The confusion around the differences between these three cookers Crock-Pot, slow cooker, and more recently Instant Pot still swirls around in our minds today. Here are the differences between a Crock-Pot, a slow cooker, and an Instant Pot.
A crockpot is a brand of slow cooker the biggest difference is the name and the heat distribution. Crockpot casing heats from the base and sides to heat the insert called a crock. Whereas the heat of a slow cooker comes from its base. A crockpot is a brand that produces a slow cooker other brands produce slow cookers.
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What Is the Difference Between a Crockpot and a Slow Cooker
After reading the short explanation above my head is still reeling. In short, both slow cooker models can prepare both crock-pot recipes and slow cooker recipes. Using a low temperature, the moist heat tenderizes tough cuts of meat over an extended period of time.
The result is that home cooks dream of a hands-off hot meal prepared in a convenient way. Here is a more in-depth explanation.
What Is a Crock Pot
Crock-Pot is a brand that produces slow cookers (that produce heat from all sides of the outer casing). Crock-Pot also makes other types of cooking appliances and cookware.
Crock-Pot was released to the world in the 1970s. Crock-Pot is synonymous with slow cooking – the set-and-forget way of cooking really took the world by storm.
And why not one-pot meal preparation is awesome…
Looking back at the casings of these cooking pots you will recognize a real sense of nostalgia.
Crock-Pot more recently has tried its hand at multi-purpose cookers. These combination cookers are taking the world by storm now.
The ability to own one cooking pot that replaces up to 7 or more pots and electrical appliances.
Magic so along with their long-standing Brand name I am certain that Crock-pot will keep up with food preparation trends.
It is already in their history – 50 years and counting…
There are other brands that produce crockpots Kitchen Aide and Hamilton just to name two.
What Is a Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is an electric appliance that cooks slowly with its heat coming from the base of the outer casing – there are many brands of slow cookers.
Just to name a few Crock-Pot, Kitchen Aide, Cuisineart, Proctor Silex, and Hamilton Beach.
Crock-Pot slow cookers, as well as other basic models of slow cookers, offer four settings on/off, low slow cook, high slow cook, and keep-warm.
Newer models of slow cookers – which could be produced by any BRAND NAME.
Although are still dedicated slow cookers often come with more digital controls.
These controls offer the ability to sear, sauté, and brown before the slow cooking process begins.
Also, convenient delayed start and finish times, programmed cooking times and the list goes on.
These electrical appliances are a type of slow cooker but also replace many kitchen appliances and cooking pots, including the rice cooker and Dutch oven.
Multi-cookers allow you to use many varieties of cooking styles. Along with the bonus of room storage room in your kitchen when you give away your unused cooking appliances.
Differences Between a Crock-Pot and a Slow Cooker
Although the word Crock-Pot is a widely used term to describe slow cooking there are differences between a Crock-Pot and other slow cookers.
|Heating elements are on the bottom of the pot as well as wrapped around the sides||The heating element is at the bottom of the housing|
|Bowl is made from porcelain or ceramic insert – both materials lend themselves to slow gentle heating||Bowls are these days made from metal – this pot sits on top of the bottom element plate|
|The bowl is firm fitting inside the outside casing and the lid should fit well so the moisture stays within the pot while the slow cooking process is underway||Slow cookers heat up slower than a crockpot due to less radiant heat around the inner cooking pot|
|Low to high temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit is used with a keep-warm function when the cooking cycle time is reached||It takes longer for a slow cooker to heat the food through and can cause sticking|
|The best results for slow cooking in a crock pot are the low and slow cycle||Ideally, throughout the cooking process, a quick stir will alleviate this – there goes the “set and forget” theory|
|It is recommended that meat be cut into small pieces so any bacteria can be killed off early in the cooking process|
Citation: USDA – Food Safety Information
2 Examples of Crock-Pots That Are Slow Cookers
Crockpots come in a variety of sizes. Cook at a safe temperature for long periods of time with a low setting and a higher temperature setting to cut the cooking time. The following 2 crockpots with stoneware inserts hold the Crock-Pot brand name.
Crock-Pot Wifi Enabled Slow Cooker, 6-Quart
This Crock-Pot is a smart Wi-Fi-Enabled WeMo 6-quart slow cooker. It uses the WeMo Application which allows you to adjust cook time and temperature remotely as well as using the controls traditionally on the Crock-Pot itself.
What you need to get started is the WeMo App which is free to install on any Apple smart device with iOS7 or higher. Alternatively, an Android smart device with 4.0 or higher and a Wi-Fi router and internet connection.
The Crock-Pot itself is constructed of a stoneware insert and a glass lid which are dishwasher safe.
