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Are Hotter Cooking Crockpots Good or Bad?

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Crockpot Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Crockpot Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Crockpot Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
I've been noticing more and more complaints about food burning and overcooking in the crockpot. It has been established that newer crockpots, those manufactured in the past five or six years, are cooking at temperatures significantly higher than in the past. Due to concerns about food safety and bacterial growth in the danger zone of 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F, slow cooker manufacturers have increased the cooking temperatures in these appliances.

I remember my old Rival crockpot booklet reassuring me that since their 'low' setting was 185 degrees F, there was no worry about food safety, since the highest temperature required, for dark poultry meat, was and is 170 degrees F. Now 'low' is 200 degrees. At least. And 'high' cooks at 300 degrees F.

Which is giving recipe writers fits. I've been getting more and more mail about food burning in the time spans specified in recipes. And this puts me in a dilemma too, because I don't want to give cooking times that are too short because of the risk of food poisoning. And I've been guiding this site for eight years, so many of the recipes were developed using the older crockpots.

Latest News

These New Crockpots...

New Crockpots Cook Hot

New Regulations Forced Manufacturers to Adjust Temperatures

Background

Food manufacturers and appliance manufacturers must produce safe, good quality food and equipment so the risk of food poisoning is as low as possible.

Slow cookers were an easy target for new regulations, which I usually support, simply because lower cooking temperatures automatically raise red flags. But the older crockpots, as long as they heated liquids to 185 degrees F within a few hours, were perfectly safe when used as directed.

So about five years ago, slow cooker manufacturers decided to increase cooking temperatures. And thus the dilemma.

Readers Respond: Do You Like or Hate the New Hot Crockpots?

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How to Safely Use a Crockpot

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