In recent years, manufacturers have been trying to bring to the market new cooking devices that greatly simplify the life of housewives. For this reason, multicookers and Dutch ovens were created. A detailed comparison of the Dutch oven vs. slow cooker will be described in this article.
What is a Dutch oven?
Before proceeding with the Dutch oven vs. slow cooker comparison, you should familiarize yourself with the main features of each appliance. It is better to start with a Dutch oven, which is a large pot equipped with a tight lid. Most ovens are made of cast iron, so they are heavy.
The base and handles are cast at the production stage. Due to the thick walls, Dutch ovens retain moisture and heat better. Designs are versatile. In the Dutch oven, you can cook first courses, meat, or bake bread. Best of all, Dutch ovens allow you to cook stews.
Advantages of Dutch stoves
During the Dutch oven debate, people ask often, why is cooking in a Dutch oven better. The Dutch oven has many advantages, which we describe below.
Versatility and flexibility of Dutch oven
Dutch ovens are considered more versatile than multicookers. You can fry, stew, boil, or bake foods in a Dutch oven. Some housewives even use structures to cook food on an open fire on the street. In the Dutch oven, you can set the desired temperature, and use it as an oven.
long service life of Dutch oven
In the manufacture of the Dutch oven, cast iron is used, which is coated with enamel. If you properly handle the Dutch oven, it will serve you for decades.
High cooking speed of Dutch oven
When using a slow cooker, dishes are cooked for about 4 hours. However, using a Dutch oven, you can significantly reduce the time by several times. Even if you set a slow fire, the cooking speed will still be high.
High-quality food FROM Dutch oven
If you cook with a Dutch oven, the sauces won’t boil too much because the temperature is low. As soon as the steam comes into contact with the lid, condensation occurs, which is returned to the main dish. Therefore, you can get a thinner broth. It differs in excellent taste and rich aroma.
Dutch ovens are independent of electricity, so you can definitely bring the dish to readiness, even if the power goes out unexpectedly.
Saving dishes FROM Dutch oven
Originally, Dutch ovens were created so that only one pot cooking is used, and people did not have to carry a lot of utensils with them when traveling.
Therefore, you can first fry the meat and then proceed to its further preparation. And this does not require other utensils.
Cons of Dutch oven
Dutch ovens have several disadvantages, including:
- the likelihood of chips on the enamel;
- high price;
- limited sizes.
What is a slow cooker?
Recently, in almost every kitchen you can find a multicooker. It was invented by Irving Naxon. His task was to make a device that would allow you to cook food in the summer without turning on the oven.
The slow cooker operates at low temperatures. However, it requires electricity to function properly. The slow cooker is stationary and is installed on the table. The peculiarity of the slow cooker is that you throw food inside, the mode is set, and the device cooks them on its own.
There is a special slow cooker insert that resembles a saucepan inside. It is in it that all products are placed.
There is a heating element around, which contributes to the uniform and slow cooking of food. The saucepan insert is removable and can be washed.
The slow cookers have a dial that provides the ability to select the temperature as well as the cooking time.
There are also digital slow cookers that can be programmed. If necessary, you can synchronize slow cookers with your phone and run them remotely. So, when you get home you will have a hot meal.
Some slow cookers are powered by electricity. However, there are slow cookers that can be equipped with oven inserts.
There are slow cookers that are complemented by cast aluminum inserts. Slow cookers can be used on hobs and can also be placed in the oven at temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The advantages of slow cookers
As you know, the demand for slow cookers is associated with their large number of advantages.
Ease of cooking with slow cooker
If you decide to cook the roast for the arrival of guests, it will take about 6 hours. However, you do not have to stand at the stove and control the process. The slow cooker will do everything on its own.
Cooking large cuts of meat in A slow cooker
Many housewives refuse to cook large pieces of meat because it takes a lot of time and effort. However, the slow cooker greatly simplifies this process. The dish is cooked at low temperatures, so it bakes evenly inside and does not burn. The connective tissue will soften and not get stuck in the teeth.
Safety of the slow cooker
Using a slow cooker prevents fires in the kitchen. This is because the slow cooker operates at low temperature. Also, you can be sure that the dish does not burn. After all, it will slowly warm up from all sides.
That it is not recommended to set the cooking time longer than it is provided by the program. After all, everything was calculated in advance. If you exceed the recommended times, you risk burning the dish, or it turns out dry.
