Can I Use a Crockpot Instead of a Slow Cooker?

Crock pot, slow cooker and Instant Pot are often used interchangeably, yet they’re different products altogether. A crockpot is actually just one type of slow cooker which may have various uses and functions.

They use low temperatures for long periods, making them perfect for soups, stews and other one-pot meals. With no need to monitor, these devices make life simpler for busy people.

Cooking Times

Crockpots and slow cookers may appear similar, with their pots, lids, and heating elements, yet they’re two distinct appliances. Both use moist heat to slowly cook food over an extended period, but crockpots offer greater versatility: baked goods, soups and stews can all be prepared easily in them – ideal for busy households where meals must be made on schedule with minimal hands-on involvement.

Crockpots provide many advantages over slow cookers when it comes to adapting recipes for multiple serving times and temperatures, perfect for families on-the-go who need dinner ready when they return home from a long day at work. Plus, many crockpots feature warm settings which will ensure food remains at an ideal serving temperature until ready for consumption.

Converting oven recipes for use in a slow cooker can be tricky, as many are designed exclusively for slow cookers. To simplify this conversion process, consider cutting back on ingredients until your crockpot fits your size needs; e.g. if a recipe calls for 6 quart slow cooker capacity reduce the ingredients accordingly to fit.

Reducing cooking times further, using an oven safe bowl in your crockpot to reduce its cooking area can shorten cooking times significantly. Simply place it inside and fill it halfway up its sides with enough water – this will allow for faster results while cooking smaller recipes in your crock pot!

Before beginning to make any slow cooker recipes, always check your oven’s temperature and timing parameters before beginning. Some ovens may be incapable of maintaining an ideal low heat level over an extended period, leading to overcooked foods.


Temperature matters when it comes to cooking. This is especially true when slow cooking dishes – slow-cookers allow you to create rich, hearty soups and stews over long hours without burning or sticking to the bottom of their pot, creating hearty meals. On the contrary, high settings on crock pots may cause food to burn or stick to the bottom, creating frustration if trying to estimate when your dish will finish cooking.

That is why it is vital that you follow the recommended settings for your crock pot, while understanding that not all crock pots are created equally – some are better than others, so before purchasing one it’s wise to compare reviews before making your selection. When comparing reviews make sure you consider user interface, ease of use, build quality and how hot the handles get when considering specific crock pots.

Popular crock pot models typically provide multiple heat settings – low, medium and high – as well as keep-warm options. Many even feature timers so you can set it for when the desired cooking time has expired; others may even allow users to pre-brown foods before slow cooking begins.

If you’re searching for something a bit more advanced, take a look at the Cuisinart 6.5-Quart Programmable Crock Pot. It features a digital timer as well as the option to simmer instead of boil your dish – perfect for health conscious cooks! Additionally, this model is free from PTFE and PFOA compounds; making it great choice. However, its handles may become very hot during its operation which may make cleaning up difficult after use.

If you don’t wish to purchase a crock pot, a Dutch oven can still help you slow cook your favorite recipes. But first make a few modifications – for instance adding more liquid as heat distribution may vary more with this method than crockpots do.

Cooking Method

Crockpots and slow cookers differ primarily in the way they heat. A crockpot uses a stoneware pot encased by its heating element; on the other hand, slow cookers feature metal pots on top of an even hot surface that provide more even heating throughout both bottom and sides of their pots.

Crockpots and slow cookers are efficient tools for long-simmering foods like pulled pork, brisket and short ribs; vegetables; soups etc. Our Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab is run by Nicole Papantoniou who oversees all slow cooker/pressure cooker testing; together with senior editors Amina Lake Abdelrahman and Abigail Bailey she developed this story together.

When using a crockpot, it’s vital to follow the recipe’s directions precisely. Overcooking can easily occur in this type of appliance; therefore, to prevent overcooking set your cooking timer for half of total recipe duration so as to guarantee food is cooked thoroughly without overdosing it.

Furthermore, it’s crucial that you use a crockpot with an airtight lid. A tight-fitting lid will help prevent steam from escaping the pot, keeping food moist and tender.

When making soup or stew in your crockpot, be sure to periodically stir it to prevent overly thick or burned areas from developing. Add water or broth as necessary if the dish begins sticking at the bottom of your pot.

No matter the difference between a crockpot and slow cooker, most recipes can work just as effectively in either device. But there are a few distinct features between them that could alter how certain dishes turn out – specifically Crock-Pot is registered trademark owned by Rival parent company; any slow cooker without carrying their brand such as West Bend Slow Cooker with Ceramic Insert may offer similar benefits and be used similarly.


Crock-Pots or slow cookers have become an integral part of modern households, making home cooking possible when there isn’t time. Ideal for busy individuals seeking home-cooked meals but don’t have the energy or skillset required, crock-pots make this possible without taking up much space in the kitchen.

When purchasing a slow cooker or Crock-Pot, there are various factors to keep in mind when shopping. Considerations include how often and for whom it will be used as well as its features, size and design. Once you know what your ideal model should look like, test out various models before making your final choice.

Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab has conducted tests on slow cookers and Crock-Pots for years, led by Nicole Papantoniou as its Director. Nicole oversees all slow and pressure cooker testing; Amina Lake Abdelrahman and Abigail Bailey worked closely together in creating this story.

Before beginning the cleaning of your crock pot, ensure it has cooled and is unplugged. Remove the lid, wash stoneware with warm soapy water using sponge or cloth and hot, soapy water on metal bases – ideally you would choose dishwasher-safe models made of stoneware and stainless steel materials for best results!

If your crock pot has hardened food debris that’s stubborn to remove, consider using a baking soda solution. Fill your crock up to the leftover food line with water and add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar or 1 cup of baking soda according to how large your pot is (for 3 or 6 quart). Cover and let sit for at least an hour. After letting sit, rinse out with clean water before wiping down interior and exterior of crock.

Crock-Pots can be found at most major appliance stores, home stores and grocery stores; you can also order one online and have it delivered straight to your door. When shopping online be sure to read product reviews and return policies before making your decision.