Appliances such as the slow cooker or the Crock-Pot can work wonders in the kitchen by slowly cooking any type of meat and other ingredients. The magic of slow cooking helps make any type of meat more tender. Moreover, the process infuses such wonderful flavors in the dish. This article will provide you detailed information on the slow cooker and the Crock-Pot and help you understand their differences.
|A kitchen appliance used for slow cooking||Is a brand name of a kitchen appliance used for slow cooking|
|Generally has a metal pot||Has a ceramic or porcelain pot|
|Heat is concentrated at the bottom||Has heating elements at the bottom and on all sides|
|Recommended to cook dishes with meat cut into smaller pieces||Can cook bigger chunks of meat evenly|
A slow cooker is a kitchen appliance made up of a metal pot which sits on a hot plate and has a glass lid. The hot plate has various heat settings, often numbered from one through five, with the heat usually concentrated at the bottom. When cooking with a slow cooker, occasional stirring is required and the meat should be cut into smaller pieces for even cooking.
The Crock-Pot is a popular brand name that is now considered as a generic term for any type of slow cooker. It was first introduced in 1970s and initially marketed as a bean cooker, but was later on re-modeled by adding handles and a glass lid. This kitchen appliance is made up of a ceramic or porcelain pot with heating elements at the bottom and all along the sides, cooking even big chunks of meat evenly. The Crock-Pot usually has two heat settings, high and low, with current models now having a “keep warm” setting.
Slow Cooker vs Crock-Pot
The main difference between a slow cooker and a Crock-Pot is that the former is a general term for a type of kitchen appliance used in slow-cooking dishes, while the latter is a brand name for a slow cooker. There are other brands known for manufacturing slow cookers, such as Cuisinart and KitchenAid. The Crock-Pot, however, is considered as the top-of-mind brand and is now used as a generic term for slow cookers.
Slow cookers like the Crock-Pot have three main components: the pot, the heating element, and the glass lid. The slow cooker generally has a metal pot, and this pot sits on a hot plate. The hot plate has different temperature settings, ranging from one to five. For slow cookers, heat is concentrated at the bottom of the pot and lacks heat going on the sides to surround the pot with even cooking temperatures. Due to this, occasional stirring is required to ensure that all contents are evenly cooked. This entails lifting the lid, which adds around 20 minutes to the cooking time every time you stir. Hence, it is recommended for the meat to be cut into smaller pieces to make sure that it is cooked through and any bacteria is killed.
The Crock-Pot, on the other hand, has a ceramic or porcelain pot and has heating elements not just at the bottom but also on all sides. With this feature, the heat surrounds the food and brings it up faster to a safe temperature. The more recent Crock-Pot models usually have heat settings of high (usually 300°F), low (200°F), and a “keep warm” setting. The Crock-Pot is perfect for tenderizing tougher cuts of meat which require long cooking time at low temperatures. Overall, the all-encompassing heat from the crock, the long cooking period, and the tightly covered pot are a good combination for even cooking and destroying any bacteria in the food.