I love making soups in my crockpot. SO, I make it, starting with the crock on High. After about an hour, I drop it to low (middle setting), and let it cook. (I always cook my meats outside the crock, usually in a wok or skillet, to make sure it is cooked thoroughly.)

Once I am confident that it is fully cooked, I turn the soup down to Keep Warm (the lowest setting), and we enjoy a hearty bowl of soup, and have soup ready for tomorrow. I believe it keeps the temp above 100(edit: actually 165F), and probably more like 120F. Well, after two days, it becomes a burnt broth. The top layer of solids forms a crust on top of the broth, and everything under this crust is still good. Is there anything I can do to preserve it, because we don't eat enough to use it up in two days?

Edit: 2016/11/21 Found out the "Keep Warm" setting holds the temp to 165F. Also, the other two settings, "Low" and "High" actually bring the temp of the crockpot to the same temp, but the "Low" just slows the time it takes to reach the "High" setting temp.

BTW, I made a chili I call "9 Furz" in the crockpot yesterday. It won third place in a contest, because the judges thought my pork loin was white meat chicken. (The judges are firm believers that chicken in chili is blasphemous.) But, the non-judges loved it, because it was the first crock to empty out. (Next year, I will write on the card that it is "PORK NOT CHICKEN!"

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    Why are you keeping it hot the entire time? Are you adding water? Have you actually checked the temperature it's keeping it at? 120 F is not safe for long term storage. See info on keeping food hot for long periods of times here.
    – Catija
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:36
  • I keep it going so we eat healthy. We're lazy, so if we need to reheat, we'll just grab a donut, or other less healthy but easier tto prepare stuff. Nov 15, 2016 at 0:41
  • I don't add water, much because it waters down the soup. I don't know if it is 120, but it is more than 100. We've eaten soup that was in the pot for a week...No one got sick, but we got sick of eating burnt soup. Nov 15, 2016 at 0:44
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    Well, when the soup is kept hot, it steams... which means it loses water... so if you don't replenish that water, it's going to dry out and then burn... Am I not understanding how it's burning? Could you explain further?
    – Catija
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:45
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    Sensii, 100F puts your soup right in the most dangerous range of the "danger zone". In other words, this is an incubator for pathogens - or a recipe for disaster. In that temperature range, only one hour is deemed safe. Yes, this does not mean you will get sick, but if nobody has so far, it's sheer luck, not because your approach is a safe practice. While I see your point re. comfort and such, I urge you to change your practice and refrigerate the soup & reheat individual servings. If you can use a microwave, reheating takes only a minute or two, a small price vs. food borne illnesses.
    – Stephie
    Nov 15, 2016 at 7:00

1 Answer 1


A crockpot's keep warm setting is not designed to keep food safe and fresh for days, it's really only good for an hour or two at most. What's happening in your case is that the water is evaporating from your food and then drying out inside the pot. Adding water periodically is not an answer as the temperature of the food is not high enough to prevent foodborne illnesses, you don't want to keep it on warm for long periods of time even if you can keep it from burning.

If you want to save your soup for later put it in containers and store it in the refrigerator or freezer, re-heating when you want to eat it.

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