a crock-pot lying on a kitchen’s shelf

Is There a Difference Between a Slow Cooker and a Crock-Pot?

In today’s time and age, where everyone has a busy life, these “set it and forget it” appliances have become a crucial necessity. It will not be wrong to say that almost everyone owns either an instant pot, Crock-Pot, or a slow cooker.

Although slow cookers and Crock-Pots are two different appliances, the two share a lot of similarities. And on several occasions, the terms, slow cooker and Crock-Pot are interchangeably used. Both Crock-Pot and a slow cooker will give you similar results. You can cook the recipe of Crock-Pot in a slow cooker and vice versa.

Our livers are now dependent on a slow cooker and Crock-Pot. They can be used to prepare weeknight dinners or soups and stews. They are also used to make bread and tough meat juicier. While both of these appliances have similarities, they have few differences as well.

Slow cooker and Crock-Pot use moist heat to prepare the food over a long period. Moreover, both make the same kind of foods and deliver the same flavorsome results. These brilliant, small kitchen devices consist of three similar parts: heating element, a pot, and a glass lid.

In this article, we are going to discuss both of them in detail. So, you will get a clear idea about the differences and similarities between the two.

To save from further confusion, we can say that the Crock-Pot is the kind of slow cooker, not all slow cookers are Crock-Pots. Here arises the question of what Crock-Pot-style slow cookers are and how they are different from the other types of slow cookers?

Crock-Pot Style Slow Cookers

Crock-Pot-style cooker or a Crock-Pot, introduced in 1970, is a kind of slow cooker. They have been around for decades. The Crock-Pot was initially marketed as a bean cooker, but over time, the remanufacturing took place, and it developed into the model we know of today.

Several companies manufacture Crock-Pot-style slow cookers due to their extensive use throughout the country.

  • Construction

Crock-Pot-style slow cookers and Crock-Pot have a porcelain or ceramic container that places inside the heating part. It is one of the crucial differences between slow cookers and Crock-Pots. The ceramic insert in the pot tends to be thick to prevent the heat to not be as direct on the food inside the container.

Some of the Crock-Pots get heated from the bottom as well as around the edges of the pot. It is to ensure that the heat is applied on all sides of the container rather than on the bottom only, allowing gentler heat distribution. But it is not necessarily the feature of all the Crock-Pot-style slow cookers and Crock-Pot.

The containers of such types can be oval, round, or even rectangular sometimes. They come in a variety of sizes as well.

  • Branding

Originally, the Crock-Pot was a slow cooker made in this unique style. It is the name of the brand for the slow cookers produced by Rival Manufacturing Company. There are several other brands of this type of slow cookers as well, including Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, Bella, and Cuisinart. These brands sell high quality Crock-Pot-style slow cookers.

  • Heat Settings

Crock-Pots come with two settings: high and low wattage. The high wattage brings the temperature in the range of 300°F, while the low ones bring it to a range of 200°F. Some models of Crock-Pots come with a third option as well: the option to keep your food warm.

You will not find the third setting on the old models of Crock-Pots. The new models come with a timer that switches to keep warm mode once the timer has passed. If you want to buy Crock-Pots with advanced features, then you can find them on Amazon or at any good appliance store.

  • Cooking

While switched on, Crock-Pot-style slow cookers and Crock-Pots cook steadily. But if you want a timer, then there are a few models that come with this feature and allows you to make your food for a fixed amount of time. It helps with a more compatible heating pattern.

Other Varieties of Slow Cookers

Not every slow cooker is a Crock-Pot, and there are commercial-style slow cookers as well. They have some unique characteristics that are not present in Crock-Pot-style slow cookers or Crock-Pots. The slow cookers differ from Crock-Pots in a lot of ways.

One crucial thing to note is that while looking at the Crock-Pot and slow cooker, you may find a very few differences, depending on the brand you are checking.

  • Construction

Unlike Crock-Pots, some of the slow cookers have a metal pot, placed on the top of the heating unit. One more difference between the Crock-Pots and slow cookers is that in slow cookers, only the bottom of the container gets heated.

As compared to Crock-Pot, the food may cook slower in a slow cooker since the heat is intensive at the bottom of the pot. It also increases the chances of scorching on the bottom, so you have to stir your food from time to time.

The frequent opening of the lid because of additional stirring releases the heat and results in extended cooking time. It tends to be accurate with the food and recipes containing dairy and a low amount of liquid.

  • Branding

What several people assume is that a slow cooker is the name of a brand, which in reality refers to the appliance. There are various producers of several other types of slow cookers in the market.

  • Heat setting

These types of slow cookers have heat settings that outrun just high, warm, and low. Several such sorts of slow cookers even have a range of five heating options, including sear and medium.

  • Cooking

You can work in cycles with these bottom-heated slow cookers, switching on and off during the making of your food. The cooking cycle will not stop until you turn off the slow cooker. If the slow cooker has a timer, then it will keep cooking until the time has elapsed. New models have this feature, and it allows us to cook our food for a certain amount of time.

The Reason for the Confusion

The major reason for the confusion between the two is that many brands sell the appliances with the label of “slow cooker” with the features of Crock-Pot-style slow cookers like ceramic pot inside the heating unit with high and low settings.

So, as a consumer, when we search for the slow cookers to buy, we do not look for the bottom-heated, commercial-style units. But instead, we have Crock-Pot-style slow cookers with the label of a slow cooker in our minds.

The debate over the Crock-Pot versus a slow cooker is not worth having since both the appliances have a lot of similarities and deliver a very similar outcome. No matter if you have bought a slow cooker or a Crock-Pot, you can use both of them to cook any recipe.

The standard tips on how to use a slow cooker apply to the Crock-Pot as well. So, it is not like you will have to learn the procedure to use Crock-Pot separately. They both cook in the same way, with very few minor differences.

Final Verdict

The main points mentioned in this article may vary from brand to brand, but more or less, you will find the same differences between the two. The thing that you will find the same across all the brands is they all cook slow and work securely in your absence as well.