Compare Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Time
The instant pot works well for me because I have a hard time planning ahead!; It enables me to start dinner at 4 pm and still be fine.; The slow cooker can be a problem when you dont even think about starting it until noon!
I do think the slow cooker does make meat more tender.; So, while I generally will choose speed, when it comes to a roast, I prefer the slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Vs Crock Pot
A Crock Pot is a type of slow cooker. If you want, its an improved version of a slow cooker.
Regular slow cooker have only one heating source in the bottom, while the Crock Pot have several heating elements around the pot.
Please note that in this article, when Im mentioning Crock Pot or slow cooker, Im talking about the classic slow cooker, and not the Crock Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker.
Things To Keep In Mind
I think food tastes better when its slow cooked in an actual slow cooker rather than an Instant Pot. There are a few other factors that play into why:
- Slow cooker pots are usually made of ceramic or porcelain. Instant Pot pots are stainless steel.
- Slow cookers cook from all sides and the bottom. Instant Pot heats from the bottom only.
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Slow Cooker Fried Rice
See, not every recipe has to be laden with meat. This one has two eggs in it, thats it, as far as animal products. Oh, and a little butter. But then there are peas, carrots, shallots, and corn. And some edamame gives you more protein. Did we mention it tastes great? Theres that. Get our Slow Cooker Fried Rice recipe.
What Is A Slow Cooker
Lets start with what is a slow cooker. A slow cooker is an appliance that simmers food at very low heats for a long period of time. The thing that makes a slow cooker distinct from all the other methods of preparing food is that slow cookers can cook food at a much lower temperature than other appliances. You may also know slow cookers by the name Crock-Pot, this is a trading name owned by Sunbeam Products. Slow cookers are typically used because the low heat that they operate at can allow typically tough, chewy foods to become tender, and melt-in-the-mouth.
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Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Slow Cooker
People love their slow cookers. I mean, they love them. Month after month, they continue to be one of the top-selling kitchen appliances, and the number of websites and books dedicated to recipes for them is staggering. And with good reason. At least on the surface, slow cookers offer a level of convenience that no other cooking method can match: Just dump in your ingredients in the morning, switch it on, and come home to a hot meal ready and waiting for you.
But at what cost? What exactly are you sacrificing by committing to that path of least resistance, and is it actually that much more convenient than the alternatives?
I’m going to argue that in almost all situations in which you’d use a slow cooker, you are better off choosing one of two other options: a Dutch oven placed on a rack in a 225°F oven, or a pressure cooker. I know it’s a bold statement, but hear me out before you dismiss the idea.
To start, let’s talk about food quality.
Dont Throw Out That Crock Pot
Does this mean my Instant Pot is a failure? No, of course not. I bought it as a pressure cooker, and I love it. Ive owned an Instant Pot of some sort for going on six years, and since I got my Instant Pot, my slow cooker has been gathering dust.;My biggest use of the slow cooker was for potlucks using it as a warming dish, essentially. Nowadays, when I take;a pot;of chili to a potluck, I bring it in the Instant Pot. I reheat with Saute;mode, then set it to Keep Warm until it is time to serve. I have to stir more; I dont want to scorch the chili on the bottom of the pot but it does the job well.
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Will I Need To Adjust Traditional Slow Coker Recipes To Cook In An Electric Pressure Cooker
You may need to adjust your favorite recipes when you start cooking them in your Instant Pot. The electric pressure cooker slow cooker function tends to cook a little hotter, and you will get less evaporation when you use the pressure cooking lid, even with the valve open.
You may want to use a little less liquid in soups and stews once you get used to making a few recipes. However, Id start with the same amounts. Before serving switch to the saute setting and cook off any extra liquid that might remain.
What Kind Of Recipes Should You Not Cook On The Slow Cooker Setting
DO NOT use slow cooker baking recipes when you Slow Cook in Your Instant Pot. They will fail.
A 6-quart slow cooker that I recommend has a large bottom baking area that none of the Instant Pots have. At this writing IP does have a Ninja slow cooker competitor and it is a slow cooker first and can be baked in, but it does not have a pressure cooker setting.
DO NOT use dried beans when you Slow Cook in Your Instant Pot. The timings are too off.
The other issue Ive run across is the timing of cooking dried beans. On normal, it can even take unsoaked black-eyed peas over 8 hours to cook. But on high you can cook unsoaked pinto beans in the 4 hours youd expect.
Of course, beans are a variable in themselves since many beans will be a little old when you buy them in the store. The older the beans the longer it needs to cook.
To avoid this timing issue I recommend that you dont cook the recipes that use dried beans or substitute cooked beans and reduce the water amount in those recipes.
