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With the new trend of slow cooking (at very low temperatures for very long periods of time), is there potential for increased unsafe bacteria growth?

  • Hi and welcome - can you clarify (preferably by editing at cooking.stackexchange.com/posts/93419/edit) what you mean by "slow cooking"? The reference to "very low temperatures" makes me suspect you might be talking about sous vide cooking, which is different from the kinds of low-and-slow cooking involved in braising and other methods. – logophobe Oct 30 '18 at 21:06
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I suspect that you're not talking about 'slow cookers' but 'sous vide' as you mentioned 'new trend'.

Although food is often cooked at temperatures within the 'food danger zone' (below 140°F / 60°C), the increased time at that temperature results in pasteurization of the food item when done correctly.

The recommended temperatures to cook food so you can be assured that you've killed off bacteria and such are based on having it there for only a few seconds. The further below that temperature that you are, the longer time that's required to kill off the bacteria ... although there is a lower limit of when you can't achieve pasteurization (practically it's 130°F / 55°C)

For more details, see http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Safety

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it is not a new trend, slow cookers (crock pot) have been in use for decades, there was a time when it was not in fashion, but now it has returned.

As long as the temperature is set properly (follow slow cooker instruction and recipes), it should be safe.

See this : https://extension.umn.edu/preserving-and-preparing/slow-cookers-and-food-safety

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Slow cooking does not destroy more nutrients. In fact, the lower temperatures may help preserve nutrients that can be lost when food is cooked rapidly at high heat. What's more, food cooked slowly often tastes better.

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