The most tender roast beef and tasty au jus makes the best French Dip Sandwiches. These can be made in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot for a quick and easy meal!
So when the Black Friday deals came around I finally decided it was time to join the craze/enthusiasm and get myself an Instant Pot. I’d always resisted a bit because it kind of seems like an “either or” thing… either you are an Instant Pot user or a slow cooker user. But, I decided it was about time to find out why. And to be able to test recipes side by side and figure out what the difference might be. So, today I am putting Pressure Cooker French Dip Sandwiches vs. Slow Cooker French Dips to the test! Also, I figured there may be some circumstances in which one may be preferable over the other, like for making hard boiled eggs for example.
I’ve recently created some other recipes where you can use your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker. This Caribbean Pulled Pork is pretty awesome no matter how you make it!
So, back to French Dips… When I had this big hunk of rump roast, I figured the time was right to test out the slow cooker and the pressure cooker side by side and figure out if one would really be better than another. I cut the meat up and used the exact same recipe for both.
After about 15-20 minutes of total prep time, one batch was ready for the slow cooker and one ready for the pressure cooker. It was about 10am at this point.
I set the Instant Pot to high pressure and the timer for 35 minutes. With time it took to come to pressure and then do the quick release on the steam, I think it took around 50 minutes total. This batch was done in time for lunch.
I set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours, meaning it then got done around 6pm, right in time for dinner.
Here is the version that came out of the pressure cooker. And let me tell you, it was delicious. Tender, flavorful and it totally fell apart when I went to shred it.
The finishing touch on these sandwiches, either way, it to brush some rolls with garlic butter, add provolone cheese, and melt.
Both versions have plenty of juice left behind that you can strain and serve for dipping.
Now, for the reveal you’ve all been waiting for (I had to wait all day!!) the slow cooker version!
The difference? Pretty minimal. The flavor and the moisture content all felt the same. However, the slow cooker version was more solid if that makes sense? It was super tender, but I had to slice it instead of it just immediately falling apart with forks. As far as eating it, I made a sandwich with it as well, and it was just as tender, just as flavorful, the texture was just different.
So, my final thoughts on the Instant Pot, for this recipe only:
- Prep time is the same… say 20 minutes at most. If you do the prep work in the morning and add to the slow cooker, there’s really no waiting other than getting the rolls ready at dinner time, around 10 minutes. But you do have that extra time added to your morning routine.
- If you make the Instant Pot version for dinner, I would presume you would do the prep work at that time and then cook. So your total wait time would be about an hour or even a little more. If you get home late, or are tired, I think this could be an issue? It might for me, I tend to get a little lazy as the day goes on, so I need as little work as possible at dinner time.
- On the flip side, if you are super busy in the morning and don’t have time to mess with dinner prep, then you could still have a delicious dinner in a reasonable amount of time.
- I probably slightly preferred the Instant Pot version, mostly because I didn’t need a knife to finish up getting it ready to serve. It just fell apart. But, for my personal routine, the slow cooker would work best for me as I like dinner to be ready and prefer not to wait the extra 50 minutes it would take to cook.
So, what are your thoughts? Which would work better for you? I’d love to start a discussion here and to hear from both sides…. the slow cooker die-hards as well as the Instant Pot die-hards!
- 3-4 pound beef rump roast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 8 hoagie rolls (I prefer soft)
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Cut roast into 2-3 inch chunks
Mix together seasoning and coat roast
Place in slow cooker or instant pot
Whisk together broth, Worcestershire and balsamic and pour over roast
For Instant Pot, seal, close steam release, and set on high pressure for 35-40 minutes. Once done, follow instructions for quick release of pressure
For slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours
Remove beef and shred or slice
Strain juice to serve for dipping
Mix together softened butter and garlic powder and spread on inside of rolls
Add a couple of slices of provolone and broil until lightly browned and cheese melted