This guide takes a look at the slow cooker vs crock pot and will hopefully clear up any confusion between these two popular pieces of kitchen equipment.
Despite having different names a slow cooker and a crock pot are extremely similar in a lot of ways. Both will achieve almost the same result so if you’re looking for recipes then a crockpot recipe will work in a slow cooker and vice versa.
I will go into detail some of the highlights of each piece of equipment below and provide a summary at the bottom of the page. If you’re trying to decide between which to buy hopefully this will help you out.
Also, if you feel like I have anything wrong then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
The crock pot is the original style slow cooker that has been around for decades. It is the brand name of a popular range of slow cookers that you can buy in many different countries. You will find that there is crock-pot style slow cookers that feature a lot of the points made below but don’t carry the trademark/brand.
One of the biggest differences between a slow cooker and a crock pot is that crockpots will have a ceramic insert. The ceramic insert tends to be quite thick so the heat will not be as direct on the food inside. You will find that most inserts are usually circular, oval or even sometimes rectangular.
A crock pot unlike a slow cooker also has heating elements on all sides of the insert rather than just the bottom. This means that the heat is applied on all sides rather than just the bottom allowing for a much gentler heat distribution.
The heat in a crockpot is usually applied continuously rather than switching on and off to maintain a certain heat. Again, this helps with a more consistent heating pattern.
Most crock-pots have three heat settings; low, high and keep warm. You will find keep warm is not on some of the older models. The newer models also have timers so that the crock-pot will switch to keep warm once the time has elapsed.
A slow cooker is not branded and differs to a crock pot (style) in more than just one way. It’s important to note that when looking at the slow cooker vs crock pot you may find very little difference depending on the brand you’re looking at.
There are many different styles of slow cookers with some being a pot that sits on top of a heating plate whilst others that sit inside a unit. You will find that most slow cookers will heat from the bottom rather than on all sides like a crock pot does.
Since the heating element is on the bottom of the slow cooker you may find some dishes will burn/stick to the bottom if not stirred. This tends to be true with dishes that contain dairy or low amounts of fluid.
The heat in a slow cooker works in cycles so it will switch on for a certain amount of time then turn off. This cycle will continue until the slow cooker is either turned off or if it has a timer then until the cook time has elapsed. Most modern slow cookers will have a keep warm setting that it will automatically switch to once the timer has elapsed.
Much like a crockpot you will find that most slow cookers have three settings; high, low and keep warm. You may find some that have more options such as sear or/and medium.
Overall the slow cooker vs crock pot debate isn’t worth fretting over as both devices are so similar and will achieve a very similar result. If you have bought either one, then you can use it for any kind of slow cooker/crock pot recipe.
The standard tips for slow cooking will also apply for crock pots as they basically cook the same way with slight differences here and there.
Obviously, some of the main points made in this article may differ from brand to brand but the biggest difference between the two is basically the name as you can find ceramic slow cookers without the crock pot name.
If you have anything to add or I have got something wrong, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.