It’s time to prepare dinner. Should you use a pressure cooker? Or should you use a crock pot (or slow cooker)? Dilemmas… dilemmas…
The pressure cooker claims speed similar to a high power microwave, the crockpot insists "low and slow" but ready by supper time is the better way.
Here’s my point-by-point comparison of the two, after making the same dish made in both a crock pot and in a pressure cooker…
Cooking Beef In A Pressure Cooker
Recently, I took a pressure cooker for a spin.
I was craving some corned beef and cabbage, so I headed to the store for a prepared beef brisket and a head of cabbage.
Then I dug around in the cabinet and found my pressure cooker.
After 2 hours of carefully monitoring the steam wobble valve and adjusting the heat accordingly, my corned beef was done.
Once the steam had subsided, I opened the pressure cooker, added the cabbage, carrots and potatoes, then fired up the steam for a second short go around to finish the meal.
It was delicious.
Cooking Beef In A Crockpot
It’s been a few weeks, and after another grocery shopping trip I have another corned beef brisket in the fridge. This time I will be using a crock pot.
I removed the beef brisket from the package and placed it into the crockpot with about 4 cups of water.
With the crock pot on high, it was awhile before it came up to a simmer. At that point, I cut the power to low and left it cooking for the next 6 hours.
It wasn’t long before I noticed some differences in how the meat was progressing as compared to the pressure cooker.
Crockpot vs Pressure Cooker Results
In the crock pot, the meat took on a gray color very quickly as the meat was cooking under water. In the pressure cooker, even though the meat was under water it retained it’s reddish tint throughout the cooking process.
And when they were both done, the beef that was cooked in the pressure cooker looked more like how I would have expected a corned beef brisket to look.
After 2 hours in the pressure cooker, even though the pressure cooker recipe instructions said 1-½ hours would be the appropriate cooking time, the meat still required a knife to cut and some of it required a fair amount of chewing to eat.
With a pressure cooker, you have to cool and bleed off steam before you can even open the lid to check on the meat’s tenderness. That’s not very convenient.
With a crockpot, you can check tenderness as often as you like. This allows you to keep the meat at full cooking temperature until it flakes apart with a fork.
To the pressure cooker’s credit, I believe the flavor of the corned beef brisket was a little more pronounced. Plus the reheat to cook the vegetables was very quick, and the cabbage was nice and tender in a matter of 5 minutes time.
There was a pretty heavy layer of grease floating in the crock pot when the meat was done. After I removed the cooked brisket and added the vegetables, I eventually transferred the liquid and vegetables to a pot to finish on the stove. Waiting to do it in the crockpot was taking way too much time. It smelled so good, all I wanted to do was sit down and eat!
In the end, pressure cookers and crock pots each have their good and bad points.
All things considered, I think I preferred the end results a bit better with the pressure cooker, but the crock pot was a heck of a lot less trouble since it can be left unattended.