Using A Slow Cooker (Crockpot)

June 1, 2004
Roast and vegetables in crockpot.Converting Recipes: Converting your favorite recipes to the crockpot or slow cooker is pretty easy. Here is a pageline for cooking times. If you are cooking on the low setting, make sure that any uncooked meat cooks for at least 8 hours.


Stovetop Cooking TimeCrockpot Cooking Time
High TempLow Temp
15-30 minutes1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hrs4 - 8 hours
35-45 minutes3 - 4 hours6 - 10 hours
50 minutes - 3 hours4 - 6 hours8 - 16 hour

Seasoning: Spices will be diluted overtime as they cook in a crockpot. So add spices in the last hour of cooking.

Ground Beef: Brown ground beef before adding to the crockpot. It will taste better and have better texture this way.

Raw Vegetables: Uncooked vegetables like carrots, potatoes and onions should be place at the bottom of the crockpot for faster cooking.

Dairy: Add sour cream, heavy cream and other dairy ingredients during the last hour of cooking.

Cleaning: Do not add cold water to a hot crockpot to clean it. Either let it cool down or add warm soapy water.

Garnish: Many vegetables will lose their color in a slow cooker. Add a colorful garnish like fresh parsley, chives, tomatoes, red peppers or cheese for color.


Cooking Tip: Keep your crockpot at least half full to avoid overheating and overcooking food.

Thickening: Add a cornstarch in the final hour of cooking to thicken juices.

Use your crockpot outside in the summer to help keep your house cool.

What are your favorite crockpot tips?

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 135 Feedbacks
June 29, 2010

Using your good old reliable crock pot can save you plenty of time and cash, but if your model is aging, give it a test. Bacteria can grow when food is kept under 140 degrees F for four hours or more.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
February 4, 2016

Recently, I put up a crockpot full of chicken and marinade. Leaving it overnight, it was perfect the next morning. By noon, however, it was a bit dry. That is when I realized what I had done.

Mark Appliance Plugins

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 166 Posts
June 18, 2007

It is 96 degrees and humid today, so I took out my trusty slow cooker this morning. Cooking in the slow cooker keeps my kitchen cooler, plus the whole meal can be cooked in one container.


My slow cooker is great for less tender cuts of meat, which are less expensive to purchase.

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February 5, 2005

I cook my meat in my crockpot for a few hours while I'm gone. Then I pop it in the oven for 20 or 30 minutes to brown and crisp up before serving.( while I fix the rest of dinner) My husband does not like meat from the crockpot. He never guesses. By charleeta

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August 25, 2017

When I went back to college and my kids were in school, I figured out a way to do things to where we still had a good meal. I used a lot of things and bagged them in freezer bags.


Before I left, I took a bag out and placed it in the Crock Pot. It was ready by the time we all arrived home.

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March 28, 2013

Before you contemplate buying a crockpot, check out the smallest ring on your electric cooker. I found out that my past two cookers were usable this way by reading the information that came with the contraption. I didn't trust it to start with so I stayed in all day just to make sure.

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15 Questions

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August 1, 2005

Does frozen meat need to be thawed before placing in the crockpot?

Editor's Note This is not a safe practice as the meat comes up to temperature too slowly to avoid bacterial growth. The meat will be fully cooked but may make your family ill.

Here is a link from the USDA with more safety information:

Cook Slow to Save Time: Four Important Slow Cooker Food Safety Tips


By JoJo (Guest Post)
August 1, 20050 found this helpful

I do this all the time. Just throw it in, add seasonings, cream of whatever is on hand. Add 2 cups of water, and turn on low for 8-10 hours.


Success every time. I've tried all kinds of meat, always works.

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By Beth (Guest Post)
August 1, 20050 found this helpful

I have never had a problem crocking frozen meat. You must add sufficient liquid, but it always turns out fine. (Well, the times it doesn't, it's more me and the recipe than the frozen meat! :) )

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August 1, 20050 found this helpful

No you do not have to thaw the meat. We take a frozen roast into a slow cooker and add mushroom soup to it and some black pepper. Start out on high and when you start to smell it turn the meat over and check it to make sure it is not burning. Don't open the lid but two times. Then reduce the heat and cook all night. There is a lof you can do also like put in frying pan brown each side then put in the cooker. Chicken do this to and use cream of chicken soup. Brown before starting and it will help too. Good luck and happy cooking...



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August 3, 20050 found this helpful

The only time I thaw the meat is when I want to brown the outside of the meat. I found that if you do this, the meat stays juicer.
Have a great day

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August 12, 20050 found this helpful

Several of the cooking shows that I watch have been featuring crock pot cooking lately. The one thing they all say is to remember one rule - cold crockpot - cold meat. Hot crockpot - Hot meat or product. The deal is, is that if you put cold meat in a hot crock pot or vice versa it may crack your crock pot.

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August 13, 20050 found this helpful

Just make sure you have plenty of time to let it cook. I put a whole frozen chicken in mine last Sunday thinking we would have chicken later that day and I had to come up with an alternative because being frozen it was taking a lot longer than I thought it would.

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By RedRobin (Guest Post)
January 2, 20060 found this helpful

I just got back from Milwaukee where my mother in law made a pork roast from frozen and my sister in law made a beef roast from frozen. They started it in the morning at low and it was done by 5:30 -6 at night. It was so good and I never knew you could do that!

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June 5, 2008

Does anybody know if you can successfully cook rice in a crock pot?

Susan from Columbus, OH

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 364 Posts
August 2, 2006
Product: Rival Versaware Slow Cooker

Manufacturer: Rival

Request: This slow cooker has a liner that can be used directly on the stove top. Any opinions?

Holly from Richardson, TX


By Sylvia Haywood (Guest Post)
August 3, 20060 found this helpful

I have one of that type also. Just be sure to use the metal ring that comes with the slo cooker if you use it on the stove. That way the liner is not directly on the burner.

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By Mary, Crown Point, IN (Guest Post)
August 4, 20060 found this helpful

I LOVE mine...I used it once, then ordered 4 more for Christmas gifts!!! BUT the advice on the metal rack is ONLY for Electric do NOT use it on a GAS burner...Nicest slow cooker I have ever seen!!

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March 12, 2013

I put a 4 pound lamb roast in my crock pot for 5 hours. It is cooked, but I still have about 2 hours before dinner time at the most. Can I leave it on low until we eat, should I turn it off, or should I put it on auto? or let it cool and put it in the fridge, or I could transfer to another pan and set my oven to warm? Help :)

By Nicole D

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January 23, 2012

If I half a slow cooker recipe and use a smaller cooker, do I cut the time?

By Joanie

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June 27, 2014

This is a page about converting recipes for a slow cooker. Traditional recipes can be easily converted to preparation in your slow cooker. This is a page about converting recipes for a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker

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May 17, 2017

Your crockpot is the prefect appliance for cooking tender tasty meat of all types. While some meats are browned first, meat doesn't not need to be cooked before putting it in a crockpot.

Crockpot Pot Roast

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March 8, 2022

Can I use "oven cooking bags" in my crockpot?

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