The stainless steel outside casing is a sleek oval design with a cool-touch handle and lid handle. The dimensions of the Crock-Pot are 17.4 inches x 9.6 inches x 13.9 inches and weigh 14.9 pounds.
The size of this Crock-Pot slow cooker is large enough for a pot roast and large cuts of meat, it feeds seven or more people. This slow cooker also comes with cord storage.
For more information check out my full review of the Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Stainless Steel.
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker
This Crock Pot can literally do as its name suggests. You can cook in it and then you can carry it to where the party is. As it sports a locking lid that has a gasket that gives a secure seal you won’t have any spillage issues. It is so versatile and the first two things that come to mind are.
1. You can either prepare all the ingredients in the crockpot transport it to where you want to eat then let it do the cooking. OR;
2. Two you can prepare and slow cook your meal in the crockpot then take the prepared meal to where you want to eat.
This 6-quart crockpot can serve more than seven people. Your family and guests can be served straight from the stylish removable oval stoneware insert.
Without the lid, the slow cookers’ removable crockery insert can be used in a conventional oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also be used safely in the microwave oven without a lid.
The Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Digital Timer can be programmed for cooking anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours. After the cooking time has been completed the crockpot will automatically shift to the warm setting. Allowing you to sit down to eat when you are ready to do so.
Cleaning up this crockpot is easy and simple. Allow the slow cooker to cool down before cleaning. Don’t forget to unplug! Then you can use soapy hot water to clean both the stoneware and the lid.
Alternatively, these crockpots’ stoneware and lid are dishwasher safe. Then simply wipe out the metal base with a soft cloth and soapy water.
The dimensions of the crockpot are 9.4 inches x 15.1 inches x 14.8 inches and it weighs 14.8 pounds.
This is a great-looking cooking appliance that has a polished stainless steel exterior. Complete with black accents you will not need to hide this cookware in your pantry it will look great on your kitchen counter ready for your next meal.
For more information about the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry, Slow Cooker with Digital Timer why not go over and check out my full article.
2 Brands of Slow Cookers That Are Crock Pots
You will note that both of these crockpot/slow cookers have a ceramic/stoneware insert.
Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker, 7-Quart
This large 7-quart slow cooker is large enough to prepare a 6-pound chicken or a 4-pound roast. This really is one-pot cooking with a slow cooker that can prepare complete meals. There is also a wrap-around heating element for heating the porcelain pot.
The slow cooker is totally programmable with times ranging from 30 minutes to 18 hours, which is a long period of time. There are low, high, and warm heat settings, after cooking it automatically reverts to the warm setting. The timer also has a countdown feature so you know how long there is to go to cook the meal.
The dimensions of this 7-quart slow cooker are 11.7 inches x 17.6 inches x 9.9 inches and it weighs 12.3 pounds. The removable stoneware pot and glass lid are totally dishwashable. The brushed stainless steel casing can be wiped out “once cool” with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
This 7-quart slow cooker is definitely worth a closer look, so click the link below for an in-depth review.
For more information about this Hamilton Beach slow cooker, why not go over and check out my full article?
KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker With Standard Lid
This KitchenAid slow cooker is a large oval slow cooker that will cook your large roasts but can easily prepare smaller meals if required. It has a black stoneware insert with a glass lid and the stainless steel casing has black trim features.
This slow cooker presents a large illuminated digital display and an easy-to-read control panel. This allows you to set your Low, Medium, High, or Keep Warm temperature settings.
It is where you will also set your cooking times with the programmer which gives you up to 24 hours of programmable time in 30-minute increments.
When cooking time is finished the slow cooker automatically transfers to the auto-keep-warm setting for up to four hours.
This is a great-looking slow cooker with many practical functions to explore. This good-looking appliance will be a feature of any kitchen.
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE to see this KitchenAid cooker, its price, and purchaser reviews for yourself at Amazon.
Should I Buy a Crockpot or Slow Cooker?
A crock pot as we have discovered can reach low or high cooking temperatures quickly due to the elements surrounding the cooking pot insert. It is perfect for all types of recipes including meat on the bone and rich sauce dishes.
Whereas the slow cooker heating element is on the bottom of the pot – it heats up slower. It can cause some sticking, the dish probably needs stirring throughout the cooking time to avoid this.
The slow cooker is suited better to liquidy recipes like soups, stews, and casseroles.
If you only want one slow cooker I would go for the crock-pot. It offers a more well-rounded choice of recipes you can prepare and achieve success 99% of the time.
Ever wondered if Crock-Pots go in the Oven the answer will surprise you!
Can You Use a Crock-Pot Instead of a Slow Cooker
Yes, you can. Recipes, ingredients, and cook times are virtually the same for both types of electrical appliances.
