How to Convert a Slow Cooker Recipe

No slow cooker, no worries!

Fall is here and that means it’s officially slow cooker season! This is the time of year when everybody seems to dust off their slow cooker and attempt to cook every possible meal in the wonderful appliance. But what if you don’t have one? No problem! It’s easy to convert just about any slow cooker recipe to the stovetop or oven.

Key differences:

  1. Slow cookers need less liquid than other braising methods, so remember to add a little extra when cooking on the stovetop or in the oven.
  2. Slow cookers enhance the flavor of salt more than stovetop cooking, so you may need a little more of that, too.
  3. A dutch oven is the closest approximation to a slow cooker, but any heavy-bottomed pot, or roasting pan with a lid (or tightly covered with foil) will work. The less well-fitting the “lid,” the closer you’ll want to keep an eye on the liquid levels.

Large cuts of meat:

To convert a slow cooker recipe that in essence is a large cut of meat (with other spices etc), you can cook it covered for 2-3 hours at 350 or on the stovetop over medium to medium-low heat. With both methods it’s ideal to sear all sides of the meat first (before adding in additional ingredients) and flip the meat about 2/3 of the way through cooking to make sure it is perfectly tender all the way through. If you’re using the stovetop, make sure to check in on it a couple of times to make sure there is still enough liquid and that the temperature of the burner is correct.


Pork Roast with Rosemary, Garlic and Black Pepper


Soups are probably the easiest recipes to convert. Soups without meat can be cooked pretty much for however much time you have. We recommend bringing them to a boil and then reducing the heat so that they are at a low simmer for at least an hour to let the flavors really blend. If you’re making a soup with meat, lightly brown the meat in the bottom of the soup pot before adding the rest of the soup ingredients. The minimum cooking time is until the meat is cooked through, but again, simmering for at least an hour is best for melding the flavors.


Lamb Stew

Happy Cooking,

More Slow Cooker Posts:

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