If you’re in the market for a quality multi-cooker, you’ve no doubt heard about Instant Pot and Crock Pot. Both brands have a cult following and are revered for their range of benchtop cookers that can help make great meals with little to no effort at all. But which is best? Here’s our expert review.
Instant Pot multi-cookers overview
Instant Pot offers a few electronic multi-cookers suitable for beginner cooks, food enthusiasts, and anyone looking to save time in the kitchen. Models in the range are said to speed up cooking times by two to six times and to help save up to 70% of the energy used in traditional stovetop cooking. Most of the Instant Pot multi-cookers come in capacities ranging between 3L and 8L. Some models available include:
- Instant Pot Duo Gourmet (5.7L): $209 RRP*
- Instant Pot Duo (5.7L): $229 RRP*
- Instant Pot Duo Nova (5.7L): $259 RRP*
Instant Pot multi-cookers consolidate up to 10 appliances in one and include functions for pressure cooking, sautéing, steaming, stewing, slow cooking, rice cooking, sous vide, warming foods, and making yoghurt, just to name a few. Other specs consistent throughout the range include an LCD screen with a cooking status indicator, one-touch smart program settings, a sealed lid, a pressure release button, and extra safety features and timed cooking programs to ‘set and forget’ your meals.
Crock Pot multi-cookers review
Crock Pot is the original slow cooker, hence why people call all types of multi-cookers a crockpot. The brand has been in the market for over 40 years and today also offers several pressure cookers and multi-cookers, in addition to its slow cookers. Crock Pot’s slow cookers range includes manual, automatic, and even Alexa-enabled slow cookers. Meanwhile, its multi-cookers combine up to nine appliances into one and offer dozens of one-touch settings for recipes like soups, stews, roasts, and more. Some models in the range include:
- Crock Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker (5.7L): $129 RRP*
- Crock Pot Multi Express Crock XL (5.5L): $159 RRP*
- Crock Pot Express Easy Release Oval Multi-Cooker (5.7L): $249 RRP*
Instant Pot vs Crock Pot: Which offers more even cooking?
Crock Pot multi-cookers give slightly better cooking results than Instant Pot models, thanks to their oval shape and a built-in heating element that begins heating at the base and disperses the heat to the sides. Crock Pot multi-cookers are designed to slowly heat your food at a constant temperature over long periods of time, between 30 minutes and 20 hours. On the other hand, Instant Pot multi-cookers use a combination of steam and presume cooking to cook foods faster, although this doesn’t always give you an even end result.
Crock Pot multi-cookers allow you to prep your food in the morning, let it simmer all day, and then have it cooked and ready to serve by the time you get home from work. Crock Pot multi-cookers are ideal to make soups, stews, roasts, chili, and risotto.
Instant Pot vs Crock Pot: Which has more settings?
Instant Pot multi-cookers have a wider range of cooking settings compared to Crock Pot models, and also offer more cooking techniques all within the same pot, like slow cooking, pressure cooking, steaming, sautéing, sous vide, yoghurt and bread making, and everything else you’d expect from a multi-cooker. There is also a delay-start and keep-warm function on all models. Most Instant Pot multi-cookers also feature smart programs like meat/stew, bean/chili, soup/broth, rice, multigrain, porridge, and more. In terms of safety features, Instant Pot multi-cookers offer up to 10 safe mechanisms like a steam release, anti-block shield, automatic temperature control, leaky lid detection, and more.
Instant Pot vs Crock Pot: Which is cheaper?
Instant Pot and Crock Pot multi-cookers are on par in terms of price, especially when considering different models in each range, capacities available, cooking capabilities, and other design and safety features. Most Instant Pot and Crock Pot multi-cookers are priced between $100 and $300, which is not too shabby for something as versatile and convenient as a multi-cooker. If you’re on a budget, however, be sure to check out seasonal sales on appliances, especially around the end of the financial year (EOFY) and Black Friday.
Instant Pot vs Crock Pot: Comparison
Here is a quick comparison of comparable Instant Pot vs Crock Pot models, based on cooking functions, features, and price.
|Specifications||Instant Pot Duo Nova||Crock Pot Express Easy Release Oval Multi-Cooker|
|Configurations (appliances in one)||7-in-1||9-in1|
|One-touch programs||14 smart programs, including soup, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, sauté/simmer, rice, multigrain, porridge, steam, etc.||13 one-touch programs including pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sear, boil, simmer, etc.|
General guide only
Instant Pot vs Crock Pot: Which is best?
This depends on what you’re looking for. The Crock Pot is the best option for households looking for a straightforward multi-cooker and for those who like to prepare meals in the morning and set and forget their cooking until dinnertime. The slow cooking process of the Crock Pot also allows for more even results and gives foods more flavour.
On the other hand, the Instant Pot is ideal for home cooks short on time. It uses high pressure steam in a sealed container to cook meals faster than regular stovetop cooking and also offers more settings for meats, soups, bread, and even hard-boiled eggs. The choice is yours!