"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

A Slow Cooker On High

Daniel Brown
• Sunday, 13 December, 2020
• 7 min read

However, slow cooker temperatures will vary based on cook time, brand, model, etc. That’s the 10,000-foot view, but now let’s dig into the nuances, including differences between the Low, High, and Warm settings.

temp slow cooker oval elite stainless steel which maximatic cuisine mst 2qt gourmet
(Source: homeplusexpress.com)


We covered the overview above, but in this section, I have some more details about temperatures of the Low, High, and Warm settings. In addition, I’ve referenced some resources in this section that I think you’ll find useful/interesting.

Slow cookers cook at a temperature of ~190 degrees Fahrenheit (87 degrees Celsius) when they’re on the Low setting, according to Liz Mayan, a Food Science expert from Iowa State University. Unlike a stove top, where there is an open flame and high temperatures can be reached quickly, a slow cooker warms very gradually.

As a result, the precise temperature of a slow cooker will vary significantly depending on how long it’s been cooking. Slow cookers can reach temperatures of ~300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 Celsius) when they’re on the High setting.

Whether you use the Low or High setting on a slow cooker, the food within the crock pot will eventually reach a maximum temperature at or just below the boiling point (~212 degrees Fahrenheit). No matter how high the heat gets, the water itself cannot exceed a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (e.g. it’s boiling point).

Below is a simple table you can use, that shows typical cook-time conversions between the Low and Highslowcooker settings. It’s also important to note that these are all estimates, and that the appropriate cook-time for your meal can vary based on other factors, such as the amount of food being cooked, and the size/model of your slow cooker.

slow cooker thecookingchook friend
(Source: thecookingchook.wordpress.com)

But, the good news is that slow cookers tend to be pretty forgiving, so if you don’t get exactly the right cook time for a recipe, it’ll probably still turn out delicious. Just make sure any potentially dangerous foods (like raw meat) are cooked thoroughly, and you should be fine.

These types of foods should reach their simmer point, which occurs at around 209 degrees Fahrenheit (98 Celsius). However, crock pots heat up very slowly, and it will take 2 hours or more for the water to reach its boiling point.

It took your slow cooker longer than you might think to work its way up to the target temperature, and lifting the lid for even a second lets out most of that hot air. Too much peeking means a reduced temp inside the slow cooker, and more time needed for your dish to finish cooking.

Those fancy cuts of meat can certainly have their place at your dinner table, but there's no need to spring for the good stuff when you're shopping for a slow cooker meal. The resulting dish will be so fall-apart tender and full of flavor, no one will guess you bought the bargain meat.

Chicken cooked skin-on in an oven or pan usually ends up with a gorgeous, crispy skin. If you want to be able to serve dinner straight from your slow cooker with no extra steps, use skinless chicken when you slow cook.

cooker slow appliances brentwood ham pot ceramic crock 157w sc 7qt quart crockpot 270w lid stick glass non camperid cookers
(Source: homeplusexpress.com)

Since they do their best when cooked over long periods of time, dried herbs are the easy winners when it comes to your favorite slow -cooked recipes. Instead, toss those in toward the end of the cooking time, so they're still fresh and full of flavor when you sit down to eat.

Slow cooker amateurs, beware: If you're used to cooking on a stove top, with all its high heat and power to reduce huge pots of liquid to a thick sauce in no time flat, this is one mistake that's super easy to make. “Most slow cooker recipes are better with less liquid than you would use if you were making the same thing in a pot on the stove,” Bishop says.

These modifications are necessary since evaporation doesn't occur when you're using a slow cooker, and all that extra liquid will only result in less concentrated flavors. As The Spruce points out, meat and vegetables give off liquid of their own in the cooking process, and will contribute to the overall amount you're left with.

If need be, it is possible to reduce the liquid by turning the slow cooker up to high and cooking for one to two hours with the lid off (just be careful not to overcook foods while doing so). If you're making beef stew or pulled pork, you probably don't care if the condensation from the lid of the slow cooker drips back down into the crock.

“If you want a beef stew with nice big chunks of beef, a lot of times the high setting can boil the meat and it dries out and sort of falls apart,” he told Consumerist. The difference between the two settings isn't a higher temperature, it's the time it takes for the slow cooker to reach the simmer point.

slow cooker times low cook crock pot cooking vs charts anything convert credit absolutely let food greene lisa illustration oprah
(Source: www.oprah.com)

Sure, you can add raw onion and garlic into the slow cooker and the world will not come to an end. Flavor aside, sautéing aromatics like onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, and celery helps to remove excess moisture before the ingredients hit the slow cooker.

The slow cooker is not known for its super high cooking temperatures (temperatures may vary by brand, but Crock-Pot slow cookers stabilize at 209 degrees, which is shy of the 212 degree boiling point of water), and because of this, the FDA does not recommend using the appliance if your recipe includes kidney beans. If you've already soaked your dried kidneys beans for 12 hours and boiled them for 10 minutes, go ahead and throw 'em in the slow cooker.

Clearly the easiest thing to do is throw the crock into the fridge, and reheat the whole shebang the next day, right? But loading a still-warm crock full of still-warm food into the fridge means it probably won't cool fast enough, and that's where you wade into the danger zone for bacteria.

The USDA recommends reheating in an oven or microwave, and then using the slow cooker to keep the food warm. This post may contain affiliate links, read our Disclosure Policy for more information.

In the Heavenly Recipes Reader survey, I heard y’all loud and clear. You want more Crock Pot Recipes …so I figured while I’m working on that I’d provide you with this free printable slow cooker time chart.

induction disc plate converter cooktop temp slow cooker stainless cookware aluminum disk steel embossed interface
(Source: infratechplus.com)

Now I have found that the Casserole Crock Pot works best, because it doesn’t burn the bottom of the cake. If you are using a traditional round or oval Crock Pot you may need to adjust your times.

The edges may brown up or develop a crust, if that happens just stir the cake. Well my friends, the Crock Pot cooks a lot longer, so I either may not be ready for the dessert right then and there.

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