Instant Pot vs Croc Pot

The Instant Pot and Crock Pot are two popular and versatile kitchen appliances. 

Both cookers offer a host of features and perform many functions, but which is the best buy for your kitchen?

I’ll be comparing the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs the Crock Pot Express and providing a detailed breakdown.

The categories the two pots will be judged in are Versatility, Ease of Use, Recipes, Cleanup, and Cost.

But first, let’s give a quick overview of the two products:

Crock Pot Express
Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt  7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (Renewed)
Crock-Pot 8-Quart Multi-Use XL Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker with Manual Pressure, Boil & Simmer, Stainless Steel
7-in-1
7-in-1
3qt, 6qt, 8qt
4qt, 6qt, 8qt
Crock Pot Express
Crock-Pot 8-Quart Multi-Use XL Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker with Manual Pressure, Boil & Simmer, Stainless Steel
7-in-1
4qt, 6qt, 8qt

Instant Pot Duo

This 9-in-one pressure cooker averages a 4.7 star satisfaction rating through big kitchen appliance retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, William Sonoma, and Amazon. 

With 15 cooking presets (Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Egg, Slow Cook, Saute/Simmer, Rice Cook, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Sterilize, Yogurt, Keep Warm, and Pressure Cook) it’s easy to see why the Instant Pot Duo is so popular.

Crock Pot Express Cooker

This dishwasher-safe pressure cooker boasts 8 different meal settings (Meat/Stew, Beans/Chili, Rice/Risotto, Yogurt, Poultry, Dessert, Soup, and Multigrain).

This dishwasher-safe pressure cooker boasts 8 different meal settings (Meat/Stew, Beans/Chili, Rice/Risotto, Yogurt, Poultry, Dessert, Soup, and Multigrain).

The appliance averages a 4.5 star satisfaction rating through retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.

The Crock Pot Express also comes with accessories like a recipe book, steaming rack, and serving spoon as added bonuses!

Versatility

It comes as no shock that the Instant Pot Duo Plus is the winner of this category, what with 15 cooking presets compared to the Crock Pot Express Cooker’s 8 presets. 

The Instant Pot Duo Plus supports your many cooking needs with functions like Slow Cook, Rice Cook, Pressure Cook, Bean/Chili, Yogurt, Porridge, and Keep Warm, as well as the classic 6 S’s: Soup, Simmer, Sauté, Steam, and Stew.

The appliance also supports new features like Cake, Eggs, and Sterilize. 

The impressive sterilizing preset is great for things like baby bottles and children’s toys. In 2019, Good Housekeeping even named the Instant Pot Duo Plus ‘Best For New Parents.’ 

The Crock Pot Express supports 8 different cooking features and allows 4 ways to cook (Slow Cook, Pressure Cook, Brown/Sauté, or Steam).

Even though the Crock Pot falls a bit short to the Instant Pot in the cooking presets department, some Instant Pot customers have said they rarely use some of the functions. Although, having the option to use them is nice!

When using some of the Instant Pot presets, customers are able to override automatic settings and instead manually change temperature and timing. 

Whereas with the Crock Pot, cooking preset temperatures are set in stone with the exception of cook time, which may be increased or decreased.

Because of the large range of cooking [and cleaning!] features available and the ability to manually set temperature and cook time, the winner of the versatility category is the Instant Pot Duo Plus.

Recipes

Crock Pot is likely what your mother used, and her mother, and possibly even her mother! The classic pot has been around since the 70’s, plenty of time to inspire tons of recipes to be passed down through the ages.

The Crock Pot Express even comes with a recipe book [and serving spoon!] as part of a package deal.

Instant pot has an ever-growing community of users who, like Crock Pot users, have created cookbooks and recipe blogs based around the Instant Pot’s incredible versatility as a kitchen appliance. And because of the immense versatility of the Instant Pot, it’s easy to see how fast the pages in an Instant Pot cookbook can fill up.

Instant Pot also promotes the Instant Pot app, where customers can access over 1,000 recipes!

While it’s an added bonus to receive a Crock Pot recipe book with your purchase of the Crock Pot Express Cooker, it seems the Instant Pot Duo Plus inspires more recipes for the sheer versatility the appliance has. 

