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.
We covered the overview above, but in this section, I have some more details about temperatures of the Low, High, and Warm settings. 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).
So, your slow cooker should keep your food well above this mark in order to keep your meals safe and healthy. Below is a simple table you can use, that shows typical cook-time conversions between the Low and High slow cooker 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. 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).
Some people say one thing and other say DIF, I did a search on this sub but couldn't get a clear answer... R/Slow cooking is a food-related Subreddit for sharing ideas, recipes or pictures in which a slow cooker” was used in the preparation of meals.
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. Since slow cookers cook low and slow, they make even the toughest (and cheapest) meats tender and juicy.
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 don't mind an extra step (and another dish to wash), transfer the cooked meat from the slow cooker to a broiler pan and cook it under your oven's broiler for just a few minutes, until the skin is golden-brown and crispy. 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.
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.
Bon Appétit doesn't mince words on the topic, saying, “Sure, there are slow -cooker recipes for out there, but you definitely shouldn't attempt to make them.” Gorilla recommends skipping the slow cooker altogether and preparing the pasta separately, then stirring it into the crock just before serving.
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. 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. Pro-tip: If you're going to go to the extra effort or searing meat and browning aromatics and vegetables, definitely do not forget to deg laze the pan with a little wine or broth.
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. Even if you have done the right thing and transferred the leftovers into shallow containers and cooled them properly, the slow cooker still isn't a safe bet for reheating.