Easy to use and very economical, slow cookers and crock-pots were designed to prepare a healthy family meal. The two kitchen appliances are great for preparing everything from meat to vegetables, soups, fish, stews desserts and even bread. They even produce same delicious results. They also have the same three components including heat element, lid and pot. Therefore, it is only fair to say that slow cookers and crock-pots are very similar in many ways. However, these appliances also are different in various ways.
The first thing you need to know is that a crock-pot is actually a brand of slow cooker. This therefore means that all crock-pots are slow cooker. However, this does not mean that all slow cookers are crock-pots. There are different types of slow cookers including the crock-pots slow cookers and commercial-style slow cookers. So to help you distinguish one from the other, we take a look at some of their features.
Slow cookers usually have more heat setting options compared to crock-pots that allows you to cook meals at different temperatures. Most models will have up-to five heating elements including low, high, warm, and simmering option (usually numbered 1 through 5). The heat settings are usually on the bottom and can be used as a griddle thereby making good slow cookers quite versatile in the kitchen.
On the other hand, crock-pots only have high and low heating elements. Some models also have “keep warm” setting as well. The high setting delivers temperature approximately 300 Fahrenheit and the low heating element approximately 200 Fahrenheit. The settings are located on the bottom and the sides of the crock-pot and offer continuous cooking. Additionally, some crock-pots models usually have a timer feature thereby enabling you set cooking time.
Slow cookers are electric pots with a metal pot that sits on top of the heating unit rather than inside the heating unit. Because of this design, slow cookers take more time to cook meals compared to crock-pots. They are designed to operate on their own by trapping heat and cooking meals for a long period of time (for as many as 12 hours). However, one need to stir the food time and again to avoid having overcooked and uncooked food. The crock-pots on the other hand have a porcelain or ceramic pot that sits inside the heating unit. This means you don’t need to stir the food once in a while as it cooks. They are available in various sizes and their shape could be either round or oval.
The cooking heat of slow cookers usually runs in cycles. This helps in balancing the internal temperature of the food cooking. The heating element therefore turns itself on and off as many times as possible until the food is ready. However, the crock-pots feature continuous cooking. This is because the heating element surrounds the appliance and cooks from the bottom too.
So there you have it and now you know the slow cookers and crock-pots – differences. If you are looking to buy either a crock-pot or a slow cooker, consider your cooking needs first so you can make a wise decision. These two great cooking appliances can deliver the same results as most expensive pieces of kitchenware.