Microwave vs Crock Pot

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Updated August 19, 2022

If you are building the ultimate kitchen setup, you may wonder about the differences between a microwave vs a crockpot. The best microwaves have plenty of features, but do they match up to a standard crockpot? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about these two popular cooking gadgets.


  • Microwaves are great for getting some food prepared quickly, whereas crockpots, or slow cookers, take four or eight hours to prepare ingredients.
  • Microwaves are fairly versatile, but cannot do what crockpots and slow cookers do, meaning they are not great for stews, soups, and sauces.
  • Crockpots and microwaves are both rather plain-looking but come in a variety of retro styles.

Differences Between Microwaves and Crockpots

The primary differences between these two cooking appliances are cooking speed and cooking methods. Microwaves were invented to speed up the process of cooking ingredients, whereas crockpots excel with low and slow cooking, which makes this comparison different than looking at a microwave vs a convection oven or a microwave oven vs a Halogen oven. Here are some more differences between the two.

Insider Tip

A third option is the pressure cooker, which combines the speed of a microwave with the essential cooking method of a crockpot.


Microwaves excel with frozen meals and for defrosting, depending on your preferred microwave method. You’d never, however, cook a beef stew from scratch in a microwave. That’s just not what they are used for. A crock pot, on the other hand, is perfect for said stews, various soups, sauces, chilis, and anything else that needs to cook slowly at an extremely low temperature. And, you shouldn’t worry about microwave vs oven health, because cooking in a microwave isn’t harmful to your health.


Do you want to eat quickly and get it over with? Go with a microwave oven. Do you want to luxuriate all day as your meal slowly comes to temperature? Go with a crockpot. Many microwave-based recipes are finished in as little as three or four minutes. Crockpot recipes, on the other hand, take at least four hours, with many taking eight hours or even longer. As a matter of fact, the minimum amount of time you can even use a crockpot is four hours. Clear your schedule.


Gotta give this one to microwaves. With a little forethought and an accessory or two, you can do a lot with microwaves, including making eggs, popcorn, and even making rice or pasta. Crockpots are perfect for a narrow set of recipes but don’t go too far beyond that. Here is a good rule of thumb. If you are making a meat-based recipe with a cut of meat that benefits from a long cooking time, a crockpot is your best friend.


Aesthetics depend on the make and model of your appliances, such as when you are comparing a low-profile microwave vs a regular microwave. Some crockpots are retro-styled, while others are essentially round black pots. On the other hand, most microwaves are just boxes, though some can go above the oven range for a bit of “out of sight out of mind” action.


Why does the cooking method matter?

It matters for taste and cooking speed, among other reasons. A microwave is a great cooking tool that offers exact cooking timing, whereas a crockpot is great at energy-efficient cooking.

Can you put a crockpot in a microwave?

This depends on your crockpot’s components and the microwave temperature. Some crockpots can go inside of a microwave for a quick microwave meal but read the instructions beforehand for an optimum microwave experience.

How to cook rice on the stove?

You can cook a cup of rice on the stove by following the directions on the box. Interestingly, microwaves can also cook up some rice.

STAT: Slow cookers achieved popularity in the US during the 1940s when many women began to work outside the home.[2] They could start dinner cooking in the morning before going to work and finish preparing the meal in the evening when they came home. (source)

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