I put a pork roast in the crock pot and accidentally cooked on warm for 30 minutes before I switched it to high! Is it safe to eat?

2 Answers 2


As seen in simplest form here, the FDA has deemed the temperature danger zone at between 41°F and 135°F inclusive.

Meanwhile, also in its simplest form here, we see again from the FDA that the internal temperature of pork must come to 145°F in order to be considered safe.

Finally, consider the following, as found here

Crock pots may vary but generally, the LOW setting is about 200 degrees F. and the HIGH setting is about 300 degrees F.

These three pieces of information in combined form make it certain that you're in no danger of having spoiled your cut of meat by cooking it only on Low for 30 minutes.

  • While I agree it's likely the pork roast is safe, you're missing one critical fact: time in "Danger Zone." As discussed for example in this question, FDA recommendations generally suggest food achieve 140F within four hours after entering the "Danger Zone." A crock pot is designed to heat gradually, so while it may theoretically stabilize at 200-300F, it will take quite a few hours for the food to get to those temperatures throughout, depending on the device. All of that said, a half hour on "warm" is unlikely to cause a problem.
    – Athanasius
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 2:00
  • Also consider the fact that warm != low. The warm setting is just used to keep cooked food at a serving temperature, it's separate from the low setting and is not meant for cooking with by itself. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 8:23

"High" doesn't turn the element on hotter, it just has a higher set point. Since many slow cookers can take over an hour to get the food inside up to temp, having it too low for the first 30 minutes has almost no difference on the temperature profile.

If you had it on "warm" for a couple of hours, that would be more problematic.

I'll leave the response, but the answer above isn't relevant for most units. It appears that only a very few high-end models have thermostats. For others, the settings are just different power settings. As such, warm would take much longer to bring a high mass of food up into the safe zone. (I don't think it would be a problem, but my answer no longer supports that)

  • Why would it be problematic? Crock pot recipes involving large cuts of meat like a pork roast and long cooking times on low are quite common. Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 23:45
  • The question was about "warm" and not "low". I agree "low" would be a perfectly normal cooking setting.
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 1:29

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