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Do You Need an Instant Pot or a Slow Cooker in Your Kitchen?

There's no doubt that the hottest appliance in the kitchen these days is the Instant Pot. We've given you tons of recipes and told you stories about all the celebrity chefs that use it. Home cooks swear that it changed their lives, so much so that you might almost feel bad for the poor Crock-Pot, stuck back in a dark corner of the pantry. But when it comes to these two kitchen workhorses, is it really Instant Pot vs slow cooker? Do you have to pick one or the other?

Instant Pot Vs. Slow Cooker

If you have a huge kitchen, keeping both of these is a good thing. But if you have limited storage space, you might want to go with just one of them. We'll take a comprehensive look at what they are and which one of these appliances works best for your kitchen.

If you're not familiar with the Instant Pot yet, it's an electric pressure cooker. Pressure cooking works by sealing steam into the cooking vessel, which raises the internal cooking temperature to around 250 degrees, higher than the boiling point of water. The food cooks faster under higher temperature. Previous generations of stovetop pressure cookers were unwieldy and complicated, with the added risk of exploding. Current pressure cookers are user-friendly and safe to use, plus they allow for greater individual control.

Traditional slow cookers are designed to cook food at a relatively low temperature over a longer period of time. Set it before you go to work and dinner is ready when you get home. Or start a meal and let it simmer overnight. It has two temperature settings, high and low, and no risk of pressure-induced explosions.

Some of the other differences are:

  • The Instant Pot cooks food far more quickly than a Crock-Pot, but it also takes up to 30 minutes to preheat and another 30 minutes to release the steam before you can open it.
  • You can sear foods in the Instant Pot with the saute function, meaning it's an all-in-one appliance. With a slow cooker, you have to brown ingredients in a separate pan before putting them in the Crock-Pot.
  • Once you put the lid on your pressure cooker, it has to stay there until the food is done. With a slow cooker, you can lift the lid at any time to add ingredients or check the food.
  • The Instant Pot is a multi-cooker. It doesn't just decrease the cooking time for dishes, it also functions as a rice cooker, yogurt maker and steamer. There are many buttons and settings options to learn. The Crock-Pot does one thing, but it does it really well and it doesn't take long to figure out how to work the gadget.
  • Crock-Pots have a keep warm option so that if you're not quite ready to eat when your dish is done, the slow cooker will keep the food warm without overcooking it. Once the Instant Pot is done and the pressure is released, there's no way to keep it warm.
  • You can put both ceramic inner pot from a slow cooker and the stainless steel cooking pot from an electric pressure cooker in the dishwasher, but the stainless steel is easier to keep clean and stain-free.

When it comes down to it, Instant Pot vs slow cooker really depends on your cooking process. If you like the options of a multi-cooker, your Instant Pot will be your favorite kitchen gadget. If you prefer simplicity and true slow cooking, a Crock-Pot is the best appliance for you.

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