This is a good question. So I figured I would do a little research before I come to any conclusions. To say that I received mixed results is putting it mildly.
According to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission,” Use Your Crock Pot if you’re preparing a roast, use your slow cooker to cook the meat and any vegetables you will be serving with it. This eliminates the need to use both the oven and the stovetop.” I found this on my first search but I also found a lot of people telling me to do the math. What gives?
So I found another page and someone on the other side of the tracks gives me this. I paraphrased this but math is math. Say you’ve got an oven that uses 220 volts by 10 amps equaling 2200 watts per hour. The thermostat switches the heating element on and off leaving us with about 10 or 15 minutes on time. One quarter of 2200 watts equals 550 watts.
The Crock Pot runs with 120 volts with low amperage. If the Crock Pot runs at 120 volts by 1.5 amps it equals 180 watts. So you run the Slow Cooker at 180 watts by 6 hours and you get 1080 watts.
According to these guys you are much better off cooking your meals in the oven. They were not alone and neither was the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. So I guess it really boils down to who you’re talking to. Or does it?
As I sat hear thinking it occurred to me that not everyone is not in the same position. Some people are using high energy efficient ovens with new insulating and technology giving their oven an advantage over someone with an older model. People are recognizing the efficiency of gas stoves over electric. This list goes on and on…
Crock Pots emit a lot less heat than an oven saving on air conditioning on hot summer days. Anyone who has had one very long will tell you that a slow cooked inexpensive cut of meat will come out melting in your mouth tender. This is another benefit altogether but I feel should be mentioned with the price of meat these days. Ouch!
For the Crock Pot people there is the issue with the age of the Slow Cooker. Some of the newer models are far more energy efficient than their older counterparts. The size of the slow cooker has a lot to do with energy efficiency. Some people like me tend to remove the lid releasing all the heat forcing the cooker to reheat the area over again.
The bottom line to this issue boils down to the variables. Who has the better oven or maybe the better Crock Pot. The real benefit of using a slow cooker is the way the meal comes out. Some of these dishes are dynamite. They can be big time savers if set to cook in the morning and left until dinner time. It’s so nice not to have to cook after work. So after you remove the old Electric Wok from the cabinet, don’t worry so much- pull out the slow cooker and use it for what it was meant for: cooking great tasting meals!