A Crock-Pot slow cooker gives you an economical, efficient way to prepare food, adding little to your household energy expenses. Foods cooked in a slow cooker for 2 hours or longer at a temperature of 185 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit are safe to eat. You can also keep cooked food warm in a Crock-Pot if the temperature is maintained at a minimum of 165 degrees F, says the Purdue University Extension.

Crock-Pot Settings

Most Crock-Pots are equipped with heat setting controls ranging from low to high, and many newer models also feature a “Warm” setting. Once the food has reached a temperature of at least 165 degrees F, it can safely be kept for several hours at the “Warm” setting. Once the food is cooked, you can also safely keep it in the slow cooker set on the “Low” setting as long the device was not turned off at any point. If you’re unsure whether or not your unit can keep your food warm safely, the Purdue University Extension recommends bringing the food to steaming, or at least 165 degrees F, in a separate pan and returning it to the preheated cooker.