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Today we’re comparing pressure cooker vs slow cooker vs Crock Pot to see which is best. These are some of the most popular cooking appliances because they help elevate your meals even if you’re buying cheaper cuts of meat. Neither is truly better than the other because it depends on what you’re looking for. Most modern electric pressure cookers have both pressure cooking and slow cooking functions. We even compared some of the best in our article Instant Pot vs Ninja Foodi vs Crock Pot pressure cookers.
Let’s compare these popular appliances and cooking methods to see which works best for you. Since Crock Pot is known for their slow cookers, everything we mention about slow cookers will work for Crock Pots.
What are Pressure Cookers?
Pressure cookers are sturdy cooking vessels that work by trapping moisture and steam within the pot so that they thoroughly and quickly cook the food. Unlike most pots that release steam as the food is cooking, a pressure cooker allows pressure and steam to build so that you can cook food up to 70% faster than most other methods.
What are Slow Cookers?
Slow cookers use low heat to thoroughly cook food over the course of several hours or a whole day. This low-temperature cooking ensures that the food is completely broken down, especially tougher cuts of meat. This allows you to enjoy rich, hearty meals while doing very little during the cooking process. Unlike pressure cookers, which can be manual or electric, there are only electric slow cookers.
Electric Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Duo Nova
The newest model to the Instant Pot family, the Duo Nova combines the functionality of seven appliances in one. You get a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, food warmer, saute pan, and yogurt maker in a single model. Plus, the Smart Program microprocessor changes time and temp for consistently fantastic meals. Read more in our review of Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Nova and Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL vs Instant Pot Duo Nova if you’re not convinced.
Pressure Cooker: Presto 6 Quart Stainless Steel
Presto is a recognized name with manual pressure cookers and they make some of the best models available. Their 6-quart stainless steel pressure cooker is durable and can cook anything you dream of. It’s dishwasher safe and works best on induction and smooth-top ranges. It has a cover lock indicator that shows you when pressure is building so you can cook your food fast.
Slow Cooker: Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker
You knew this was coming. I don’t know if you can legally talk about slow cookers without mentioning Crock-Pot (yes, that’s a joke). This brand is synonymous with slow cookers and it’s easy to see why. This massive model can cook enough food for 9 people, plus there are multiple temperature settings based on your needs. The removable stoneware pot can be used in the oven up to 400F degrees, so it’s highly versatile as well. Give this a try!
Pressure Cooker vs Slow Cooker: Cooking Time
Pressure cooking is one of the fastest cooking methods around. Perhaps the only one faster is deep frying (though that requires significantly more preparation). This is done by trapping steam in the vessel and not allowing it to escape, which ensures the food is moist and cooked 70% faster than with other cooking methods.
A slow cooker, you guessed it, cooks things slowly. Most meals will take 6-8+ hours to finish. You need to start cooking early in the morning just to get dinner ready.
If you want a fast meal, then a pressure cooker is the way to go.
Slow Cooker vs Pressure Cooker: Hands-Off Cooking
One of these appliances is set it and forget it while the other requires your constant attention. A slow cooker is simple to use. Simply put in your ingredients, ensure there’s enough moisture, and set the cooking temperature. That’s it. Come back several hours later and your meal is finished. You can go about your day without any concerns.
The same can’t be said for pressure cookers. You need to be there to ensure the pressure cooker gets to the proper temperature and pressure, you need to stand around while it’s cooking, and you need to release the pressure at the right moment. Remember, it’s cooking 70% faster, which means letting the steam out too late can result in overcooked meals.
If hands-off cooking is more your style, then a slow cooker might work better for you.
Pressure Cooker vs Slow Cooker: Taste
Which one makes better meals? This is up for debate and everyone seems to have their own opinion. In general, both make tasty food. Pressure cooker meals usually turn out more moist while slow cookers produce richer meals.
It’s a tie. The point is that both make fantastic meals that taste like they’re cooked all day (and with a slow cooker, they are!).
Slow Cooker vs Pressure Cooker: Versatility
Here’s another contested area. Which one is more versatile? As we stated in the intro, most people are getting electric pressure cookers like Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi and these have at least 6+ functions that replace numerous kitchen appliances like air fryers, slow cookers, pressure cookers, and more.
But, if we’re just comparing slow cookers and pressure cookers, which one is more versatile? Many people are quick to say pressure cookers. Aside from meats and veggies, they can make breads, cakes, desserts, and more.
However, slow cookers can also make delectable, chewy breads and cakes. Sure, they take longer, but sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for.
There are more pressure cooker recipes overall, but almost any recipe can be adapted to a slow cooker recipe.
Pressure Cooker vs Slow Cooker: Preparation
Our final section, preparation. It’s another tie with pressure cooker vs slow cooker because they are nearly identical until the heat turns on. You’ll want to cut all your ingredients into uniform sizes so they all cook at the same time. You also want to only fill them two-thirds of the way and they both require some (but not a lot) of moisture to ensure they cook properly.
While they might cook differently, preparing your meal is basically the same.
If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker yet, then do yourself a favor and get one today. That way you can enjoy both of these appliances at once along with numerous others.
However, if you’re only interested in pressure cooker vs slow cooker vs Crock Pot, then it’s basically a draw. A pressure cooker is faster while a slow cooker is hands off cooking. They are nearly identical outside of these two areas. So do you want a meal that’s fast but requires constant attention, or one that takes all day to cook but allows you to go about your day?