Crock pot vs. Instant Pot

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by asicer, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    My slow cooker (aka crock pot) is having issues. Its electronic brain wants to power off by itself every couple hours or so.

    I noticed that Costco is having a sale on the Instant Pot Duo for roughly the same price as a replacement slow cooker. I also noticed that this unit has a slow cooker mode.

    How well does an Instant Pot function as a slow cooker? Is it a viable replacement?
     
  2. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I'm sure it works just fine as a slow cooker. We also have the Duo, but we've never used it (got it as a gift). I believe it does quite a few functions (steamer/saute/etc). We just usually resort to the old fashioned slow cookers because they're simple. We have one with the electronic buttons/timer and one with the regular high/medium/low/off switch. Both get used more than the InstaPot, but that's just largely because we haven't needed to make something quickly where a pressure cooker would excel.
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    They’re much smaller than many slow cookers depending on what you need to slow cook. Our slow cookers get more use because we make larger things and batches in them and freeze leftovers.

    Other than that the only other difference is some don’t have differ temp settings for slow cooking. Another feature to watch for if needed.

    I’m sticking a couple of pork tenderloins and some apples in the pressure cooker version tonight — see how that goes. The tenderloins are thawing and brining now with various spices.
     
  4. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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  5. pigpenracing

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    I have a huge instant pot and we love it! I cook all sorts of stuff in it. Last week I threw about 8lbs of brisket in it with bbq sauce. In 2 hours we had meat so tender you couldn't pick it up. I chopped it up. We had chopped beef potatoes, sandwiches and Nacho's for days!
    We do Chinese veggies, Italian, Potroast etc. Most stuff takes like 12 minutes!
     
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  6. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    We have an electric pressure cooker too and we like it, but be honest. It’s 12 minutes of cook time. Add in the time for the pot to come to pressure and then pressure release (if you don’t do a quick release) and you’re more like 40-60 minutes of total cook time.
     
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  7. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    Once we got our instant pot the slow cooker has not seen much use. Our issue was that the things that went into the slow cooker were done before anyone was ready to eat them. The Instant Pot works better for us, because we can assemble the dish and have it ready in less than an hour, which works better on our schedules.
     
  8. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Think of it like the high-wing / low-wing debate.... You can almost replace the nouns.

    How well does a (low-wing aircraft) function as slow (aircraft)? Not well.... for that you need a high-wing.

    Slow cookers - good for waiting around all day to get what you want to eat. High wings - waiting around all day to get to your destination.

    instant Pot - whooooooeeeee. Like gettin’ there in a Bo. or Mooney I guess. Good food cooked fast.
     
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  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    The tenderloin came out great. Apples too. Used Stevia to keep the sugar away.

    Modified a recipe that called for honey and cinnamon and instead went with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg.

    Original recipe called for a cup of vegetable stock, used a cup and a half of no sugar apple juice I had leftover from another recipe. The strained the juice and reduced in a saucepan.

    Also the tenderloin wasn’t completely unfrozen so two rounds at 7 min of pressure cooking. Would have been a tad less done and just right fully thawed to start and about 10-12 min.

    Two apples. Two 1 lb-ish tenderloins.

    Next time it needs some black pepper. Some might not like that with apples but I would. Or a sneaky pinch or two of cayenne.

    Delicious. Also snuck a tablespoon of bacon fat into the sauce to make it look shiny, restaurant trick. They use butter. Either works. Sneaky way to add a little more pork fat. :)

    Meat was super juicy and tender.

    [​IMG]


    What it looked like after the first 7 minutes in the pot. Can see the little raw stuff in between the loins. Rotated that part down and went again. Five minutes would have been plenty but 7 turned out fine.

    [​IMG]

    And yeah using whole cloves I created a bit of work for myself picking those out — but I knew I did. No big deal while straining. If I was lazier I had some ground clove here but that can get out of hand real quick in a sauce. LOL. Doesn’t take much.

    A lovely fall meal. Leftovers are in the fridge marinating in the apple sauce. Probably even better after a day or two of that.
     
  10. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    We have both and stopped using the slow cooker after getting the pressure cooker.
     
  11. ETres

    ETres Line Up and Wait

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    I've looked into instant pots, but can't bring myself to get one.

    I have an old crock pot (circa 1980s) that functions perfectly for slow cooking. I also have a high-quality stove-top pressure cooker that's served me well for many years. With these two gadgets in my kitchen arsenal, I can't find a good reason to buy an instant pot.
     
  12. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    It will come up to pressure faster if, as soon as steam starts escaping from the pressure indicator, you lift up on the lid and push it back down quickly. You can shave several minutes off the "waiting for pressure" time.
     
  13. Tarheelpilot

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    You don’t need it if you already have a pressure cooker.
     
  14. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    kitchen gadgets... I have a lot of them!
    I like the Instant Pot, but ours is a small roughly 3qt one we bought at Costco a couple years ago. Great for pressure cooking, have done all sorts of recipes in there, e.g. red beans and rice, or just rice, or chili...
    I have multiple slow cookers, in fact I have two 8 qt slow cookers that are dead simple. A simple power switch for warm, low and high, no timer... We use these for large cooks, like Turkeys, Navy bean soup (make 2 gallons at a time). My oldest slow cooker is over twenty years old. My mom still has one which she uses and she got before I was born.

    For most meat, I have switched to Sous Vide, I can buy a cheap roast and use the sous vide and end up with great flavor that I cut with the side of the fork.

    I have way too many gadgets....

    Tim
     
  15. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    Interesting on the brisket. I might just try that. I've never been able to pull it off in either the oven or the crock pot, unless it happens to be in the form of corned beef.
     
