Crockpot Tips

Converting Recipes: Converting your favorite recipes to the crockpot or slow cooker is pretty easy. Here is a guideline 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! 167 Feedbacks
January 16, 20121 found this helpful

Thanks for the very helpful post. This should come with every slow cooker/crockpot. I made a crockpot recipe last month where I added salt before cooking, and then sampled it every 2 hours and salted accordingly. And every time, it needed salt. By serving time, I added salt 5 times - using enough salt each time to flavor the dish adequately.


I still don't understand why salt that you add in the beginning would get diluted by the end. As far as I can see, liquid is actually boiled away by cooking in the form of steam so the spices should get more intense, right? In my case, the ingredient were carrots and ribs, so no liquid was coming from the vegetables as cooking progressed. Nor was the salt absorbed into the carrot or ribs since they didn't taste especially salty. The liquid level definitely got lower over time. So why did the dish get less salty each time I tasted it? Why did I have to add more salt each time?

More importantly, what happened to the salt I put in? Did it break down into sodium and chloride? Does adding salt so much increase the sodium contents, or is the sodium dissipated somehow?


Anyway, now I know to add spices only in the last hour.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
February 1, 20190 found this helpful

Use instant mashed potatoes to thicken soups, etc instead of flour or cornstarch.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 10, 20210 found this helpful

I get crockpot liners now. It makes clean up easier, and I can use them for leftovers.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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