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Ceramic vs Aluminum Slow Cooker [Detailed Analysis]

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Most of us have busy schedules that don’t make cooking an easy daily activity. So, any appliance that will make our lives easier in the kitchen is always welcome! 

Why slow cooking? Slow cookers are an energy-saving, healthy way to cook foods. Food is cooked at lower temperatures, which retains more nutrients than high-temperature cooking.

Slow cooking helps to concentrate flavors and nutrients. It also helps in making tougher meat cuts more tender and well-cooked. 

There are several kinds of slow cookers to choose from. Coming to their material, ceramic and Aluminium are the most widely known types of materials that slow cookers are produced. 

Ceramic vs. Aluminum Slow Cooker

The answer to this question depends on each person’s priority and requirements. Ceramic slow cookers are the way for those looking for a durable option. Additionally, ceramic slow cookers is the healthier option. But if you strictly look from the price point of view, the Aluminum slow cooker is the best option.

If you’re torn between which slow cooker to get, it will help you understand why one is better than the other in each aspect. This can be a tedious process if you’re left with this job on your own.

This article was put together to make it easy on you! Continue reading our post to understand which slow cooker suits you the best.

Let’s start with a brief comparison between ceramic and Aluminium slow cookers!

Briefly Comparing Ceramic and Aluminum Slow Cookers

Before we get into the detailed analysis of ceramic and aluminum slow cookers, let’s briefly compare them!

Some popular brands for slow cookers are All-clad and Morphy Richards. These manufacturers offer high-quality, efficient slow cookers that will make your day more effortless in the kitchen!

If you’re looking for slow cookers with the best cool touch feature, Aroma slow cookers are the way to go.

We’ve summarised the features of both ceramic and aluminum slow cookers in the table below. Check it out! 

Criteria for ComparisonCeramic Slow CookersAluminum Slow Cookers
Acidic reactionsNoYes
VersatilityYesNo
Durability6 to 10 years2 to 3 years
Price Range14 to 195 dollars20 to 100 dollars
Cooking CapacityLessMore
Ease of CleaningEasyEasy

Closer look of Ceramic vs. Aluminum Slow Cooker

Here’s a detailed analysis of which slow cooker is better in each aspect. Continue reading to see what ceramic and aluminum slow cookers have to offer! 

Pros of Ceramic Slow Cookers

Acidic Reactions

A primary concern common for everyone is whether an appliance is healthy. 

Acidic foods such as vinegar, tomatoes, limes, or other citrus fruits are common ingredients in many dishes.

At higher temperatures, some materials in appliances are prone to react with acidic foods. You can avoid such reactions by opting for ceramic slow cookers, which aren’t toxic.

While aluminum slow cookers aren’t precisely “unsafe,” there is a high risk of aluminum reacting with acidic foods at high temperatures.

Aluminum is toxic to consume. So, the last thing you’d want is this material mixing with your food.

Check out our top recommendations for ceramic slow cookers!

Interesting reading – 5 Or 7 Quart Dutch Oven | Le Creuset Risotto Pot Vs Dutch Oven

Versatility

Versatility is another important feature when choosing a slow cooker. You must be able to use or store your slow cooker in different ways. Let’s look at how ceramic cookers offer such versatility. 

You can place ceramic slow cookers on your dining table or counter and serve the food directly. Ceramic is also safe for oven use as it can tolerate temperatures as high as 400 degrees F.

You can also store food in ceramic inserts and place it in your refrigerator. Unlike metal inserts, ceramic will not alter the taste of the stored food. Additionally, ceramic slow cookers are suitable for the dishwasher as well!

On the other hand, aluminum slow cookers do not offer as much flexibility. For example, it is dangerous to heat aluminum in ovens. It is not advised to store aluminum inserts in the refrigerator too. It may impart a metallic feel to your food.

Durability

Once you’ve purchased a ceramic slow cooker, it will last you for years!

Ceramic is the kind of material that is not easy to scratch or dent. This makes them highly durable and resistant to damage.

It is also essential to maintain your ceramic cooker to last longer. Ceramic slow cookers are safe to use for 6 to 10 years.

Aluminum slow cookers are metal. Metal surfaces are susceptible to scratches and other damage. As aluminum slow cookers cannot withstand as much damage, you’ll likely have to purchase a new one after 2 to 3 years.

Budget-Friendly

Slow cookers come in various sizes and offer different features. For this reason, they all have different price points. It is always best to pick a slow cooker that isn’t too hard on your pockets.

Generally, ceramic slow cookers have a more reasonable price point than aluminum ones. They aren’t just cheaper but also more durable. So, this indeed makes ceramic slow cookers an investment!

Let’s talk numbers to help you understand better. The price of ceramic slow cookers can range from 14 dollars to 195 dollars. The price largely depends on the size and features of the slow cooker. 

