Every household has their own staple kitchen electronic equipment. These things lessen the pressure in food preparation and carry off the burden of kitchen word without compromising the quality of home cooking.
Because of hundreds of brands and their insanely good marketing techniques, choosing the perfect kitchen apparatus can be quite tricky, especially since they all promise the same function. This is true with a slow cooker.
A slow cooker is a miracle worker in the kitchen. It’s a space-saving and all-in-one kitchen equipment that can make you your comfort food with little to no effort. It’s an excellent invention and if you are interested in one, you might wonder about the best brand out there? There are two brands out in the market that is often pitted against one another because of their high-quality slow cookers. It’s Instant Pot and Crock Pot.
This article will help you make the best decision in purchasing your next kitchen tools that fit your lifestyle and needs.
Instant Pot and Crock Pot: The Best Slow Cooker
Instant Pot is a miraculous device that combines slow cooking and pressure cooking. It helps you save money by being an all-in-one kitchen apparatus.
One thing to keep in mind the cover isn’t made of glass which will prompt you to completely open the cover to see how your food is cooking. Other than that, it’s a versatile equipment who took inspiration from a rice cooker and can be used to cook daily simple and complicated meals with little effort.
Of course, a meal is not completely over without dessert and the best thing, instant pot can make you your sweet cravings with little to no effort.
If you are looking to maybe impress your friends and family by saying you have mastered the art of cooking, the Instant Pot is your best ally and accomplice.
The Crock Pot on the other hand is also a slow cooker but without the pressure because of the way it is designed. It also serves many purposes and can create complex and easy meals with just push of a button.
One noticeable difference from the Instant Pot is its glass cover, which makes it easy to check on your food. Other than that, it also has fewer buttons to press to put together a delicious meal. It is user friendly and has more space, which makes it perfect for parties and large gathering.
These two kitchen apparatus is very similar when it comes to usage, however, Instant Pot has one more function that is missing from the Crock Pot. It doubles as a pressure cooker which you can use if you lean towards wanting more tender meat. Though you can also do that with the Crock Pot, the results are not the same. On the other hand, if you are the type of person who likes hosting parties and big gatherings, the Crock Pot might be more advantageous for you with its bigger size which can serve a larger quantity.
And with Christmas fast approaching, we do think that the Crock Pot is the perfect gift for grandparents with its user-friendly design. If the person you are giving the gift is more hustle and bustle, then the Instant Pot is perfect with its double function.
The Instant Pot and Crock pot will serve you similar operations in the kitchen, both, of course, will take time before food preparation and cooking is ready but the wait is worth it.
When you are thinking of buying the Instant Pot, I can give you a couple of recipes to try and see if it floats your boat. On top of my head I’m thinking of whipping up a delicious brown sugar glazed ham, right?
Instant Pot and Crock Pot: Recipes for Everyone
Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/ 4 cup Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (4-6 lb.) spiral cut of ham
- Combine the sugar, honey, cider, mustard, paprika, and garlic powder in a medium saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Whisk ingredients together and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
- Place ham in the Instant Pot and separate slices slightly. Pour glaze over ham and place lid on Instant Pot. Basting every hour cook on low 4-6 hours depending on the size of the ham. Serve with the glaze on the side.
This dish is perfect for an outdoor meal with friends, along with a couple of cans of drinks. Simple ingredients and simple instructions but the results are shocking and wholesomely delicious. It really does look like you spent a hundred dollars on one meal and that’s what you call a great investment.
Here is another recipe that is a people-pleaser and for sure, will not disappoint.
Slow-Cooker Shrimp Boil
- ¼ cup seafood seasoning such as old bay
- 2 large ears yellow corn, husked and cut in to 1” pieces
- 1 pound large, deveined, shell-on shrimp
- 8 ounces kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 2” pieces
- 3clovess garlic, lightly smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium yellow onions, cut into eights
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Crusty bread, for serving
- 3 pounds very small red bliss potatoes (each about 1” in diameter)
- Put the potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, onions, 2 tablespoons of the seafood seasoning and 4 cups water in the Instant Pot. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
- Remove the lid and switch to high heat. Gently stir in the corn, shrimp, sausage and the remaining 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning. Cover with a lid and cook until the shrimp turn opaque and the sausage is warm through. This will take about 30 to 45 minutes. Gently stir in the parsley and lemon juice.
- Serve directly from the Instant Pot or pour into a large serving bowl and serve immediately with the crusty bread.
