What’s The Difference Between a Crock Pot and a Slow Cooker?

Today on my Mommy of a Monster Facebook page I asked: Do you call it a slow cooker or a crock pot? because I know many people use the terms interchangeably. Almost everybody responded that they called it a crock pot. But what’s the difference between a crockpot and a slow cooker anyways? Is there a difference?

One responder said: I try to say slow cooker because Crock pot is the brand name. Slow cooker is what it is.

Another said this: Crock pot. Isn’t a slow cooker what is used for canning? I don’t think they’re the same thing.

Well to clear things up, I thought I’d share what I found out. Yep, there is a difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker.

What's the difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker? Is there a difference? Head over to see what makes a crock pot different from a slow cooker.

What’s The Difference Between a Crock Pot and a Slow Cooker?

I found some great information about the difference between the two – here are some of them.

A crock pot is actually a type of slow cooker, so they are very similar, but not all slow cookers are also crock pots. A crock pot is a type of slow cooker with a stoneware pot that sits inside a surrounding heating element. A slow cooker is a usually metal pot that sits on top of a heating surface. Slow cookers often allow a cook to remove the pot and then use the heating surface below to fry foods on.

According to eHowThe history of slow cookers started with a bean cooker in 1970. The brand expanded its cookbook to include many dishes. The company redesigned its bean cooker by reshaping it, adding handles and a glass lid. It was given the registered trade name, “Crock-Pot,” which is now sold under the “Rival” brand name. Over the years, “crockpot” became a generic term often used when referring to any type of slow cooker.

So when we all call it a crock pot, it’s technically like calling all tissues Kleenex.

Difference Between A Crock Pot and a Slow Cooker

Crock Pots

What's the difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker? Is there a difference? Head over to see what makes a crock pot different from a slow cooker.

Crock pots have heating elements on the bottom and sides of the crock (usually ceramic), with a glass lid, and a oval or round heating element that the crock sits in. Crock pots usually only have a high and low setting, as well as a “keep warm” setting. Crock pots cook at very low temperatures which allows you to use less expensive cuts of meat  that will come out tasting amazing and just fall apart after being cooked for a long period of time at a low temperature.

Slow Cookers

What's the difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker? Is there a difference? Head over to see what makes a crock pot different from a slow cooker.

Slow cookers only have a heating element on the bottom. They consist of a glass lid, a pot, and a heating element (like a hot plate). Slow cookers have different temperature settings, notated by numbers one through five. Slow cookers cook meats and food more slowly than a crock pot unless the food is cut into small pieces, allowing the food to cook more quickly. The cooking heat doesn’t cook continuously like a crock pot – it runs in cycles, rotating on and off. And the heating element can be used as a griddle, which makes slow cookers more versatile in the kitchen.

So there you have it, and now you know the difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker. A crock pot is a type of slow cooker, but a slow cooker isn’t always a crock pot.

And here’s a crock pot tip for you: Jason hates when I don’t brown the meat before putting it in the crock pot. But if you add butter and paprika to chicken before putting it in the slow cooker, it will create it’s own brown color while cooking.

I absolutely love my crock pot, and use it a lot. For crock pot recipes the whole family will love, check out my crock pot recipes here on my blog or my Crock Pot Cooking on Pinterest.

Bean Dip Recipe: Italian Sausage & White Bean Dip

I’m a big appetizer lover. I could eat nothing but apps and be just fine at any party, anywhere. I love the bite sized portions – if I don’t like it, I just move on to the next one. I love that I can have a little bit of this and a little bit of that and be completely happy with my makeshift meal. And I love this new bean dip recipe I found at Taste of Home.

This bean dip recipe is a HUGE hit! It's full of Italian sausage, white beans, spinach, and cheese. Serve it with crackers or pita chips. There won't be any left!

