Dutch Oven vs. Slow Cooker: Which is Best?

A Dutch oven is a cooking pot that can be used with a cooktop or oven. Whereas a slow cooker is an electrical kitchen appliance that has an inner pot. Though there are massive differences in terms of their working principle, design price, etc.

However, they have some similarities too, like, both are made with cast iron and cook slowly. Besides, they are good for cooking soup stews, sauces, Spaghetti, etc.

So, it can be confusing, whether to buy a Dutch oven vs. a slow cooker is for meet your daily kitchen needs? In this article, I am going to explain the pros and cons of them, so that you can find it easier to pick one of them.

Before directly jumping into the differences, first, let’s develop a basic concept:

What is a Dutch Oven?

A Dutch oven is a large-sized cooking pot that comes with thick walls and tight-fitting lids. They are typically made using cast iron, aluminum, or ceramic. Besides, you can use it as electric stove cookware.

They are often called multi-cookers due to their special attribute of being able to cook in several ways. Right from roasting to baking, searing, broiling, stewing, browning, or steaming – this pot has got you covered. You can do all these things perfectly using this Dutch oven.

However, one of the drawbacks of this oven is you need to stay involved throughout the entire cooking procedure. Otherwise, the chances are high that you will not get your desired outcome.

Take a look at the pros and cons that a Dutch oven has to offer:


  • Faster cooking – distributes heat evenly and rapidly
  • Superior quality non-stick coating – no more food sticking at the pan’s bottom
  • Sturdy enough to last a decade
  • Cool-touch handles
  • Super easy to clean and maintain
  • Oven safe
  • Versatility – lets you cook using different techniques
  • Doesn’t have an electric casing – making the storage super convenient
  • Retain the nutrients value


  • You may find it a bit heavier.
  • It May cause burns if not handled properly
  • Have to keep an eye while cooking the food unless you don’t want it to burn

What is a Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker is basically used to simmer and cook food items at low temperatures. It includes a crock or ceramic bowl inside to keep the heat locked in and thus allowing the food to cook perfectly.

Here, the crock fits into the metal base with a heating substance for sending the heat to the crock the moment you turn the heat on.

This kind of cooker tends to have 2 settings, high or low. In contrast, some cookers may even come with a third setting for keeping the food hot even after cooking.

Let’s see what a slow cooker has to offer:


  • Comes with adjustable temperature settings for letting you program the heat settings and time durations
  • Keep your food piping hot even after cooking with the warm settings
  • Have a timer that auto stops the cooking when the food is cooked
  • No chance of burning your foods with this cooker
  • Easy cleanup
  • Consumes less power
  • Allows you to multitask by self-cooking the food
  • Dishwasher safe and scratch-resistant


  • Cannot work in times of power outages
  • Not durable enough
  • Need a separate metal insert or pan for doing the searing

Dutch Oven vs. Slow Cooker: What are the Differences?

Now that you have developed a general concept regarding both the cooking pot, now it will be much easier to grasp the difference.

For your better understanding, we will compare the key features of both the pots one by one in detail. So you can take the final call without facing any more hassles.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dig in:


Both Dutch ovens and slow cookers are available in different sizes and colors. As a result, you will get plenty of options to choose from. So, based on the style of your kitchen, pick the one to make things more elegant and classy.

Cooking Time

If you don’t like spending your time cooking, then certainly the slow cooker is for you. Just set the timer, and you can do other important chores while the food is being cooked.

On the other hand, you cannot do the same thing as if you keep your food unattended; then the chances are high that it will get stuck. And, in worst scenarios, it may get burned. Hence, you have to continuously stir it and check up on your food at intervals.


Both of them are completely safe to use. However, it doesn’t mean that you will keep the food unattended. Always remember, no matter how safe an item is safe to use, you should always be careful in your actions.


Both Dutch ovens and slow cookers are sturdy enough to last for a lifetime if you can handle them properly. Such as, if you wash the Dutch oven by hand after it is cool down, then certainly it will be good for increasing its longevity.

You should also avoid the usage of metal utensils and try to cook your food above the medium heat range in this kind of oven. On the other hand, for the slow cooker, make sure to unplug and cool down it while doing the cleaning.

These small hacks are enough to increase durability. Similarly, some silly mistakes are more than enough to decrease their lifespan.


Among both of them, the Dutch oven is certainly easier to store. Unlike the slow cooker, it doesn’t come with any electric cables. Hence, storing the Dutch oven is much more hassle-free and convenient compared to the slow cooker.


The food cooked in Dutch ovens reduces the liquids into thick gravy sauces. In contrast, the food cooked in a slow cooker tends to be thinner. As a result, if you buy the slow cooker and wish to make the liquid thinner, then, in that case, you will have to lessen the liquid manually on the stovetop.


As the slow cooker is lighter in weight. Hence, you can easily carry them and cook your food anywhere, just needing an electrical socket.

On the other hand, a Dutch oven is heavier in weight. As a result, it is a bit tough to carry around. However, it is worth taking as you can try different techniques and cook varied items of food using this handy thing.


In terms of cost, a good quality Dutch oven is pretty expensive compared to a slow cooker expense. For instance, a slow cooker ranges from $20 to $200, while a Dutch oven usually starts from 40 dollars and can cross over $400, based on the brand and other factors.

Which Cooker is the Best among Dutch Oven and Slow Cooker?

Both Dutch oven and slow cooker are extremely good from their perspectives – making things more difficult. Each of them can help you in preparing tasty meals. However, as cooking is all about preferences, hence the better is you choose the one based on your schedule and cooking style.

Both the Dutch oven and slow cooker are equally good from their own angles. Hence, it is pretty hard to declare one as the winner.

Such as, if you love slow-cooked food and want to use a versatile and sturdy pot that creates thick gravy, then the Dutch oven is the preferable one.

On the other hand, if you have limited space and have to for a large troop of people, then, in that case, the slow cooker is the ideal option to go for.

So, depending on your preference, make the decision!

My Final Verdicts

I always love to cook on cooktops and also use the oven more frequently, so the dutch oven is my favorite. Besides, I love the flavors, taste, and cooking experience.

However, I use electric slow cookers on a few occasions. The thing I love about them is that they recourse less work to start cooking, it doesn’t require additional cookers. Besides, it’s automatic, meaning it will stop cooking after the meal is prepared.

After going through this Dutch Oven vs. Slow Cooker discussion, now you definitely know which cooker to go for. Both of them are equally good and will certainly give you a wonderful cooking experience.

However, as cooking is all based on preferences, so it is better that you go after your personal choice to experience the ultimate comfort.

Frequently Asked Question

Check out the below most asked question if you have any doubt in your mind to clear up:

Can you use a slow cooker to Reheat Food?

Of course, you can reheat your food using a slow cooker. Just put the food in the insert pot and click the warm button. The food will gradually be warmed up. This warmup works like a charm, especially if you don’t have to reheat the food quickly.

Can I reheat soup in my Instant Pot?

Yes, you can. Pour the soup into the pot, close the cover, and press the button while setting the time. That’s all. Your soup will get heated up automatically.

Which one makes the tastier meal between the Dutch oven and slow cooker?

Both of them are made using cast iron, which tastes better. In terms of creating a thick consistency and yummier meal full of flavors, then definitely the clear winner is the Dutch oven among both.