How to Tweak Recipes to the Size of Your Slow Cooker

Don't let the size of your slow cooker get in the way of trying out a new recipe. We'll show you how to convert slow cooker recipes to fit in almost any size crock.

As a cook, there are few things as disappointing as finding a yummy-looking new recipe (like one of these wow-worthy recipes) only to realize you don’t have the right equipment to make it. For slow cooker recipes it can be especially frustrating. You likely only own one size, and it can be a pain trying to convert slow cooker recipes to fit.

Luckily, we did the heavy lifting for you and created this handy chart. All you have to do is find the size of the recipe’s slow cooker in the left hand column, then scroll over to find the size of your slow cooker. The corresponding cell represents the amount you need to multiple (or divide!) ingredients by to get the recipe to fit.

Conversion Chart: 

Your Slow
Cooker Size
Recipe Slow
Cooker Size
2 qt.3 qt.4 qt.5 qt.6 qt.7 qt.8 qt.
2 qt.multiply
by 1-1/2
multiply
by 2
multiply
by 2-1/2
multiply
by 3
multiply
by 3-1/2
multiply
by 4
3 qt.divide
by 1-1/2
multiple
by 1-1/3
multiple
by 1-2/3
multiply
by 2
multiple
by 2-1/3
multiple
by 2-2/3
4 qt.divide
by 2
divide
by 1-1/3
multiple
by 1-1/4
multiply
by 1-1/2
multiply
by 1-3/4
multiply
by 2
5 qt.divide
by 2-1/2
divide
by 1-2/3
divide
by 1-1/4
multiply
by 1-1/5
multiply
by 1-2/5
multiply
by 1-3/5
6 qt.divide
by 3
divide
by 2
divide
by 1-1/2
divide
by 1-1/5
multiply
by 1-1/6
multiply
by 1-1/3
7 qt.divide
by 3-1/2
divide
by 2-1/3
divide
by 1-3/4
divide
by 1-2/5
divide
by 1-1/6
multiply
by 1-1/7
8 qt.divide
by 4
divide
by 2-2/3
divide
by 2
divide
by 1-3/5
divide
by 1-1/3
divide
by 1-1/7

Conversion Tips

Before you begin, keep in mind that both manufacturers and the USDA recommend that your slow cooker be filled at least halfway, but never more than two-thirds. This precaution is to ensure food cooks safely and evenly. (Here are more common slow cooker mistakes and tips to avoid them).

For convenience, we only included whole-quart slow cookers in our conversion chart. If you have a half-quart slow cooker, we suggest rounding up to the next nearest whole size. For example, if you’re converting a recipe for an 8-quart slow cooker to fit in your 1-1/2 quart slow cooker, look to the 2-quart conversion metrics to determine how much of an ingredient you’ll need.

You’ll also notice that the multiplication factors are fairly specific. Depending on the recipe, you can eyeball the math. In some recipes, a little extra or a little less of one ingredient isn’t going to make or break the dish. A big pot of stew or soup, for example, is more forgiving than our slow cooker cheesecake.

If you’re in the market for a new slow cooker, you might want to consider how many people you plan to cook for before buying a specific size. The following chart can help you decide:

Number of PeopleSlow Cooker Size
1 person1-1/2 quart
2 people2- to 3-1/2 quart
3-4 people3-1/2 to 4-1/2 quart
4-5 people4-1/2 to 5 quart

And there you have it! Converting recipes isn’t as daunting as it seems—especially when you have the right factor. Now, time to get cooking! (Need some inspiration? Check out our 100 more shared slow cooker recipes.)

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Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.