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What Type Of Vegetables To Use
The sky is the limit when it comes to picking out the vegetables for this recipe. As usual, I encourage you to use your favorite vegetables but some work better than others. Sturdy, root vegetables are best because they hold their shape during the cooking process. Trust me, the last thing you will want is an appliance full of mushy vegetables. If youre going to use a more delicate vegetable like zucchini squash, cut the veggies into larger chunks than you normally would. This will help them hold their shape. What you see here in my pics is a combination of sturdy & delicate vegetables: carrots, potatoes, green beans, squash, and brussels sprouts.
How To Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
It is not as straightforward as you would think to use your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker. This guide walks you through the modifications you need to know when using your pressure cooker as a slow cooker so that you can have Instant Pot success!
It is not as easy as hitting the slow cooker function on your Instant Pot and expecting the Instant Pot to cook the recipe just as the slow cooker would. I briefly cover using the slow cooker function on Instant Pot Functions, but this delves into the topic a bit more deeply, giving you the recipe for success when using an Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker.
The Instant Pot Slow Cooker function is not equivalent to the temperatures on a slow cooker, which can make using your instant pot like a slow cooker tricky.
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Should You Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker
I know I can use my Instant Pot as a slow cooker, but should I ? Were giving you the scoop about if its all its cracked up to be.
I think before jumping into the question in the headline of this article, we have to answer a different one first. Can you use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker? Absolutely. In fact, its one of the appliances purposes. The Instant Pot is most often used as an electric pressure cooker but yes, it also has a slow cooker setting.
Should you use it? Ah, thats another question altogether.
An Instant Pot is great at cooking things fast. Thats because its intended to be used as an electric pressure cooker. It does amazingly well in this regard. You can drop all your ingredients inside and have a ready-to-eat meal in under an hour.
A slow cooker takes a longer approach to cooking, often taking between 4 and 12 hours to complete a meal. The longer you cook in a slow cooker, the more tender and flavorful your food. So, in theory, the Instant Pots ability to serve as both a slow cooker and an electric pressure cooker should make it a one stop shop for all your cooking needs, right?
Not so much
How To Use The Instant Pot Slow Cooker Setting
Do you want to use the Instant Pot slow cooker setting? Heres exactly what you need to do to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker
First, let me say that I got this info from reading a couple of Instant Pot user manuals online and from my own personal trial-and-error. I own the 7-in-1 Instant Pot and several different slow cookers.
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When To Use High Or Low Pressure On The Instant Pot
Electric pressure cookers can be surprisingly difficult to understand, thanks to the abundance of multifunction buttons and not a lot of explanation about what those buttons do.
Take the pressure settings. On some models, high pressure is the only option. Others offer both a high and low pressure setting. And one in particular even allows you to select a specific psi .
So whats a cook to do?
Using Saute Function After Cooking
The Sauté function is also useful for finishing the dish after pressure cooking is done. Once the pressure has been completely released, open the lid and then press Sauté button again. Press the button again to cycle through Less or More for lower or higher temperature.
Use it for:
- Simmering the sauce or broth in the dish that needs to evaporate and reduce or thicken.
- Adding more fragile or no-cooking-required ingredients like baby spinach, fresh tomatoes, fruit, cheese, milk or cream.
- Thickening sauce with butter, cream or flour.
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Functions Of Each Of The Instant Pot Buttons
Still, there may be times you prefer to use the preset options or you might just be curious to know how they work. There is a bit of variety among each of the different models ; however, all of the Instant Pot buttons cook the same.;
For your convenience, Ive created a printable Button Summary Sheet with detailed explanations of the different settings for each of the major Instant Pot modelsjust click the link on your model below:
Instant Pot Duo
Every Instant Pot Button Explained
Soup/Broth.;This button cooks at High Pressure for 30 minutes. Adjusted to more cooks for 40 minutes. Adjusted to less cooks for 20 minutes.
Meat/Stew.;This button cooks at High Pressure for 35 minutes. Adjusted to more cooks for 45 minutes. Adjusted to less cooks for 20 minutes.
Bean/Chili. This button cooks at High Pressure for 30 minutes. Adjusted to more cooks for 40 minutes. Adjusted to less cooks for 25 minutes.
Poultry. This button cooks at High Pressure for 15 minutes. Adjusted to more cooks for 30 minutes. Adjusted to less cooks for 5 minutes.
Rice. This button cooks at Low Pressure and is the only fully automatic program. It is for cooking white rice and will adjust the cooking time depending on the amount of water and rice in the cooking pot.
