Author Topic: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?  (Read 3073 times)

Dancing Fool

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What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« on: August 25, 2016, 09:24:36 AM »
Just recently bought a stainless steel pressure cooker, and so far I'm loving how quickly it can cook dried beans for a lot of my budget meals - I make a lot of stews with beans as an inexpensive way to get fiber and protein in my diet. I haven't used my slow cooker in about 6 months, maybe more, and I'm thinking this pressure cooker makes the slow cooker more or less obsolete. What can I do with a slow cooker that I can't with a pressure cooker?

Basically I'm trying to decide if I'm missing anything before I donate the slow cooker to a salvo store or give it away free on Craigslist.

The two things I could think of were:
  • Setting and forgetting meals (I don't like to do this when leaving the house - makes me uneasy and I think it uses quite a bit of power).
  • Keeping food warm when serving it at parties (I haven't ever used mine for this, don't anticipate doing so in the next year).

slow hand slow plan

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 09:39:42 AM »
It can have food started on a cold day and ready to eat right when you get home...and the house smells great! I think the warming function is nice also for self serve soup throughout the day or varrying schedules...

It is also nice for slow braised meats that seem to come out a little more juicy than my pressure cooker not sure why really.

GuitarStv

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 10:23:25 AM »
I figure that they would be interchangable for most dishes.  I like to make bread, cinnamon buns, and lasagne in our slow cooker . . . does that work as well in a pressure cooker?  I've also heard that you can use a slow cooker for making your own yogurt.

lthenderson

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 11:17:13 AM »
I use my slow cooker quite a bit for reducing sauces for canning or consumption without having to stand at the stove stirring all the time and worrying about scorching.

Not sure why you would worry about leaving a slow cooker going on a countertop while not around. I typically see a dozen other things in a house plugged in and drawing power all the time while people aren't around, many in more areas near combustible materials than a countertop in the kitchen.

Cranky

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 01:00:26 PM »
I think it's mostly when you want to do your prep work. I'm a morning person. I like to do my slicing and dicing first thing in the morning, get food into the crockpot, and go about my day.

I am not interested in coming home at 5 pm and starting to cook. If I was going to cook, I wouldn't really need a pressure cooker, either.

If you prefer to start cooking in the afternoon/evening rather than first thing in the morning, you are more of a pressure cooker cook.

forummm

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 01:20:02 PM »
I use the slow cooker for big sections of cheap meat. I think you want those cooked slowly to improve tenderness.

You don't want to leave a pressure cooker unattended (unless you have some fancy one that's self regulating). A slow cooker is fine at home by itself.

lizzzi

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2016, 03:21:44 PM »
I use the slow cooker for big sections of cheap meat. I think you want those cooked slowly to improve tenderness.

You don't want to leave a pressure cooker unattended (unless you have some fancy one that's self regulating). A slow cooker is fine at home by itself.
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I agree with this--I like the pressure cooker for beans, lentils, rice, and vegetables that I want to puree into soup. I like the slow cooker for big batches of meat or chicken, or for soups that I'm cooking long and slow with a ham bone or some such thing in there.  A lot of times I'll put the meat in just before bed...let's say 11:30 pm or midnight...and check it and probably take it out when I get up...let's say 6:30 or 7am...or a little later if need be. That way I don't have an appliance going while I'm not in the house...although I've never had a problem. I find that the new slow cookers cook hotter and faster (even on low) than the old ones did. You may not be able to just leave your recipe in there while you leave the house for a long day.

Inaya

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2016, 03:52:46 PM »
This could be user error, but I've had NO luck cooking pork in the pressure cooker. Always comes out dry and chewy. So I always do big pork cuts (roasts, etc.) in the slow cooker and little ones in the oven.

For everything else, the pressure cooker has supplanted the slow cooker--except for certain dishes where I want the flavors to mingle longer.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2016, 11:44:16 PM »
This could be user error, but I've had NO luck cooking pork in the pressure cooker. Always comes out dry and chewy. So I always do big pork cuts (roasts, etc.) in the slow cooker and little ones in the oven.

I've had great luck with pork butt/shoulder in the pressure cooker. It doesn't need to cook that long (45min?) and it is totally falling apart/shredding into easy pulled pork. I cut it into a few smaller pieces so it cooks more evenly. I would not cook a leaner cut like a pork loin under pressure. Same for beef... You could make beautiful pot roast or stew out of some nice chuck but don't cook leaner roasts and expect them to come out well. Paradoxically, the best meats for the pressure cooker are things you normally cook low and slow.

davisgang90

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2016, 03:18:13 AM »
Both have a place in my kitchen routine although the slow cooker hasn't been getting as much attention as my Instant Pot.  Slow cooker is best to have a meal waiting after you get home from work.  Instant Pot is great for throwing together a quick meal in the evening. 

Fishindude

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2016, 06:43:19 AM »
A pressure cooker sits on your stove and you better be around to keep an eye on things while something is cooking in it.
A slow cooker sits on your counter top, can be turned on "low" in the morning and be left unattended (safely) all day with a tasty meal prepared when you return.

Keep the slow cooker.
Great way to do soups, roasts, stews, etc.   Crock pot lasagna is also a fun recipe we've done a few times.

RosieTR

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2016, 08:04:29 AM »
There are some chemical reactions that happen with some cuts of meat in a slow cooker (or low oven temp with liquid) that just require time. These cannot be duplicated with other means, so the meat won't turn out the same.

If you never cook meat, or big slow roasts, then yeah, ditch the slow cooker. For your lifestyle, it may not be something you use, and better to get used by someone else.

Dancing Fool

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2016, 09:34:34 AM »
Thanks all! I think I'm pretty well convinced that for me, at least, the slow cooker's extraneous.

Some things I didn't include that maybe would've influenced answers:
  • One-person household (just me) so I tend to prep food once or twice a week and freeze leftovers. Sometimes I'll make four or so dishes in a session and freeze lots of individual servings so I have work lunches or quick dinners ready to go for multiple upcoming weeks.
  • I don't eat much meat, and pretty much never cook large cuts of it.
  • I'm a competitive ballroom dancer, so I'm on the go a lot (partner's in a different city, so >50% of my weekends are out of town). Practice also has me getting home around 8 or 8:30 on a typical evening, so I tend not to cook on weeknights unless it's the one evening I've set aside for food prep.

That being said, the general discussion might help other folks making a similar choice under different circumstances. For now, looks like I'll be storing my slow cooker on Craigslist.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What can a slow cooker do that a pressure cooker can't?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2016, 10:00:47 AM »
It may be too late for you since you already bought both of them, Dancing Fool - but for other/future readers, the electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot have both slow cooker and pressure cooker functions, as well as other things like yogurt making. So you don't actually have to choose between them.