With so many “instant” cooking products on the market, it can be a difficult task sifting through them and finding the best one for your kitchen needs. Lately, all the rage has revolved around the pressure cooker and the crock pot — without a doubt two awesome kitchen appliances. But which is best? And what are their differences and similarities? In this article, we’ll be providing you with a Pressure Cooker vs Crock Pot review to help you make an informed decision!
The Pressure Cooker
In this section, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about a Pressure Cooker, and reviewing one of the best on the market.
What is a Pressure Cooker?
A pressure cooker is practically like any other pot you have in your kitchen, however, its lid has a clamp that tightens the lid so that no air can escape. As the food creates steam, this steam builds up and creates the pressure that allows the Pressure Cooker to cook as quickly as it does. There’s no way for the heat to escape, so the internal temperature is always a constant.
Pressure cookers come in both electric and manual, or stovetop, models. Electric pressure cookers work similarly to Crock Pots in that they are simply plugged into the wall and set to the right setting, then left to cook. Stovetop Pressure Cookers, on the other hand, are used on the stove like any old pot.
Pressure Cooker Review
With over 5,000 raving positive reviews, this stovetop Pressure Cooker is without a doubt a popular kitchen appliance.
It’s available in two sizes, a 4-quart option, and a 6-quart, and can cook veggies, chicken, fish, and red meats in a jiffy. The locking lid tightly secures in place and quickly builds pressure when the right internal temperature is reached. This is a super quick stovetop Pressure Cooker and can cook an entire whole chicken in as little as 30 minutes!
A downside to this Pressure Cooker is that it can only be used on electric stoves. Gas stoves simply get too hot for the cooker and may result in a not-so-great situation where food explodes all over the place.
What We Like:
- Available in 4 or 6-quarts
- Thousands of happy customers
- Great for tough cuts of meat, as well as cooking veggies in a hurry
- Dishwasher safe
What Could Improve:
- Not for use on gas stoves. Can only be used on an electric.
The Crock Pot
In this section, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about a Crock Pot, and reviewing one of the best on the market.
What is a Crock Pot?
Unlike a Pressure Cooker, a Crock Pot is not for use on a stovetop. Instead, they’re all electric, and plug into the wall. Most have dials on the front and are simply operated by switching the dial to Low or High. Others are more technologically advanced, and have buttons, timers, and digital displays. Crock Pots are meant to cook a large variety of dishes slowly, with some meals taking as little as 4 hours and others taking as long as 8 or 9 hours.
Crock Pots also have inner pots that can be removed and are easy to clean. Some inner pots can be put in a conventional oven (though not all, so be sure to check if your specific Crock Pot has this ability). More advanced crock pots can even have locking lids, while average Crock Pots have glass lids that sit on top of the inner pot and can be lifted at any time.
Crock Pot Review
This is a programmable crock pot that has nearly 10,000 raving reviews, and we have to say, they’re well-earned!
It’s a 6-quart Crock Pot, meaning it’ll serve 7 or more people, and features a digital display for the timer. It has three light indicators that let you know what setting you’re on, and 4 buttons to select the temperature, lower or increase the time, and turn the machine off. The timer can be set anywhere from 30 minutes up to 20 hours and the settings include Low, High, and Keep Warm. It’s made of a beautiful stainless steel outer pot that’s easy to clean if any food drips over the edge, and the inner pot is removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
The lid is made of glass so that you can keep an eye on the progress your dish is making, and is also able to lock to avoid spilling and to make moving the crock pot less of a hassle. It has two large cool-touch handles so that you can carry the Crock Pot without worry and the inner pot can safely be used in the microwave or in the oven up to 400 degrees if you need to reheat food.
What We Like:
- Digitial timer and buttons
- Locking glass lid
- Cool-touch, large handles
- Thousands of happy customers
Pressure Cooker vs Crock Pot Similarities
Here, we’ll be taking a look at the similarities between a Pressure Cooker and a Crock Pot.
Both the Crock Pot and Pressure Cooker are a one-pot shot. Rather than using multiple pots and pans for dinner, you can just use the Pressure Cooker or Crock Pot to make all-in-one meals. Another similarity is that both appliances retain water and don’t release as much steam as other kitchen appliances, making these “sit and forget” pots.
Both the Crock Pot and Pressure Cooker can cook a variety of foods including meats, soups, stews, vegetables, and so on. However, the Pressure Cooker is best for cooking these foods rapidly, while the Crock Pot’s use is to slow cook.
There isn’t too much of a difference between the price of stovetop and electric Pressure Cookers and your average Crock Pot. While there are some super expensive electric Pressure Cookers and Crock Pots, most of these appliances fall within the $50 dollar range. Comparing their uses, however, you may find that the Crock Pot gives you the best bang for your buck compared to the Pressure Cookers.
Pressure Cooker vs Crock Pot Differences
Now that we’ve taken a look at the similarities that the Pressure Cooker and Crock Pot share, let’s go over their differences.
They Have (Slightly) Different Uses
Pressure cookers cook food significantly faster than Crock Pots. Crock Pots require at least 4 hours to cook a meal, and some recipes call for up to 8 hours! Pressure Cookers can cook 3 to 10 times faster than other kitchen appliances, while the ideal use for a Crock Pot is to slow-cook meals.
Crock Pots are self-cooking appliances, meaning you just have to add the ingredients to the pot and turn it on and it does all the work for you. Pressure cookers are similar when they’re electric, however, there are some stovetop Pressure Cookers that require a burner in order to build up pressure and cook the food.
Pressure Cookers are best used for foods that usually take a long time to cook with conventional methods and appliances. For example, uncooked beans, tough meats, potatoes, or stocks. Crock pots, on the other hand, can cook just about anything including soups, dips, pastas, roasts, and so on.
You Can’t Play Around with Pressure Cooker Meals
When cooking with a crock pot, you can lift the lid and check on meats for tenderness, or grab a spoon and taste for any lacking ingredients or salt. But with a Pressure Cooker, once the lid is locked, you’re out of luck. The good news is that there are tons of Pressure Cooker recipes that turn out great when followed down to the letter. If your concern is coming up with awesome homemade meals, a Pressure Cooker may not be your best bet.
We hope that our Pressure Cooker vs Crock Pot review helped to clear things up and bring you to the best purchase for your kitchen! After all is said and done, we feel like the Crock Pot offers more versatility in the kitchen. You can cook a much wider variety of foods in a Crock Pot compared to a Pressure Cooker, making it the best option overall.
In the end, whichever appliance you choose really comes down to your needs and preferences. If you need something that will cook a variety of meals quickly, then we suggest you go with a Pressure Cooker. On the other hand, if you’re not in a rush and want to have more freedom with your dishes, the Crock Pot is definitely the way to go.