If you have a good-sized slow cooker than you can often cook extra so you can freeze a portion or use it for tea the next night. In a house like ours where we have after school clubs for the kids and Mr Frugal on odd shifts sometimes, it’s not always possible to eat at the same time.
When run for 8 hours on the low setting, a typical slow cooker will consume about 1.44 kW/hours of electricity. But generally, a slow cooker is an energy-efficient alternative to an electric stove or oven.
There are 4 areas we will explore further to answer how energy efficient using a slow cooker can be and how much they cost to run (compared to a stove/oven). Calculating the electricity use of a slow cooker depends on several variables including temperature setting (low of high), duration of cooking, and the size of your slow cooker.
Let’s start with a quick overview of how power consumption is measured, then we’ll do the math for a slow cooker example. For most homeowners and renters, the important number for power consumption is going to be kilowatt/hours (kWh).
Note: Resistance also plays a role in electrical systems, but we can afford to overlook this for the sake of our slow cooker investigation. If we increase the pressure or current coming from the hose, we see a higher resulting power output.
In order to figure out the Power output, we simply multiply the Amperage and Voltage together using this equation. To get this amount into kilowatt hours, we then must multiply the product in example two by the time that we were consuming the electricity.
At the time of writing this article, the average residential cost for electricity in the United Sates is hovering around $0.13 per kWh. So, we can see that running a slow cooker for 8 hours on the low setting, would cost about $0.19.
We can follow the same steps to calculate that using a slow cooker on a high-cook setting for 8 hours would cost about $0.25 on average. Of course, there are many variables that can affect this math, including the size of your slow cooker and even the type of food being prepared.
In comparison, a stove-top burner may heat/cook the food quickly, but it also loses a lot of energy to the air and other elements of the stove. Some slow cookers, as well as many ovens, can also operate with what is known as a “duty cycle” in order to help conserve energy use.
The heating element will periodically turn off and back on to maintain a constant temperature. Calculating the cost of running a stove uses the exact same method that we would use for a slow cooker.
The main difference is that the amperage and voltage of a stove or oven is going to be drastically higher than a slow cooker. A residential electric stove/oven, on average, functions using a 220 V outlet and can draw between 30 and 50 amps.
Using our equations from earlier, we see that a stove drawing 30 amps would use 6.6 kWh if used continuously for one hour. If we assume we use a burner for only 20 minutes, the total cost of that particular cooking time would be $0.29.
The main variable to consider with an oven is that the primary electrical draw is during its heating cycle. This makes the power consumption of an oven less than what it would be simply doing the hypothetical math.
If you use electricity to cook, and you live in an area where electricity rates are a bit better than some other parts of the country (like Seattle, where I live), it only costs $0.10 to run a crackpot for 8 hours. However, it takes approximately 2900 watts to run your electric oven.
Will you still save money if you use a crackpot, as opposed to your electric oven? Let’s say for the sake of an example that where you live your electric company charges 8.2 cents per kWh and your electric oven uses 2900 watts, then it costs approximately 16 cents to run your oven for one hour.
These other factors can all play into the answer to whether or not it is actually cheaper in terms of energy efficiency to use a crackpot vs a conventional oven. Following are some interesting facts and figures I’ve found regarding the energy savings associated with using crackpots.
So, I saved 80 cents and if I did this once a week all year long I could pocket close to $50! According to this guide published by Seattle Light, it costs about 10 cents to run a crock pot for 8 hours, whereas it costs 32 cents to run your oven for an hour.
And finally, as mentioned in this video, “to cook a meal in a crackpot over a 12-hour period it costs $2!” My favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with pregnancy, weddings, saving money, living green, and life with dogs.
They actually cost about the same as a traditional light bulb (especially if they’re on a low setting), at an average of only 0.7 kWh over an 8-hour period. In the average American household, the most costly appliance is the electric oven, which may be up to 24 times more expensive to run than a slow cooker.
Or easily preparing your favorite meals to cook whilst you enjoy quality time with the family? We’ve been able to have more nutritious (and more delicious) meals every day thanks to this awesome appliance.
You can simply chop up your ingredients, add some stock or water, sprinkle some seasonings, and you’re done! And it’s just as easy with thousands of other recipes, including curries, chili care, hot pots, fish, meat, and even rice (but for rice use a healthy oil or fat to coat the slow cooker first before adding the water and rice, and only cook for 2-3 hours).
By taking 5 or 10 minutes in the morning to set up your meal, you can be out for the whole day if you want, and return to a delicious dinner. Not only are they a great alternative to other unhealthier cooking methods, but using a slow cooker is very gentle and retains a lot of moisture.
This preserves and extracts nutrients much better, which also allows for much more complex flavors to develop. There may be a dilemma here: Some people enjoy well-done meat, others rare, and the rest somewhere in between.
When meat is cooked, water molecules “clip” protein chains to create peptides, which fit into our taste receptors, and allow for more nutrition and easier digestion. The reason this happens is that the proteins, fats, and sugar molecules become distorted, leading them to tangle and fuse.
This destroys nutrients and makes digestion a lot harder, too. These new distortions create carcinogens and other chemical compounds and fuses that can damage your blood vessels and kidneys.
For those of you that don’t enjoy your meat rare, maybe working towards it is a good idea. They help to prevent overcooking, release nutrients (including beneficial minerals), and develop amazing flavors.
Most have multiple settings, often including low high and warm. If you go for a more expensive model (which isn’t always necessary), you’ll also find slow cookers that have timers on them.
By selecting ‘Low’, your food will take longer to cook and has more time to develop nutrition and flavor. This is a surprisingly practical reason to use a slow cooker, because sometimes kitchen gadgets are a bit “overkill”.
I believe this point highlights how life is easier with these handy cookers ! A great example is the Morphy Richards 6.5L Slow Cooker (Read the Review Here), which has all of these and is perfect for families.
If you’re making a curry or chili care with rice (or other multiple-part dish), then at most you’ll need your cooker and a saucepan (etc.). For example, you can cook up a nice meal in the slow cooker and take 10 or so minutes to prepare your side (such as basmati rice) in the microwave or on the hob.
This means meats, vegetables, rice, curries, shepherd’s pie, chili care, sauces, hotpots, and so on… Bodybuilders, athletes, families, and anyone on a busy schedule all likely to have come across meal prepping (preparing).
You can make batch meals in advance for your dietary goals and save time doing so if you use a slow cooker. Of course, the versatility means that your slow cooker meal prep recipes can be anything you might want (almost).
If you’re bored with sandwiches for lunch or want to save money by not buying food out, using a slow cooker is a great alternative. Because of the size, most slow cookers will let you prepare even a week’s worth of lunches in one go, which you can freeze or store for later.
If you don’t yet have yourself a slow cooker, I highly recommend that you consider one, and I hope you’ll see why now! I’ve picked these out especially for you all, considering everything covered in my reviews of each slow cooker.
The Morphy Richards 6.5L Slow Cooker could serve you for years, and if you’re quick, at an even lower price than usual. From its usual retail price of £59.99, this slow cooker is currently discounted to only £30.98.
By making cooking easier and cheaper, it seems to have helped a lot of people, so I know you’ll love this too! Including a slow cooker in your kitchen arsenal is a brilliant way to cook healthily whilst you save time & money.
Comment below, and subscribe to our emails and social media for more updates! By taking a small amount of prep time, the cooking is done for you.