I want to start a meal in my crock pot and the recipe only calls for about 4 hours of cooking. However, no one will be home for another 3 hours to turn it off, but it will shut down and go to the warm setting. Once it sets itself to warm, will it still be cooking? I don't want the chicken to be overcooked.

  • It is hard to overcook chicken in a crock. I have gone a day on warm with chicken and other meats.
    – paparazzo
    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:18
  • 4
    Note that you should also double-check that your crock pot's warm setting keeps the food above 140F - there's a good chance it is, but if it's not, it's not safe to hold food there indefinitely. (See for example cooking.stackexchange.com/q/59764/1672)
    – Cascabel
    Apr 5, 2017 at 15:11

2 Answers 2


It's still going to be heated, so yes it's going to carry on cooking.

However, the temperature on the "warm" setting is going to be lower, so it will cook more slowly, and therefore you might be okay.

It's difficult to say for sure, because it depends on what exactly the temperatures involved are.


Yes, the "low" vs "high" settings on slow cookers are for different cooking times - really slow, or if you don't have that much time, the high setting.

If you look at the owner's manual, and the recipes in there, you can see that the dishes can be cooked on the low setting.

However, this assumes that you're talking about the low cook setting, and not an entirely different setting at altogether. The brand of slow-cooker might be helpful in this regard. Even in that case, if it's adding heat to keep it warm, it would still be cooking it to some degree.

  • 3
    Some models (I've never seen one in the UK but apparently they're common in the US) have a "warm" setting that's lower than "low". A maximum hold time is often stated as this mode can't be relied on to provide enough heat to maintain a safe temperature indefinitely
    – Chris H
    Apr 5, 2017 at 15:43
  • 2
    @ChrisH - This is where reliable appliances work against us. My slow-cooker dates back to the early 1990s. "Off," "Low," and "High." My mom sent me a newer model about two years ago, the box has yet to be opened. Maybe I should not answer unless the question specifically references "vintage" kitchen gadgets. Apr 5, 2017 at 15:47
  • Our new one has "Medium" (and in the order "high, low, medium" at that). Medium cooks about as fast as high on the old one, high tends to overcook unless the pot is very full. They're not really standardised, but the recipes tend to be forgiving enough that it doesn't matter
    – Chris H
    Apr 5, 2017 at 15:50
  • 2
    @ChrisH - so the new high setting is really " 'slow' cooking for people too impatient for slow cooking"? lol Apr 5, 2017 at 15:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.