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This is a generic and probably not very well posed question, although triggered by a specific recipe.

The original recipe says to sear a pork loin in a pan, then deglaze with white wine and finally put the piece in the slow cooker for 7h on low. Their ingredients list says 1kg of loin.

On the other hand, as I want to cook only a 500g piece and I know that the "low" of their device and the size of the device itself may be different then mine, I decided to use the only reliable instrument when it comes to meat: the thermometer.

I set an alarm at 70°C, that according to some search sounds reasonable for pork loin.

Such temperature was reached after not even 3 hours on my "low" setting!

Now, it can totally be that the recipe authors didn't aim for the same temperature or that they just wrote a nonsense figure.

Also, since that smaller pieces cook faster is true for every device, let it be oven, pots, pans etc. What is bugging me a little is: not even half the time?

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You are making the hidden assumption that the recipe intends you to finish when a certain internal temperature is reached. This is absolutely not the case; the point of a crock pot is to have low-and-slow cooking, which requires a long time at the desired temperature. The recipe is exactly as it should be, and if you would stop cooking when 70 C is reached, you will have tough meat.

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  • low and slow is the point of the device, OK, but too much makes the meat tough anyway. If the recipe is exactly as it should be, does this implicitly mean that their 1kg piece in their device reached an undisclosed temperature that just made the result good enough for the author? And for me, I should keep sticking a probe thermometer and stop when it beeps at the temperature I see more fit?
    – David P
    Aug 15 at 17:16
  • @DavidP no, for low and slow, you have to keep the meat above 69 C for a long time. It doesn't matter what their final temperature was, and what yours was, just make sure that the meat has sufficient time at that temperature. In practice, "sufficient time" means 4 to 8 hours total time, no matter the amount of meat. The choice of total time is usually determined by logistics/your patience.
    – rumtscho
    Aug 15 at 17:39
  • time at a controlled temperature sufficient for what? I think still to obtain a certain target internal temperature in order to have a result of the right moisture. To me, the procedure of meat cooking is still to stop when a target internal temperature is reached, no matter what cooking method is being used. Or am I missing the point of the slow cooker device and I've been using it with the wrong mindset the whole time? :)
    – David P
    Aug 15 at 18:04
  • "stop when a target internal temperature is reached, no matter what cooking method" - that's false. You are mixing up different methods. What you are doing here is slow cooking, in which you have to go on cooking for enough time after a threshold temperature is reached. The "target temperature part" only applies to other cuts, and is relevant for methods such as roasting or frying a steak, but not for slow cooking. The site has several questions explaining the technicalities of this, you might want to look up the faq on meat.
    – rumtscho
    Aug 15 at 19:12
  • thanks, I'll look them up. But keeping a piece of meat at a controlled temperature for enough time is gonna take it eventually to that temperature that, for some cuts, may be too much and result in a dry brick. I still think I may be using my device with the wrong spirit at this point, that is as "less aggressive" mean of cooking since my stovetop in some cases is too strong even on its smallest burner at its minimum. However, the CP is still a way to give heat.
    – David P
    Aug 15 at 20:54

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