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Instant Pot vs. Crock-Pot: Which Is Better For RV Cooking?

The Pros and Cons of Instant Pot™ versus Crock-Pot™ for RV Cooking

In an RV kitchen, we can still bring along our favorite cooking appliances from home. However, due to limited storage space, we cannot bring everything we want. Our favorite kitchen appliances are the Instant Pot and Crock-Pot, which both make preparing tasty meals easy. While both appliances are useful for cooking on-the-go, one is more advantageous than the other for RV cooking.

To compare RV cooking options, we’ll explore the pros and cons of slow cookers and pressure cookers in a small kitchen.

The Crock-Pot 

A Crock-Pot is a low-heat slow cooker that prepares food over extended periods. It comprises a metallic outer shell with a bottom heating component and a separate stoneware liner for food placement. While some contemporary slow cookers boast multifaceted designs, most possess basic functions that enable the temperature and timing settings.

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Advantages of a slow cooker in rV cooking

Slow cookers are ideal for creating delicious stews, succulent meats, and various comfort foods like chili. They can even be used to bake potatoes. Simply chop your desired ingredients, combine them with fragrant spices and herbs, and add a small amount of liquid. Next, set the cooking time and let it cook for approximately eight hours. Leave it be and come back to a delectable meal.

Slow cookers work by cooking food at super low temperatures. This marinates and melds all the wonderful flavors of the ingredients they contain into an amazing and wholesome delicious meal. When you return to the camper, you’ll probably be hungry. The kitchen will be filled with the amazing aromas of perfectly cooked, delicious food. That’s always a winning combination. 

Everything cooks in the stoneware lining of the slow cooker, and dishwashing chores are minimized. Doing fewer dishes means you’ll save water too. If you want to eliminate washing stoneware completely, you can get slow cooker liners on that let you do just that.   

Slow cookers are also energy-efficient, making them a practical option for cooking while dry camping, provided you have a secondary power source. A six-quart Crock Pot consumes 260 watts, making it a more efficient cooking method than using an oven or stovetop.

 RV cooking in a pot

Drawbacks of Slow Cookers for RV Cooking

Cooking with a slow cooker in the RV isn’t all peach cobblers and hot fudge sundaes. The drawbacks of using a Crock-Pot in the RV start when you have to plan ahead for your meals. Slow cookers take many hours to cook the delicious meals they produce. You cannot get away with last-minute cooking when you use one. Once you’ve made a slow cooker meal plan, you have to start doing meal prep at 8 am so you can serve supper at 5 pm.

RVers who eat plant-based diets are affected by another drawback of slow cookers. It is generally recommended that beans and legumes be fully cooked before being added to a slow cooker, as the low cooking temperatures of a slow cooker may not be sufficient to fully cook raw beans and legumes. Additionally, undercooked beans and legumes may cause digestive issues. Pre-cooking the beans and legumes before adding them to the slow cooker is a way to ensure the safety and quality of your dish.

A slow cooker also releases moisture during the cooking process. RV condensation and moisture can wreck components in your camper. This moisture also creates an environment where mold can thrive.

The final disadvantage of using a Crock-Pot while RV cooking pertains to the possibility of the liner chipping or cracking due to regular usage or transportation. Moreover, older versions of the appliance may harbor lead from the paint, which could contaminate your food.

Is The Instant Pot Better for RV Cooking?

The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker with an insulated metal exterior and a stainless steel liner where food is cooked. Its heavily insulated design makes it much more energy-efficient than a slow cooker because it loses less heat during the cooking process. Although it’s a pressure cooker, the Instant Pot can be used in several ways, such as:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Slow cooker
  • Air fryer

Advantages of the Instant Pot for RV Cooking

The Instant Pot is faster than a slow cooker, cooking meals in under an hour. It can sauté and pressure cook, making stews, soups, and pot roasts in no time. It can even make chili from dried beans in just 90 minutes, or 45 minutes if pre-soaked.

The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance capable of cooking a wide array of dishes. Apart from soups and stews, it can prepare a delectable Bolognese spaghetti dinner, complete with pasta, in a single pot. It is also perfect for cooking rice, quinoa, and porridge quickly. In fact, I even make popcorn with it.

Use an air fryer lid

The addition of the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid gives you the ability to bake potatoes (with crispy skins and white, fluffy goodness on the inside). If you don’t like baked potatoes, you can always julienne them and create easy, low-fat french fries. And let’s not forget the Air Fryer Lid has 7 settings including a “bake” setting.  Should the urge to bake arise, you can fill your RV with the aroma of a small loaf of baking bread or freshly baked cinnamon rolls.   

When the Instant Pot has finished the cooking cycle, you can take it outside to open the pressure valve and allow steam to escape. No steam has to be released inside the RV. All that steam-produced food can be completely sealed in the vessel until pressure is manually released.

The Instant Pot’s stainless durable steel liner is easy to clean. Like the Crock-Pot, it makes after-dinner dishwashing a breeze. 

Drawbacks of the Instant Pot in RV Kitchens

The Instant Pot has one major drawback: It pulls 1000 watts of power while it’s cooking (usually 10-20 minutes). If you are hooked up to a 15-amp power supply, or dry camping, you’ll need manage your electrical system carefully.

With an Instant Pot, it’s easy to lose the desire to cook food any other way. This device makes it so easy to make amazing food in any kitchen.

Instant Pot VS Crock Pot: What’s The Best For RV Life?

The Instant Pot is hands down better than a Crock-Pot for cooking in an RV. You will love its superior:

  • Versatility
  • Energy efficiency
  • Quick cooking time
  • Low moisture emission
  • Durability
  • Outstanding cooking performance

Get tips from other RVers

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

2 thoughts on “Instant Pot vs. Crock-Pot: Which Is Better For RV Cooking?”

  1. This is most interesting, I have a diesel pusher and wanted to use a crock pot, I did research and found one that I can plug in to the cigarette lighter to cook while we are driving down the road. It is small, good for two people but I think that it is great and works GREAT!! Hope that some of you will look into this and be as happy with it as we are.

  2. The answer to this problem is to use the newer ninja speedi cooker and air fryer in one. It does it all and more. I can cook most meals in 15 minutes or I can use the slow cooker setting . The best part that I love is you can open it while cooking to check on the food unlike the instant pot which can let things burn. Perfect for full course meals with rice, potatoes , or even noodles along with a vegetable in the bottom and chicken, steak or fish cooking on the top rack. There are lots of videos on you tube to check it out,

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