Energy saving in slow cooker
As you know, today, almost all devices are powered by electricity. Therefore, people are trying to choose appliances that save energy. If you use a slow cooker, you do not have to pay huge utility bills.
This advantage is because the slow cooker operates at low intensity. On average, during the preparation of one main dish, the slow cooker consumes 1-2 kW. If you choose more expensive slow cookers, then they consume even less electricity.
Believe, expensive slow cookers can pay off within the first year of operation. After all, they consume about 500-700 Wper working cycle.
Artificial intelligence of slow cooker
Almost all modern slow cookers have a special timer. There are also several programs that you choose based on the products you use. The main purpose of the timer is to keep track of time, as well as the power of the slow cooker.
If the timer notices that the heat level has begun to rise, the system automatically reduces the power of the slow cooker. This contributes to the preservation of the juiciness of the dish, as well as the prevention of fires in the kitchen.
Ease of cleaning the slow cooker
You can cook using a slow cooker like one-pot cooking. However, you do not have to spend a large number of dishes. After all, a special insert that comes with the slow cooker is enough.
Because the insert has a non-stick coating, the products do not burn. Therefore, you do not have to clean the pan for a long time. It is enough to rinse lightly under running water with a small amount of detergent, then wipe dry with a towel.
Dynamism of slow cooker
Many people refuse to use a slow cooker because they are not ready to cook all the products in one dish. However, you are pleasantly surprised that the universal bowl does not spoil any dishes. You can safely cook meat after the fish soup, after washing the bowl.
You can choose the best slow cooker recipe for today among a large number of examples on the network. You must find exactly the slow cooker recipes for your device. At the same time, you can save time by spending it communicating with family and friends.
Cons of a slow cooker
Slow cookers have some disadvantages. We will talk about them further.
Insufficient heat retention of slow cooker
Dutch ovens have heavy and tight lids, so the heat from the inside will not come out. Slow cookers are equipped with lightweight lids, most of which are made of glass.
That is why the heat will come out faster. Therefore, some dishes will lose their nutritional value faster.
This minus is noticed by those who prefer to cook vegetables often. If you are not afraid of the idea that the dishes will cool quickly, you can safely use the slow cooker.
No need for supervision OF the slow cooker
Almost everyone who cooks food in a slow cooker does not follow the cooking process. Everyone prefers to throw food inside, and then go about their business. Yes, it helps, when you return, to enjoy a freshly prepared dish.
However, it is not uncommon for a home to experience an unexpected power outage. In this case, the electrical device may be unreliable. Firstly, the dish will not finish cooking, and you will have to cook it on the hob. This requires additional time. You may have to start everything from scratch because some products will deteriorate.
Harm to health with slow cooker
Quite often people cook beans. As you know, such products have a rather high content of proteins and carbohydrates.
Beans contain a high content of toxins. If they are cooked at a high temperature, all toxins disappear, so the product is safe to eat.
However, slow cookers cannot boast of this because they cook at low temperatures. The heat will break down the proteins, so the risk of bean poisoning will be much higher.
If you want to make up for this shortcoming, try to soak the beans for 8-10 hours. After, you need to drain the water and bring the beans to a boil for 30 minutes. Only after that, they can be placed inside the slow cooker.
As you can see, you have to get a little creative with some of the dishes. This also requires a lot of time. However, thanks to this, you can take care of your health.
Change in product consistency
During classic cooking, you have the opportunity to improve the texture. Especially if you are making soups or sauces.
To do this, it is enough to reduce the fire a little. However, in the slow cooker, this possibility is not provided. Initially, the product starts to boil.
Because there is no reduction in power, the finished dish will have a liquid consistency.
However, if you have experience in the field of slow cooking, you can offset this shortcoming a little. Only for this, you have to monitor the work of the slow cooker a little.
Inability to cook the best meals in A slow cooker
Soups and meats cooked in a slow cooker are quite high quality.
However, if you decide to cook sauces in the slow cooker, some problems may arise. After all, shortly before readiness, you have to move the sauce to another pan, and cook the dish yourself.
Some ways help thicken sauces in a slow cooker. You can definitely find them on the net, and apply for yourself if you want to save time.
However, we can definitely say that dishes cooked in a Dutch oven definitely are better than those from a slow cooker.
