Home » CrockPot Temperatures: How Hot Does a Slow Cooker Get?

CrockPot Temperatures: How Hot Does a Slow Cooker Get?

In this article, I am are going to talk about crock pot temperatures & slow cooker temperatures – how hot do they get?

If you have ever used a crock pot, you will know all too well of the benefits of owning one. Not only do you get delicious meals from cooking in a crock pot, you also get most of the nutritional value through using this method because most of the nutrients are locked in.

Depending on the model, most slow cookers  have a lower range temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit and a higher end temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

The optimum cooking temperature for a crock pot is between 200 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit and it takes roughly 4 hours on high setting to reach that and around 8 hours on low.

Once this temperature has been reached, it will be maintained for hours until the cooking time has been reached.

What is the Best Temperature for Slow Cooking?

The best temperature for slow cooking depends on whether the recipe you are using instructs that you cook on high or low.

To figure out the ideal temperature, low temperature setting is 200 degrees Fahrenheit while a high setting is 300 degrees. To make sure that your pot is reaching these temperatures, heat it for 4 hours on high then quickly take the temperature using a thermometer.

You need to do it quickly because you lose 10 to 15 degrees when you open the lid. The temperature on high setting should be between 285 and 290 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to do the same for low setting, run the crock pot for 8 hours on low temperature then test with thermometer as well. The readings should be between 185 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is it Better to Cook on Low or High in a slow cooker

The difference between the high and low settings is the time it takes the crock pot to come to simmering point. On low, it takes 8 hours and on high it takes 4 hours.

You would be forgiven for assuming that shorter cooking times are better. Though you will have your meal faster, it must be remembered that the longer it takes to slow cook a meal, the greater the opportunity for the flavors to develop.

That’s why you need to follow the prescribed recipe and not try to take short cuts by shortening the cooking time by cooking on high instead of low.

That being said though, you can make the cooking times longer in cases where you are out of the house at work, for example and want to leave the slow cooker on but the recipe is a 4 hour one.

Here is a basic guide of how you can adjust the cooking times so that your food is not over cooked. Adjusting Crock Pot Cooking Times.

Guidelines to help adjust the cooking times if you need your food to cook for longer

  • 3 hours on high = 7 hours on low
  • 4 hours on high = 8 hours on low
  • 5 hours on high = 9 hours on low
  • 6 hours on high = 10 hours on low
  • 7 hours on high = 11 hours on low

If you use this table, you can work around your time table without being worried about your food over cooking. All this can be avoided though if you have a modern crock pot with a timer that switches off the pot when cooking time is up then keep the food warm for you.

Some Crock Pot Guidelines

To cap this article off, I am going to talk about some guidelines that you can apply in order to get the best results with slow cooking.

  1. Make sure to use thawed meat and not frozen
  2. Crock pot should be 1/2 to 3/4 full for the best results
  3. Cook meat on high for 1 hour then turn down to low instead of cooking on low for the whole duration.
  4. Keep the lid on the slow cooker on (to prevent heat loss)
  5. Don’t use large cuts but chunks when cooking meat
  6. If you follow these guidelines, you will be sure to get great results just about every time.


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Is it Better to Slow Cook on High or Low?

I think it depends on what you’re cooking.

In general, I think it’s better to slow cook on low. The lower temperature allows your food to cook more evenly, and it makes sure that you don’t over or undercook any part of the meal. (If you set it too high and leave the house, there’s a chance that some parts of your meal will burn.)

However, there are exceptions:

If you’re in a hurry, using high heat can be helpful because it takes less time for food to cook thoroughly. This is especially true if you have very small pieces of meat or vegetables that need more time to cook through.

If you’re cooking something tough (like meat), using high heat can make a difference because it helps break down the connective tissue and make it easier to shred when its done.

In general though, unless there’s some other reason why you need high heat — like if your slow cooker is old and doesn’t work as well anymore — I’d suggest using low heat whenever possible so that everything cooks evenly and safely.


How hot a crock pot gets all really depends on the cooking settings you have it on. The temperature range though is from around 190 degrees Fahrenheit on low and 300 degrees Fahrenheit on high.

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