Face-Off: Instant Pot vs. Crock Pot Multi-Cooker | Consumer Reports
27 Comments


How does the immensely popular
Instant Pot, priced at $100, compare to the Crock-Pot
Express Crock Multi-Cooker which sells for $30 less. It’s a Consumer
Reports face-off. Both cookers claim to
perform many functions, from pressure cooking
to making yogurt. Consumer Reports
tester Bernie Dietrich put them through their paces. First, he made veggies
on the steam cycle. The Instant Pot carrots and
broccoli were a bit mushy compared to regular steaming. That’s because the
Instant Pot pressure steams with a locked lid,
so there’s less control. And the Crock-Pots veggies
came out about the same. To test sauteing, Bernie
prepared chicken kung pao. Neither was great at
sauteing, but food stuck to the Instant
Pot’s stainless inner pot, but the Crock-Pot
Express has a nonstick surface so no sticking, and
cleaning up is a breeze. Next up, yogurt. Both cookers have
a yogurt function. Each can hold a
full gallon of milk, and they both heat the
milk to 180 degrees prior to the final
yogurt-making steps. Both produced tasty yogurt,
but the Instant Pot’s was thicker and creamier
than that of the Crock-Pot. This close race goes
to the Instant Pot. Then the team tackled a
slow-cooked pulled pork. They took about the
same amount of time, and both versions came
out tender and tasty. Pork ribs with a dry
rub were on the menu as Bernie tried the
pressure-cooking feature on both. The Instant Pot turned out
a rack of tender, juicy ribs with 54 minutes of pressure. The Crock-Pot versions
were, again, about the same. Both were faster
than the oven alone method which takes
about two hours. Both cookers did a
good job of cooking two cups of raw brown
rice in about 45 minutes. If you’re having a
party, both cookers have a warming feature
that’s nice to use when keeping a large dish
at serving temperature. Although you can’t
adjust the temperature, they both performed well. Bottom line, overall, the
Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker performed about
the same as the Instant Pot and was easier to clean but
didn’t win the yogurt round. Cost, about $70. If you make a lot of
yogurt, paying a little more for the $100 Instant
Pot might be worth it. Bon appétit.

27 thoughts on “Face-Off: Instant Pot vs. Crock Pot Multi-Cooker | Consumer Reports

  1. You choose brown rice for your rice testing, really? You have to try really hard to cook brown rice wrong. Even if you cook it right, do you have a scale to grade how the brown rice turn out? Brown rice is either eatable or uneatable, and you can't tell how it turn out. It really shows you know nothing about rice. I bet taco bell is your favorite Mexican restaurant. Use premium Japanese rice next time. The texture of the rice should come out sticky, chewy and not too hard nor too soft.

  2. I think CR misunderstood one of the main features of Instant Pot, stainless steel inner pot. I believe Instant Pot is popular partially because of the inner pot.

    And I’m surprised that CR didn't factor in the concerns of using PTFE-coated (non-stick) cookware. I rather use a sticky pot than having a Teflon flu.

  3. The non stick interior of the pot is nice while it lasts. However, as most have experienced they have a relatively short lifespan and start flaking off thus rendering the pot useless (unless you don't mind flakes in your food). I have an Instant Pot 8qt and a Cosori 6qt. Both have stainless steel pots and I have found them to be extremely durable and easy to clean

  4. I don't feel like the sautéing was done correctly. The instant pot was designed not to get as hot as a regular stove. Therefor, when sautéing in the instant pot, the pot needs to reach high heat first, "HOT" and then for the food to be thrown in. Once the foot hits the pan, don't touch the food until the bottom delivers a crust or the vegetables begin to char every so slightly.

    I have to agree with many of the other comments. If the Crock Pot had a stainless steel liner, I would say it's a better buy, due to the lower price. However, we all know, that nonstick liners aren't meant to last past two years, generally. Even the best and most costly non sticks, write in their manuals that non stick doesn't last non stick forever. Plus most users don't use non stick correctly. Who actually wipes oil on the whole nonstick pan/pot at the beginning of every use?

  5. Most of you do know that the non-stick surface material has been changed, right? Much more durable and leaching into the food isn't a concern. Everyone has their biases, and so do I: I don't make yogurt and I like saving money. Without there being a radical difference between the two, I'm going to crock out.

  6. Can you please do a testing on the Cosori 6qt pressure cooker? Also when you do these testing do you check for pressure timing and how well the seal/ring works on these pressure cookers? I hope to see a long-term testing from CR I've seen soo many horror stories about these pressure cookers not sealing to exploding. I still on the fence about buying one.

  7. You missed the most important difference between the 2. Instant pot has manual mode while crockpot doesn’t. Majority of IP recipes you will find are based on manual mode. Steel vs non stick is a personal preference. We prefer steel.

  8. The non-stick surface isn't as healthy however. Stainless steel is better if you're concerned with that. Stainless steel won't wear off as well in the long run.

  9. The steamed vegetables showed a lack of understanding of how the pot works. For instance, I steam FROZEN broccoli for 0 minutes on LOW pressure in the Instant Pot. Times are adjustable. The cook didn't know what he was doing. Also, there are several models of Instant Pot, with different features. There have been many complaints about the Crock Pot Multi-Cooker. The non-stick coating flakes off, and many people get the dreaded E6 error. They also say that Crock Pot's customer service is terrible. Instant Pot's customer service is fantastic. The Instant Pot is often on sale: Walmart, Target, Amazon, Kohl's. It definitely worth the few extra dollars.

  10. I ended up buying a rice cooker, after years of my wife saying "we don't need one – my rice turns out good" — yah, well not as good as what the rice cooker did. 🙂 I ended up buying this one from Amazon and LOVE IT (https://amzn.to/2AXMWoK). I made a basic Indian style rice pilaf in it and it was super. As it was my first time I didn't use chicken in it, but will do so next time. Also when I made the rice, I did what my wife always does – wash, wash and wash until it is relatively clear. I also cook the rice in either beef or chicken stock (just using those OXO cubes) depending on what type of dish I will make. So if a beef pilaf then beef stock, if chicken or vegetable pilaf then chicken stock. One of the Indian grocers that I go to has a pilaf stock — but essentially it is vegetable stock. Oh and suggestion for washing rice – use a large strainer. It's MUCH easier than putting it in a pot and hoping you don't spill any of the rice. 🙂

  11. I don't understand why the Crock Pot makes lesser quality yogurt than the Instant Pot when (i assume) they both heat milk to 180 degrees, and maintain a temperature of 110 to 115 degrees during the incubation period.

  12. I yesterday bought the Crookpot special offer on Amazon couldn't resist it normally nearly £90.00 got it for £60.00 , brilliant. Now its gone up again. One Pot dosent win here .

  13. Or cook the yogurt a little longer maybe? I'm no chef. I'm just guessing you can cook off the liquid a little more. Save $30

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