I love my Instant Pot, I really do. Even as a professional chef, getting one in my home kitchen really was a game-changer. Perfectly cooked, no-soak beans every time! Homemade nutrient-dense bone broth in 45 minutes! Fluffy rice! Homemade yogurt! Perfect hard-boiled eggs … for 20 people!
The list could go on and on, but I'll let you in on a little secret: I still love my slow cooker, too. Let me tell you why.
1. It keeps food (and drinks!) warm for parties and holidays.
Whether you want to keep your queso melted for the whole game, ensure that even the last person in line gets piping-hot mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, or guarantee everybody at the neighborhood potluck gets to taste your slammin' homemade sloppy Joe recipe at the perfect temperature, the slow cooker is the tool for the job.
The low setting, which averages around 185ºF/85ºC, is high enough to keep food well into the safe temperature zone and low enough to not burn your mouth. That also makes it perfect for hot spiced apple cider as we enter apple season!
2. Size does matter!
Unfortunately, there are just some things that do not fit in the InstantPot, but cozy right into my oval-shaped six-quart slow cooker. From extra-large turkey breasts or beautiful fall-off-the-bone short ribs whose bones are just a tad too long to spiral-cut hams that need warming, the slow cooker has your back.
Read more: 10 Easy Ways to Cook Meat in the Slow Cooker
3. Some recipes are just better in the slow cooker.
Bobbie Miller, of the online Instant Pot Community, loves her slow cooker caramelized Vidalia onions. It's a set-it-and-forget it way to go from a full pot of freshly chopped, in-season onions to freezable mounds of sweet Vidalia deliciousness. She uses them in everything from soups to quiche and freezes the extra in ice cube trays. She tried to convert her tried-and-true slow cooker recipe for them to the Instant Pot, but it was a no-go.
A similar tale comes from Sheri Baker, who tried to make Kitchn's own slow cooker granola recipe in her Instant Pot. The crunch never arrived, and she ended up finishing it in her slow cooker after all!
You can try and adapt your trusted slow cooker recipes to ones that are IP-friendly, but it's always good to have that backup!
Try this: Slow-Cooker Sausage and Spinach Lasagna
4. It makes the house smell like heaven.
Cooking is a sensuous — and sometimes sensual — activity. You see your colorful ingredients; touch them as you're preparing your recipe; hear the bubbling, spattering, and sizzling as they cook; taste frequently to make sure you didn't forget anything; and, most importantly, smell it all coming together. Perhaps it is just whetting your appetite, or maybe it's the first thing that entices your dinner guests when they knock on the door.
Either way, a mere house filled with the aromas of cooking food is transformed into a cozy, welcoming home, and slow cookers make this an easily accessible reality. And for those of you who do not want those delicious smells lingering, we have some tips on that, too!
Smell-good recipes: 30 Slow-Cooker Dinners That Will Make Your House Smell Incredible
5. It has all sorts of crafty, non-food uses.
Massage therapists use them for heating stones and moistened towels for massages. Crafty DIYers use them to make soap and recycle broken crayons into new, psychedelic color blocks perfect for toddler hands! Whether you want to throw together some homemade lip balm or make scented Mason jar candles to give away as gifts, your slow cooker can help. Just make sure that you invest in some liners to keep it food-safe for future use.
Make it! DIY Slow Cooker Candles
Why do you still love your slow cooker even though you adore your Instant Pot?