One of the most wonderful things about slow cookers is their ability to control temperature in any manner you want. Slow cookers or crock pots come with various temperature settings that can help you cook food at a certain speed and settings. Not only that, it can also keep your food all heated up, no matter when you’ve cooked it.
However, different temperature settings are not without its downside. It sometimes can get pretty confusing as to which for what. Especially the warm and auto settings. So, is auto the same as warm in a slow cooker? The answer is no. Warm and auto temperature settings in slow cookers are two totally different settings, each with its own specific usage.
To understand more in detail, continue reading below.
Different Temperature Settings in a Slow Cooker
Before understanding Auto and Warm, it is essential to understand the basic functioning of a slow cooker. The primary purpose of a slow cooker is to cook food at a low and steady temperature over an extended period. This slow and gentle cooking method breaks down tough fibers in meats and allows flavors to meld together.
To achieve this, a slow cooker comes with three temperature settings.
This setting cooks food at a higher temperature. Therefore, it is used for faster cooking in a short amount of time. It is ideal for recipes that require cooking within a few hours.
The “Low” setting cooks food at a lower temperature, extending the cooking time to several hours. It is suitable for all-day cooking or recipes that benefit from longer simmering periods.
The “Warm” setting is designed to keep cooked food warm without further cooking it. It is to be used when the meal is ready before serving time or to keep dishes warm during gatherings and potlucks.
Difference Between Auto and Warm
The Auto setting is a more advanced feature. You can only find it in certain crock pots. When using the Auto mode, the slow cooker starts with a higher temperature. This is to bring the ingredients to a safe cooking temperature quickly.
Once it achieves the desired temperature, it automatically switches to the Low setting to continue cooking at a slow and steady pace. This helps save time without compromising on food safety or quality.
Unlike the cooking settings (High and Low), the “Warm” setting maintains a constant, low temperature. It’s usually around 140°F (60°C). This setting is not prebuilt in your slow cooker for cooking. Its use is to keep food warm after it has finished cooking. So, the Warm setting is there to enable you to get a freshly cooked hot meal whenever you want.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)
Can I use a slow cooker just to keep food warm?
Yes, you can use a slow cooker solely to keep food warm. The “Warm” mode is specifically designed for this purpose. It keeps food warm for an extended period of time without overcooking it.
Do slow cookers turn off automatically?
Yes, if your slow cooker is programmable, it will turn off automatically after a period of time. Also, even if you don’t manually set anything, after 24 hours, programmable slow cookers turn off on their own.
What temperature is auto on a slow cooker?
The temperature on the “Auto” setting of a slow cooker may vary depending on the specific model and brand. However, typically, the “Auto” mode starts at a higher temperature, around 200°F to 220°F (93°C to 104°C), and then gets to a lower temperature, around 180°F to 200°F (82°C to 93°C), for the slow cooking speed.
In conclusion, while both the “Auto” and “Warm” settings are found in slow cookers, they serve different purposes during the cooking process. The “Auto” setting is a programmed sequence that starts with a higher temperature for faster cooking and then switches to a slow cooking temperature. On the other hand, the “Warm” setting is used solely to keep cooked food warm without further cooking. Always read the user manual carefully to understand what you should and shouldn’t do.
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