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Slow cookers vs pressure cookers

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drshlomo | 11:05 Sun 10th Oct 2010 | Food & Drink
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In the quest for soft fall of the bone meat I'm going to invest in either a slow cooker or a pressure cooker but I'm still a little in the dark about its uses so please correct me if I'm wrong. A slow cooker is mainly for meat and cooks the meat slow resulting in soft tender meat and a pressure cooker cooks things fast at high pressure.
My worries with the slow cooker is leaving it unattended for long periods, what's the potential for it to dry out and maybe burn and start a fire?
With the pressure cooker I hear it's good for meat but can turn veg into a mushy mess.
Have any of you got both and what is each best used for?


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Slow Cooker: I have used one for some years and find it very useful, although I'm usually around the house when it's on. It was first recommended to me by a hairdresser who used to go home at lunchtime to put hers on, ready for the evening meal, and I never heard of any problems. A slow cooker always has liquid as part of the recipe, so it shouldn't dry out, as it is covered by a lid. I've mostly cooked casseroles in mine, but you can do other things as well.

Pressure Cooker: I used one for years, a Prestige model, and it wouldn't need much liquid, but cooks very quickly, of course, and you need to be nearby while it is working. I never had problems with mine, but I don't use one now, as I find it quite heavy to lift. Vegetables tend to go a bit soggy if they are overcooked, but a pressure cooker is very convenient if you only want to cook on one ring. I also did many casseroles in mine, and I would say, the meat would be more tender in the pressure cooker, rather than the slow cooker. The pressure cooker makes a certain amount of noise, with hissing, which makes some people nervous, while the slow cooker makes no noise at all. In a power cut, you can still use a pressure cooker if you cook by gas, as I do, as the slow cooker would be no use at all!

It depends on your lifestyle whether you would use either, or both, and equally safe if treated correctly. If you know someone who owns either, ask if you can borrow it, and try them both out to see which would suit you best. I used to be an HE teacher, so that's the best advice I could give you.
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Thank you Iolanthe for your informative answer. I think I may go for the pressure cooker as when time is of the essence this will make a difference.
When I worked full-time I always used a pressure cooker - 20 minutes for a stew in the winter. They are excellent.

I tried a slow-cooker when they first came out but after nine hours I had rubbery meat and undercooked veg and who wants to have to brown meat and veg in the morning before leaving for work (which is what was recommended with my cooker).
Question Author
Carrot is that how quick a pressure can cook meat in? What would be the rough time to cook a joint of beef or a whole chicken?
Slow cookers are so cheap why not just get both. I have the one below and have no problems with it.

(I have some chilli simmering in it right now)
Question Author
I was thinking of that chuckfickens but why need both if the pressure cooker can do both jobs or does the slow cooker do something the pressure cooker is incapable of?
I never cooked a whole joint in the pressure cooker as I always put it in to roast with the potatoes.

The difference between them is that you stay by the pressure cooker as it needs water and will run dry if you leave it and burn the food or leave the slow cooker to fend for itself for the day.

I've had both Tefal and Prestige cookers and both were excellent. Have a look at their web sites they probably give recipes and timings - but yes a stew in 20 minutes. That was cubed stewing or braising steak or neck of lamb.

I would think the slow cooker would be good for minced meat dishes like Chuck's chilli but I couldn't get on with mine but as I said that was a long time ago and they've probably improved.
i love my slow cooker and would be lost without it,i prepare everything in the morning and turn the cooker on about 12 so it is ready for dinner at about sixish,makes lovely soup.
have a look on here - this question has been asked many a times & i'm sure many more to come.
BTW - I use a pressure cooker for meat or to cook veg or lentils/pulses (I've got 3 different sizes) & would be lost without them.


Anna x
I forgot to mention in my earlier post - Re the pressure cooker: both the pressure cookers I had were heavy aluminium (not what I would choose nowadays) and you can get now stainless steel models which would be much easier to clean.
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I had both but returned the slow cooker.

My kitchen would be incomplete and partially functional without a pressure cooker. They are great to use when you know how to use them. I use my pressure cooker almost every day.

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Slow cookers vs pressure cookers

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