View Full Version : Slow cooker timing question

04-26-2006, 09:00 PM
DH and I are assembling a slow cooker meal right now for cooking tomorrow. I'm having a timing issue, though.

Tomorrow, I will be out of the house from 9:15am until 1:30pm. We'd like to eat with DD around 5:45pm. The recipe cooks on high for 6 hours and can be kept warm for 4 with no problems. I *could* turn it on high at 9:15; it would be ready at 3:15 and then switch it to keep warm for 2.5 hours. However, I was wondering if I could start it off on low in the morning and then switch it over to high at some point when I get back. Would that work? How much time on low = how much time on high?

We're still slow cooker novices, in case you couldn't tell! :)

04-26-2006, 09:17 PM
For food safety reasons, I would do high first, then low. Another option is to cook the crock on high for the like the first hour (while you are getting ready in the morning) then turn it down to low when you leave the house. I usally load my crockpot the night before and start the crockpot when I start my pot of water for tea, then get ready for work and turn it down to low when I'm turning off the lights to leave for work.

A general rule of thumb is between 1.5 and twice as long on low... Something that needs to cook on high for 6 hours should be done in about 10 on low but it can vary depending on how full the crockpot is and other factors.

Hope that helps you :)


04-26-2006, 09:18 PM
i would go with setting it on high and letting it switch over to warm. i have not had alot of luck with doing it on low first and then switching it to high. the food does stay really hot on the warm setting and it always comes out great for us :)

04-26-2006, 09:20 PM
Okay, I'm going to edit my reply. If you have an hour or two to start on high, I'd do that and then switch to low.

A good 16-20 hours on low will cook anything to a lovely-tender state. That'd be your best bet since you don't want it overcooked, and it's not likely that if you waited until 9am tomorrow that it'd be ready in time, even when cooked on high. We do almost all pot roast, corn beef brisket and whole chicken legs this way: start on high for an hour or two and then cut it to low. In general, low and slow=oh so tender.

But that's just me!


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04-26-2006, 10:32 PM
So many different responses! I think that I'll go ahead and turn it on high in the morning before I leave and then just switch it to keep warm at the end of the cooking time. It should be fine. Or, I'll start it on high and then switch it over to low when I get home around 1:30. We'll see! :)

04-27-2006, 08:26 AM
Kristen, I have a question for YOU. I am thinking that this slow-cooking thing may be for us because I just cannot cook with the kids during meal time. Where do you find your recipes? Is there a special cookbook devoted to slow cookers? Did your cooker come with recipes? Also, REALLY dumb question, is a slow-cooker a crock pot?? Thanks!

04-27-2006, 02:23 PM
Eileen, yes a slow cooker is a crock pot. I debate whether I like "slow cooker" or "crock pot" better! LOL

Several people have recommended the "Fix It and Forget It" series of cookbooks. I have Fix it and forget it-feasting with your slow cooker and I've tried a couple of recipes from it. One recipe turned out pretty well. One recipe didn't turn out well. There are TONS of recipes in the book, though, and if you're comfortable playing around with the slow cooker, the recipes can give you a lot of ideas.

The recipe we're making today is from Rick Bayless's cookbook Mexican Everyday. It's fabulous! It's not a slow cooker cookbook, but it has a lot of recipes that use the slow cooker.

I know that there's a yahoo group on slow cookers, too.

04-27-2006, 03:49 PM
Thanks Kristen!! I think I like "slow-cooker" better, "crock pot" reminds me of dorm-room cooking!! Now to get my "slow-cooker!" I actually got one for a wedding gift all those eons ago, but returned it. At the time I had no plans to cook at all, I had about 8 take out places on my speed dial!