. Like once my friend thought beef will take more time to cook so she set full timer with slow temperate, but it was a huge disaster as meat got too tender and soft that it started falling off. After few hit and trials, we finally got hands on accurate settings that also on approximate basis.
What are Instant Pots?
On the other hand, the Instant Pot, that has gained a lot of popularity in previous years is an ‘instant’ electric cooking device that uses fast pressure-cooking technique. It consumes almost 75% of the electricity, stores the steam inside with sealed pot and cooks the food at a faster pressure as compared to crock pots.
How does an Instant Pot Work?
Instant pot has built in multiple functions with fast pressure-cooking techniques, hence it is often referred to as a 7-in-1 cooking appliance. Instant pot works based on the feature you select. We will further discuss features in detail in the next section. Temperature and pressure both are adjustable in an instant pot. It is often a misconception about instant pots that it only works on fast pressure-cooking technique. It doesn’t. In fact, it works on fast, slow medium whatever it required. So it would be safe to say that an instant pot is basically a crockpot with more advanced features.
Features of Instant Pots:
Instant pot has a variety of features and numerous cooking settings such low pressure, change in temperature, steam, timer etc. It has built in functions for common dishes like stew, beans, poultry, rice etc. See the picture below
For example, if you want to cook rice, you simply put the rice, spices and all the ingredients within the pot, select the rice button on the exterior and put the lid above. It will automatically adjust the temperature and will cook perfect rice as per the built-in settings. All you must do it just select the relevant button.
To know more about the different instant pot models, read out Instapot Reviews and Buyer Guide.
Comparison of Instant Pot vs Crock Pot
Similarities between Instant pots and Crock Pots
Instant pot and crock pot both have a stainless-steel exterior with at least one-year warranty. Stainless steel works best if you plan on investing once in a cooking appliance and plan on using it for many years to come. In fact, instant pot has an interior of stainless steel as well due to which food doesn’t stick within the pot or burns.
Similarly, in terms of design and equipment, both have 6-quart container, removable inner pots which can easily be placed into a dishwasher and capable of small one pot meals as well as large bulk food cooking.
Differences between Instant Pots and Crock Pots
- Technique: Crock pot is basically slow cooker that works on gradual temperature and pressure. On the other hand, instant pot is an instant ‘electric’ pressure cooker with advanced built-in technology.
- Functionality: As mentioned above major difference in both instant pot and a crock pot exists in features where instant pot provides a variety of features as compare to crock pot with 3-4 basic functions.
Note: with minimum features a lot of people usually find crock pots easier to use.
- Price: Nowadays, there are different brands selling both appliances at different prices. However, crock pot is always cheaper than instant pot mainly because of features and technology used.
- Cooking time: As the name states instant pot cooks food instantly at a much faster rate as compared to crock pot which is basically a ‘slow cooker’. If it takes 30-40 mins for red beans to cook in a crock-pot, it will take 15-20 mins in an instant pot to cook.
Should you Buy an Instant Pot or a Crock Pot?
So, should you buy an instant pot or crock pot? As mentioned above all the features, differences and similarities I would say it totally depends on a person’s requirements and preferences. If you need to prepare the food just for the heck of it and have other work to do or run to office, then instant pot should be your option. Remember that rice example for instant pot? If you want to cook rice, simply put in all the ingredients inside the pot, select the rice button and wait for a few minutes your meal is ready. Yes, it is that simple. Of course, instant pot is a bit expensive but I would say it is one time investment that saves you from a lot of daily hassles of waiting prolonged hours to cook meals, selecting ideal temperatures etc.
However, if you are sort of a person who is very particular about food, its taste and doesn’t have time/effort constraints then you should choose a crock pot. For example, if you go to a nearby market for grocery shopping, you can put all the ingredients in the pot and set it for slow cooking on desire time so that when you come back home, your food is ready. P.s It is often said that food cooked in slow temperature and simmer tastes better with rich taste. So the choice is yours as per your needs and budget.