You might think that pressure cookers and slow cookers are exactly the same thing, but they aren’t. While they might look similar and have a few different features, they also have a number of key differences. If you want to know what those differences are so that you can make a more informed decision about which one might be right for you and your kitchen, then have a look in this article. We’ve got all the information you’ve been looking for.
Before we get into the differences, we’ll also look at exactly what a pressure cooker is, as well as what a slow cooker is. What are they good for and what are their drawbacks? If you’ve heard a bit about both of these cookers but aren’t really sure which one is for you, then keep reading.
What is a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker uses one simple thing to cook the food you put in it: steam. This steam stays inside an airtight put (that’s important) and keeps applying more pressure to cook the food you’ve put in it.
They’re great because you don’t need oil to cook things. This makes it a much healthier way to prepare food, especially as more people are getting concerned about the saturated fats that are in some cooking oils, and the sheer number of total calories. You can cook your food without any of that.
Pressure cookers also achieve a good overall finish to your food and nice tenderness. Another benefit of a pressure cooker is that you can let it take care of your food while you do something else. You can either prepare some other food or do something completely different. Pressure cookers tend to look after themselves quite easily and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
Pressure cookers work by heating the water in the pot and converting it to steam. When the pressure rises, hot liquid is forced back into the food, therefore cooking it.
What is a slow cooker?
While slow cookers might look a bit like pressure cookers as they have the same shape and sit on the counter—they aren’t the same. Slow cookers tend to cook at a much lower temperature and use liquid to heat as well as steam. They don’t get as hot as boiling point for as long and are designed to cook things slowly over a much longer period.
Slow cookers are great if you want to let casseroles or stews cook for hours to improve the flavours. Like pressure cookers, they can also be left to themselves and therefore don’t require a lot of maintenance. They’re good for people who have other tasks to do, either in the kitchen or elsewhere in the home. As you can tell from the name, slow cookers take a while to cook. While some people will go to work or leave the home while things cook, it’s a good idea to at least stay near the kitchen when there are appliances on. That being said, you don’t have to pay too much attention to your pressure cooker while it’s heating, just make sure it’s safe. You can easily get lots of other stuff done while you’re slowly cooking something.
What are their differences?
Now you know what both pressure cookers and slow cookers are, we can look a bit more closely at their differences. What are the differences between pressure cookers and slow cookers?
1. Unit technology
One difference in technology is that pressure cookers have a much tighter and more sealed lid, with a rubber sealant. That’s because they create much more steam and higher temperatures and the lid needs to be strong enough to keep it all in without letting any escape externally.
2. Cooking times
You can probably guess the difference here, as slow cookers are obviously a lot slower than pressure cookers. You might need up to 8 hours to use a slow cooker whereas some meals can be cooked in under half an hour in a pressure cooker. If you want your food quickly, you might want to consider a pressure cooker rather than a slow cooker.
3. Health benefits
Pressure cookers are great because they heat food without oil. As you probably know, too much oil and other fat can be bad for you. While some moderation is fine, most people consume too much fat already, and a lot of this comes from the oil they use to cook without even knowing it. Check the calories on your bottle of vegetable oil. Even one tablespoon could be way more than you might think.
So with a pressure cooker, you can cook lots of the same sorts of things you might need cooking oil for but without any of the oil. SLow cookers can work the same way, but some recipes will recommend adding more oil to help the process. As well as this, the slow cooking process can lead to a number of healthy nutrients being lost in a slow cooker over time.
4. Better for different things
Pressure cookers are great for certain types of meals, but slow cookers are good if you want tasty slow-cooked stews and casseroles. SLow cookers can make really tender meat through the slow cooking process. You’ll have to look at a few recipes to see which you prefer out of pressure cookers and slow cookers.
5. Different energy consumption
Slow cookers need to be left on for a long time, but they are quite efficient and much better than leaving an oven or saucepan on for hours. Pressure cookers use more power at one time but get the job much quicker, so it depends which works best for you and your energy consumption ideals.
Now you know a bit more about both pressure cookers and slow cookers, you can make a more informed decision about which is right for you and which you want to purchase for your kitchen.