I’m just going to put this out there right away. Essentially, there’s almost no difference between an instant pot and a slow cooker!

What?!? But they are ALL the rage these days! I know, and I’m not saying that it’s not an amazing kitchen gadget. But in all truth an instant pot is a slow cooker on steroids.

Is an instant pot different than a crock-pot?

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Is an instant pot the same as a slow cooker?

Yes.

And no.

That was helpful wasn’t it? A crock-pot (or slow cooker) is the same as an instant pot in the way that they will both cook the same foods with the same outcome.

The difference between the instant pot (or pressure cooker) and the slow cooker is the time it takes your food to cook. An instant pot will generally cook your food in about an hour, whereas the slow cooker will cook your food in about 4 hours. Or even 8 hours.

My instant pot can be used as a crock-pot though right?

Yes, it does have a slow cook option. In my own personal opinion though, it still doesn’t work like the real crock-pot.

The crock pot is designed to cook low and slow. The oval shape of the crock-pot is like that for a reason, this allows the food to heat up evenly all around the crock-pot.

An instant pot however, is a pot. Literally. It’s like a big soup pan. And it’ll heat up from the bottom, unlike a crock-pot that’ll heat it up all around.

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Does an instant pot cook that much faster than a crock-pot?

In this case yes, an instant pot will cook in about a 1/4 of the time. Where as the average meal in a crock-pot pot is 4-6 hours, the average time for an instant pot meal is about 1 hour.

An instant pot (or pressure cooker) cooks with high pressure and the lid locks you can’t even add the cooking time because you won’t be able to open the lid! And since every time you take the lid off a crock pot you’re adding 30 minutes of cook time to make up for the lost heat.

So do you really need an instant pot?

Here’s the thing my instant pot is handy. Super handy. And now that I have it? No I don’t want to get rid of it.

Did it make my life easier though?

I don’t know. I mean in a sense yes because I didn’t have to think about dinner as early. And you really can set it and forget it. But you can do that with a crock pot too.

The whole reason I even bought an instant pot was because of the whole farce of cook a frozen chicken in 15 minutes!

And that my friend is a load of crap.

Yes the cook time is 15 minutes.

But you also have to wait about 10-15 minutes for it to come to pressure, than 15 minutes for it to cook and then ANOTHER 10 minutes for it to release pressure.

Which brings you to AT LEAST 40 minutes before your chicken is actually ready to eat.

But you don’t have to babysit it either during that time.

And this goes for ALL the recipes you see out there. Yes, it make cook in a shorter amount of time, but you still need to wait for it to come to pressure and then depressurize.

No, you don’t always have to wait for all the pressure to naturally release, but if you have meat in your instant pot? Then yes, you really do need to wait every time. Unless you want tough, dry meat

And no one wants tough/dry meat.

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So how do I decide if I should get an instant pot?

This will really depend on your family situation. If you’re coming home from work later, then an instant pot can be handy!

You can put your meal in the instant pot and then forget about it and do the other things that demand your attention. Then come back in 45 minutes and your dinner will be ready!

For myself, as a WAHM with 5 small kids, the instant pot has saved dinner a few times! When I forget about making dinner, or it gets later than I realize than I can get dinner for my family ready within 30 minutes!

The biggest reason I love mine is because it’s like a super fast crock pot.

And the fact that you can sauté your food first in the instant pot rather than having to use a separate pan like you need to with a crock pot.

Oh and lets not even mention the fact that I can actually peel my boiled eggs now! I mean I couldn’t do this if my life depended on it! But I would keep my instant pot just for this reason alone.

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Do I have to buy all the accessories to use my instant pot?

If you want to use your instant pot to the full potential, you do need to buy a few accessories too. Like the steamer basket, the egg mold and lasagna pan (or use it for your cheesecake)

But they aren’t a must! I’ve had my instant pot for 5 months and I didn’t buy the accessories yet.

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The biggest question to ask yourself if you need this instant pot is this.

Is the money it costs (they aren’t exactly cheap) worth the few hours it’ll save from thinking about dinner earlier?

If the answer is yes (especially for you moms that work outside the home) then I truly believe that an instant pot (or pressure cooker) could save dinner for you!

If your on a tight budget however then maybe weigh ALL the pros and cons before going and spending the money on one!

I hope this helps you decide if you really need one! If you don’t know what the next step is, look at this post here that explains what size and what model instant pot you need!

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