Comparison of a Dutch oven and a slow cooker
Quite often people wonder, what’s better Dutch oven or a slow cooker? These devices differ in several differences, which will be discussed below.
The versatility of Dutch oven and slow cooker
Dutch ovens are more versatile when compared with slow cookers. These are pans that can be used for different purposes.
Pans of a Dutch oven can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, on the grill, or in the smoker. Everything depends on the material. Only cast iron, which is not enameled, differs in versatility.
Dutch ovens are suitable for a variety of dishes, including sauces, as well as boiling water. You can brown the meat well on them before the main stage of cooking so that more taste is revealed.
Food cannot be fried in slow cookers. If you want to get a golden crust, you first have to fry them in a pan and then immerse them in the bowl of the slow cooker.
This increases the time allotted for cooking. Some slow cooker inserts can be used in the oven.
Dutch ovens and slow cookers are suitable for slow-cooking dishes. However, if you are looking for a more versatile cooking appliance, pay attention to Dutch ovens.
Ease of use Dutch oven and a slow cooker
Dutch ovens and slow cookers are pretty easy to use.
However, the slow cooker still wins over the enameled cast iron Dutch oven because it can be controlled contactless. Settings can be set manually or programmed. This greatly simplifies the process of temperature control.
In a slow cooker, food will remain warm for several hours after the cooking process is completed. This is the best option if you have gathered friends for a gala dinner. So you can easily serve warm meals without much fuss.
The best Crock-Pot 7-Quart can be programmed to set the timer to cook from half an hour to 20 hours. The cooking with the Crock-Pot 7-Quart is very simple.
When the cooking process is completed, the Crock Pot can be switched to the heating mode. This keeps food warm even if you leave the Crock Pot open. With the Crock-Pot 7-Quart, your dishes are always cooked perfectly.
If you choose the 6-liter Hamilton Beach instead of the Crock Pot 7-Quart, it comes with a sensor that regulates the temperature. The probe is inserted into the lid before cooking starts. You can set the desired temperature, and the basic slow cooker automatically switches to the heating stage as soon as it reaches the desired temperature.
You can choose the 6-liter Crockpot MyTime slow cooker instead of the Crock-Pot 7-Quart, which helps to adjust the cooking cycle. Therefore, the food is ready the moment you want to eat. Products do not be overcooked and can retain their original taste.
If you use Le Creuset Dutch ovens, you need to keep a closer eye on them. Especially if you’re cooking on the stovetop. However, the application in the enameled cast iron Dutch oven is simpler. In Dutch ovens, heat is not better preserved. Therefore, after turning off the fire, the temperature of the dishes decreases.
Taste qualities of the Dutch oven and a slow cooker
If you prefer appliances that best reveal the taste of the dish, pay attention to Dutch ovens. Dutch ovens contribute to the occurrence of the Maillard reaction. Its essence is that it makes food and dishes browner. This helps to increase the concentration of aroma.
Dutch ovens have rather thick walls that heat food from all sides, including the top. Therefore, pieces of food are browned on all sides. If you cover the cast iron Dutch ovens with a lid, they should not be completely sealed. After all, this leads to a slowdown in evaporation, which does not create a rich taste.
Crock-Pots 7-Quart slow cookers are not capable of this at all. After all, the covers have a direct effect on the temperature inside, especially if they crack. Slow cooker heating is carried out only from below.
Condensation is observed on the sides and top, so the dishes become more liquid. However, dishes from a slow cooker have an excellent flavor.
Enamel Dutch ovens can withstand high temperatures, so moisture does not accumulate in them. Even at the highest setting, the temperature of the Crock-Pots 7-Quart slow cookers does not exceed 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dutch oven and a slow cooker are capable of preparing delicious meals. However, for ruddy or caramelized meat, Dutch ovens are better suited.
The appearance of the Dutch oven and a slow cooker
Slow cookers are often installed on the surface. Inserts in them are made of ceramics. Die-cast aluminum options are available. Inserts often have a stylish gray, black, or white tint.
The heating element for the slow cook is connected to the socket. It fixes the insert in which food is cooked. The outer part is made of stainless steel. Shades and patterns depend on the manufacturer of the slow cooker.
Dutch ovens come in a variety of designs. You can find an enameled cast iron Dutch oven that has a rounded shape.
