Looking for the perfect addition to your kitchen? How about investing in a multi-cooker? Designed to perform several cooking tasks, it not only eliminates the need for multiple appliances, but it also prepares delicious meals in a fraction of time. Perfect for busy individuals and families, its popularity has grown tremendously over the past couple of years.
What is the Instant Pot?
One of the most popular brands of multi-cookers, the Instant Pot boasts a variety of functions from pressure cooking to steaming foods. Intelligent and dependable, it also uses up to 70% less energy compared to traditional cooking methods.
One of the most popular brands of multi-cookers, the Instant Pot boasts a variety of functions from steaming, sautéing, and everything in between. Intelligent and easy-to-use, more and more home cooks have been adding the appliance to their kitchen in the recent years.
Currently, there are a handful of Instant Pots that are available on the market. To be more specific, there’s the Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, Smart, and Ultra. Out of those, the Duo model is the most popular, with its seven standard functions. For those who are interested in newer,”snazzier” additions, however, the newer versions are just as capable, if not better.
Should I Use an Instant Pot?
As mentioned earlier, multi-cookers such as the Instant Pot are designed for convenience and ease of use. If you’re on the fence on whether or not to use it, ask yourself the following questions:
– Are you interested in preparing meals ahead of time? (i.e. the meal will be done by the time you get home)
– Are you interested in reducing clutter in the kitchen by consolidating everything into one appliance?
– Are you interested in cutting the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal?
– Are you interested in being able to prepare a variety of dishes with the press of a few buttons?
As you can probably tell, there are a number of reasons as to why the Instant Pot has grown to be as popular as it is today. First and foremost, however, is its versatility- wouldn’t you want to own a single gadget that can prepare all sorts of foods?
The Different Functions of an Instant Pot
Often regarded as a seven-in-one*, the Instant Pot offers the abilities to slow cook, pressure cook, make yogurt, steam food, warm food, saute, and cook rice. As if that wasn’t cool enough, you can even customize your cooking experience with the purchase of various accessories (e.g. steamer pans, cake pan, glass lid, etc.).
*The specific functions vary from model to model (For instance, some of the newer models come with an app that can be connected to the Instant Pot via Bluetooth).
Instant Pot Vs Other Multi-cookers
With how popular multi-cookers have become, it’s not surprising to know that they are manufactured by a number of companies around the world. Below, we’ll be comparing the Instant Pot with the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker.
What is the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker?
A programmable multi-cooker, the Crock-Pot Express is very similar to the Instant Pot in that it is capable of pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, and more. An all-in-one appliance, it features eight one-touch meal settings including Dessert, Poultry, Yogurt, Meat, Rice, Stew, Beans, and Soup. Designed with safety in mind, it also comes with an airtight locking lid that remains sealed under pressure.
Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker Pros:
– One of the more least expensive multi-cookers available on the market
– Comes with eight cooking presets that allow for easy meal preparation
– Features a simple and easy-to-use interface
– Comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty
– Features a number of safety precautions (e.g. airtight locking lid)
– The Inner Pot is dishwasher safe
Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker Cons:
– Only available as a 6-quart size (recommended for families of four or less)
– Its delay start function is only capable of being set for a maximum of four hours
– Many users have noticed that its inner pot easily gets dinged after a few uses
– Some have noticed that it doesn’t cook food as nicely as some other pressure cookers
Is the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker Worth It?
If you’re looking for an inexpensive multi-cooker, the Crock-Pot Express might be a good option as it offers a variety of functions. With that said, you may wish to take into consideration its size, especially if you have a larger family.
Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker Vs the Instant Pot
Below, we’ll be looking at some of the similarities and differences between the two appliances.
Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker Specs:
– An All-in-one, it allows you to pressure cook, saute, steam, and slow coo
– Comes with eight preset meal settings; these include Rice, Beans/Chili, Meat, Stew, Soup, Dessert, Yogurt, and Poultry
– Features a 6-quart nonstick inner pot that can be safely put into the dishwasher
– Features an air-tight locking lid as an added safety measure
– Comes with a serving spoon, steaming rack, and recipe book
Instant Pot Specs: (For comparison purposes, we’ll be looking at the Instant Pot Duo)
– A 7-in-1, it can act as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, saute, yogurt maker, food warmer and rice cooker
– Comes with 14 smart programs for your convenience (e.g. Soup, Meat/Stew, Poultry, Porridge, Rice, Chilli, etc.)
– Comes with a stainless steel inner cooking pot that features a three-layered bottom for even heat distribution
– Complete with 10 safety mechanisms for added assurance
– Comes with a steam rack with handles, soup soon, rice paddle, and measuring cup
Similarities between the Crock-Pot Express and the Instant Pot:
– Both are capable of pressure cooking, slow cooking, making yogurt, rice, sautéing, steaming, and keeping food warm
– Both come with a one year warranty
– The 6-quart models are very similar in size
– Both are able to prepare meals much faster than traditional cooking methods on the stovetop
Differences between the Crock-Pot Express and the Instant Pot:
– The Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker’s keep warm functions can be set for a maximum of four hours (compared to the Instant Pot’s 24 hours)
– The Instant Pot features an uncoated cooking surface whereas the Crock-Pot Express’ pot is made out of a nonstick coating
– The Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker only comes in a 6-quart size
– There are a variety of Instant Pot models to choose from
– A range of accessories can be purchased for the Instant Pot
– The Instant Pot comes with 14 preset programs (as opposed to the Crock-Pot Express’ 8)
– Huge range of models are available for the Instant Pot
Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker Vs Instant Pot: Performance
Let’s take a look at how the two multi-cookers compare when it comes to their different functions.
Pressure Cooking: When it comes to pressure cooking, both appliances are able to tenderize meat within an hour.
Slow Cooker: Compared to the traditional Crock-Pot Slow Cooker, the Instant Pot took a little longer to cook pork. With that said, the Crock-Pot Express and the Instant Pot seem to be on even grounds.
Food Steamer: Due to the differences between the two cookers’ pressure-steam process, the results can be different.
Rice Cooker: Both are comparable in cooking rice.
Sauteing: Thanks to the Crock-Pot Express’ nonstick cooking surface, cleanup is much easier.
Yogurt Making: The Instant Pot tends to make thicker yogurt compared to the Crock-Pot Express
Warming Food: Both are comparable in their abilities to keep food warm.
Should I Get the Crock-Pot Express or the Instant Pot?
In the end, it depends on preference. If you want to invest in something with a few more features, the Instant Pot is a good solid option. For instance, you can go for one of the newer models such as the Smart, which offers new functions such as the ability to pair the multi-cooker to a mobile app via Bluetooth.
If however, you’re looking for something simple, that can still get the job done, perhaps go for the Crock Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker. A cost-effective option, it boasts many of the Instant Pot’s main functions, at a more affordable price. With that said, the appliance is generally “less snazzy” than its counterpart.
Where Can I Buy the Crock-Pot Express/Instant Pot?
Both the Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker and the Instant Pot can be purchased at a number of retail stores. For more information, please visit their respective websites.
As far as online retailers go, both appliances can be found on Amazon.com. At the time of this writing, the Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker is listed for $79.99, whereas the Instant Pot ranges anywhere from $79 to $150+, depending on the model.