Slow Cooker vs Crock-Pot

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.

Slow Cooker vs Crock Pot

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 crock-pot 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. I also 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.

What is a Crock-Pot

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 are crock-pot style slow cookers that feature a lot of the points made below but don’t carry the trademark.

One of the biggest differences between a slow cooker and a crock-pot is that crock-pots 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.

Crock Pot

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 gentler heat distribution.

The heat in a crock-pot is usually applied continuously rather than switching on and off to maintain a specific temperature. Again, this helps with a more consistent heating pattern.

Most crock-pots have three heat settings; low, high, and keep warm. You will find that the keep warm setting 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.

If you’re interested in picking up a crock-pot, then you can find them at any good appliance store or online at places such as Amazon.

Shop Crock-Pots

What is a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is not branded and differs from a crock-pot 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. Some are a pot that sits on top of a heating plate while others sit inside a unit. You will find that most slow cookers will heat from the bottom rather than on all sides as a crock-pot does.

Since the heating element is on the bottom of the slow cooker, you may find some dishes that will burn or stick to the bottom if not stirred. This tends to be true with dishes that contain dairy or low amounts of fluid.

Slow Cooker

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 cooking 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 crock-pot, 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 and medium.

There are so many different types of slow cooker to pick from. You can find these at any good appliance store or at an online shop such as Amazon.

Shop Slow Cookers


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 or 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. Still, 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.


  1. Avatar for Russ
    Russ on

    I use a Sunbeam electric crock pot purchased in the early 1980’s and with excellent results. Can see no point in updating at the moment.

  2. Avatar for jeanne harris
    jeanne harris on

    You don’t really say which is best a slow cooker or crock pot.

    1. Avatar for Gus
      Gus on

      Hi Jeanne,

      It is hard to say which is better since Crock-pot is a branded slow cooker. Arguably buying a well-known branded product is typically safer than buying a non-branded product.

  3. Avatar for Carole
    Carole on

    I have purchased two new crockpots and both cook fast if the recipe calls for it to cook 6 to 8 hours mine is done in three and the meat is tough I set On low so I don’t know why it’s cooking so fast can you help me with any answers

    1. Avatar for Gus
      Gus on

      Hi Carole,

      Modern crock-pots and slow cookers often cook a lot faster. However, from my understanding, most crock-pots use a ceramic pot, so they should be good with cooking on low.

      Some slow cookers use a stainless steel or metal pot that tends to heat up too fast and result in food cooking a lot faster.

      I recommend getting in contact with Crock-Pot to see if they are working as intended. Alternatively, you may need to reduce the cooking time to compensate for the extra heat.

  4. Avatar for Diamond
    Diamond on

    Thank you for the clarification!

  5. Avatar for Judy Watson
    Judy Watson on

    Should there be temperature differences between them? My daughter and I cooked same recipe but had different results due to different temperature, I used my ninja multi cooker, she used Hamilton Beach crock pot.

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