There are kitchen equipment we use everyday which are exceptionally good in their performance. Chances are you have a few, maybe you have a Dutch oven that efficiently cooks soup, bake bread, braise meat, poach chicken or fry bacon. Maybe you even have a huge chopping board that’s so durable, you’ve been using it every day for the past two years. Each item on the kitchen has its own function that serves your food preparation effectively. However, you might be confused about the differences between pressure cooker vs slow cooker.
These two equipment belong on the top list of kitchen tools that have great multi-functional features. Yes, I’m talking about the pressure cooker and the slow cooker. They both have similar functions and are definitely worth having but getting the one that will suit your lifestyle and cooking needs should still be the priority. Let us find out the differences between pressure cooker vs slow cooker to help you make the right choice on your purchase.
Pressure cooker – Food that is cooked through steam or boiling any water based liquids can be cooked in a pressure cooker. It is cooked by the pressure created inside the sealed pot. Pressure cooker cooks food faster than a slow cooker therefore it saves more energy. This is definitely helpful when you need to prepare a fast hot meal right after you get home from work.
Slow cooker a.k.a Crock-Pot – Simmers and cooks food at a lower temperature. You can leave the slow cooker unattended while you do other chores or leave it for the day as you go to work and the warm food is ready when you return.
PRESSURE COOKER VS SLOW COOKER FEATURES:
Pressure cooker – Third generation pressure cookers now have smart programming unlike the old ones. The first generation pressure cooker only had a mechanical timer and there is no delayed cooking capability while the second generation pressure cooker has a digital controller where delayed cooking is possible and the timer tells you when working pressure is reached. The third generation pressure cooker is much like the second and is also designed for multifunctional purposes.
Some pressure cookers available today can function as slow cooker, rice cooker, yoghurt maker, steamer, warmer, sterilizer and baking bread or cake.
Slow cooker – Most basic slow cookers have two or more heat settings, the high, medium, low and keep warm. It delivers constant heat to the content and slowly reaches boiling point if it is set to high. The advanced model of most slow cookers have computerized timing features that lets you program the cooking time. You can set it at two hours high followed by one hour low and then to warm. You can even delay the time of cooking depending on the time you want it cooked as you arrive home. Some slow cookers are helpful when travelling because it has lids that seal perfectly to prevent the contents from spilling.
Similar to pressure cooker, it is also multifunctional. You can simmer, boil, bake, steam, warm, sterilize, cook rice and make yoghurt.
PRESSURE COOKER VS SLOW COOKER ADVANTAGES:
- Foods cook much faster.
- Saves energy.
- Uses less liquid when boiling or steaming.
- Vitamins and minerals retain on the food because of shorter cooking time.
- Promotes a more desirable and concentrated flavor.
- Seasoning becomes less of a necessity
- Less use of other multiple cooking tools.
- Softens less expensive meat cuts to produce tastier stews.
- One step meal preparation.
- Nutrients retain within the sauces and juice served with the meal.
- You can use it when travelling.
- Does not burn food.
- Easy to clean pot.
- Unattended cooking.
- No need to use multiple dishes.
PRESSURE COOKER VS SLOW COOKER DISADVANTAGES:
Pressure cooker – The gasket or seal (rubber or silicone) needs replacement at least once a year. Sometimes it gets difficult to close the lid especially when the gasket is very dry. Applying a bit of vegetable oil helps to put the lid in place. Cooking can become quite inefficient when steam escapes which happens with insufficient pressure. This is usually caused by a defective gasket or it may have already lost its flexibility.
You will have to halt the cooking process when you need to check on the food during cooking time. This is an inconvenience as compared to just using an ordinary saucepan where you can inspect the food anytime without interrupting the cooking process. Therefore, the programmed cooking time is important in any recipe.
Slow Cooker – A report from a Mirror article says that some 20% of slow cookers were leaching amounts of lead into food when they are heated at 26 degrees especially those made with glaze. It’s important to check the brand specifications and see that it doesn’t contain leaded glaze. Avoid slow cookers with Teflon coatings as these release toxins in the food. The best slow cookers are with ceramic and glass inner.
Condensation of steam during cooking is a disadvantage because the water drips back into the food for a long time and it dilutes the flavor.
The comparisons between pressure cooker vs slow cooker presented show that both equipment have the same multi-functional and efficient features that most homemakers look for to achieve a well prepared meal that is not time consuming. The only factor that will make you choose the other depends on your cooking lifestyle. Take a look at the following recipes you can easily make with a slow cooker!