Pressure Cooker vs. Slow Cooker: What's the difference?

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Difference between Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker

Slow cookers and pressure cookers both offer alternatives to normal cooking pans, but they take on very different forms and they are used to cook food in completely different ways. The main difference is in the speed of cooking. Slow cookers, which are the slower means of cooking, are also known as crock pots.

Pressure Cooker
Slow Cooker

Cooking Speed

Slow cookers are intended for cooking food slowly. Dishes prepared using a slow cooker may take about eight hours to cook, which means that it is possible to start cooking a meal in a slow cooker in the morning and to have it read for dinnertime that evening. However, it also means that it is necessary to plan the meal well ahead of time since it cannot simply be cooked right before eating. Pressure cookers are designed to cook food very quickly. A pressure cooker can prepare food in just a few minutes, which makes it ideal for preparing a meal quickly when the user feels hungry.


Slow cookers and pressure cookers can be used to cook many of the same foods, although they can also be used to prepare different types of dishes.

To cook with a pressure cooker, the food is placed inside the vessel with a small amount of liquid. A pressure setting is chosen and the pressure cooker is placed on the stove and heated. Once the pressure has built up inside the cooker, the heat can be lowered while the cooking process is completed. Different types of food can be cooked together in the pressure cooker, with new items being added at different times if they don't require as much cooking time.

Crock pots are typically powered by electricity. They produce a small amount of heat that can cook food slowly, so it is possible to leave food cooking unattended for hours at a time. Typical recipes for a slow cooker include stew and pot roast. As with a pressure cooker, the raw food is typically added to the pot with some liquid.


A pressure cooker is a sealed metal vessel or pan which will not allow any air or water to escape from inside the cooker, as long as the pressure inside does not rise above a certain level. Because the pressure cooker is sealed, the pressure can build up inside the container during the cooking process as steam builds up inside it. This raised pressure helps the liquid inside the vessel to heat up to a higher temperature than it normally would before it starts to boil. Water will boil at a temperature above 100 degrees Celsius when it is being heated in a pressure cooker. Mountaineers sometimes use pressure cookers to cook at high altitudes where the air pressure is lower.

A slow cooker is usually an oval or round ceramic cooking pot which is covered by a lid. The pot may sit inside a housing which, when it is plugged in and switched on, will slowly heat the pot and cook its contents. Although the lid will retain some steam within the crock pot, the pressure does not build up in the same way as it does with a pressure cooker. Slow cookers may have multiple heat settings.

Similarities and Differences

  • Pressure cookers and slow cookers offer different ways of cooking. Pressure cookers are a specialist form of cooking pan, but slow cookers are usually electrically powered.
  • Pressure cookers are sealed vessels in which steam and pressure build up.
  • Pressure cookers raise the temperature at which liquids boil so they cook food at a hotter temperature.
  • Slow cookers can be used to cook food slowly over a number of hours.
  • Pressure cookers cook food quickly, in minutes rather than hours.

Which cooker is more useful?
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Slow Cooker

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