Slow Cooker vs Rice Cooker – Which Is Right For Your Home?

If you’re looking for a kitchen appliance that allows you to cook meals in the “set it and forget it” style. You’ll probably be torn between a slow cooker or a rice cooker as they’re amongst the best options out there. 

Although similar in size, these two appliances have different uses. Which is why we’ve put this article together. To highlight the differences between the slow cooker and the rice maker.

What’s The Difference Between A Slow Cooker And A Rice Cooker?

The main difference between a slow cooker and a rice maker is the time taken to cook food. Slow cookers take up to 8 hours to slowly cook food at a low heat. Whilst rice makers use incredibly high heat to bring food to a rapid boil and cook food in around 40 minutes to an hour.

The difference between a slow cooker and a rice cooker is the heat and time used to cook foods.

What Is A Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker is a countertop appliance which is used to cook foods slowly at low heat for a long time. Typically between 4 to 8 hours depending on what is being cooked. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a slow cooker is stew.

It is true slow cookers make gorgeous stews, but they do a whole lot more besides. It has many other uses than cooking stews and casseroles. The slow cooker can;

  • Bake bread
  • Make roasts
  • Make cakes 
  • Make desserts
  • Pot Roast
  • Make curries
  • Make soups
  • Make macaroni cheese
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • And much more.

It’s the ultimate in the “set it and forget it” appliance. Simply add all of your ingredients including any liquid and select the correct setting, then walk away. When you return hours later, the food will be cooked and you will be able to serve a tasty, nutritious meal.

Imagine waking up in the morning to a freshly baked loaf of bread, well if you decide to buy a slow cooker, there’s no need to imagine. All you need to do is add the ingredients the night before and the slow cooker will bake your morning loaf for you.

What Are The Pros Of A Slow Cooker?

person slicing a meat

The advantages of a slow cooker include;

  • Energy Saving – Slow cookers use far less energy than cooking on the cooker top
  • Ease Of Use – Learning how to use the slow cooker will take you no time at all
  • Less Washing Up – With only one pot to clean, washing up takes far less time. Plus the inner pot is dishwasher safe too.
  • Saves You Time – There’s no need to supervise a slow cooker, just set it and forget it
  • Produces Healthy And Nutritious Food – Slow cookers cook at low temperatures over long periods of time. That low heat is far less likely to produce any of those harmful chemicals often associated with fast boiling or frying. Plus all of the nutrients are retained in the ingredients
  • Flavoursome Food – Cooking food slowly on low heat helps to enhance the flavours of the food
  • Economical – Slow cookers allow you to use cheaper cuts of meat which would otherwise be tough. The slow cooking process tenderises the meat, leaving it fall off the bone tender

What Are The Cons Of A Slow Cooker?

The disadvantages of the slow cooker include;

  • No Fast Food – Slow cookers take a minimum of two hours to cook food, so they’re no good for using if you are already hungry
  • Limited Recipe Range – The slow cooker is not as versatile as some other countertop appliances like the multi cooker for example. Slow cookers have a certain amount of foods that can be cooked in them and no more
  • Some Flavours Can Overpower – If you tend to add herbs and spices in your cooking, go easy. The slow cooker seems to enhance the flavours of herbs and spices intensely
  • Some Foods Can Be Too Moist – As the slow cooker is a sealed unit while cooking, condensation adds to the liquid content of the food. Which in some cases can be too much moisture
  • You Have To Get The Ingredients Right First Time – Obviously once the slow cooker starts cooking and you walk away, it can only cook whatever you’ve added to the pot. You don’t have the opportunity of adding extra ingredients during the cooking process

What Is A Rice Cooker?

Rice Cooker

A rice cooker is a countertop electrical appliance that is designed to cook many kinds of rice perfectly. If you are a frequent rice eater, the rice cooker will definitely be a great buy for you. It will save you time and effort.

But it doesn’t stop there, rice cookers can also be used to cook 

  • Porridge (oatmeal)
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Grains like quinoa
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Steamed fish
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Dumplings
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Risotto
  • And much more

Rice cookers cook far faster than a slow cooker which means you’ll be eating faster using a rice cooker compared to a slow cooker. Which is great if you like to think about what you would like to eat and have it cooked in under an hour.

If rice doesn’t appear on your menu too often, a rice maker might not be the best choice of appliance for you. But it is capable of cooking other foods too.

What Are The Pros Of A Rice Cooker?

Vegetables

The advantages of the rice cooker include;

  • It Automatically Cooks Rice – There’s no need for you to watch the pan, no need to adjust the temperature and no need to add extra water. Just add the correct amount of rice and water, replace the lid and turn the device on. Once the rice is cooked the machine will automatically turn off.
  • Keeps Food Warm –Once the food has finished cooking, the device will keep it warm without over cooking it
  • Easy To Clean – Most rice cookers have components that are dishwasher safe

What Are The Cons Of A Rice Cooker?

The disadvantages of the rice cooker include;

  • Can Cause Rice To Burn – On some of the cheaper models, the bottom layer of rice does have a tendency to burn. This can be remedied by stirring every few minutes but that does kind of defeat the whole idea of using a rice cooker
  • Requires Special Utensils – Rice cookers have non stick coatings, which require special utensils to prevent damaging the surface. These will need to be purchased separately and you’ll need to remember to use them every time you use the rice cooker
  • Some Models Start As Soon As The Power Is Turned On – Many of the cheaper models start heating up just as soon as the plug socket is switched on. Which means they don’t turn off until you remove the plug or switch off the wall socket. This could lead to burnt food.

Which Is Better Slow Cooker Or Rice Cooker?

This question can only be answered based on your lifestyle. If you are away from home all day and like hearty, nutritious food ready as soon as you come home, a slow cooker will definitely be better for you. On the other hand, if you eat a lot of rice and often struggle to get it perfectly cooked, a rice cooker will probably be better for you.

Slow Cooker Vs Rice Cooker Price Comparison

Calculator

To aid in the decision making some more, we’ve researched the average prices for both appliances.

Slow Cooker Price

Slow cookers range in price from around £15 to £100 depending on the make, model and size.

Rice Cooker Price

Rice cookers range in price from around £20 to £100 depending on make, model, size and functionality.

Should I Buy A Slow Cooker Or A Rice Cooker?

In an ideal world, you’d buy both of these countertop appliances and use them both to their full potential. But we don’t live in an ideal world so the choice is ultimately yours. As we said earlier, if you are a big rice fan and struggle to always get it right, a rice cooker will probably be the best choice for you.

If you are a busy bee who’s out to work all day and has limited free time in the evening to prepare healthy tasty meals. The slow cooker is going to suit you best. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Crockpots and Slow Cookers the same thing? 

Crockpot is the brand name for a particular slow cooker, whereas slow cooker is the generic term for all of these same appliances. All Crockpots are slow cookers but not all slow cookers are Crockpots.

Can you cook meat in a rice cooker?

You can cook meat and fish in a rice cooker and depending on the size of the rice cooker, you can cook roast pork or even a whole chicken.

Can I cook macaroni cheese in a slow cooker?

You can cook macaroni cheese in a slow cooker as well as spaghetti Bolognese and meatballs.

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