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Comparison of an Instant Pot, a Pressure Cooker, a Slow Cooker, and a Crockpot

Modern homes are stuffed with electronics, appliances, and gadgets, ranging from simple tools and toys to high-tech devices such as smart thermostats and flat-screen televisions. 

We’re all about decluttering. We’re a little biased regarding kitchen appliances (because what’s better than slicing tomatoes with a brand-new knife?), but let’s face it: many of the cooking capabilities overlap. Furthermore, in general, less is more. 

We would hate for you to inadvertently purchase two tools that perform the same function or to purchase a new appliance only to discover that you already own something similar. Whether you’re considering joining the Instant Pot bandwagon (we’re all for it!) or adding a slow cooker to your countertop, we’ve outlined the differences between these confusing countertop appliances, so you don’t purchase duplicates. Continue reading to discover the distinctions between pressure cookers, Instant Pots, slow cookers, and Crock-Pots. 

What Is a Pressure Cooker? 

Pressure cooking is one of the most efficient and time-saving methods for preparing one-pot meals, such as soup, stew, or chili. Add ingredients to the pot and secure the lid; when heated, pressure cookers raise the boiling point of water and trap steam inside, reducing cooking time by as much as 70 percent. When cooking is complete, you can manually release the steam via the pressure release valve (if your model has one) or allow it to release on its own. 

Electric and stovetop pressure cookers are the two most common types. Stovetop models cook at a higher pressure than electric models, resulting in a higher temperature. Electric pressure cookers take longer to heat up but have more features (don’t worry, they still reduce cooking time by hours). Most electric pressure cookers on the market today are multi-cookers, such as the immensely popular Instant Pot (see below). This means they perform a vast array of additional tasks in addition to pressure cooking: They slow-cook, steam, prepare rice, and sauté in a single pot. 

A word about safety: modern pressure cookers are unlike your grandmother’s. The notion that pressures cooking is dangerous is a myth from the past. Today, they include dependable safety features such as locking lids, quick pressure-release valves, and intelligent auto-shutoff functions. Most models will detect excessive heat and shut down automatically. 

What Is an Instant Pot? 

Instant Pot is the most popular multi-cooker brand and one of the most popular kitchen appliances. Instant Pot is available in various sizes, configurations, and models, but they all share the characteristics of convenience, hands-free cooking, and versatility. 

All Instant Pots are capable of pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, cooking rice, warming, and sautéing. Some models can sterilize baby bottles, make yogurt, or provide WiFi connectivity. 

What Is a Slow Cooker? 

A slow cooker is an excellent appliance option for setting and forgetting. This is the one for those who want to come home from a long day at the office to a hot meal already prepared. Load your slow cooker with meat and vegetables for soups or stews before you leave in the morning, and the food will cook all day on low heat. Many modern models can be programmed to cook for a specified number of hours and then automatically switch to keep warm mode. A Crockpot is a slow cooker brand. 

What Is a Crockpot? 

Crockpot is the most popular brand of slow cookers. Some people use “Crockpot” interchangeably with “slow cooker,” but the company is merely one of numerous slow cooker and multi-cooker manufacturers (like Kleenex vs. tissues). Crockpots are an excellent, affordable option for slow cookers, with countless models and sizes available. 


If you’re interested in preparing stews, soups, and one-pot meals more quickly and with less effort, we believe you’ll appreciate owning a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is both a pressure cooker and a slow cooker, so you will not need to purchase both separately. And don’t rush out to buy a Crockpot if you already own a slow cooker that you adore (they’re great, but who needs two identical kitchen appliances)? 

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