With offices returning to offline schedules, I get less time to cook.
I have been thinking about upgrading my kitchen with appliances that take up less time and effort. Appliances that will save me from ordering junk takeaways.
Recently I came across crockpots and rice cookers. My colleagues swear by them for making their lives easy when they get home.
I decided to find out all about them.
Let us begin with what they are and how they work before moving on to the differences between them so you get a clear picture and choose accordingly.
Crockpots are a durable and reliable brand of slow cookers. They are programmed to slow cook food anywhere from two to twelve hours.
It consists of a metal casing that holds heating elements on the bottom and the sides.
A ceramic or porcelain insert pot goes inside the outer casing. Ceramic and porcelain will not leach out any toxins. They are unreactive with food.
A crockpot has three temperature settings: high, low, and warm.
I love the easy and simple way it works. Once the food is done, the pot automatically switches to a warm setting.
It is a set-and-forget appliance that can be used to make stews, broths, soups, meats, etc.
With the help of the lid on top, the steam generated falls back into the food. There is no moisture loss in this method of cooking.
Rice cookers are a user-friendly kitchen appliance that helps you to cook different kinds of rice.
It saves time and effort and is a must-have if you consume rice frequently.
Many different brands are available in the market. Some come with steamers so you can steam veggies and meat as well in a rice cooker.
Some brands offer more variety and these are labeled as multifunctional rice cookers. You can make porridge, risotto, and even bake in the rice cooker!
Most rice cookers come with embedded customized settings.
All you need to do is place your raw rice, and water and press the desired menu button. The rice cooker will take it from there.
Once the food is cooked, it will shift to a warm setting. Unlike the crockpot, a rice cooker cooks faster.
The mechanism used here is ‘dry’ heat. The time taken by a rice cooker to cook rice is 20-30 minutes.
You can also cook veggies and meat inside a rice cooker.
It is designed so your food stays warm for several hours inside the rice cooker.
It consists of a detachable pot, a thermostat, and an electrically powered heating source. High-end rice cookers use an induction plate.
Let us move toward the differences between Crockpots and Rice cookers
|Difference in Speed||A crockpot is designed to slow cook food for several hours. A basic model will have the option from two to twelve hours.||A rice cooker cooks food quickly within 20-30 minutes. Certain grains of rice requires 45 minutes.|
|The difference in Heat||A crockpot cooks food using moist heat||A rice cooker uses dry heat to quickly cook the rice grain.|
|The difference in cooking modes||A crockpot has three modes- a high mode, a low mode, and a warm mode||A rice cooker has two modes- a cooking and a warm mode|
|The difference in cooking temperature||A crockpot uses low-temperature settings so the food becomes tender and does not burn.||A rice cooker has pre-set programmed settings. It can use high heat settings for preset menus.|
|The difference in versatility||Crockpot is designed for slow cooking. It cannot be used for multipurpose cooking styles like baking.||A rice cooker can be multifunctional. You can bake and steam inside the rice cooker.|
|The difference in size||A crockpot varies in size ranging from 4 to 7 quartz.||A rice cooker can be small or large depending on the brand. The capacity can be anywhere from four cups of rice to twenty cups of rice.|
|The difference in the type of food||You can slow cook practically any food inside the crockpot. It can easily tenderize meat like beef, mutton, pork, and vegetables.||Rice cookers can be used for making rice, soups, porridges, risottos, etc. Steamer trays allow you to steam veggies and meat like fish.|
|The difference in cost||A basic model starts from 29 dollars and can go up to 199 dollars ( high-end models)||Rice cookers are cheaper compared to crockpots. A basic model can range anywhere from 18-20 dollars. Expensive induction models go as high as 200 dollars.|
|The difference in maintenance||The insert can be easily removed and cleaned by hand or in a dishwasher.||The inner pot may or may not be easily detachable. The non-stick coating may require care while cleaning.|
|The difference in oven/microwave safety||The insert pot inside a crockpot can go easily inside the microwave or oven up to 400F. This is because it is made of ceramic/porcelain||The inner pot of the rice cooker may not be microwave safe due to its metallic build.|
A crockpot is designed to slow cook your food for several hours. It is ideal if you have long working hours.
Just set the slow cooker and come back home in the evening to have hot meals.
A rice cooker takes less time. The time duration can vary anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the grain of rice and the preset menu.
Here if you leave rice for too long, you may end up overcooking and even burning it.
It is best to have a rice cooker that switches automatically to keep warm after cooking. However, the duration of hours depends on the model.
It is usually meant to be unplugged after a few hours. You cannot leave it switched on for the whole day.
While a crockpot will give you the same consistency of food even after ten hours, a rice cooker may dry up your rice.
When it comes to options for food, a crockpot is an excellent choice for cooking tough and large pieces of meat.
Use it for broths, stews, chili, and soup. The water content inside a slow cooker will not decrease.
Slow cooking helps the crockpot retain all the flavors and juices. A rich and full one-pot meal is what a crockpot is all about
Rice cookers are winners when it comes to all kinds of rice dishes. You can cook fried rice, mixed rice, sweet rice, sushi rice, brown rice, etc.
A rice cooker can also be used to make liquid foods like soups, risottos, and porridges.
Opt for a rice cooker if you love steaming your food. Dumplings, fish, and veggies come out wonderfully well in a rice cooker.
Certain rice cooker models have multifunctional features giving you different cuisine options.
Also read: Can Crock-Pot Cook Rice?
Best Crockpot for Your Kitchen
You can cook for parties and get-togethers in bulk with this seven-quart crockpot.
It has a wide range of cooking times, giving you different options to cook from 30 minutes to 20 hours on high or low.
You can make soups, broths, and stews easily with a crockpot.
The keep-warm setting ensures your food remains warm long after it is cooked.
The stone insert is microwave and oven safe up to 400F. You can easily clean it up in the dishwasher.
Best Rice Cooker for Your Kitchen
Aroma Housewares 6 cup cooked pot style rice cooker and food steamer is Amazon’s best choice for a rice cooker.
This rice cooker can steam veggies and meat while the rice cooks below at the same time.
You get to eat one-pot dishes in one go. It is perfect for dumplings, salads, soups, chili, jambalaya, etc.
Once the food is cooked, it automatically shifts to the ‘keep warm’ setting. The digital display is quite easy to understand.
The rice cooker comes with a steam tray, a spatula, a measuring cup, and a tempered glass lid.
I hope the difference between a crockpot and a rice cooker is now clear.
If you eat a lot of rice, work from home, or work for only a couple of hours, choose a rice cooker.
You can also steam veggies, meat, and even bake pastries inside the rice cooker
If you prefer eating juicy moist full meals and don’t mind waiting, choose a crockpot.
A crockpot is especially helpful if you have long working hours and don’t have time to cook.
It helps to tender the toughest of meat cuts. If you love meat stews, soups, and broths with veggies, opt for a slow cooker.
A rice cooker can be used instead of a crockpot when it comes to food with high water content. But a crockpot cannot be used as a rice cooker for cooking rice.
Choose wisely according to your diet and lifestyle. All the best!
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- Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker Review
- Can You Put Crock-Pot in the Oven?
- Can You Use Oven Bags in a Crock-Pot?
- Dutch Oven vs Crockpot – What’s the difference?
- Can a Crockpot Go in the Dishwasher?
- Can a Crock-Pot Boil Water?
- Instant Pot vs Rice Cooker – What’s the Difference?