  16. tspear

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    I have gone sous vide for briskets, roasts.... comes out "perfect" each time. Requires much less timing precision on my part.

    Tim
     
  17. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    We were gifted an instant pot. Laurie hates it. We're giving it to a friend who wants to see if she, too, will hate it.

    Standard Crock Pot is the way to go.
     
  18. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    The appropriate gadget for brisket is a smoker. I'm a big fan of my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker.
     
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  19. murphey

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    Didn't realize the Instant Pot was a pressure cooker. My pressure cooker (my mother's, possibly even her mother's!) died few years ago - the rubber gasket in the lid disintegrated and there's no way to repair/replace. Incredibly heavy, so I use it without the lid for boiling pasta and potatoes. Been looking for another pressure cooker, haven't liked any around that are cost-effective. I like the Fissler (6 qt $230 made in Germany) compared to the Instant Pot (6 qt, $100 made in China). The Fissler is only a pressure cooker, and as Alton Brown points out, he hates anything that has only 1 use (other than the fire extinguisher). When it wasn't broken I've done soup and brisket in the pressure cooker, no need for the 7 options, 14 programs instant pot. But for a Franklin, I might try it. Instant Pot = 2 hours of flying but I haven't been in the air in over 2 months (weather, work) so look at all the $$ I've saved up.
     
  20. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm more of a crack pot kinda guy.
     
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  21. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If you need a third opinion send it my way :)
     
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  23. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    And the Weber version...apparently quite a few people have painted their WSMs in this theme.
     

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  24. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    New crockpots (tm) apparently have been lawerized and now all cook too hot, in my opinion. A quick google search agrees.
     
  25. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Hadn’t heard this new fresh hell, but one way around that would be to get one with a “warm” setting below “Low”. Then just adjust switch usage down a notch. LOL.

    Only the companies with smart lawyers will figure that one out. LOL
     
  26. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Advantage of the stove-top models - you're responsible for setting the temps.
     
  27. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    We use our crockpot quite a bit. After moving into our new (and very old) house, we noticed the formica countertop was starting to crack right where we set up the crockpot. We attributed it to house settling. Over the next few years, the crack elongated and widened somewhat. We kept using the crockpot, and blaming the house. Finally, when the countertop cracked full-width, I realized that the crockpot was throwing insane amounts of heat beneath it...the countertop was hotter than the interior of the crockpot, and that's what trashed it. Next cook, we put a plastic cutting board under the crockpot for insulation, and it developed a full 3" of warp, so yeah, I think they do get too hot.

    We're using it on ceramic tiles on top of trivets now, until I build a more elegant heat shield.
     
  28. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We have a slow cooker, but don't use it very often. I should use it more, but I don't.

    We bought the large size (8qt?) InstantPot for each of our kids over the last couple of years since they didn't already have slow cookers.

    I've used them when we've visited. What I do like about them is that you can sear inside the InstantPot, which you can't do in a slow cooker. So you can brown meat in it, then either set it to slow cook or pressure cook. It makes for a simpler "one pot" solution for a lot of recipes. Clean up is pretty easy.

    As someone else noted above: Be wary about the cooking time advertisements. That's only the time spent at pressure, and not the time spent getting to pressure and releasing the pressure.

    If our slow cooker ever dies, I will probably replace it with an InstantPot.
     
  29. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Primary usage for our slow cookers seems to be leavings from roasts. Prior to roasting, collect all the trimmed gristle and silver skin. After carving, collect the carcass/bones. Toss them all in the slow cooker along with a splash of vinegar and a dash of salt to make broth. So before becoming unreliable, it got used a couple times a month.
     
  30. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    The $60 Instant Pot on sale at Costco has a sous vide mode. I wonder how well that works...
     
  31. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    Got one that has High, Low, Warm. Warm is still too hot. Going shopping at Good Will for an old pre-litigation model.
     
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  32. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    I have two containers I use for my sous vide. A 12qt one that I use for most stuff. A larger 48qt one which is more of a rectangle instead of a square. Great for cooking four full racks of ribs, or a few weeks ago when I cooked six corned beef briskets at roughly 7lbs each Not sure how much space is in that Costco Sous Vide. But I know the problem I would have with ours is size.

    Tim
     
  33. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    I missed that, what litigation?

    Tim
     
  34. gkainz

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    Yeah, I was just heading back here to correct my poor choice of wording from “litigation” to “liability avoidance”.
    I’ve seen no evidence of litigation online, just speculation of possible liability in having food in the “unsafe range” for too long.
     
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  35. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    Ours works fine as a slow cooker. My wife tossed the slow cooker. Plus our old slow cooker was a "dumb" model, just low/high setting, no timer. The Instant Pot has a timer which makes it nicer. Of course during the COVID mess that's not a big deal as we're both working from home.
     
  36. pigpenracing

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    After it cooks take the meat out and chop it up and add new fresh BBQ sauce. DO NOT use the sauce and juice it cooks in because it will be greasy. Ask me how I know :D
     
  37. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Have you tried to de-fat that sauce? Just wondering how that worked out.
     
  38. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    I have tried that previously. It did not work very well. But then I may not have used the best technique...

    Tim
     
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  39. pigpenracing

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    Throw away all that greasy stuff it cooked in and put new sauce. That is how I de-fat it. LOL
    It works great doing the same with boneless chicken breast also. Just cook less time.
     
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  40. murphey

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    Put the greasy sauce in a bowl, put bowl in freezer for a few minutes. Then take a knife, run around the edge of the bowl and lift out the grease. May end up with a few pieces of grease, but you still have the good part of the sauce so you can add it to the new sauce.
     
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