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can anyone tell me what temp is high and lo to set oven for thedutch oven please

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    1. Hi, Venicia:

      Your question sounds simple, but neither it nor the answer is straightforward.

      The settings on all crockpots with which I'm familiar aren't by temperature--they're simply "High" and "Low" (and sometimes "Medium"). It's natural to think that these settings are translatable to the same temperatures across the entire world of crockpots, but that assumption would be wrong. They're *wattage* settings, and these settings can vary from make to make, model to model, and size to size. Says one manufacturer:

      "These wattages are set to ensure that a standard food load (as described in AHAM spec SC-1-1979) will reach a safe internal temperature [i.e.,>165F] within approximately four hours. The wattage required to do this is different for different models, and many variables are involved; (start temperature, food load, room temperature, etc.). Eventually slow cookers will reach a maximum temperature, however the temperature will be different for different environmental conditions and different food loads. Given enough time most food loads will reach the same maximum temperature on both "Low" and "High."

      Now then, if you already have a crockpot, to duplicate the time-at-temperature in an oven, you'll have to actually measure the max temp of your crockpot with an instant-read thermometer at each setting.

      If you don't have a CP or the thermometer, you will need to experiment. I would start with an oven temperature of 225F. If the dish is overdone in the allotted time, next time set the oven a bit lower. If underdone, you know to nudge the heat up some.

      Another helpful hint is that removing the lid from a crockpot is supposed to add roughly 20 minutes to your cooking time.


      1 Reply
      1. re: kaleokahu

        Aloha Kakou:

        Well, here's what I found out testing my 2-speed crockpot (a 5-qt Rival, Mod. 3355) using an immersible probe thermometer inside the crock and an IR gun on the metal housing.

        Taking 10C of 50F tap water and a room-temperature unit to max temperature, the Tmax inside the covered crock was the same, namely 177F, on both High and Low settings. However, the *housing* got measurably warmer on High (198F) than it did on Low (178F).

        The only discernible difference between the settings was the time to Tmax. Here's how it measured out:


        My practical conclusions from this (at least using this quantity of water in this model) are:

        (a) It takes >4.5 hours to bring food into the 165F safety zone on Low, versus a little more than 3.5 hours on High.

        (b) If you're going to be away all day (say 9 hours) working while the crockpot is on, your food will spend 2.5 hours at Tmax on Low, versus 5.5 hours on High.

        (c) On either setting, you better not be in any hurry.

        Of course, your results may vary.


      2. It depends on what you are making, how long you need to cook it, etc.
        Also, do you want a comparison (as the title suggests) or do you want to know about dutch oven temps?
        So, more information would be helpful in answering your specific question.

        1. If you want to know what oven temperature correlates to your crock pot settings, then I can't help you, I don't know what crock pot you have and even if I did I couldn't say what temperatue your specific crock pot is at the high or low setting.

          If you want to know what would be considered a high oven setting and a low oven setting then I would say high is 450°F (232°C) and low is 250°F (121°C), this is based on a typical medium oven of 350°F (177°C) and an oven temperature range of 500°F (260°C) on the high end and 200°F (93°C) on the low end.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mikie

            Agreed. I have a pork shoulder recipe that is done in a DO. It starts by browning on the top of the stove, then into a 450 oven uncovered for 30 minutes, and then low and slow and covered at 250.

          2. Your question is either not very clear or not precise.

            If you want to know what is considered as high temperature and low temperature for oven cooking, then I will say anything above 450oF is high and anything below 250oF is low.

            If you want to know what is the corresponding temperature of the power settings on crockpot, then I will tell you there is no definite answer. A crockpot is control by power, not by temperature. Therefore, a low power setting does not have definite temperature. On top of that, different crockpots have different settings -- they are not universal. The crockpot, however, is a slow cooking device. So even at the "high" power setting for crockpot, it is not suppose to cook at high temperature.

            1. Looks like OP found the answer s/he can understand, and more...


              7 Replies
              1. re: cutipie721

                Except they are all the same oven temperature.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Chem, if Kaleo is correct and I have no reason to doubt he is.

