You probably love your slow cooker. Your Crock-Pot (yup, that’s a proper noun, brand name!) has been helping you to make hearty soups, stews, and all sorts of marinated meats since the 70s. But if it’s the old faithful of cooking appliances, the Instant Pot is the trendy new kid in town. By now you’ve probably heard of the Pot. While it’s been around for less than a decade, this seemingly magical device and its ability to literally cook anything has us wondering if the honeymoon phase will ever end. So far it hasn’t.
While both are handy, they serve wildly different purposes and operate in different ways. Let us break down the pros and cons of each.
For starters, slow cookers generally serve one function. All you have to do is throw a bunch of ingredients in it, plug it in, and let it simmer at a low temperature for hours. It facilitates easy, unattended cooking and is great for roasts, soups, stews, and many other meals.
Instant Pots, however, serve many purposes. The latest version is a seven-in-one device that can function as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sauté/searing pan, steamer, and warming pot. Basically it does everything except wash dishes.
Because of the Instant Pots’ ability to do literally everything, there is a steeper learning curve than your basic “set it and forget it” Crock-Pot. But once you take it step-by-step, it’s pretty easy to get a handle on all the buttons and setting options.
You may also be asking if it’s worth having a Crock-Pot in addition to an Instant Pot, since it also functions as a slow cooker. That’s totally up you (and the size of your kitchen). In the meantime, here are some recipes designed for the appliance of your choice:
Easy Slow Cooked Pulled Pork
It’s a fact: The tenderest and easiest pulled pork is made in slow cooker. Take a pork shoulder, smother in spices, and put it on a bun for a hearty sandwich that doubles as dinner. Get our Easy Slow Cooked Pulled Pork recipe.
Slow Cooker Hot Wings
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
Creamy peas, veggies, and herbs make the ultimate comfort soup. There’s nothing easier than our Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup recipe. Perfect for lazy, winter days.
Pressure Cooker Cola-Braised Beef Short Ribs
Soda is the magic ingredient to this short rib recipe. The sweetness of the cola balances the spiciness of the rub, making for some exceptionally flavored beef. Get our Pressure Cooker Cola-Braised Beef Short Ribs recipe.
Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
Loaded with veggies and beans, minestrone is the perfect savory soup for vegetarians and omnivores alike. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and you’re all set. Get the recipe.
Instant Pot Carnitas
Here’s a perfect, paleo-friendly, Mexican dish that can be made in under half an hour. That’s the power of the Instant Pot! Get the recipe.
Instant Pot Garlic Honey Chicken and Rice
An Asian twist on classic chicken and rice, just another one-pot wonder courtesy the Instant Pot! Get the recipe.
Header images courtesy of Shutterstock and Amazon.