So many great recipes to choose from and just one Instant Pot. You’re going to need a big appetite to cater all these meals and guess what I have another one for because you can never have enough good spread in your lifetime.
Instant Pot Brisket with Brown Gravy
- Canola oil, for searing
- 1 (2 ½ to 3 pound) brisket
- Kosher salt
- 1 bunch parsley, stems reserved and leaves chopped
- 2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (.85-once) packet slow cooker pot roast seasoning
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 1 (8-ounce) packages mixed wild mushrooms
- 1 (.87-ounce) packet brown gravy mix
- 1 cup of cold water
- Special equipment: an Instant Pot
- In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Season the brisket on both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Sear the brisket in the hot pan until browned, about 4 minutes per side
- To the Instant Pot, add the parsley stems, celery and bay leaf. Put the seared brisket on top of the vegetables. In a large bowl whisk together the broth, wine, tomato paste, and pot roast seasoning. Pour the mixture over the brisket, top with onions, and cook on low, until the meat is fork-tender, about 4 to 6 hours. One hour before the brisket is done add the carrots and mushrooms.
- Remove the meat, carrots, and mushrooms from the Instant Pot and set aside. Strain the liquid into a medium pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the gravy mix with 1 cup of cold water. Turn the heat to medium and whisk in the gravy mixture, cook until thickened about 2 minutes.
- Slice the briskets and arrange it on a serving platter. Garnish with the reserved chopped parsley leaves and serve.
But if you’re thinking of purchasing the Crock Pot, I also have a crowd-pleaser recipe for you. Every bite of this feels like a hug and you would want to curl up in your favorite blanket on the couch while watching your favorite movie on a cold rainy night.
Red Wine Beef Stew
- 3 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2” pieces
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 2/3 cup dry red wine
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
- 3 carrots, chopped into 1” pieces
- 3 celery stalks, chopped into 1” pieces
- 2 onions, chopped into quarters
- 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large rosemary sprig
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
- In a large mixing bowl, pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Sear meat on all sides until golden brown with a crust, working in batches if necessary, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to the Crock Pot
- Add butter and scrape pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all browned meat bits. Stir in red wine and tomato paste; simmer for 1 minute then transfer to the Crock Pot.
- Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, beef broth, and crushed tomatoes to the Crock Pot. Season with salt and cook on high until meat is tender, 4 to 5 hours.
- Remove the stalk of rosemary and garnish with parsley before serving.
Now doesn’t that sounds like a very comforting meal? It’s going to look like you have all these fancy kitchen wands into putting all this together when in fact the Crock Pot did most of the job. You were just pressing buttons and kept adding all these ingredients. Little effort, big impact.
If you’re in a certain kind of diet at the moment where you want to treat yourself into something delicious but you don’t want to eat any meat I have just the right one for you.
Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes
- 6 to 7 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 ½ tablespoons corn-starch
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Juice of 1 orange
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Chopped walnuts, toasted, for serving
- Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
- Toss the sweet potatoes with the corn-starch in a bowl to coat well. Add the mixture to the Crock Pot and dot with the butter. Sprinkle over the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cayenne. Pour in the vanilla, orange juice, and ¼ cup of water. Season with salt. Place the lid on the Crock Pot and cook on low, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are tender, about 3 hours.
- Toss the potatoes once more and transfer to a serving dish.
- Sprinkle with the walnuts and parsley and then serve.
I don’t know about you but I think I’m switching to becoming a vegetarian after making this bomb sweet potato recipe. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring especially when you’re using a Crock Pot on preparing your meal, it adds this unique type of flavour to it and I am here for that.
Let me share with you another recipe that that blew away my mind when I first heard of it. Because guess what, it’s not a meal but a snack.
Crock Pot Bread
- Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Butter a 6 by 3 inch round pan and set aside
- Combine the butter, yeast, sugar, salt, and 1 cup warm water in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add ½ cup of the flour at a time, waiting for each addition to be fully incorporated before adding more. Once all of the flour is added, knead on medium speed for 8 minutes
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, transfer the pan to a 6 to 8 quart Crock Pot with the lid. Cook on high until the internal temperature of the bread registers 200 degrees F, about 2 hours. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let cool completely.
Who would have thought you can make a bread without any oven, just a help from a Crock pot and then bam you have some baked goods. Gordon Ramsay who? You’re the new master chef in town and they better watch out.