Crock Pot Timing: Kitchen Tip

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Crock pots are great to use year round.  In winter, they are great for making soups and stews that keep you warm.

In the summer they are great because you can use them instead of heating up your oven (and house).  Crock pots put off less heat than an oven, but they do still produce heat.  Because they are small and portable, you can move your crock pot to the garage or an outside outlet to keep the heat out of the house.

But that’s not today’s tip.  Today’s tip is about the timing of cooking food in a crock pot.  As a rule of thumb, one hour on high equals two hours on low.  A recipe might say to cook something for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, but what if you need it to be done in 5 or 6 hours?

If you are going to be home and can change the setting between high and low, you can adjust the time to fit your needs. Here’s a chart to help you.

HighLowTotal Time
4 hours0 hours4 hours
3 hours2 hours5 hours
2 hours4 hours6 hours
1 hour6 hours7 hours
0 hours8 hours8 hours

Start with the amount of time the recipe says to cook on high.  For every hour that you deduct from that, add two hours on low.  Or vice versa.  Start with the number of hours for cooking on low.  For every two hours you deduct, add one hour on high.

If I use the high setting, I always start with that, then turn it to low later.

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About Linda Etherton

Linda has been gluten free since 2000 when I was diagnosed with celiac disease which propelled me into the world of gluten-free cooking and baking. I am convinced that gluten-free food can and should be delicious, and I never apologize for serving it.
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  1. Great info. I used to cook a lot on high but read in a slow cooker cookbook (don’t remember which one) that meat can toughen on high. I now cook mostly on low and find that the meat is very tender. Turkey breast on low is amazing.

  2. oh i lOVE my slow cooker!! thanks for sharing such a helpful post!

  3. Eleanor Neri says:

    If you cook german potato salad in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour – how long would you cook it in a crock pot?

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