Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 31, 2010 02:56 PM

Pressure cooker or slow cooker?

I have limited kitchen space and was thinking of getting a pressure cooker or a slow cooker. I'm new to both items so I'm curious - What gets used more in your home?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, and several slow cookers. I couldn't do without any of them. However, Fagor makes a 3-1 that has all three gizmos in one unit! I have heard good reports.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jane917

      If the Fagor 3-in-1 really does work well for all three functions, it should find a spot in many kitchens, even (or especially?) where space is tight.

      It could even be something of a kitchen-in-a-pot in a place without a stove, but with electricity.

    2. I am a huge pressure cooking proponent and couldn't likely live without mine very long. Well, I guess that I could if I had to. You can make grains and beans in the pressure cooker so fast and easily it's amazing.

      I tell people that if you are a person who can think ahead about what you want to make, a slow cooker is probably fine for you but I like spur of the moment cooking so prefer the pressure cooker. Also, the flavor that comes out of the pressure cooker is incredible.

      I just got a Vita Clay rice cooker to check out and it seems like an alternative that might work for you. It is a faster slow cooker that is programmable and more.

      I have used the Fagor 3-in-1 and since I do not like non-stick interior in my products, I prefer the clay rice cooker that also cooks soup, stew, etc. Clay is a natural material that works wonders. But my first choice -- my Fagor stainless steel stove top pressure cooker in any size.

      1. For me, it's definitely the pressure cooker. I use it at least once a week, and generally more. By contrast, if my slow cooker should suddenly vanish from the storage closet, it would be months (or perhaps even years) before I noticed. In my opinion, the pressure cooker is better suited to the kinds of foods I prepare most often, including vegetables, pasta, grains, beans, and poultry. You don't need to use another pan for initial browning or sauteeing; and without the pressure lid, the cooker can be used as a regular pot. Best of all, it virtually eliminates the need for advance planning: I can come home after a long workday and turn out a decent meal in a short time, even if I start with frozen ingredients. All that being said, I know that many people have good reason to be devoted to their slow cookers, and I certainly won't try to talk them out if it!

        1. Anything that can be made in a slow cooker can be made in your oven. You just can't "set it and forget it."

          Conversely, there is no substitute for a pressure cooker. Its great for grains, beans, tough proteins, etc. I never use it for vegetables or quick-cook proteins like chicken. Veggies will be cooked and on the table in a pot of boiling water or a microwave before a pressure cooker gets up to speed.

          4 Replies
            1. re: C. Hamster

              C. Hamster, I personally agree that there's no substitute for a pressure cooker; but I suppose one could argue that, just as with a slow cooker, anything you can make in a pressure cooker, you can make in the oven or on the stovetop--it'll just take longer. I also agree that for many vegetables and quick-cooking proteins, the microwave or ordinary stovetop cooking is just fine. However, I really like the PC for steaming root vegetables, artichokes, corn on the cob, winter squash, whole heads of cauliflower ... and more. For some of these vegetables (such as beets and artichokes), the cooking time is much reduced; for others, the time savings is slight, but the flavors and colors seem brighter. As for chicken dishes, it depends; there's a meaningful time savings for some preparations (a whole bird, for example), and not much for others. And while I can't imagine using a PC for fresh fish, I've used it quite successfully for fish that was frozen solid when it went into the cooker--thus eliminating many hours of defrosting time.

              1. re: Miss Priss

                Thanks everyone - the pressure cooker it is. though something tells me that my big oval creuset dutch oven will get used less often.

                1. re: wysiwyg

                  Save your big oval DO for the winter... and PC in summer. Have fun!

            2. I think this is implied below, but ELECTRIC, counter-top pressure cookers such as the Fagor one described below are really fantastic appliances. I have a Nesco 3-in-1 that I've owned for only a few months, and I already can't remember how I dealt with the stovetop version. I think I've brought out the slow cooker once during that time, and I prefer how the pressure cooker does beans, I know

              5 Replies
              1. re: dmd_kc

                Electric pressure cookers are great because it is safer to use?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  They are dead easy. You tell it to cook at low or high pressure for how long, press "start" and let it do its thing. Then you can quick- or slow-release, according to your recipe. No taking a hot pan to the sink to run water over the top, no watching the burner. I'd never go back to a stovetop model.

                  1. re: dmd_kc

                    Now that is a nice attribute of the electric PC. May have to consider that over my current PC.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Ha ha ha. Sorry. For a minute, I thought you were talking about personal computer (PC). I were thinking, what is scubadoo talking about. :)

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Pressure cooker best for me!!!!. Slow cooker Winter when I am thinking about simmering chicken for awhile such as chicken and dumplings or chili cooking half the day. . Summer, no way. With the new pressure cookers you do not have to really worry about water running over the edge of the pc at the sink. I just press the top of the Kuhn Rikon or Fissler to release all the pressure with a long handle wooden spoon and the lid can come off backing it off to you to be safe in less than a couple of minutes or so. Memorial Day I had ribs started in one pc, great northern beans, pot in pot, in another pc and finished in 7 minutes, then dumped corn on the cob in same pc after removing bowl of beans of course, and ribs out on the grill in less than an hour for smoking and basting. Within two hours all was ready for our meal on the patio with slaw, potato salad and tray of fresh vegetables. This meal would have taken me most of the day if I had not used my two pressure cookers.