A rice cooker doesn’t cook the same way as a slow cooker and vice-versa. But, getting both may not be the best idea if you don’t want to spend a lot. Instead, get a cooker that guarantees the most value!
Hence, I’ve compiled an in-depth comparison of the slow cooker and the rice cooker based on their working, cooking abilities, health benefits, pros, and cons.
So, let’s dig in!
5 Differences between a slow cooker and a rice cooker
Before we get into the right choice of electronic cookers, let’s outline the basic differences between the two.
Slow cooker sizes range from 1 to 8 Quarts. However, the rice cooker is sized in cups. Moreover, rice cookers accommodate 2 to 20 cups of uncooked rice these days.
Firstly, cooking in a slow cooker takes 2 to 10 hours. Although, you can cook within 30 minutes to 2 hours in a rice cooker.
#3 Cooking modes
You have three modes for cooking in a slow cooker such as high, low, and warm. However, the rice cooker offers only two modes- low and warm.
#4 Method of cooking
A slow cooker distributes heat evenly. However, a rice cooker uses extreme heat to rapidly cook the rice.
You can fill up the slow cooker with water to auto-clean the scraps stuck to the cooker on its own. Although, the rice cooker is hard to clean as it’s common for rice starch to dry out after cooking.
The Slow Cooker: The ultimate choice for convenient cooking
In fact, the slow cooker came after the rice cooker. But, it’s more advanced than the latter. Moreover, a slow cooker is available in manual, digital, programmable, and portable versions.
What is a Slow Cooker?
The slow cooker is a large pot tailored for slow-cooked dishes like stews. Additionally, you can cook food for hours on end with it.
Moreover, it maintains temperatures between 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent spoiling the food.
How does it work?
The slow cooker works by circulating heat evenly and slowly. Firstly, the bottom gets heated. Secondly, the heat rises from the sides to the top.
Hence, steam is generated.
Next, the steam leads to a vacuum seal around the lid. Moreover, it concentrates the liquids in the food over hours.
Why use a slow cooker?
A slow cooker is called a crock-pot as it uses lesser energy than an oven despite cooking for a great deal of time. Hence, these are great for busybodies, thanks to the programmable cooking options.
Moreover, you can cook meat to its perfection in a slow cooker. Furthermore, the slow cooker will seal the heat and keep the food warm for an extended period.
What can be cooked in a slow cooker?
Here are the dishes you can cook in a slow cooker with their time limits:
|Vegetables||2 to 6||2 to 6|
|Ribs||6 to 10||4 to 6|
|Baked Potato||8 to 10||4 to 5|
|Beans||8 to 9||4 to 5|
Additionally, the cooking time above will vary based on the food used.
Moreover, you can also cook chili, cake, bread, fudge, stuffing, meatballs, enchiladas, cirrus, and macaroni cheese in a slow cooker.
What cannot be cooked in a slow cooker?
Here’s a table on what to avoid in a slow cooker and why:
|Rice and grains||Dry and undercooked|
|Fatty cuts of meat||Fat spikes the temperature|
|Shrimp and Scallops||Rubbery meat|
|Wine||Alcohol can’t evaporate|
|Hard-boiled eggs||Rubbery or runny|
What are the pros and cons of a slow cooker?
Firstly, you should weigh the merits and demerits of a slow cooker.
So, take a look at the following.
- Hands-free cooking: Thanks to its programmable settings, this is a time-saving and fuss-free option.
- Tenderizes the meat: You can cook meats, stews, and soups using slow heat over hours sans overcooking. Moreover, it uses moist heat than rapid heat to soften tissues in meats.
- Enhances the flavors: Slow cooking doesn’t burn the nutrients or flavors. Instead, it preserves the taste and freshness. In addition, you’ll never burn your food!
- Reduces mess: One-pot cooking saves time and energy otherwise spent switching vessels and cleaning them.