Multigrain. This button cooks at High Pressure for 40 minutes. Adjusted to more cooks for 45 minutes of warm water soaking time and 60 minutes pressure cooking time.;Adjusted to less cooks for 20 minutes.
Porridge. This button cooks at High Pressure for 20 minutes. Adjusted to more cooks for 30 minutes. Adjusted to less cooks for 15 minutes.
Less | Normal | More.;Adjust between the Less | Normal | More settings by pressing the same cooking function button repeatedly until you get to the desired setting.
and Buttons.;Adjust the cook time up or down .;
Slow Cook. Adjust to slow cook on low , normal , or high . Use and to increase or decrease the cook time.
Cancel.;End a cooking program at any time.
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Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Conversion
At its basic, the slow cooker is easier to guess because the answer is alwaysa really long time.; Instant Pot cooking times are super quickin many cases so quick that I wouldnt have guessed it correctly.
For instance, roast beef takes 15 minutes per pound in the Instant Pot and 8-10 hours on low in the slow cooker!
How Does An Instant Pot Work
The sealed environment of a pressure cooker means that water boils at a higher temperature , which allows food to cook much faster. This makes some foods cook better, Quartzs resident physics expert and longtime pressure cooker enthusiast Akshat Rathi says: The high-pressure steam trapped inside a pressure cooker forces itself inside ingredients like uncooked rice, helping them to retain moisture. And because it does so uniformly, the result is pleasantly puffed up, well-cooked rice.
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Add Liquid When Necessary
When cooking with a pressure cooker there is very little moisture lost, which is why you add only a cup of liquid for each recipe in the Instant Pot. This means that there doesnt need to be a lot of liquid to begin with. Cooking in the Crockpot is very different because its not a sealed environment and the cooking process takes a lot longer.
Make sure you add enough liquidespecially when cooking things like pasta, rice, and meat. This will help avoid dried out or undercooked meals. Also make sure youre not adding too much liquid, so your meal doesnt turn out too watery.
How Does The Time Display Work
Once you have your food and liquid in the pot set the amount of time that you want the food to cook . Press Pressure Cook or Manual and use the + and buttons to program the number of minutes. By the way, 00:02 means 2 minutes . And 02:00 means 2 hours, not 2 minutes.
When you close the lid and set the desired cook time the Instant pot will look like its not doing anything. Dont worry. In a few seconds it will beep and the display will say ON. It will say ON until the pot comes to pressure and then the timer will start counting DOWN.
After the time has counted all the way down to zero the pot will beep 10 times. Then the display will start counting UP. On my Instant Pot it has an L in front of the counting up number. For example if the food has been done for 10 minutes it will say L00:10. L just stands for lapsed time. My Instant Pot automatically switches to Keep Warm at this point. This is very handy since I can get my food cooking, go do errands and come home to food that is sitting in the pot warm and ready to go. .
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The Pros And Cons Of An Instant Pot Vs Slow Cooker
Does the idea of not having to wait hours for your favorite slow cooker recipes sound too good to be true? While overall the Instant Pot provides more benefits than drawbacks, there are a few things to keep in mind when making slow cooker to Instant Pot conversions.
- Not everything can go in an Instant Pot. Generally, you won’t be able to cook recipes with dairy, thickening agents or alcohol in the Instant Pot, while you would be able to cook them in the slow cooker. On the flip side, an Instant Pot has many more cooking functions than a slow cooker, like steaming and sauteing. When choosing the best Instant Pot for you, keep in mind what functions you want it to offer.
- An Instant Pot requires more attention. With a slow cooker, you can often add all the ingredients at once, stir occasionally, and call it done. But with an Instant Pot, there may be extra steps. To start, you may have to wait for the pot to come to pressure. For some recipes, you’ll won’t want to add all the ingredients at the same time, which means you’ll have to come back to tend to your recipe.
There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for making slow cooker to Instant Pot conversions. It depends on your appliance and the ingredients you’re using, down to the particular cut and weightso you’ll likely have to do some experimenting. A good place to start is by checking;Crock Pot’s slow cooking vs. pressure cooking guide;and Instant Pot’s cooking time table.
Using The Instant Pot Buttons May Seem A Little Intimidating At First Because There Are So Many But Really Its Easy
Before you know it youll be whipping up fabulous meals and desserts that will impress your friends and family. Have fun!
For step by step instructions, watch my;how to use an Instant Pot multicooker video.
For more information on using your new Instant Pot, come join my Facebook community at .
***Many thanks to my friend Sigrid for alerting me to the updated information about the latest versions of the Instant Pot buttons.***
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