Demand is for options that are shaped like fruits or animals. For Halloween, you can find a Dutch oven that is shaped like a pumpkin, and the handle is made to mimic the stem.
A Dutch oven is sold in different colors and the choice depends on your preference.
There is also a monophonic Dutch oven with a gradient pattern. Thanks to the diverse and bright design, you can install a Dutch oven in a conspicuous place.
Construction and materials of the Dutch oven and a slow cooker
Most Dutch ovens are made of cast iron, which is covered with enamel. However, pure cast iron, glass, or stainless steel options can be found.
Glass, by the way, is tempered, so it can easily withstand high temperatures. In the manufacture of cast iron Dutch ovens, a process of many stages is used.
The design of the slow cooker consists of 3 parts. It includes a cover, an insert, and an element that heats the entire structure.
The heating element for the slow cook has a metal frame from which the power cord extends. An insert is located in the metal case.
Ceramic slow cookers are in the greatest demand. Ceramic slow cookers are inexpensive and look very stylish.
However, you can find slow cookers that are made of cast aluminum or enameled cast iron. The lids are made of tempered glass with rubber edges.
Thanks to this, the cover is tightly fixed and provides maximum retention of moisture and heat inside the insert.
Some manufacturers try to combine different designs to make the slow cooker stylish and practical. There are slow cookers supplemented with a Dutch oven.
Such slow cookers differ in that the oven can be removed from the heating element. Slow cookers can then be placed on the hob or in the oven. Slow cookers withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cleansing and care of the Dutch oven and a slow cooker
Multicookers and Dutch ovens are fairly quick and easy to clean, so you can wash them by hand.
However, if the question concerns the slow cookers, then you have to remove the insert to clean it. The heating element for slow cook must not be immersed in water. After all, this can cause a short circuit, or the slow cookers completely fail.
The heating element may only be wiped with a slightly damp cloth. Some options for slow cooker inserts can be placed in the dishwasher. However, it is better not to do this, preferring hand washing. This contributes to the preservation of the enamel coating.
You should also refrain from using aggressive detergents. After all, they provoke wear of the coating.
Sharp objects can scratch the coating altogether. If you are thinking about buying Dutch ovens, then they do not require much maintenance. It is enough to wipe them periodically.
Device dimensions of the Dutch oven and slow cookers
On market, there are different sizes of the Dutch oven and slow cookers.
Therefore, when choosing, you should take into account the number of family members, as well as how often you invite guests. The volume of Dutch ovens varies from 1 to 13 quarts. All of them are round or oval.
Slow cookers can be 1.5-10 liters. If you choose commercial options, they are much larger in capacity.
Storage of the Dutch oven and slow cookers
A Dutch oven and slow cookers are large, which can cause difficulties in storage. However, Dutch ovens take up less space when compared to multicookers.
That is why a Dutch oven is the best option for tight spaces. It is important to think in advance about where the Dutch oven is stored and prepare the place.
Do not place the Dutch oven too high or low. After all, every time you experience discomfort, try to get the device.
The same applies to slow cookers. Only the heating element for slow cook requires a lot more space. It is better to measure everything several times to make sure that the device fits in the chosen place.
Price of the Dutch oven and slow cookers
Many people ask, do I need a slow cooker and Dutch oven? It should be understood that everything depends on your financial capabilities. Device prices are pretty vague. Slow cookers and Dutch ovens can be cheap, expensive, or mid-priced.
The minimum cost for devices is about 70-100 dollars. These are the most budget options, characterized by a minimum set of functions. If you are looking for a programmable slow cooker or looking for an option from a well-known manufacturer, you have to pay from 200-300 dollars.
The ability to replace the Dutch oven with a slow cooker
If necessary, you can replace the Dutch oven with a slow cooker. The difference between these devices lies in how exactly the heat is supplied to the device. A Dutch oven is universal and can be used on all types of heat sources.
If you buy a Dutch oven, it can even be used on a campfire. Enamel options are not suitable for an open fire. The slow cooker, on the other hand, can only be under the influence of electricity, so it cannot be used in any other way.
As you can see, the differences between a Dutch oven and a slow cooker are significant. The choice depends on what kind of dishes you prefer to cook and how often you do it. You should also focus on the budget, and the amount of time to control the cooking process.