                  "Given enough time most food loads will reach the same maximum temperature on both "Low" and "High.""

                  Then the same oven temperature for different amounts of time would be correct, as odd as that seems.

                  1. re: mikie

                    They may reach a similar temperature because the Low and High will bring a pot of soup to similar temperature due to water evaporation. The two polar examples are a pot of water and an empty slow cooker. For a pot of water, the low and high settings will eventually reach the same temperature because of water boiling point (assuming the low setting is still good enough for boiling). For an empty crockpot, it won't reach the same temperature. Typical foods will fall somewhere between the two depending the foods.

                    The more important thing is the cooking process itself -- the food.

                    Surely you have noticed that the foods which are cooked slowly from a low heat setting for a long period of time (basically ramping up temperature) do not taste the same as the foods which are quickly bring to heat and cook in a shorter amount of time. If all you want to do is to cook vegetables to a soft, mushy content, then it probably does not matter given enough time -- like certain styles of turnip green or collard green. However, if you want to make a roast of pork or semi-crispy vegetables without completely destroying the texture, then the combination of time and temperature is important.

                    It is probably better to translate the Low and High settings to two different oven temperatures. If anything just to mimic the temperature ramp (how fast the food get heat up) Unfortunately, there is no such easy conversion. There are just too many variables. The fact that a silver Dutch Oven will heat up slower than a black Dutch Oven alone is a problem. Let's alone all the other variables.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Chem, I agree with you entirely. I have no idea how long it takes a crock pot to reach equilibrium temperature based on the high vs low settings, if it's 30 min, then perhaps it's irrelevent, if it's 4 or more hours then there is probably a reason for concern.

                      I think your right, food is about the time/temperature relationship. For example it takes a good 12 hours to smoke a pork butt and get the tenderness, texture, and taste you want. You can get to the 180° internal temperature much quicker, but you don't get the same result. It takes a long time at a temperature between 225 and 250 °F to smoke a pork butt and cuttiing that in half by increasing the temperature will not do the same thing. There's more involved than just heat transfer when you're cooking.

                      I don't have a crock-pot, but I can't imagine most foods sitting in there stewing for 8 or 9 hours.

                      1. re: mikie

                        Hi, mikie:

                        I'll wager that the vast majority of crockpot cooking done worldwide is either wet, gloppy stuff like stews, chilis, soups, legumes, etc., AND/OR meat pieces immersed in liquids (Rival instructs that the stoneware should be filled 1/2 to 3/4 full when following recipes). And I'll wager further that most of it is done over half- and full-day periods while the "chef" is at work. No browning, smoking, etc. If that's right, with the possible exception of a very shallow braise, the outcome differences in those preparations between the "Low" setting (on my Rival 185W) and "High" (225W) aren't going to be great.

                        That's what these units are built for (and IMO all they're good at)--throw it in, go to work, come home, spoon up whatever comes out, repeat with no worries (or expectations).

                        I see some sense in pimping crockpots with PID controllers to replicate sous vide cooking, but I really can't tell any difference between "Low" and "High" on my crockpot. But now I'm motivated to measure...


                        1. re: mikie

                          Based on the conversion table kindly provide by Gio:

                          "12 hours/Low - 3 hours/325° F"

                          It is very difficult to image that the results of cooking for 12 hours in the crockpot at low setting will be the same as cooking for 3 hours in 325°F oven. Think about it on the stovetop. If there is a stew soup which you have mastered and required 12 hour of simmering, I just don't see how you can compress that into merely 3 hours. If you can, then why use 12 hours in the first place. On the other hand, if you have a soup recipe for 1 hour cooking, I don't think you can somehow stretch the process to 5-6 hours and get the same result.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Temperature of simmering water is 185F to 200F - possibly the case of most CPs.

                            Water inside a 325F oven for hours is probably going to hit 212F no matter what.

                            Pressure cooker brings water to 250F.

                            Maybe that's why.