Cooking challenge: Instapot vs. Crock-Pot

- It's a cooking trend that a lot of busy families are curious about: The hugely popular Instapot has been called a souped-up Crock-Pot. So what's the difference?

We asked Masterchef contestant Jeff Philbin to pit the pots against each other to show the difference. He used the same recipe and ingredients to make pulled pork in each appliance.

"Crock-Pot is slow and low -- slow and low and set it and forget it," Philbin offered. "In the Crock-Pot, boom! So we've got this beautiful pork, it's been cooking all the flavors, it smells delicious. It’s already falling apart. And we're just gonna give this a little shred and you can see it comes right apart with the claws, and you can see ton of moisture moist as anything.”

It took six hours to cook in the Crock-Pot. So if time is the most important factor, go with the Instapot.   Philbin explained that since it's also a pressure cooker, it's a lot faster. 

"That steam is gonna allow for greater temperatures to cook it in a faster time period.”

We compared the texture of the meat after cooking for an hour in the Instapot versus six in the Crockpot, finding it to be tender and moist, and about the same consistency.

But if price is all that matters to you, the Crockpot wins at $60 less. Instapots typically run close to 100 bucks.

Simplicity also goes to the Crockpot.

"You've got three things here and that's it -- low, high, warm here -- you've got so much more over here," Philbin demonstrated.

The Instapot has more than 10 buttons and a 20-plus-page manual.  But that's why when it comes to versatility, the Instapot wins.  It does the two Crock pPt functions of slow-cook and warm, plus the ability to sauté meat, make risotto, rice, yogurt and more.

When it comes to cleaning, the light stainless steel of the Instapot can be easier to wash than the heavy Crock-Pot stoneware.

As far as the taste?  In a blind taste test, we found the flavors to be almost identical. The Crock-Pot flavor was slightly sweeter due to the sauce reduction over the longer time frame. But the meat was as tender.

Our cookoff came out so close, it’s safe to say if you have to buy one, the Instapot could cut it as your Crock-Pot, cutting corners for you in the kitchen.

LINK: Jeff Philbin's pulled pork recipe

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