Slow cookers are serving in our kitchens for decades, and we use them for a variety of delicious food items such as stews and other items to full perfection.
However, they have various temperatures settings and presets that can change your entire cooking process. In simple words, cooking in a slow cooker is more of an art than a science.
If you are also thinking, what temperatures do slow cookers reach? How will you know which setting is needed for your particular dish? Here is the comprehensive slow cooker temperature guide that will help you in the process.
Table of Contents
- Slow Cooker Temperature Guide
- Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker
- Slow Cookers Temperature Conversions
Slow Cooker Temperature Guide
Usually, their normal cooking temperatures are around 190℉ (88℃) when you use the cooker in “low” settings. While they have a temperature of 300℉ (149℃) when used on the “high” settings. However, these temperatures vary from brand to brand. So can find massive differences between two slow cookers of different brands.
Do you know Your Slow Cooker?
Understanding your slow cooker is vital; only then you can cook to perfection. If you have an old crockpot or slow cooker and use it for so long, it will cook slowly. This is frustrating but also lets bacteria form in the pot or on your meal. Your slow cooker needs to heat the stuff to at least 140 degrees inside a four-time frame.
To prevent this, you need to test your slow cooker. By doing so, you can also check whether your cooker meets the safety standards required to keep your foodstuffs safe and also ensures that your meals are cooked correctly.
How to Test Your Slow Cooker?
Here is how you can test and verify your slow cooker’s performance:
- First, fill it with plain water halfway to the top.
- Now turn it on, set it on the lowest setting, and cover it for up to 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, remove the lid and measure the water temperature.
- The water temperature needs to be around 185 degrees F.
If the water temperature is above 185 degrees F, it’s not abnormal. In this case, you will have to decrease the cooking period for a few dishes.
You can also use devices that automatically turn off your slow cooker when it reaches the ideal temperature. But, no need to throw your crockpot.
On the other hand, if you see a temperature below 185 degrees F, you need to consider replacing your cooker. A slow cooker on the low settings should be around 190 degrees. On the high settings, it should be around 300 degrees.
For slow cookers, a temperature between 40-140 degrees F is considered the “danger zone.” Bacteria will produce quickly in your meals if you continue using it in this range. Furthermore, your food will spend more time at these temperatures regardless of what you are cooking.
The Working Mechanism of a Slow Cookers
The slow cooker has many components that maintain its overall temperature. Let’s discuss them:
Components: A base, a heating element, vessel, and lid are basic parts of a slow cooker. The vessel is a location on which you place your foodstuffs for cooking. It is made up of stoneware for an even heat distribution and reliable stability.
Cooking Process: Slow cooking is very much similar to a standard stovetop or a Dutch oven. In a slow cooker, heating starts from the base and goes upwards on the sides; then, it heats the food. The steam produced from the heat forms a vacuum seal along with the lid.
Due to the low and consistent temperatures, it preserves moisture very well during cooking. The liquid or moisture does not escapes or gets concentrated.
Keep in mind that the high settings will prepare the food in a short time compared to the low settings.
Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker
You can prepare delicious food in your slow cooker without any mess if you know how to use it in the right way. Follow these tips next time using your slow cooker and enjoy delicious meals more conveniently.
First, Brown meats and poultry: this will prolong your cooking time a bit, but you will get food with a new look and flavor if you brown it first when first browned. Take olive oil into a nonstick pan and heat it on medium-high heat for a few minutes. Next, put ingredients in small batches, and ensure that it gets evenly brown from all sides.
Don’t spoil the liquid: Evaporation in slow cookers is at its minimum compared to oven cooking. Other than soups and sauces, many slow cooker recipes call for 50 percent less liquid compared to the conventional stovetops.
Keep it covered. To preserve the ideal balance between time and temperature, keep it covered while cooking. If you want to peek inside, don’t waste time and do it speedily. Remember that it will take up to 15 to 20 minutes to recover all the lost heat after removing the cooker’s cover.
Pay attention even to the pieces: When cooking in a slow cooker, ensure that food is sliced evenly, preferably into bite-sized chunks, so that they remain evenly cooked.
Season thoroughly: Because slow cooking takes more time than the other methods, the flavor of various spices or herbs can reduce quickly. Try to use fresh herbs during the last hour of cooking. Beside, pour a pinch of dried herbs if possible.
Season it to perfection and taste with salt and fresh black pepper. Taste and adjust the spices’ quantity if needed before serving. Don’t use salt-dried beans until they’re soft enough. This is because salt hardens the bean’s outer coating if you add it soon or at the start of the cooking.
Don’t put dairy products at the start: Dairy products, especially liquids, will curdle in the slow cooking, and cheese will become oily. So, add dairy products in the last hour of cooking, or you can use canned sweetened or evaporated milk. Use processed cheese in place of aged cheese.
Slow Cookers Temperature Conversions
If you try a recipe for your slow cooker and you see the temperature in changes metrics, use this conversion chart to figure out the perfect temperature.
|Degrees Fahrenheit||Degrees Celsius|
Determining Slow Cooking Times
Most slow cooker recipes take an average of 6 to 10 hours. If you want to cook your favorite recipes in a slow cooker, follow these guidelines.
|Traditional Recipe||Slow Cooker, Low Setting||Slow Cooker, High Setting|
|45 minutes||6–10 hours||3–4 hours|
|50–60 minutes||8–10 hours||4–5 hours|
Slow Cooking Temperatures For Various Recipes
Use a thermometer to easily and precisely determine whether your meal is cooked at a safe temperature or it is spoiled.
Here’s a slow cooker temperature guide that you need to follow when preparing foods in your slow cooker. This will also help you to prepare your meals at a safe temperature.
|Food||Safe Cooking Temperature in Degrees F|
|Eggs||Cook until yolk and white are firm|
|Ground Meat and Meat Mixtures|
|Veal, beef, lamb, pork||160|
|Poultry breasts, roasted||170|
|Poultry thighs, wings||180|
|Precooked (ready to eat)||140|
Which one is better Low or High, Setting for Slow Cooker?
The significant difference between a slow cooker’s HIGH and LOW settings comes in how quickly it reaches the ideal or desired temperature. On the LOW setting, the cooker will take a long time, but this temperature is ideal for most recipes and suitable for all.
Can I change Slow Cooker Settings From Low To High?
Yes, you can change the cooking temperature of your slow cooker anytime from low to high. You can set it on high and reduce your cooking times.