What Temperature Do Slow Cookers Cook At? [Complete Guide]

Cooking with a slow cooker can be a great way to get delicious and nutritious meals on the table quickly and easily. But if you’re new to slow cooking, you might wonder what temperature to use when cooking with a slow cooker. 

In this blog post, I will discuss what temperature do slow cookers cook at and provide helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of your slow cooker. 

Read on to learn more about cooking with a slow cooker.

The Truth About Temperature Differences in Slow Cookers

Before I come to the main topic of our discussion, it is essential to be clear that the variation of temperatures means a lot when it comes to slow cookers. No doubt, cooking with a slow cooker is one of the most convenient and easy ways to make delicious meals. But have you ever wondered if there’s a difference between cooking at low and high temperatures?

The truth is that the heating element of a slow cooker can get much hotter than 209°F (98,3°C) – up to 300°F (148°C). The extra heat helps to reach the simmering point quickly. So although higher temperatures can make your dishes cook faster, it won’t affect the intensity of the cooking. 

That’s because slow cookers are not sealed tight like an instant pot, so there’s no way for them to reach temperatures above the boiling point. Therefore, when using a slow cooker, remember that you may need 8 hours on low to get the same results as 4 hours on high.

Testing the Temperature of Your Slow Cooker

How to Test the Temperature of Your Slow Cooker

The variations mentioned above in temperatures might vary from one brand to another. That is why you must understand how to measure your cooker’s low or high heat level. You need to test the temperature to ensure your slow cooker works properly. 

Fill a bowl with water and insert a thermometer in it. Place the bowl inside the slow cooker and let it cook for an hour. Check the temperature of the water, which should be close to the desired temperature indicated in the manual.

If the temperature is lower than suggested, increase the setting to higher heat. If it is too high, reduce it. When the temperature reaches the desired level, unplug the slow cooker and leave it to cool down before using it again.

It is important to remember that testing can take several tries before you get it right. But it is still better to be sure than sorry.

Low, Medium, or High? Which One Suits You

Low, medium or high temperature on slow cooker

Regarding slow cooking, the Low, Medium, and High settings will provide different heat temperatures for your dish. Low is typically between 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit and will cook food slowly over several hours. This setting is best used when looking for an extended cooking period (8+ hours) to get more tender results. 

On the other hand, the High setting is usually 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit and is best used when you’re looking to get the food done in a shorter amount of time (4-6 hours). The Medium set falls somewhere between and can be useful when you want something to cook quickly but slower than the High setting. 

There are also Warm settings on most slow cookers, which will provide a temperature of around 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit. This setting is best used when you’re looking to keep dishes warm or if you’re looking for a low temperature for delicate items like fish or custards. 

When determining which temperature setting to use, it’s important to read the instructions that come with your slow cooker to see what the manufacturer recommends. Additionally, many online resources can help you find the right temperature for your dish.

Ultimately, experimenting with different temperature settings is the best way to learn how your slow cooker works. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to choose the right setting based on what type of dish you’re making and how long you want it to take.

Slow Cooker Cooking at Low Temperature

Slow Cooker Cooking at Low Temperature

Slow cookers are designed to cook foods at a low temperature over a long period. This is ideal for braising meats, making stews, and even slow-roasting vegetables. By cooking on the Low setting, your food will cook more slowly, resulting in flavorful and tender dishes. 

The heat from the slow cooker is generated from an electric heating element under the pot. As the heat rises from the bottom, it’s spread evenly throughout the cooker. This ensures that all your food will be cooked at an even temperature. 

When cooking on Low, the length of time your food needs to cook will depend on what you’re cooking. Generally speaking, food that needs to be cooked for 8 hours or longer should be cooked on Low. You can use the High setting instead if you cook for 4 hours or less. 

It’s important to remember that your slow cooker won’t reach 190 degrees Fahrenheit (87 degrees Celsius) when set to Low. You’ll want to keep an eye on the temperature of your food throughout the cooking process to ensure it reaches a safe temperature for consumption.

Slow Cooker Cooking at High Temperature

Slow Cooker Cooking at High Temperature

When cooking on High, the slow cooker will heat up quickly and maintain a steady temperature throughout the cooking process. This is ideal for dishes that require more intense cooking, like stews and braised meats. It’s important to remember that the food will continue to cook even after the slow cooker has been turned off, so it’s important to check for doneness before serving.

It’s also important to note that when cooking on High, you should always use some liquid in your recipe; without liquid, foods can easily become burned or dried out. When adding liquid, always make sure to fill the slow cooker no more than two-thirds full and that the liquid covers the ingredients. Additionally, when using meats, they should be pre-browned or precooked to avoid potential bacteria buildup.

Low vs. High – Which One is the Best

Low vs. High temperature- Which One is the Best

When it comes to slow cooking, the difference between Low and High settings is how long it takes to cook your meal and how hot the food gets during the process.

Low heat is best for dishes that require longer cooking times, such as braised meats and stews, while high heat is better for quicker-cooking dishes, like soups and casseroles.

The Low setting typically ranges from 190-210°F (88-99°C). This lower temperature allows for more gentle cooking, which helps keep tougher cuts of meat tender and juicy.

On the other hand, the High setting is generally 250-300°F (121-149°C). This higher temperature is great for making dishes quickly, such as when you need to quickly get dinner on the table.

When selecting a setting for your slow cooker, consider both the recipe instructions and the type of dish you are making. If you’re unsure about which setting to use, opt for the Low setting – this will give you more flexibility and help you avoid over-cooking your food.

Which One Should You Use?

The decision between low, medium and high temperatures in a slow cooker comes down to personal preference and the recipe you are trying to make. Generally speaking, low temperatures take longer to cook but are better suited for recipes that require long cooking times. In contrast, higher temperatures cook faster but can cause food to dry if not monitored closely. 

Low-temperature settings are ideal for dishes such as roasts and stews. These recipes require more cooking time, and the low setting ensures the meat is cooked without overcooking. Low settings also help preserve flavor and texture by preventing the food from drying and losing moisture.

Medium temperature settings are best for soups, curries, or casseroles. These recipes require less cooking time, and the medium setting will provide enough heat to cook the ingredients without overcooking them. 

High-temperature settings are best for dishes that require shorter cooking times, such as chili or pulled pork. High settings cook quickly but require close monitoring to ensure that the food does not dry out or burn. It is important to remember to check on your food continuously if using the high setting. 

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which temperature setting works best for your dish. Experiment with different temperatures and recipes until you find the one that suits your needs. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on caution and opt for a lower temperature setting.


A low heat setting is generally used for slow cooking. However, you can adjust the temperature as needed.

The best temperature for slow cooking beef is around 200-210°F (95-99°C) on the low setting. Slow cooking at a low temperature helps break down the connective tissues in tougher cuts of beef, resulting in a more tender and flavorful end product.

No, 4 hours on high is not equivalent to 8 hours on low in a slow cooker. The high setting cooks food faster at a temperature of around 300°F, while the low setting cooks food more slowly at a temperature of around 190-210°F (87-98°C).

The optimal cooking time and temperature will vary depending on the recipe and the cut of meat being used, and it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines to ensure the best results.

Mery kitchen aims

Mery Webber

Mery Webber, the founder of Kitchen Aims, is a passionate home cook with extensive experience in the kitchen appliance industry. Through her blog, she aims to share her knowledge and help readers create the perfect kitchen.

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