How Long To Slow Cook Meat? Cooking Times At Low Temperature

Slow cooking at low temperatures is a healthy and tasty way of preparing delicious meals. The low temperature between 165 F to 200 F avoids dehydration and possible toughness – the meat remains juicy and tender. The cooking time is substantially longer than at higher temperatures, but it does not require any supervision and can be lengthened significantly without any qualitative losses.

How long to slow cook meat?

The cooking time depends on the nature and size of the meat cut. Times are approximated. The exact cooking time depends on the type of meat, bone-, fat-, and connective tissue content as well as the other ingredients as well as the size and the fill level of the slow cooker.

how long to slow cook meat

Slow cooking takes four to five times as long as regular cooking.


  • A beef roast that takes 2 hours in the oven should be in the slow cooker for at least 8 hours. At low setting even longer if desired.
  • A dish that can be cooked in a pot on a stovetop in 30 minutes, should simmer in the slow cooker for a good 2 hours on a high or 4-6 hours on the low-temperature setting.

The lower the temperature gradient the more unproblematic is an extension of the cooking time. The temperature gradient is the difference between the core temperature of the meat and the meats outside.

Some cooking fans let the meat simmer for 12 hours or more on a low setting. Such a long cooking time is particularly suitable if the meat is very rich in connective tissue.

You have to experiment with your slow cooker for a while and try various dishes.

You will soon learn that factors such as the quality and size of the meat cut, liquid fill level in the pot, the cooker model and other factors, all will affect how long to slow cook meat or poultry.

Extending the cooking time in a Slow cooker

Sometimes you may need to extend slow cooking time to turn a tough cut of meat into a juicy and tender dish. You can use the low heat setting for all dishes to get the best results. Especially when the meat cut has a lot of connective tissue like beef chuck or lamb shanks, slow cooking on low is the best method so that the meat becomes juicy and tender.

Tip – Fresh herbs in a slow cooker

There are ingredients that mustn’t be cooked in the slow cooker for long hours. This includes fresh cooking herbs. Fresh herbs should only be added shortly before the end of the cooking time so that they can refine the dish with their full aroma.

3 thoughts on “How Long To Slow Cook Meat? Cooking Times At Low Temperature”

    • That depends on how full the slow cooker is. If you only use less chicken but fill the pot with other stuff too about two thirds full, then the cooking times should be as stated. It takes a while for the food to warm up and you want to make sure the chicken gets done.

      However, if the pot is only slightly filled, the desired temperature could be reached more quickly. It may even overheat (reach boiling temperature) if a pot that is too large is only slightly filled. In that case, you could cut the time by half an hour. Use a food thermometer to check if a safe temperature has been reached.

      If you generally want to cook smaller amounts then it is better to use a smaller slow cooker.


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