Most of the popular slow cookers have two or more temperature settings. Slow cookers come with either two or three temperature settings: low and high or low, medium and high. Read on to find out why there are different settings. I’ve also included a time conversion chart if you want to convert the cooking times from a low to a high setting and vice versa.
You may be wondering why you would use one setting over the other. Some manuals won’t even explain why they are there. Although you’ll notice that most slow cooker recipes have instructions in both the High or Low settings. The medium setting is not used to cook a meal but to keep your food warm before dinner is served.
The temperature setting determines the cooking time of the food. The low setting is 200F and the high is 300F. It’s safe to cook your raw meat at both of these temperatures. It works out to about 1 hour of cooking on the high setting is equivalent to 2- 2.5 hrs cooking on the low setting. Both of these settings will stabilize at the same temperature but the Low temperature will take a little longer to reach the simmering point. Once your meal reaches the simmer point, the total cook time is now dependent on the weight and cut of your meat.
You’ll see that some recipes will tell you to turn the slow cooker meal on high for the first hour. Then reduce it for the rest of the cooking time. This helps speed up the time it will take for your ingredients to reach the simmer point. Yet have the added benefit of cooking your recipe on the Low temperature.
The nice thing about using the low heat setting is that it makes your slow cooker meals more tasty. This is because your slow cooker ingredients have a chance to cook in it’s own juices for longer. Also you’ll never have worry about burning or overcooking your food. After the cooking time is done, you can leave it for up to an hour in your slow cooker on the warm setting.
If you have a recipe that you’d like to convert to either a high or low setting here’s a conversion chart. Please note that it’s not recommended to convert recipes with cooking times less than 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
3 hrs 7 hrs
4 hrs 8 hrs
5 hrs 9 hrs
6 hrs 10 hrs
7 hrs 11 hrs
8 hrs 12 hrs
Slow cooker low and high temperature settings can dramatically change the way your meals taste. You can experiment between using recipes with either the low or high settings to see which is right for you. By the way, if you’re also interested in converting your favorite recipes for you’re slow cooker, I have some handy hints for you to read.