Most online reviews of the Instant Pot Duo Plus rave about endless online support for Instant Pot recipes and mention websites and even Facebook Groups where more recipes can be found!

Let’s be clear: No one doubts the deliciousness of your grandmother’s Crock Pot Recipes. The Instant Pot Duo Plus wins the recipe category for the countless options it provides.

Ease of Use

A big plus Instant Pot Duo Plus customers have found is the large digital screen that saves you from squinting to see time and temperature.

However, customers have also reported that they wished the Instant Pot Duo Plus came with more elaborate instructions. 

For example, one customer noted there were instructions on what each function does but not how to use them. There are few instructions on the basics such as ‘What is the ratio of water to rice needed?’

With fewer gadgets and gizmos and a simpler design, the Crock Pot Express Cooker has proved easier to use.

That is not to say the Instant Pot requires a degree in rocket science. There are multiple online tutorials and blogs as well as directions on the Instant Pot homepage.

Though it loses in this category, you should not be deterred from purchasing the Instant Pot, especially if you are an avid cook.

If you are less-versed in the kitchen or with kitchen appliances, the easy-to-use Crock Pot Express Cooker is the multi-cooker for you! 

Cleanup

The Instant Pot Duo plus is stainless steel inside, while the Crock Pot Express has a non-stick lining. 

Both stainless steel and non-stick linings make for an easy clean up and resist stuck on food.

While some accessories of the Instant Pot Duo Plus like the stainless steel lid can be put in the dishwasher, the actual Instant Pot is to be manually hand washed, unlike the Crock Pot Express, which is fully dishwasher safe.

Some customers of the Instant Pot Duo Plus have noted that the many nooks and crannies around the rim of the Instant Pot Duo Plus can be a bit annoying to clean.

Customers of the Crock Pot Express have advised potential buyers to purchase an extra nonstick seal as repeated use of the pot can trap food smells. And no one wants their cheesecake smelling of a Sunday roast!

For these reasons, it is hard to call out a clear winner in the category. 

With the pluses and stainless steel and dishwasher-safe accessories, and minuses of pesky nooks and crannies and trapped food smells, let us resort to calling a tie between the Instant and Crock Pot

Both appliances make home-cooking more relaxing than ever before with easy cooking presets and the ability to walk away to do other things while your classic beef stew stews. 

While the two pots have come to a tie after being judged in the categories, Cost, Versatility, Ease of Use, Recipes, and Cleanup, the decision on which pot is best for you comes down to your experience in the kitchen.

Personally, I am a big fan of the Instant Pot Duo Plus as I love to cook. But if you don’t know simmering from sautéing, maybe the Crock Pot Express Cooker is for you!

Cost

The Instant Pot Duo Plus [6-quart] costs around $102 at the lower end and the Crock Pot Express Cooker [6-quart] costs $70. For both, cost increases the larger the size.

So, the Crock Pot Express Cooker is the cheaper option between the two.

One could argue, however, that the Instant Pot Duo Plus has 15 different cooking options, while the Crock Pot Express only has 8.

Does that constitute more bang for your buck? That is up to you and your cooking habits.

All in all, Crock Pot is your economic choice.

Sale
Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
  • Duo 8 Quart, the number 1 selling multi cooker, combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70percentage faster to support your busy lifestyle
  • Features 14 Smart Programs Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook. Now, your favorite dishes are as easy as pressing a button
  • Healthy, stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304, no chemical coating, 3 ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment traps the flavours, nutrients and aromas within the food
  • Built with the latest 3rd generation technology, the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time
  • UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with added assurance, designed to eliminate many common errors
Sale
Crock-Pot 8-Quart Multi-Use XL Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker with Manual Pressure, Boil & Simmer, Stainless Steel
  • Spacious 8 quart size feeds 10 plus people, making it a time saving appliance for larger families or entertaining
  • All in one appliance with additional functions like Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Brown, Sauté, Steam, as well as Boil and Simmer
  • Manual Pressure function lets you set any cooking time at either high or low pressure, allowing you to customize recipes
  • Make a variety of quick, healthy meals at a touch of a button, like chili, soups, grains, and more by using any of the convenient one touch meal settings
  • Nonstick cooking pot resists stuck on food and is dishwasher safe, simplifying your cleanup and making it great for one pot cooking

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