The love of cooking leads you to regularly explore new avenues of creative expression. Slow cooking the food tenderizes the less expensive meat cuts and uses less electricity than an oven.
Can a pressure cooker be used as a crockpot? Yes, you can use a pressure cooker like a crockpot. However, the food cooks differently than what it does inside of a crockpot. You don’t get as much heat distribution with a pressure cooker because it cooks the food with the steam trapped inside.
Before you get started with a pressure cooker used as a crockpot, let’s cover a few things you need to know before getting choosing a recipe. Keep reading to learn more.
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Use the Right Lid
The regular pressure cooker lid doesn’t make the best choice as far as lids go. You will have a harder time slow cooking the foods with it.
Manufacturers designed the Instant Pot Glass Lid to convert your pressure cooker into a crockpot.
Whatever the chosen lid, you want it to have a vent for the steam to escape. Without some exit point, the food could get overcooked.
Pressure cookers were intended to fast-cook foods, which is why some people find it difficult when trying to slow cook in them.
Pressure cookers won’t slow cook the food as effectively as a crockpot even with the right lid. The issue stems from how pressure cookers don’t let as much steam escape as a crockpot. This has made it so that crockpots still hold the superior ground when tenderizing meat.
The Recipe Always Needs 1 Cup of Liquid
This rule relates to pressure cookers because you need a minimum of 1 cup of liquid to cook the food properly. The pressure cooker uses the steam from the liquid to cook the food.
Unless the recipe tells you not to, add a cup of liquid. If you can’t add 1 cup of liquid to the pressure cooker, you may want to hold off on that recipe. It won’t cook your food in the right way.
This gives you a general rule of thumb with slow cooking in the pressure cooker. The amount needed for liquid varies, but manufacturers usually recommend anywhere between 1/2 cup of liquid to 1 cup of liquid.
How to Cook Your Food Like a Slow Cooker
To cook your food as you would in a slow cooker, switch the temperature to “normal” with the slow cooker function. After you have done this, you cook the recipe for as long as required.
In the crockpot, the low temperature sits at 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, while the higher temperature in the crockpot sits at 225 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Read more about slow cooker temperatures – here
The pressure cooker differs here in that you cook the food at 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Slow cooking in the pressure cooker for a normal setting sits at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and the high setting sits at 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will slow cook the food for as long as the recipe says, but cook it for an additional 15 minutes for every hour that you have it in the pressure cooker.
To translate that better:
- 1 hour = 1:15 hours
- 2 hours = 2:30 hours
- 4 hours = 5 hours
- 8 hours = 10 hours
Never Forget the Purpose of Pressure
Yes, you can slow cook foods in a pressure cooker, but in all honesty, should you? Pressure cookers were made to speed up the process of cooking, not slow it down. That makes it impractical.
The other thing is that crockpots aren’t some high-ticket item that only the wealthy can afford. You’ll pay anywhere from $30 to $60 on average for a good crockpot.
Because of the low price of crockpots, it makes it ridiculous not to use the crockpot. The only people who want to slow cook in a pressure cooker are those who want to experiment. It doesn’t make much sense, otherwise.
Unless you can’t resist having a pot roast until your next paycheck and only have a pressure cooker available for slow cooking, the overall idea is one for those who love to experiment with cooking.
Pressure Cooker vs Crockpot
Manufacturers designed crockpots for slow-cooking, whereas pressure cookers weren’t designed for this, but you could still do it with a built-in function.
While a pressure cooker will use a single heating element, the crockpot will use multiple heat sources. The crockpot has more even heat distribution for better cooking of the food.
Pressure cookers won’t retain heat as long as a crockpot, which can hold in the heat for one to two hours after you finished cooking for between six to eight hours.
Uneven heat distribution with pressure cookers will influence the texture of the foods, and it can subtly impact the flavor. A professional chef could pinpoint that you used a pressure cooker, instead of a crockpot.
If you want a thick texture, you can’t find a better replacement for slow cooking than a crockpot. Crockpots will release the water as steam through the lid, but pressure cookers don’t give the same result.
They were designed to have a tight-fitting lid that stops the water from fully evaporating. You do have some steam that gets released, but the food will have a watery appearance. It doesn’t hurt the flavor, but it differs from the crockpot.
Does the Pressure Cooker Use Pressure with the Slow Cook Function?
No, when you put the pressure cooker on the slow-cook function, it won’t use pressure to cook within the pot. Because you use a lid that lets the steam escape, the pressure never has the opportunity to build up. This function differs greatly from the normal function of a pressure cooker.
Conclusion – Can a Pressure Cooker Be Used as a Crock-Pot
In truth, nothing about the process of turning a pressure cooker into a slow cooker is complicated. The real question is, “Do you want to?”
The crockpot puts together a superior meal. That isn’t to say that a pressure cooker can’t do the job, but you don’t get the same result as what you would with a dedicated slow cooker.
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