Instant Pot and Crock Pot Differences – Do You Need Both?

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I try not to get caught up in new kitchen gadget crazes. My shelves are already filled with enough obscure kitchen appliances (like my bread maker and cake pop maker) that get used once a year. I kept hearing about the Instant Pot, but I wanted to do my research first. I was wondering: “I keep seeing posts on social media about these magical Instant Pots. But, I already own a Crock Pot. I mean, they’re basically the same thing, right?!” In this post, I’ll go over the Instant Pot and Crock Pot differences, but they are pretty similar!

What Is an Instant Pot Anyway?

An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. Pressure cookers have been around for years. The newer electric versions can have more features, and you have more control over the settings. Some can even adjust the pressure and heat automatically. Instant pots can also act as a rice cooker or boil eggs for you!

Instant Pot and Crock Pot Differences

Instant Pot and Crock Pot Differences

The Main Difference between an Instant Pot and a Crock Pot is TIME
An instant pot can cook similar meals to a crock pot in a much shorter time. When I use my crock pot, I usually get things set up in the morning and let it cook all day, so I’m not usually in a hurry. But, if you’re trying to scramble to make dinner in the afternoons, an Instant Pot may be a good option.

The Instant Pot and Crock Pot Cook Differently
The Crock Pot is a slow cooker that cooks meals at a steady temperature over a longer period of time. The Instant Pot cooks at a much higher temperature under pressure to get faster results.

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They can both cook similar recipes
If you have some favorite Crock Pot recipes, they can probably be made in an Instant Pot. But, you’ll have to adjust cooking time and temperature.

So, Do You Need Both?

It really depends on your situation.

Here are some reasons to consider buying an Instant Pot if you already have a slow cooker.

-You often plan your meals last minute. You want something that cooks quickly.

-You like having the latest kitchen gadgets and have plenty of storage.

-You want to replace your slow cooker anyway.

-You don’t own a rice cooker.

Note: You might also want to consider a traditional pressure cooker. They’re less expensive!

And, some reasons to skip the Instant Pot.

-Crock Pots are much less expensive than Instant Pots.

-It’s just one more thing to store if you have a small kitchen

Final Thoughts

I have you found these Instant Pot and Crock Pot differences helpful! Since I already own a slow cooker, I’m not going to run right out and buy an Instant Pot. I may get one eventually, but I’ll wait for a gift or a great deal! Do you own an Instant Pot? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

25 thoughts on “Instant Pot and Crock Pot Differences – Do You Need Both?”

  1. I’ve been considering a pressure cooker for awhile, thanks for this post. I have a rice cooker so what’s the difference between a rice cooker and a pressure cooker? I keep burning things in my rice cooker. They’re still edible but sort of dry and overcooked. I read reviews on my rice cooker, and I guess that’s common with the one I have it has a $30 price point so it’s sort of affordable.

  2. I learned something reading this. I never realized there was a difference between the two. I recently bought my first crock pot and love it.

  3. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been wondering about this…Given that we have (and use) 3 Crock Pots (different sizes, so we use dif ones depending on what’s cooking – did not plan this, just we happened to own all these dif sizes already when we got married), I think we’ll skip the Insta-Pot – no room to store!

  4. I have several friends who swear by their new instant pots. We don’t have the $$ or counter space to add one in addition to our crock pot but it sounds like something to consider.

  5. I got an Instant Pot last Christmas as a gift. I already have a slow cooker. I love them both! I use my instant pot way more than my slow cooker, almost every day. But, there are things I cook that I only like to cook in my slow cooker. So, go figure… I would never have bought the instant pot myself, mostly because of storage concerns. But I did find a place for it and absolutely LOVE it!!!

  6. I’ve used my instant pot for more than 4 years now. The instant pot has a slow cook method button on the right models so you can actually get two in one deal. I prefer it over the crock pot any day! I only keep my crockpots around for entertaining.

  7. Iā€™m very happy that you explained the difference! I am a crockpot girl! I like my meats and veggies to simmer in their own juices!! I love tender food too. We are empty nesters so we have time. Thank you so much for the explanations!!

  8. I’v,e used crock-pots for decades, but I still haven’t tried an instant pot. I don’t know if I need one but I want one, lol.

  9. This was VERY helpful! I’ve been debating on an instant pot, but I have a very small kitchen. I love my crock pot, but sometimes I don’t plan ahead enough to use it, and faster would be helpful. But given my lack of storage space, I’ll wait for now. THANK YOU!

  10. I had wondered about this since I have 3 slow cookers & 2 rice cookers plus kitchen is only 88 sq ft before appliances & cabinets! I see tons of recipes, cookbooks, etc on Instant Pot so thought it might be a passing fad. I’m 63 & alone so don’t know that I would use one. Thanks for honest info

  11. Great article, I purchased both because I really believe they both would benefit my family. I use my crockpot 3-4 times a week, but a year later and I’m still terrified to get my instapot out of the box! One of these days….hopefully!

  12. From what I see the instant pot can be controlled better from a temperature standpoint. The crock pot i have only has Warm, Low and High. The newer instant pots can also do things like sous vide which I will be testing at some point in the near future.

  13. This is one of the reasons we haven’t bought an instant pot yet. We have a rice cooker/steamer and a crockpot. It would be nice to maybe replace the crockpot with an instant pot some day, but for now we manage with what we have. Trying to keep the kitchen uncluttered lol


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