Can you use a rice cooker as a crockpot?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you use a rice cooker as a crockpot?”, and what foods other than rice can you cook in a rice cooker?

Can you use a rice cooker as a crockpot?

Yes, you can use a rice cooker as a crockpot. Both the appliances cook the food by circulating steam. Generally, rice cookers operate at higher cooking temperatures than crockpots. But the temperature and cooking time can be adjusted. 

The Slow Cooker market in the U.S. is estimated at US$ 471.2 Million in the year 2020. China, the world’s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$603.2 Million by the year 2027. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 3.7% and 6.1% respectively over the 2020-2027 period (2).

What is a crockpot?

The crockpot is the brand’s name that manufactures a variety of slow cookers. The crockpot has earned a reputation for the pioneers of introducing good quality slow cookers. The crockpots operate at low temperatures and take about 6-8 hours to thoroughly cook the food. 

The slow cooker, a countertop electrical appliance, cooks foods slowly at a low temperature—generally between 170° and 280° F. The low heat helps less expensive, leaner cuts of meat become tender and shrink less.

The direct heat from the pot, lengthy cooking and steam created within the tightly-covered container combine to destroy bacteria and make the slow cooker a safe process for cooking foods (1).

You just have to dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do its magic. This hands-off approach is the catch for people who are not much into cooking. 

The trend of using crock pots started somewhere around the 1940s when the working-class women would leave their meals to cook during their working hours and come home to a ready-to-devour delicious meal.

How does a crockpot work?

There are three main parts of a crockpot. One is the base that is inserted with the cooking element, and the others are a lid and a vessel. 

Two handles, a temperature knob, and feet are protruding out of the vessel. All of these three protruding perform the obvious functions. 

A liner melded onto the inside of the crockpot’s base. The electricity wires are embedded between the liner and the bottom and it also supports the heater bands used for heat conduction. 

The bands generate and release the heat that travels from the bottom and up the sides of the vessel, which in turn cooks the food. A small gap between the liner and the base’s exterior prevents the crockpot from overheating by allowing the necessary ventilation.

Benefits of slow-cooked meals

While cooking properly, nutrition can be preserved; otherwise, nutrition is easy to lose. Traditional cooking techniques often require more sophisticated cooking skill, longer cooking times, and higher cooking temperatures, which would cause nutrients loss. Compared with traditional cooking methods, Sous Vide, which is, as a crock pot, a slow cooking method at lower temperatures, could better preserve the nutrients such as collagen and taurine in scallops with a lower water loss rate, a better appearance, and a more delicate taste (3).   

  1. The prolonged cooking times ensure that the flavors are dispersed evenly across the food.
  2. Slow cooking is most suitable for tenderizing tough cuts of meat such as roast, chuck steaks, etc.
  3. Since the temperature is very low, you won’t have to worry about your food scorched to the bottom of the vessel.
  4. Slow-cooked meals are wholesome and nutritious. Slow cooking decreases the likelihood of the production of harmful compounds.

What are the similarities between a slow cooker and a crockpot?

A slow cooker and a crockpot are often confused with each other due to their striking similarities. But the two appliances are used to produce specific outcomes.

Both the slow cooker and the crockpot work on the same mechanism. This involves cooking the food by simmering on low heat or steam. 

Both the appliances offer the hand-off approach, in which you simply put the ingredients into the pot and come back to a delicious meal.

What is the difference between a rice cooker and a slow cooker?

Some advanced models of the slow cooker and rice cooker offer a variety of different cooking options. As far as the basics are concerned, the main differences between a slow cooker and a rice cooker are as follows.

Slow cooker Rice cooker 
The slow cooker is designed to cook your food on low heat for a prolonged timeA rice cooker operates at temperatures higher than a slow cooker
The shortest period of cooking time a slow cooker offers is 4 hoursRice cooker offers a ‘keep warm’ feature

How to use a slow cooker as a rice cooker?

  1. Cook your onion, garlic, vegetable, and meat as per the recipe instructions. 
  2. Add all the cooked ingredients into the slow cooker. Then pour the liquid.
  3. Close the lid and turn on the rice cooker to the cook setting. Once the liquid comes to a rolling boil, leave the cooker in the keep warm setting for about an hour. This is the slow cooking step.
  4. Repeat the process.

Can I cook other things in a rice cooker?

Yes, the rice cooker is not only designed to be used for cooking rice. You can cook a lot of other delicious dishes in the rice cooker with satisfying results. 

For example, you can cook lentils and quinoa, chicken and rice, steamed potatoes, Jambalaya, steamed veggies, steamed salmon, sour, warm cheese dip, breakfast dishes like frittata, oatmeal, and egg scramble, desserts like lemon cake and poaches pears can be cooked in a rice cooker.

Other FAQs about Rice cooker that you may be interested in.

What Makes a Rice Cooker Better?

Why Do Rice Cookers Boil Over?

How does the rice cooker work?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you use a rice cooker as a crockpot?”, and what foods other than rice can you cook in a rice cooker?


  1. Slow cookers and food safety. United States Department of Agriculture. 2013.
  2. Global Slow cooker industry. GlobeNewswire. 2020. 
  3. Yong, Wang, Li Amin, and Chen Dongpo. Status and prospects of nutritional cooking. Food Qual Safe, 2019, 3, 137-143.