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Instant Pot people - do you use it as a slow cooker?

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by klpca, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Luckily I decided to use the conventional oven for my dressing yesterday, and used the crock pot for warm spiced cider. About halfway through the afternoon as I was filling my cup with cider, my husband mentioned that I needed to heat it in the microwave. The crock pot was barely keeping it warm. Later I tried jiggling the cord and plugging it into different plugs, but it's dead. No big deal. It was a black friday cheapy from 10 or 15 years ago. I got my money out of that $15 purchase.

    In looking for a replacement today I was reminded that my instant pot has a slow cooker function. I used it once and thought that it cooked too high (I believe that I made a pot roast), even hotter that my crock pot. The old crock pots cooked low and slow and that has definitely changed to a higher cooking temperature. So is anyone successfully using the instant pot as a slow cooker, or do you still use both appliances? TIA.
     
  2. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I'm not the cook in the family. Dh has both a slow cooker and an instapot and loves both. He may use the instapot as a slow cooker as I know he's put stuff in there, mostly soups, and let them cook for several hours.
     
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  3. Beachclubmum

    Beachclubmum Guest

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    It seems like all the newer crock pots cook hotter these days. I think it’s a good safety thing. Anyway, I do use my IP for slow cooking (like you my crock pot died and I didn’t replace it). I do have the glass lid which makes it better for slow cooking and I adjust the setting from normal to low. Works great for me.
     
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  4. moonstone

    moonstone Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I also found that my PPXL (a certain brand of pressure cooker) cooked at a higher temperature than my crockpot even when set on the crockpot setting. My PPXL is 2 quarts larger than my crockpot so I decided to make a big batch of spaghetti sauce in it instead of the crockpot and the bottom was burned. I will continue to use have and use both appliances, depending on what I am cooking.

    I used to have a huge (maybe 10qt) Sears crockpot that had an 'Auto' setting. When set to that setting (it also had low and high) the crockpot cooked on high for 4 hours then automatically switched to low until it was turned off. I loved that feature and used it often. A neighbour asked to borrow it for a big family event and accidently left it plugged in for about 18hrs and burned the element out of it. Of course she couldn't find anything close to what I had to replace it.


    ~Diane
     
  5. chellej

    chellej TUG Member

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    I find the opposite. I've tried my ip for slow cooking and things I normally do in the crockpot don't get done in the ip when I use the slow cooker function. I've used it to make yougurt and it took twice as long as my yougurt maker.

    I was hoping to eliminate some of my gadgets because I have limited space but still use the crockpot for slow cooking
     
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  6. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I decided to get another crock pot, just to have the extra options on the holidays. Plus I don't have to learn a new skill. I found one at Target for $10. Just the basic appliance, which is just what I need. https://www.target.com/p/crock-pot-...VC8RkCh0owgyfEAQYASABEgJnj_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    I had one of those from the '80's. It was the most useful feature, especially when the crock pots cooked on such a low setting. I started everything on high, then let it go on low and came home to perfectly cooked meals for years. If I do that now, even on low, I come home to overcooked meals. So now I use the crock pot when I am home for make-ahead meals, and use the IP for quick cooking on the week nights.

    Btw, IP mashed potatoes are awesome. I forgot to cook my potatoes yesterday (realized it when we were about 20 minutes from sitting down). I put the already cut up potatoes in the IP, set it for 10 min, cooked them, did a quick release, then whipped them in the kitchenaid and had piping hot mashed potatoes in 20 minutes. Amazing!
     
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  7. Ironwood

    Ironwood TUG Member

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    We have both a 7 quart Instant Pot and the 2 quart mini Instant Pot rice cooker. They work well and are a sufficient size for two empty nesters.....but you can't see how the cooking is coming along like you can with a glass top slow cooker. I have seen tempered glass tops advertised for the instant pot, but they don't seem to have a locking mechanism and I'm not sure how you would use one. Has anyone bought an aftermarket glass top for the Instant Pot?
     
  8. moonstone

    moonstone Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    When I used my PPXL as a crockpot/ slow cooker I found a glass casserole lid in my collection that fit on the inner pot exactly. I wanted a lid that I could see through but didn't want any condensation dripping down between the inner pot and the cooker walls. I don't know if any of the manufacturers make one or not.

    ~Diane
     
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  9. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    You can only use the glass lid for slow cooking. For pressure cooking you need to use the original locking lid.
     
  10. moonstone

    moonstone Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Yes there needs to be a locking, sealing lid for pressure cooking and I'm sure glass wouldn't stand the pressure even if there was one made with the locking mechanism.

    When I was a kid my mom had the kind of pressure cooker that went on the stove burner. Something went wrong (likely user error) and the lid blew off with a tremendous crash while we were in the living room. When we ran to the kitchen we found the lid embedded in the ceiling and there was beef stew all over the kitchen! I will never forget that and the patch in the ceiling was still slightly visible when my folks sold the house about 40 years later. For many years I was very hesitant to get and use a pressure cooker, but DH talked me into getting one and I love it!


    ~Diane
     
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  11. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    The 2 big differences between using an IP (generic) and a "crock pot" are:
    • Heat source:
      • IP - Bottom
      • Crock Pot - Side
    • Evenness of heat:
      • IP - On/Off cycles with high wattage
      • Crock Pot - Slow even heat
    The IP can act as a slow cooker, but the heating cycle will be like a sawtooth and you will need to make sure you have enough liquid in the bottom at the start to prevent scorching. On the plus side, you can brown meat in an IP whereas you can't in a crock pot.
     
  12. Ironwood

    Ironwood TUG Member

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    Shortly after posing the question about using a glass aftermarket top for the Instant Pot, I received an email from Amazon showing me a special price for an Instant Pot tempered glass lid.....it's sometimes rather disconcerting how intrusive some sites like Amazon can be! I didn't buy it!
     
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  13. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    My new crock pot arrives on Wednesday and I'm making kahlua pork today - using the IP as a slow cooker. Fingers crossed!
     
  14. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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  15. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I no longer use my slow cooker crock pot. I don't slow cook in the IP as I like how everything is cooked quickly and still achieves the same result as if I had used a slow cooker.
     
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  16. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    How did it turn out?
     
  17. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Well, it was a bone-in shoulder and it seemed to take longer to get it to the point where I could shred the pork. It definitely wasn't as tender as I am used to. The last roast that I used was a pork loin, which I thought would be too lean to shred successfully but it shredded beautifully. I think that there wasn't as much moisture in the IP. I don't have the glass lid so I am sure that I let the moisture out every time that I checked on the meat. I prefer the crock pot for meats that need to be slow cooked, to be honest, but the IP would probably work well for soups and chili.

    I use the IP for pot roast and love it, but kalua pork is one that I have always cooked low and slow to develop the flavor and to break down the meat fiber (ugg, that sounds so gross, lol). Maybe I'll try it one day to see how it turns out.
     
  18. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Good point. We have only used IP for soups and such. There was once when I cooked split pea soup and not had the split pea totally immersed in liquid, the split peas were not cooked... ended up like rocks...
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 11:02 AM
  19. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Yuck. There's not much worse than undercooked split peas!
     

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