Now what makes this bean dip recipe so great is that it’s like a meal in itself. It’s full of cheese, Italian sausage, white beans, and spinach. Left to my own devices, I could probably eat the entire dip all by myself…it’s that good. Which is why I’ve decided to share my new favorite bean dip recipe.

Bean Dip Recipe: Italian Sausage & White Bean Dip

Bean Dip Recipe: Italian Sausage & White Bean Dip
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage (or Italian sausage links, with casings removed)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 15 ounces white kidney or cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Crackers or pita chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles; drain. Stir in wine, oregano, salt and thyme. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is almost evaporated.
  3. Add cream cheese; stir until melted. Stir in spinach and beans; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Transfer to a greased 8-in.-square or 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with crackers.
http://mommyofamonster.com/bean-dip-recipe/

 

I should also tell you that I made this bean dip recipe three times in two weeks, and that it was a HUGE hit every time! It’s one of those dips that may not look super appetizing, but you take one bite and you’re hooked.

This bean dip recipe is a HUGE hit! It's full of Italian sausage, white beans, spinach, and cheese. Serve it with crackers or pita chips. There won't be any left!

The problem with serving hot bean dip (or any hot dip for that matter) is that it’s hard to keep it warm once it comes out of the oven. After taking it out of the oven transfer it to a crock pot and leave it set to warm. Boom! Problem solved.

Looking for more easy appetizer ideas? Check out all my Appetizer recipes. Still want more? Check out my Football & Tailgating board on Pinterest.

Sandwich Ideas: Ham & Swiss Rolls

Since the holidays are here, you know I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. I have lots of new recipes to share! Here’s the thing about recipes: you start with one and then you use it to create new ones. Or just get creative and put spins on them. You find a recipe that you love, and then use it to make variations of the same depending on who you are making it for and what you have on hand. That is where these sandwich ideas came from…from a recipe for Ham & Swiss Sliders from King’s Hawaiian.

A recipe for Ham & Swiss rolls that can be made ahead of time and kept warm in a crock pot for hours. Includes links to other sandwich ideas too.

Sandwich Ideas: Ham & Swiss Rolls

Ham & Swiss Rolls
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Ingredients

  • 12 Slices of deli honey ham
  • 6 Slices of swiss cheese, halved
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise or horseradish
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package (12 count) King's Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls

Instructions

  1. Spread mayo or horseradish onto 1 side of roll. Place a slice or two of ham and a slice of swiss cheese in roll. Replace the top of the rolls and bunch them closely together into a baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and worcestershire sauce.
  3. Pour sauce over the rolls, just covering the tops. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for additional 2 minutes until tops are slightly browned and crisp. Serve warm.

Notes

If you are serving these at a party, here's how to keep them warm. After baking, place the sliders into a crock pot. Adjust crock pot temperature to keep warm and they stay good for hours!

http://mommyofamonster.com/sandwich-ideas-ham-swiss-rolls/

Now I used horseradish when I made them and it gave them quite a kick. I loved it, as did most of the adults; the kids however did not.

I made them again for the kids for lunch one day. I halved the recipe, used mayo, and baked them without the sauce on top. The kids LOVED them.

Next I want to try them with turkey and provolone. Oh yum! I can’t wait to try these with a variety of cheeses and meats.

See? One recipe that can be made several different ways! If you are looking for more sandwich ideas, try my Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon or  my recipe for the Best Grilled Cheese EVER. Ialso have a recipe for a Feta Aioli sandwich spread that  will make you want to eat it right out of the bowl and a recipe for a Gouda and Green Onion sandwich spread that is really good-a! Still want more sandwich ideas? Check out my board for Sandwiches on Pinterest.

Hoppin John: Bring Good Luck To Your New Year By Eating This Traditional Dish

Have you ever heard of the tradition of eating Hoppin John on New Year’s? Do you know what Hoppin John is? I had never even heard of it until last year when I made it for the first time. It was delicious and it’s now going to be our New Year’s Day traditional meal! Hoppin John is a New Year's Day traditional meal; it's thought to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year. Try this recipe; it's yummy!