On the other hand, the average price for an aluminum slow cooker is about 100 dollars. You can find aluminum slow cookers that are under 50 dollars as well. However, as their durability is in question, you may have to repeat the purchase, which becomes pricey.

Safety

Ceramic cookers are better when it comes to safety. It is true that both ceramic and aluminum slow cookers are safe for daily use. However, aluminum slow cookers are more prone to degradation. When this happens, it is easier for aluminum to mix with the food you cook. 

The chances of both these materials are considerably low. Nevertheless, being extra careful doesn’t hurt anyone! So, if you want impeccable safety from your slow cooker, it is best to choose ceramic materials. 

Recommended further reading – Diamond Coating Pan Vs Ceramic Coating Pan | Vollrath Vs All Clad

Pros of Aluminum Slow Cookers

The aluminum slow cooker has its share of benefits to offer. Let’s look at some of them! 

Cooking Capacity

When you’re slow cooking, you’d probably want a cooker that accommodates more significant quantities of food. So, which slow cooker is better for this? 

If you have a big family to serve or a party coming up, it is best to cook in aluminum slow cookers. Aluminum slow cookers uniformly cook large amounts of food placed in it. 

Ceramic slow cookers do not serve this purpose as well as aluminum cookers. It is not advised to cook large food quantities in ceramic cookers. They are best for personal use or small dinners.

Here are some excellent options for an aluminum slow cooker that you can check out!

  • All-Clad Slow Cooker: Along with offering sufficient space for large dinners, this slow cooker cooks in 4 modes. The glass lid helps you see your food and gives the cooker brownie points!
  • All-Clad Gourmet:  This cooker provides a programmable timer of 20 hours. It is one of the best in the market because of its quality and efficiency!

Metal Conduction

Metals conduct heat at a faster rate. So, aluminum heats up faster than ceramic. While both materials are good at retaining heat, aluminum slow cookers offer fast heat conduction. 

Ease of Cleaning

Objectively speaking, both ceramic and aluminum inserts have a non-stick surface. So, all you need to do is rinse them with soap and water after each use. The only plus point when cleaning aluminum inserts is that they are lighter. Ceramic inserts are heavier and bulkier to deal with while cleaning.

Related articles – Falk Or Mauviel | Stainless Steel Vs Carbon Steel Wok | Saute Pan Vs. Wok

Finally, the Winner! 

We’ve discussed various features of slow cookers that make them stand out. Based on this analysis, it is safe to say that ceramic slow cookers are an excellent option for purchasing. 

Your decision largely depends on your requirements as well. If you want a slow cooker whose capacity allows more significant amounts of food, aluminum slow cookers are the way to go. However, if your priority is to find a budget-friendly and durable option, there are several ceramic slow cookers you can check out.

Therefore, it is best to prioritize your needs from a slow cooker before making a well-informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do slow cookers consume too much energy?

No, slow cookers do not consume a lot of energy. In fact, they are an energy-saving way to cook. When you operate a slow cooker on a lower setting, it only consumes up to 75 to 150 watts. On the other hand, it consumes about 150 to 210 watts at higher settings.

It is essential to consider that slow cookers cook for extended hours. The electricity they use during this time is undoubtedly not as much as you’d expect. It would interest you to know that slow cookers only consume as much power as a light bulb would! 

Is Lead present in Ceramic slow cookers?

Yes, lead is commonly present in ceramic slow cookers. Slow cookers with lead are at high risk of lead leaching. Slow cookers are used for an extended period, so they remain heated for longer hours. This ultimately results in more lead leaching, which is considered toxic. 

Is it safe to leave a slow cooker overnight?

Yes, it is safe to leave a slow cooker overnight. While it is safe, it is essential to consider the possibility of burning or drying out. One way you could avoid such a situation is by ensuring the temperature is above 140 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time. You can opt for the ‘warm’ setting, which will keep the temperature between 145 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do I keep ceramic inserts safe?

Ceramic inserts are an excellent option while purchasing a slow cooker. However, it is always essential to understand how to use it safely. Here’s how you can keep your ceramic insert safe to use. 

  • Please inspect the insert for any scratches or crevices before use. 
  • Keep ceramic inserts away from the freezer. The temperature of the freezer could result in a cracked pot.
  • Please remember to use only wood or plastic utensils, not steel or other metals. This will keep your insert scratch-free! 

Conclusion

We’ve reached the end of the article! We hope our post helped you understand more about ceramic and aluminum cookers. 

Ceramic slow cookers are significant in terms of durability, safety, affordability, etc. Since these factors are a priority for most people, you can lean towards ceramic slow cookers.

Nevertheless, aluminum cookers have their plus points too. For example, aluminum slow cookers are excellent for cooking large amounts of food.

You can now make a well-informed choice based on your requirements.

Stay tuned for our next post. Have a great day!