Difference between Slow Cooker and Crock-Pot

By: | Updated: Apr-3, 2024
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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.

Summary Table

Slow Cooker Crock-Pot
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


slow cooker
A slow cooker

Slow cooker

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.

A Crock-Pot

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.

Enter the Instant Pot

To make things even more confusing between a slow cooker and a Crock Pot, we also have to consider the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is yet another kitchen appliance that can slow-cook your meals.

Instant Posts came out in 2010 and have become pretty popular. These devices are multi-cookers that can sauté, pressure cook, and slow cook. Everything is done in one pot.

When used as a slow cooker, the Instant Pot has the same slow-cooked flavor as the Crock Pot or slow cooker but can get the meal cooked much faster. You can still enjoy tender meat, soups or stews filled with flavor.

Everything you cook in an Instant Pot can be cooked in less time than a slow cooker or Crock Pot. The Instant Pot also makes it much easier than cooking on the stove or with the oven. You can also save energy by using one of these multi-cookers.

What’s Better—a Slow Cooker, a Crock Pot, or an Instant Pot?

It all depends on the features you prefer. An Instant Pot offers more functionality, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooker, etc. It can also keep your food warm and ready for your meal.

On the other hand, a slow cooker or a Crock Pot don’t have as many functions. This may be the best option if you don’t use the other features offered with the Instant Pot.

So, it really comes down to whether you prefer the simplicity offered by a slow cooker or Crock Pot or whether you would need and use all the functions of the Instant Pot. No matter which appliance you choose, each one is energy-efficient and pretty easy to use.

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