Pressure Cooker vs. Slow Cooker: Which Should You Buy?

Published Categorized as Appliances, Appliances Advice, Guide

Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

You may think you need to be an expert chef to make an incredible meal; but I’ll let you in on a secret – with these clever tools you don’t have to!

Both pressure cookers and slow cookers are perfect tools for easier cooking. These convenient appliances can come in handy; whether you are preparing a traditional, home-cooked meal or simply trying to maintain a healthy, yet diverse food plan throughout the week.

Although these two cookers produce similar results, they work quite differently – so bear with me as we choose the best one for you!

Pressure cooker

To put it simply, a pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance that uses steam and high pressure to quickly cook food.

How does it work?

This appliance is equipped with an air-tight sealed lid, which means that it prevents the liquid inside from spilling-  since the lid is impossible to take off until the cooker cools down.

Steam is a natural product of cooking, and the pressure cooker uses it to prepare your food.

When the liquid from the food turns into vapor, it infuses it back into the food while cooking it under high pressure. This results in faster and more evenly cooked food. In fact, a pressure cooker can cook food ten times faster compared to an average cooking pot.

What can it cook?

The pressure cooker can cook just about anything; this includes varieties of meat, vegetables, beans, and rice. Cooking with high pressure allows you to break down most food into a delicious meal. You can use it to cook rice in just a few minutes and it won’t hesitate to soften harder foods such as beans, in the same amount of time.

Although these cookers are famously used for preparing vegetable stews, you can save time and use them to cook complicated meals, like marinated beef or other kinds of tenderized roasts.

How much space does it take up?

Needless to say, it’s not important if you live in a house or a smaller apartment – size matters!

When it comes to pressure cookers, there are two main types:

  • A stovetop pressure cooker

Although both types of cookers are available in the same size, the stovetop pressure cooker needs an external heat source. Using this kind allows you to save up more space. Its advantage relies on the fact that it can be used as a standard cooking pot, and with this in mind, you can use it to cook all kinds of recipes, including desserts.

  • An electric pressure cooker

This type of pressure cooker has an inbuilt heating mechanism with a temperature setting, as well as a digital timer. It may sound bulkier compared to the previous type, but it actually doesn’t require too much space on the countertop.

Bear in mind that they take up a very small amount of time to prepare any food – so you can always put them in the cabinet, until the next use!

Slow cooker

How does it work?

This hands-off cooking tool uses moist heat that flows up inside the cooker, cooking the food. The lid of a slow cooker lets out the steam while it cooks. So, compared to a pressure cooker, it takes more time – anywhere from five to ten hours, depending on the recipe.

It usually comes with two heat settings. You can either use the low or high heat, depending on your choice. Rest assured that you won’t need to check on your slow cooker since it comes with a fixed temperature setting. There is nothing complicated about the process, you just place food inside the appliance, cover it with a lid, and wait – no stirring required!

The perk of the slow cooker actually lies in the time it takes to prepare a meal. With this cooker, all of your meals will be rich in flavor. The only downside is that, because of this long process, your meals might require a bit of planning in advance.

What can it cook?

A slow cooker can cook everything, but it works best with stews, soups, and meat. Any recipe that involves longer cooking or more flavor and juice will be perfect for this cooker.

Even if you cook tenderized roasts in a pressure cooker, the slow cooker will create a much richer taste. Since it takes more time, it will allow all the ingredients to immerse and result in a hearty meal.

It is usually advised to add tender foods during the last hour of cooking. This is because pasta, spinach or squash can break down very easily if cooked for a longer period of time.

Dairy products and seafood (as tough as it may sound) should also be put near the end, since cooking harder foods is much more effective in this appliance.

How much space does it take up?

Since a slow cooker is equipped with a built-in heat source that provides constant heat, it can only be one kind of power source – electrical.

Unlike with a pressure cooker, owning a slow cooker means you cannot prepare anything in less than four hours. Naturally this means that if you decide on a slow cooker, you should go for a larger one.

As cooking takes longer with a slow cooker, it’s worth considering a larger sized appliance. This will allow you to cook multiple meals in one go which you can store for those days you have less time.

In our opinion, the bigger the better and utilise the freezer!


As mentioned above, there are significant differences between these two appliances. So depending on your needs you might want to take cooking time, the size of the cooker, temperature settings – and if you are thinking green, energy consumption – into consideration!

Like the names would imply, using a pressure cooker means your food is quickly prepared with steam pressure. On the contrary, a slow cooker uses more time to cook meals with low heat.

Although it may sound like the pressure cooker is a more convenient option, for an investment this significant, you should take time and reflect on your daily routine. If you enjoy traditional meals and have more time to spare a slow cooker could be a great option.

Both applicances do a different job, if you have the space then we’d have both!