Converting Slow Cooker Recipes

Almost any recipe that bakes in the oven or simmers on the stovetop can be converted for the slow cooker.

Apple Cider Beef Stew

Apple Cider Beef Stew

For do-ahead dinners at their best, busy cooks depend on their slow cookers for time-saving convenience. Simply fill it in the morning, forget it for the entire day and come home to the welcoming aroma of a hot meal all ready to serve!

There are hundreds of slow cooker recipes available for home cooking in our slow cooker recipes collection.

Or, you can adapt most traditional recipes for the slow cooker by following these guidelines:

  • Before converting recipes, check the manufacturer's guidelines for your particular slow cooker. Locate a recipe similar to the one you want to convert. Use it as a guide. Note the quantity and size of meat and vegetable pieces, heat setting, cooking time and amount of liquid.
  • Since there is no evaporation, adjusting the amount of liquid in your recipe may be necessary. If a recipe calls for 6 to 8 cups of water, try starting with 5 cups.

    Conversely, recipes should include some liquid. If a recipe does not include liquid, add a 1/2 cup of water or broth.

  • For stews and soups, put the veggies on the bottom and sides of your slow cooker, placing the meat on top.
  • Flour and cornstarch are often used to thicken foods (such as soup and stew) that are cooked in a slow cooker.
  • In general, 1 hour of simmering on the range or baking at 350°F in the oven is equal to 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high in a slow cooker.
    Check the chart below:

Cooking Time for
Cooking Time for
Slow Cooker
15 to 30 minutes Low: 4 to 6 hours
High: 1-1/2 to 2 hours
35 to 45 minutes Low: 6 to 8 hours
High: 3 to 4 hours
50 minutes or more Low: 8 to 10 hours
High 4 to 6 hours