Can You Boil Water in a Crock Pot? Tested With 2 Slow Cookers

Can you boil water in a crock pot

Sometimes I wish I could cook everything in my crock pot. If you have a similar mindset, then you may have asked yourself the following question:

Can you boil water in a crock pot?

You can boil water in a crock pot, but it will take about 2 hours or longer on the High setting. The exact time will vary depending on the amount of water and model of slow cooker. In addition, the water inside a crock pot will likely stabilize at a simmering boil and may never reach a full rolling boil.

I actually tested this myself, with a 7 quart and a 4 quart slow cooker. In this post, I’ll give you the full details from my experiment and research.

Can You Boil Water in a Crock Pot?

I was curious whether you can boil water in a slow cooker, and rather than making assumptions, I decided to actually test it with our 2 crock pots.

Slow cookers

So, yesterday morning, I put 6 cups of water into both the 7 quart and the 4 quart crock pot, and I put them on the High setting.

I turned the slow cookers on at about 10:30 AM, and then I noticed that the larger crock pot (7-quarts) was boiling at about 12:30 PM.

I did check it every few minutes, but I didn’t stand there and watch it the whole time. So, it probably started boiling slightly before 12:30, which means that it took a little under 2-hours to boil water in the 7-quart slow cooker.

You’ll have to forgive the bad image quality, but this is what it looked like:

Can you boil water in a slow cooker

It was a simmering boil, and from outside the glass (before taking the lid off) it didn’t appear to have reached a full rolling boil.

Its also interesting to note, that as soon as you take the lid off, the temperature drops. And after I had the lid off for a minute or two, the water was no longer boiling.

For the smaller, 4-quart slow cooker, I have to confess that I lost track of time a little, but I think that it started boiling about an hour later (e.g. ~1:30 PM). So, for the 4-quart slow cooker, I think it took about 3 hours to reach boiling point.

Can you boil water in a slow cooker

Similar to the 7-quart slow cooker, the 4-quart slow cooker did start boiling, but it didn’t seem to reach a full rolling boil. And, when I removed the lid, the water stopped boiling after a little while.

After these initial photos of the water boiling, I let both slow cookers return to a boil and kept them on the High setting, until about 4:30 PM (e.g. 6 hours total on High).

Even after cooking the water for 6 hours, neither slow cooker appeared to reach a full rolling boil, although both continued at a simmering boil.

These results are interesting, but they are ultimately what I would expect given what a crock pot is designed to do, and the temperature that slow cookers cook at.

Another reason you may be wondering if a crock pot can boil water, is if you’re concerned about your food boiling over while you’re gone. We’ll dig into that topic now…

Can a Crock Pot Boil Over?

A slow cooker can DEFINITELY boil over. How do I know? I’ve done it. Multiple times, and even with different slow cookers.

So, what causes a crock pot to boil over?

The biggest factor which can cause your crock pot to boil over, is overfilling the pot. The Crock-Pot brand recommends that you only fill the pot to 2/3 full.

In addition, using the High-temperature setting can make matters worse, because it can cause the slow cooker to begin boiling over more quickly.

If you’re planning to leave your slow cooker running unattended, then you should probably be conservative and make sure you fill the pot less than 2/3 full.

As an additional tip, if you’ve never left your crock pot to cook unattended for a long time, or if you recently got a new slow cooker, then you may want to plan to use it for the first time when you know you can be home.

For example, maybe the first big meal you do in your slow cooker, you plan for a weekend or day off when you can be home and keep an eye on it. This may not be totally necessary, but I would personally feel better after doing a test like that before leaving the slow cooker unattended next time.

Can You Put a Crock Pot on the Stove?

Now this is really interesting, and something that I just learned yesterday.

Crock-Pot now makes slow cookers with inserts that can be used to cook or brown meat on a stove top. You can then take the Crock-Pot insert and put it right into the slow cooker with other ingredients. Super cool. Check it out:

How long does it take to boil water in a crock pot?

It takes about 2 to 3 hours to boil 6 cups of water in a crock pot on the High setting. The exact amount of time it will take for water to boil in a crock pot, will depend on the size and model of slow cooker you use, and the amount of water you are boiling.

Is it better to slow cook on low or high?

Most slow cooker recipes will turn out slightly better using the Low setting. The High setting will still work fine in most cases. However, the more gradual cooking you get on the Low temperature setting can provide a more tender and flavorful meal. Either way, make sure your food is fully cooked before eating.

Can You Leave Food in a Slow Cooker Overnight?

You can leave food in a slow cooker overnight as long as it is on the low or high settings. These setting will keep food above the food danger zone and make sure it cooks safely. Don’t leave your food in a slow cooker overnight on the warm setting as this could affect the quality of the meal. For a full explanation of cooking in a slow cooker overnight, check this out: Is It Safe to Leave Food in a Slow Cooker Overnight?


Leslie has lived in tons of different places that were all in different states of repair. She has experience remodeling and replacing just about everything in a home including the roof. When she's not working on a project, Leslie blogs about home improvement tips to pass on her knowledge to others.

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