- Dilutes some flavors: Water tends to drip back into the food due to condensation in this cooker. Hence, the natural flavors may weaken.
- Spices become too intense: Spices get too intense when simmered for hours on end in a slow cooker.
- Not an all-rounder: Slow cooker doesn’t work for all kinds of foods. Hence, you may need a rice cooker for some foods like rice although it can cook other foods too.
Why should you consider buying a crock-pot for your kitchen?
Firstly, the crock-pot is an excellent type of branded slow cooker. Nevertheless, you should use it if you don’t have a lot of time to cook but want to cook exhaustive recipes.
Moreover, using a Crock-Pot or slow cooker is the perfect way to cook pot roasts, ribs, soups, and stews without hassles.
The Rice Cooker: How can it help you save time & money?
Called rice steamers, rice cookers are a godsend for rice-lovers everywhere. In addition, you no longer have to watch the rice like a hawk to get that perfect fluffy consistency.
What is a rice cooker, and what are the different types?
A rice cooker is an automated kitchen gadget for cooking varied rice to perfection. Besides, it’s available in basic, digital, induction, and multi-function varieties.
How does a rice cooker work?
Firstly, a rice cooker works by shooting up the temperature of the water to a rapid boil. Also, the temperature ranges between 100 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a result, the rice absorbs all the water and starts steaming.
Then, the generated steam creates a vacuum seal around the lid.
Thus, the temperature inside the cooker increases and cooks the rice to perfect fluffiness.
Moreover, such a cooker preserves the heat and keeps the rice warm.
Why use a rice cooker for cooking brown or white rice?
Whether you’re a fan of aromatic Basmati or nutritional brown rice, the rice cooker is perfect for all kinds of rice. Besides, you don’t need to be a rice maven to cook rice like a pro in this cooker, thanks to its one-stop-option preparation.
Additionally, the work is so straightforward that there’s no room to make mistakes. Moreover, it allows the rice to soak all the nutrients instead of draining the water as in a traditional method.
The benefits of using a rice cooker that I AGREE with!
Next, I’ll outline the pros and cons of the rice cooker so that you know it inside out.
- Multifaceted: You can cook quinoa, barley, farro, beans, and lentils besides rice in a rice cooker.
- Steaming: In addition to cooking fluffy rice, you can use the steamer basket to properly cook veggies, boneless chicken, and even seafood.
- Keeps food warm: Unlike the slow cooker, the rice cooker will automatically preserve the heat generated during cooking. Hence, the rice stays warm after.
- Not versatile: If you don’t cook rice frequently, the rice cooker may not be of so much use.
- Restrictive: Non-stick coating of a rice cooker often limits the use of certain cutlery. Also, it threatens the durability of this expensive item.
- May not switch off: Most rice cookers are supposed to shut off automatically, but not all do that. Moreover, you may have to switch it off from the power source.
Cuisinart CRC-400: This is the rice cooker I’m USING! (Available on Amazon.com)
I’ve been using this model for two years, thanks to its superior quality and better pricing.
Firstly, the Cuisinart cooker comes with a steaming tray (stainless steel) for veggies and meats besides rice.
Secondly, the cooker remains cool, thanks to its chrome-plated handles.
Also, you get a measuring cup and ladle as freebies!
The Verdict: Slow Cooker or Rice Cooker?
Both slow cookers and rice cookers are different yet unique.
Nevertheless, if you’re throwing a party and want to remain hands-free, go for the slow cooker. Besides, they’re also perfect for meats, portable, and versatile. However, they aren’t great if you cook at the last minute because you need to plan ahead.
On the other hand, a rice cooker is excellent for quickly cooking rice and even veggies. Moreover, it’s a must-have for those who love their rice done perfectly. So, what’s your pick?
Explore more on our foods category next.
As the founder of Container FAQs, my goal is to provide readers with in-depth information on the containers used in daily life and related subjects. Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any suggestions for articles you would like to see on my blog.