The Story of Hoppin John

In the southern states of the US, eating Hoppin John on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring those who eat it a year of good luck and prosperity. I know I can use that!  The black-eyed peas are thought to symbolize pennies or coins, and a coin is sometimes left under the bowls of peas. You’re supposed to also eat Hoppin John with collard (or mustard or turnip) greens, chard, kale, cabbage…basically any greens. Why? Because they add to the wealth since they are the color of money! You can also serve with cornbread since it is the color of gold. 

What is Hoppin John?

Hoppin John is full of black-eyed peas, rice, onion, bacon, and depending on where you are from, other yumminess. Some use sausage instead of bacon or ham hocks. Some people put bell peppers in, others include vinegar. There are many variations to this dish.

Hoppin John: Bring Good Luck To Your New Year By Eating This Traditional Dish
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. cajun, kielbasa or andouille sausage (or substitute 1/2 lb. bacon, cut in pieces)
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, about 2 cups
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (if you like heat)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups of water or chicken broth
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • Scallions or green onions for garnish

Instructions

  1. Slowly cook the sausage or bacon until crispy in a medium pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the celery, onion, and green pepper and sauté until they begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the black-eyed peas, bay leaf, and seasonings. Cover with 4 cups of water. Cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or longer if needed, until the peas are tender.
  4. While the peas are cooking, cook the rice separately according to package instructions.
  5. When the peas are done, drain out the remaining cooking water. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste the peas for salt and add more if needed. Add in the rice.
  6. Serve along side greens (collard greens, kale, or spinach). Garnish with chopped green onions.
http://mommyofamonster.com/hoppin-john/

Sounds great right? It’s easy to make and can feed an army by doubling or tripling the recipe. As I mentioned, there are many variations to this dish. I think this year I might do half sausage and half bacon. She Wears Many Hats has a Hoppin John recipe with ham hock and baconOnce a Month Meals’ shares a Hoppin John crock pot recipe. And betsylife shares a really cool twist on the recipe by making Hoppin John with quinoa. Remember when I told you all about the White Trash Cooking cookbook? There’s a recipe in there for Hoppin’ John, and it couldn’t be simpler:

Hoppin John is a New Year's Day traditional meal; it's thought to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year. Try this recipe; it's yummy!

Appetizer Idea: Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe

I love this Jalapeno Popper Dip recipe. I really do. Obviously it’s nowhere near being acceptable to eat on my diet, but I wanted to share it with you because I’ve made it so many times since it originally appeared over at Modern Day Moms a few months back. This Jalapeno Popper Dip is also the perfect recipe for using my tips on how to oven fry bacon and sausage…you can cook both in 20 minutes and you just throw away the mess!

Jalapeno Popper Dip

An appetizer recipe for warm jalapeno popper dip. This recipe is perfect for jalapeno popper lovers - it's easy to make and tastes just like a popper!

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 8 slices of bacon, diced and cooked so itâ??s very crisp
  • 1/2 pound of bulk sausage (I used Jimmy Deanâ??s hot sausage), cooked & crumbled
  • 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 5 jalapenos, seeded and chopped. If you like heat, leave about 3 of the jalapenoâ??s seeds in.
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Pour mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.
  3. Bake the dip for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips, potato chips, or crackers.
Recipe Type: Appetizer

Notes

After baking this in the oven, transfer into a crock pot to keep the dip warm for a longer period of time!

http://mommyofamonster.com/jalapeno-popper-dip-recipe/

Sounds good, huh? If you are a fan of jalapeno poppers, my mom’s Easy Jalapeno Poppers recipe is so simple to make. check out my Bacon Jalapeno Popper Wontons too! If it’s more dip ideas that you are looking for, my Buffalo Chicken Dip and Cream Cheese Dip with Ham are always hits, too!