When the Instant Pot became all the rage, a lot of my friends get rid of their slow cookers because they didn’t think they would ever use them again. It became a Crock Pot vs. Instant Pot “thing” for some reason. But they’re both pretty amazing in their own ways.
Nothing New Under the Sun
Pressure cookers are nothing new – they’ve been around for a long, long time. I had already been using a stove-top pressure cooker for about two years when Instant Pots became popular, and yet I still had my Crock Pots. Why? Because I used (and still use) both.
While the Instant Pot (or other like versions) do offer the slow cooker option, a lot of times (from what I have read), they don’t work as well as a “real” slow cooker and have a tendency to burn food. I know that’s likely not the case for ALL Instant Pots; however, I think it makes sense for me to have both and I’m going to tell you why.
There are certain times when I need a FAST meal, and certain times I am not in a rush at dinner time – the Crock Pot and the Instant Pot both have pros and cons – and they both have great DIFFERENT uses.
I really love my Instant Pot. It changed the way I boil eggs FOREVER. It makes it super easy to get a meal on the table FAST. And I loooooooooooooove how easy it is to make perfect rice in it! (I use the manual directions to make rice.) I have the 6 quart cooker.
But I also love my Crock Pots! I mean, I did author two crockpot cookbooks. It was my original love…and you don’t ever forget your first love. 😉 I use two different sizes – a 5 quart and a 4 quart, based on the size of the recipe I am making. And for my family of 6, those two sizes seem to work well for us.
So, here are the times when you should use a Slow Cooker versus and Instant Pot. Of course, it’s 100% my opinion, as is most of the information at Humorous Homemaking, so take it with a grain of salt…then throw the salt into your IP meal. 😉
When to use a Crock Pot:
1. You know you’re going to be VERY BUSY right around the time that you need to serve dinner…but you’re not busy in the morning. Put your meal in and let it cook all day, so that it’s done when you’re busy. You don’t wanna have to worry with dinner when you’re in the witching hour. 😉
Example: You have time in the morning but you know you’ll be getting home from a ball game RIGHT at 6pm when you’re supposed to eat.
2. You have a tough cut of meat that you want to simmer all day so that it breaks down into a tender, delicious mess that melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
3. You want to.
4. I think some meals just seem to taste better when they have long times to simmer in the Crock Pot – like spaghetti sauce and some soups.
5. It’s a very liquidy (made that up just now). The Instant Pot isn’t that great for recipes that call for lots of liquid.
When to use an Instant Pot:
1. You know that you’re too busy during the day, but in the afternoon things slow down, giving you the option to whip up a meal in the instant pot.
Example: You leave as soon as you wake up. You’re gone all day and come home around 5pm. You’ve got time to make a meal in your instant pot!
2. You forgot to thaw your meat. Yup. Did you know you couldn’t cook a frozen piece of meat in the Crock Pot? It doesn’t get hot enough, fast enough. But you can TOTALLY cook meat from frozen in your Instant Pot. It saves my butt alllllllllllllllllllll the time!
3. You want to.
4. You really don’t like cooking and just want to get meal time over already. Sheesh. Whiz, bang, done!
5. You lost track of time and people are hungry. Instant Pot Mac & Cheese to the rescue! (Pinterest will hook you up with recipes!)
As you can see, they both have pros and cons. And when it comes down to it, YOU get to choose which one you use.
Will you IP or will you slow cook?
As for me and my house, we choose both. Circumstantially. 😉