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Can you leave a slow cooker on all day?

(34 Posts)
ItsAllFun Fri 06-Apr-18 07:56:30

This is probably a dumb question, but say a recipe requires 6 hours, but you're going to be gone all day 6am - 6pm for example, do you just set the slow cooker at 6am and then let it cook for six hours and leave it sitting in slow cooker until you get back or would the food acquire bacteria while being kept warm effectively may be overthinking this

Thinking of buying a slow cooker, but with work, obviously I won't be there to supervise it lol this is possibly exactly what slow cookers are for but I'm going to be dumb and ask the question anyway

OP’s posts: |
ItsAllFun Fri 06-Apr-18 07:59:39

Oh and if anyone has a recommendation they can throw into the mix, I'd be grateful. Looking at a fairly cheap morphy richards one but not sure what I should be looking for really. Thank you!

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SavoyCabbage Fri 06-Apr-18 08:01:54

Yes you can. Mine has three settings. Low, medium and high. I put it on at about 7am on low and the dc will eat about five and dh and I about 8pm.

ItsAllFun Fri 06-Apr-18 08:18:16

Thanks SavoyCabbage. So does it turn itself off after a certain amount of time or do you just leave it on low until you're home?

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PestoSurfissimos Fri 06-Apr-18 08:18:42

Yes you can & I could recommend the one I’ve got

Morphy Richards

It’s got 3 heat settings which is useful, plus I can fit a whole chicken which is brilliant! I leave it to cook on a bed of vegetables & some chicken stock. Then at the end of the day you have melt in the mouth chicken with veggies & gravy done smile

user1498854363 Fri 06-Apr-18 08:22:03

Mine has low, med, high, and keep warm settings, you can leave it on overnight too. Long time cooking is fine on low!
I use it for mince, stews, soups, curries, endless ideas... go for it 😁

YaBasic Fri 06-Apr-18 08:23:38


keepingbees Fri 06-Apr-18 08:35:44

Yes you can leave it on but make sure it's on low if it's going to be all day. Mine cooks quite fast on high. I've never known one that switches off, I guess if it did you'd come home to warm/cold food.

ItsAllFun Fri 06-Apr-18 08:38:26

Ok cool thanks for the info. I think what's throwing me is that I bought a Slow Cooker recipe book and it specifies the length of time for each recipe. So maybe I'd just cook everything on low all day?

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colleysmill Fri 06-Apr-18 08:40:47

If you do fb theres a great group called UK slow cookers recipes tried and tested thats worth joining.

I leave mine on all day on low smile

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 06-Apr-18 08:41:49

I bought a cheap timer plug from Wilkos.

UnaOfStormhold Fri 06-Apr-18 08:43:43

I use a plug-in timer with mine. I work on the basis that if I put the crock and contents in the fridge overnight and then pop them into the slow cooker the next morning the contents will be take a while to warm up and so will be fine waiting a few hours before they cooking. But slow cooker recipes are fairly flexible on timing if you are using the low setting.

mrspapalazarou Fri 06-Apr-18 08:45:16

I've got similar to pesto but it has digital display and the removable pot can be used on the hob so you can sear meat before adding the rest of your ingredients, minimum washing up, can thoroughly recommend it. You can cook on low for 8 hours then it will automatically switch to keep warm for 2 hours

Stormsurfer Fri 06-Apr-18 08:47:29

I bought a John Lewis own brand one and it switched to warm automatically after the cooking time is finished. I would highly recommend paying a little extra to get one that does that then you can always leave it all day.

SilverGiraffe7 Fri 06-Apr-18 08:49:50

I've got an instant pot (pressure cooker / slow cooker / rice cooker / yoghurt maker combo) which you can tell how long to cook for, then it switches to 'keep warm' mode until you feel like eating it... I love my instant pot grin

Oblomov18 Fri 06-Apr-18 08:52:04

Mine doesn't turn off. But I put it on low, and it's fine, no matter how late we get back.

xyzandabc Fri 06-Apr-18 08:53:46

The time given in recipes is the minimum cooking time. You can leave them on low for hours afterwards with no bad effects.
I put mine on low about 7.30am, we eat around 6. It's on the whole time.
However if I forget and am at home, could put the same meal in at 2pm on high and it would still be ready at 6pm.

PestoSurfissimos Fri 06-Apr-18 09:10:56

That’s the beauty of slow cookers, you don’t have to worry about timings.

MonsieurBing Fri 06-Apr-18 09:21:02

I would definitely do a couple of trial runs while you're around. Even the low setting on mine has it bubbling and I could never leave it for 12 hours without coming back to an inedible mess

ItsAllFun Fri 06-Apr-18 10:53:26

Wow, thank you all so much for the advice. I'm new to the slow cooker phenomenon so all your advice is very much appreciated.
@Stormsurfer - how much approx. did the JL one cost? It might be out of my price range...
It's all really useful information.
@colleysmill - thank you - I will join the FB page.

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ferrier Fri 06-Apr-18 10:54:19

Mine's a separate oven in my cooker and yes, I just treat the timings as a minimum. Have often left in for 5-6 hours longer and still delicious.

Stormsurfer Fri 06-Apr-18 19:26:13

Sorry I have tried to find it now at John Lewis and they don't seem to have them anymore. You can just search for one that has a stay warm feature?

shins Fri 06-Apr-18 19:29:19

I had to give mine away, it made the kitchen smell like 1978 sad

ferrier Sat 07-Apr-18 01:24:31

What did 1978 smell like? 😅

allchangenochange Sat 07-Apr-18 01:31:46

I had one in the UK with a timer and then a keep warm function so I could put a meal in before I left at 7am and then eat it at 7pm. Not every meal works in them but they are a good add for families although I have heard great things about instant pots as well.

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