Are you trying to make a delicious meal, say maybe a pot roast, but not quite sure the difference between a Crock-Pot and slow cooker? Many people use these terms interchangeably, but believe it or not there are a few differences between the two cooking methods. So, follow along to learn more about the Crock-Pot vs slow cooker!
If you liked this article, read Benefits of Slow Cooking here.
And here are some of our very own favorite Crock-Pot/Slow Cooker recipes:
What is the difference between a Crock-Pot and a slow cooker?
To put it simply, a Crock-Pot is a type of slow cooker. However, not every slow cooker is a Crock-Pot. There are other types of slow cookers, such as the Instant Pot, which is an electric pressure cooker with a slow cooker function.
So, a Crock-Pot is a specific brand of slow cooker that first hit the market in the early 1970’s. Believe it or not, it was actually first used as a bean cooker. There are many different brands of Crock-Pot, such as KitchenAid, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and many others. They’re all made by Rival Manufacturing Company.
In regards to the construction, a Crock-Pot features a porcelain pot or ceramic insert that sits inside the heating unit. Most Crock-Pots are heated from the bottom of the pot and the sides and put off a moist heat. Typically, they have two settings (low temperature and high temperature settings), although some do have a third warming/heating element. It has a digital timer to let you know when your food is done.
On the other hand, there are other types of slow cooker models that aren’t a Crock-Pot. For example, there are commercial-style slow cookers that look different than your regular pressure cooking model.
Some slow cookers have a metal pot that sits on top of the heating unit (instead of on the bottom of). Additionally, other slow cookers often feature more than just a low setting and high heat setting. Many have at least 5 different temperatures, including a keep warm setting.
Which is better Crock-Pot or slow cooker?
It really depends on your cooking needs! Typically, if you’re planning on making a run-of-the-mill recipe such as a soup or beef stew, I’d use a Crock-Pot.
In a programmable slow cooker that isn’t a Crock-Pot (such as a commercial grade cooker), the metal pot may sit on top of the heating unit. Because the heat is concentrated at the bottom of the pot, food may cook for an extended period of time compared to a Crock-Pot. In addition, cooking food in another type of slow cooker has a higher change for scorching on the bottom, and must be stirred more often. So, if you’re looking for a lower cooking time – use a Crock-Pot.
However, there are other brand names and kitchen appliances that you can use to get the job done – such as an Instant Pot multi-cooker.
Can you use a Crock-Pot for a slow cooker recipe?
Yes, you can use a Crock-Pot to cook a slow cooker recipe. These recipes are great for home cooking – whether you want vegetable soup or to saute your meat. Try out our Crock-Pot Pizza Ravioli recipe here.
Or, get a Crock-Pot or slow cooker cookbook (it doesn’t matter which cookware you choose) and try it out! You’ll definitely get some delicious meals out of that.
What are the benefits of a Crock-Pot?
- Typically one-step preparation (just put the Crock-Pot on the countertop, put ingredients in, choose a setting, cover with glass lid, and cook!)
- Great cookware all year-round (in the winter cook stew, in the summer make a shredded chicken dish)
- Brings out the flavor in foods
- Uses less electricity than a regular oven (or dutch oven on stovetop)
- Can be left unattended
- Less cleaning (some parts of a Crock-Pot are dishwasher safe)