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How hot does a slow cooker get? (Solved!)

I think it’s important to understand what the capabilities of a slow cooker are before you attempt to use it. A few of the most popular questions we get about slow cookers has to do with their time, temperatures, and cooking techniques.

In this article I want to answer all those questions and more for someone who is just starting their slow cooker journey in hopes that this will become a reference for everyone out there.

How hot does a slow cooker get?

For the majority of all slow cookers that you’ll ever find, the low settings are approximately said 190 degrees Fahrenheit while be high settings range upwards towards 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

These are actually pretty low temperatures when you compare them to other kitchen appliances that cook food for you. Air fryers for example can reach up to temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The typical household electric stove can get to temperatures up to 1652 degrees Fahrenheit.

With the name given as a slow cooker, it does exactly what its name implies. Since the temperatures are so low, a kitchen appliance such as this will require a lot of time to cook food. The benefit you’ll get out of this is that once the food is done it will be extremely tender and flavorful.

How to check your slow cookers maximum temperature

If you were like me, and you have a slow cooker from 10 years ago, you’ve thrown away the boxes, and you don’t have any manuals on it. But, you want to know how hot your slow cooker can get, then this may be a useful method to help you.

  1. Fill your slow cooker up halfway with water
  2. Secure it with a lid
  3. Turn it to the highest temperature it can get, and leave it for 4 hours
  4. Remove the lid
  5. Immediately take the temperature of the water
  6. The temperature should be close to 300 degrees Fahrenheit

How to check your slow cookers minimum temperature

If you want to know the opposite, how low can your slow cookers temperature remain. Then you would want to perform the same method with a small tweak.

  1. Fill your slow cooker up halfway with water
  2. Secure the lid on top
  3. Turn the slow cookers temperature to the lowest settings and leave it for 8 hours
  4. Remove the lid
  5. Immediately take the temperature of the water
  6. The temperature should be approximately 190 degrees Fahrenheit

Now, you noticed that the difference between checking to see what you were slow cookers maximum temperature versus minimum temperature changes mostly in how long you need to wait. Foremost slow cookers to reach their highest point oh, it will require about four hours on maximum heat. When it comes to low heat, we found it it usually takes about eight hours.

What is the best temperature to slow cook?

The ideal temperature for low heat settings is 200 degrees Fahrenheit well the ideal temperature for high heat settings is 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

These temperatures are probably difficult to achieve only because you don’t have that much granular control over the temperature of your slow cooker. We recommend that if you want to set your heat to low, then aim for the temperature between 185 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit after about eight hours.

In regards to high heat, we recommend that you try to get the temperature as close to between the range of 285 and 290 degrees Fahrenheit after four hours of slow cooking.

Make sure you test the temperature of the food by using a food thermometer. As soon as you remove the lid, pierce your thermometer needle through the thickest part of the meat. This is a very time-sensitive method and for every minute that is wasted, you may lose up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit when the lid is open.

Which is better, low or high heat slow cooking?

The better outcome of food would most likely come from low heat slow cooking. In fact, setting your temperature too low heat will require and even longer cooking time which will make the food to be more tender and flavorful.

The main difference between high heat and low heat is the time it takes for your slow cooker to start cooking at the right temperature. When you’re on low heat, you’ll have to wait almost 8 hours for it to gradually get to the right temperature. When you are on high heat, you merely have to wait 4 hours for the same outcome.

The longer your food cooks, the more the flavors begin to release. Now, we know that you don’t always have time to wait eight hours to cook something, which is why this may be a disadvantage for something. We recommend that if you are planning to make the best meal out of slow cooking then you have to plan ahead.

Slow cooking really requires constant monitoring and for an 8 hour cook, a slow cooker will likely not burn your food at all at such low temperatures.

Tips on how to use a slow cooker

Here are a few quick heads up tips on how to best use your slow cooker.

  • You can cook raw food in your slow cooker
  • Avoid cooking frozen foods in your slow cooker only because it will destroy the texture
  • Cut your meats into chunks
  • Avoid pudding entire or whole piece of meat into your slow cooker
  • For the best results, cook on high for about 1 hour and then change it down to low
  • Your slow cooker should be 1/2 to 1/3 full a food and liquids
  • It is important that all your food cook through a slow cooker reaches an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • You don’t need to preheat your slow cooker
  • Try to avoid reheating leftovers in your slow cooker
  • Make sure your lid is secure on top of your slow cooker to avoid moisture lost

Make sure to slow cook to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit

There is a food and temperature term called the “Danger Zone.” this danger zone is discovered between the temperatures of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If your food is ever left to these temperatures after cooking then you should avoid eating it.

Between these two temperatures are prime environment for bacteria to grow quickly and easily.

A few of the reasons that can come from this may be because you may have not cooked your food long enough in your slow cooker or there may be something wrong with your slow cooker that is not cooking up to the right temperature.

This is why we always recommend that you get yourself a food thermometer. It takes almost no time at all to lift up the glass lid and stick the temperature needle right into the center of your meat.

For most proteins, we recommend that you try to retrieve an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. For chicken, try to hit an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slow cooker cooking chart

Meat Cut Meat Weight Low cook time High cook time

Type of FoodWeight (lbs.)Hours on Low HeatHours on High Heat
Pork roast79.57
Pork loin465
Beef roast485.5
Beef stew364.5
This table describes the types of food. It’s size and how long you should cook it at 4 depends on if it’s on low or high heat.

Slow cooker: low-heat and high-heat equivalent times

On High Heat (Hours)On Low Heat (Hours)
This table helps you determine whether you want to cook on high heat or low heat and what the equivalences are. Cells on left and right are equivalent to each other.

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