What are the cooking temperatures of your slow cooker?
I have a Rival slow cooker. I was rather shocked to find out that the difference between high and low is the time it takes to get to 209 degrees. At low it is 8 hrs and high it is 4 hrs. I know there are some brands that the low setting is 190 degrees and the high setting is around 250 degrees F.
What is the brand of your slow cooker and what are the temperature ranges it is trying to reach at which settings?
I would appreciate your help on this.
I have a programmable Crock Pot Smart Pot with High, Low and Keep Warm settings. I'm not at home so don't know the model, but I bought it @ 2004. Because I had recently read that modern slow cookers run really hot, much hotter than slow cookers from the 70's and 80's, I took some temperatures just this past weekend. I filled up the crock about 2/3 with plain water. On Low, the temperature after 8 hours was 214! On Keep Warm after 8 hours, the temp was 209. I also cooked chicken stock for 10 hours, and that temp was 210. In all cases, the water was boiling, not just simmering.
I read somewhere that the difference between Low and High (and apparently, Keep Warm) is the amount of time it takes to get up to temperature. I don't know if that's true, but it seems to me the temperature is way too high - the food should not be boiling. And that explains why some of my dishes have been overcooked, almost burned. I thought the problem was the recipe or me and hadn't realized it was the slow cooker. (Since I'm away from home all day, I usually cook on Low for 9-10 hours and then have it switch to Keep Warm.)
So now I'm on a hunt for another slow cooker. Either a brand new one which has received good reviews with regard to temperatures, or an older one.
I have a KitchenAid 7 quart (it works wonderfully, but there are horror stories about the ceramic insert suddenly breaking. I hadn't heard those when I bought it...keeping my fingers crossed!) and it has so many settings (high, low/simmer, buffet, and keep warm) that I can do just about anything. The "high" IS higher than my old Crock Pots, however...I don't use it much except to finish things off, or get them started.
I have two Rivals - a 2qt and a 5qt. They are both newer than the 1980's Rival that they replaced. I don't remember exact temperatures, but both get much hotter than the old one did, and around 200 degrees sounds about right.
If you're willing to void your warranty (I was), you might want to try the Crock-O-Stat ......
I made my own version about five years ago, and haven't regretted the "investment" yet.
I can now set either crock anywhere from zero to "max factory setting" degrees - it comes in very handy when I want to do a "barely simmer overnight chicken stock" or some sous vide cooking.
re: Bryan Pepperseed
Thought I'd post an update since a couple of newer threads on the subject are pointing back to this one.
First, the recent popularity of sous vide cooking has produced more interest in controlling crockpots. While the original is still an ok solution for my conventional recipes and my SV, those who like to "tinker", you might want to check out the "modern crock-o-stat"
For those that don't like to build things, just google "crockpot PID". (It's a cheaper solution than the above)