Slow Cooker Temperatures: Guide on Different Settings (2023)

slow cooker temperatures

Slow cookers use low heat to prepare liquid-based dishes over a long period of time. Depending on the manufacturer, the temperatures and times can vary. Read more below to learn about slow cooker temperatures.

On the market today, you will find many kinds of slow cookers. Slow cookers are common worldwide, and you can cook a variety of dishes with them.

Different models of slow cookers have various specifications and some come with added features.

Slow Cooker Temperatures

Slow Cooker Temperature Settings

Slow cookers have heat modes–high and low–and often have a medium setting as well. On most models, the low-heat setting heats food to 77°C (171°F) and the high setting heats food to 90°C (194°F).

The medium setting will heat food between the two temperatures. Some slow cookers also have a warm preservation setting that turns on automatically after the cooking time finishes.

This keeps the food at the right temperature for serving without overcooking the dish. The temperature is around 74°C (165°F) to stay warm.

These are the average temperatures, but they will vary depending on the brand and size of the slow cooker.

Safe Food Temperature

Slow Cooker Cooking

As far as food safety, a safe food temperature that can kill bacteria is 74°C (165°F); anything below this temperature is unsafe.

There is an immense volume of evidence on healthy food temperatures on the internet and it ultimately depends on what food you are preparing.

However, there are no slow cookers on the market that keep food in the danger zone provided you cook the food at the right temperature and for the proper length of time.

Guidelines for Using a Slow Cooker

slow cooker

  • First, start your preparation by washing your hands and making sure utensils and the cooker are clean. Then use fresh meat or thawed meat. If you use frozen meat, ensure it reaches the appropriate internal temperature before consuming it; cooking time will lengthen for frozen meats.
  • Tip: for one hour, cook meat on high and then turn the cooker to low.
  • You can add hot liquid to the crockpot to preheat it. Before putting in all the ingredients or cooking on the maximum setting for the first hour, preheating the crock pot will guarantee a fast start, which will limit the time foods are in the temperature danger zone.
  • Use only recipes that have liquid or contain vegetables that will release liquid during cooking. For better performance, the cooker should be 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 full. To ensure that the food exceeds 160°F, check the internal temperature. 
  • During the cooking cycle, keep the lid on. The internal temperature decreases 10 to 15 degrees each time you remove the lid, which can slow cooking down by 30 minutes.
  • Place vegetables nearest the heat, either on the sides or at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Check meat and poultry with a food thermometer before serving to ensure they reached a safe internal temperature (Roasts: 145°F to 160°F; Poultry: 165°F; Soups, stews, sauces: 165°F).
  • Do not reheat leftovers in a crock pot. Alternatively, reheat on the stove or in the microwave (to 165°F or above) and switch to a slow cooker to keep warm (140°F or above).
  • Do not leave cooked food in the cooker to cool off. Eat quickly or put leftovers in containers and refrigerate.

What Is a Slow Cooker?

slow cooker temperatures

A slow cooker, also called a crockpot, is an electric appliance that’s portable and very convenient to use. Slow cookers offer many benefits. They allow you to cook all day, even unattended, and are practical and economical.

In addition, using a slow cooker is a safe and healthy cooking method because of the combination of direct pot heat, long processing, and steam to kill bacteria. It also perfectly tenderizes cuts of meat. 

Slow cookers must operate at a low enough temperature to prolong cooking time, but a high enough temperature to keep food above the danger zone. 

The Bottom Line


When used correctly, a slow cooker is a safe way to prepare food. This machine offers convenience and delivers tasty results. Strictly follow instructions and guidance from the manufacturer for optimal performance of the cooker.

Hope you enjoyed our article about various slow cooker temperatures. Cheers!

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