What Do I Use a Crockpot or a Slow Cooker?
Well, you probably already know that I am going to say both. In fact, all three – have to throw in my multi-function cooker. Incidentally, all three are the Crock-Pot brand.
The crock-pot that I use for any slow cooker recipe, but predominately a meaty dish with rich sauces.
My slow cooker really is the best for stews, casseroles, and soups. Because the pieces are cut into bits size pieces and there is plenty of liquid to alleviate the sticking and burning issue. Cooking these low and slow for best results.
What’s the Difference Between Instant Pot and Crockpot?
An Instant Pot is a multi-purpose cooker. Pressure cooking is this cooker’s main function saving much time tenderizing cheaper cuts of meat in family favorite dishes like beef stew.
There are many key differences and other cooking methods include slow cooking can also carry out various functions, at low heat using a metal pot insert, like other electrical appliances. Yogurt making, rice cooking, and keeping dishes warm included.
You can get a similar outcome with your recipes when you use an electric pressure cooker in a much less amount of time. It is a great option if you are short on time as a high temperature is used and the pressure cooking method softens the food.
Preparing a whole chicken at a high setting in a traditional slow cooker can also be achieved in a pressure cooker.
See an Instant Pot at Amazon
A crock-pot is a slow cooker that allows you to cook in different ways with low/high and keep-warm settings so you can cook tough meat over a long time.
The brand Crock-Pot also has its own version of the multi-purpose cooker (I have one) that carries out similar functions to the Instant Pot. See the Crock-Pot Express at Amazon.
Video: OvenSpot How to Convert Slow Cooker Times
Quick answers for the most common questions asked about slow cookers and crock pots.
Can you overcook in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can overcook food in a slow cooker. Follow your recipe instructions and ensure that the controls on your cooker are working. Specifically, make sure that after the cooking time is complete the cooker switches to the keep warm setting.
Are 4 hours on high the same as 8 hours on low for a Crock-Pot?
HIGH settings reach the simmer point faster than LOW settings. If you want to prepare your dish faster use the high setting and it will start cooking quicker. For slow cooking use the slow setting and relax for 8 hours.
Learn how to convert slow cooker times and download a free printable.
Is it OK to leave the slow cooker on low overnight?
With just a bit of caution, you can spend your days away from home or leave the slow cooker on overnight! Following the manufacturer’s instructions and safety rules will ensure peace of mind while making delicious meals with ease.
Do slow cookers use a lot of electricity?
No slow cookers do not use a lot of electricity compared to other cooking appliances they are energy efficient.
Compare the energy efficiency of slow cookers against other electrical appliances: Energy efficiency of slow cookers.
Can you put everything in a slow cooker the night before?
Yes, you can prepare your ingredients and put them in the slow cooker insert the night before. Store the slow cooker insert in the fridge until morning.
Is it worth having a slow cooker?
Slow cookers help make meal preparation easy. They are energy efficient and also save you money when buying meat. Cheap cuts of meat thrive in the slow cooker. Cooking low and slow will produce fall off the fork or bone meat every time.
Deep dive with me into why slow cookers are totally worth it!
Best Slow Cookers (2022)
- Classic easy to use manual Crock-Pot
- Lovely shape perfect for holidays and special occasions
- Stainless exterior with black crock insert and is easy-to-clean
- See OvenSpot Review
- Slow cooking is not the only thing this gorgeous multi cooker does more than slow cooks
- 7-quart size with 6 functions in one cooker
- Sautes’, sears, sous vide, rice cooking
- Rack inserts for organized meal preparation
- Comes with a temperature probe for safe cooking and 5-year warranty
- Programmable LCD screen with cycle times of up to 26 hours & keep warm setting
- 3 sizes – 4, 6.5, & 7-quart. Ceramic or aluminum inserts to choose from
- Glass lid, serve from the ceramic cooker, and easily cleaned
- A great one-pot cooker from an iconic brand All-Clad
- A programmable slow cooker with various heat settings and flexible hour settings
- 7-quart size for families and entertaining
- Stoneware crock, glass lid are dishwasher safe
- See OvenSpot Review
- Ultra-modern brushed stainless look
- Handy 3.5-quart size and oval shape
- Programmable LCD screen with a 24-hour timer, 3 cooking modes, and keep warm function
- A compact one-pot cooker that fits on the countertop easily from an iconic brand Cuisinart
To Finish Difference Between Crockpot and Slow Cookers
I hope you have now a better understanding of the differences between crockpots and slow cookers.
Take the above information move forward and use the appliance that best suits your needs.
One-Pot Cooking Rocks