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I'm making pulled pork with a 5-pound pork shoulder in my slow cooker. My cooker has a temperature control that ranges from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I hope to have it done in 6 to 8 hours. What temperature should I set for it?

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    Usually a slow cooker (aka crockpot) is something for braising, where there's always at least a little liquid, and the temperature doesn't go over boiling, so there's no temperature control, just a high/medium/low type control. Do you have some kind of small oven or something?
    – Cascabel
    Jun 20 '16 at 21:13
  • It's a Presto Kitchen Kettle "multi cooker / steamer". gopresto.com/downloads/instructions/06000.pdf
    – Jason
    Jun 20 '16 at 22:10
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I'm pretty sure that no matter what you do, it's going to end up braising, so it doesn't really matter exactly what temperature you set it at.

The manual does have suggestions for this:

Start with 1 1/2 to 3 pounds of beef or pork... [various cuts]

Preheat multi-cooker at 375˚. Brown roast in... [various oils]

Add 2 cups... [liquid]

Turn heat control down until pilot light goes out. Cover and simmer 1 to 3 hours or until tender.

So you can do it like that, and presumably that'll help get things going quickly and maybe get you some nice browning.

But the meat is going to release water and fat, and at that point it's basically like any slow cooker: you'll have liquid in the bottom, and steam held inside by the lid. As long as there's liquid left, it can't really go above 212F/100C.

The suggested 2 cups of additional liquid is presumably to avoid sticking to the bottom and burning; you can probably get away with way less, likely even what the meat releases naturally. But until you figure out exactly what works in that particular cooker, you'll probably want to check in on it after a while, and add more if it seems like it's sticking.

And yes, a braise should have a pork shoulder done within 6-8 hours.

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  • Yeah, the instructions include turning the flame off until the pilot light goes out, so it sounds like it's just a way to quickly preheat the container? Looks like it can do some browning before the liquids are added, which sets it apart from the average slow cooker.
    – Catija
    Jun 20 '16 at 22:35
  • While cooking, the "pilot light" has been in a cycle of turning on for a minute and turning off for a minute. I think the light turns on when the heater turns on, the unit heats up and reaches the user-set temperature, then the heater and the light shut off, the unit cools below the user-set temperature, then the heater and light turn on again, etc. Using the light's behavior near the start of the cook to determine what temperature to cook at doesn't seem very reliable. The temperature setting at which it shuts off would depend on how long I preheat the unit and how long I "brown" the roast.
    – Jason
    Jun 21 '16 at 1:37

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