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Slow Cookers vs. Dutch Ovens: How to Convert Slow Cooker Recipes

Updated on February 4, 2014
Yummy Mongolian Beef Made in a Slow Cooker
Yummy Mongolian Beef Made in a Slow Cooker | Source
A classic Slow Cooker
A classic Slow Cooker | Source

The Slow Cooker Revolution: Are Slow Cookers Really Superior?

It seems that no one can stop raving about the wonders of slow cookers these days, and sites like Pinterest are overflowing with slow cooker recipes. I feel like I am the only newlywed who did not register for a slow cooker, and does not own one, much to many people's surprise. I do own a gorgeous Le Creuset dutch oven though, thanks to my lovely Aunt, and let me tell you...I am in love with it!

I understand the convenience aspect of a slow cooker--being able to leave something on all day and come home to a yummy meal, all ready, but I just don't feel entirely comfortable with the idea. Or maybe it is that there is a small part of me that has luddite tendencies, and I feel so satisfied with myself when I pull my dutch oven out of the oven after a few hours. Also, sometimes I don't have all day to let a recipe cook, and would much rather pop it into the oven and have it be done in two hours.

Both slow cookers and recipes can be used to cook incredible stews, soups, or pot roasts, all of which I have a weakness for. That being said, I don't find myself craving my favorite winter foods down here in Florida as much as I did during the colder and much colder winters of Virginia and Massachusetts. I have been trying to work one or two heartier recipes in per week since I have been down here, and that has been plenty. When I am looking for a heartier recipe though, I often stumble upon the issue of finding most of the recipes I am drawn to are adapted to a slow cooker.

Dutch Oven

Classic Dutch Oven
Classic Dutch Oven | Source

Can Slow Cooker Recipes Be Adapted to a Dutch Oven? Yes!

Well, for those of you who are in the dutch oven camp with me, I have great news! It is SO easy to convert slow cooker recipes so that they work in a dutch oven. Here is the conversion that I use:

When cooking on LOW in a slow cooker---> 1/4 of the time in a Dutch at 325 degrees

When cooking on HIGH in a slow cooker --> 1/2 of the time in a Dutch at 325 degrees

All this being said, I am sure there may be a time in my life when the slow cooker is too convenient to ignore, but so far I havn't reached that point.

What about you? Which do you prefer? Any tips? Feel free to use the comments section and join the conversation!

Slow Cooker to Dutch Oven Conversion

Slow Cooker
Dutch Oven
Heat Setting: Low
Temp: 325 for 1/4 of the time called for in Slow Cooker Recipe
Heat Setting: High
Temp: 325 for 1/2 the time called for in the Slow Cooker recipe


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      Kat 22 months ago

      I look forward to trying your advice out! I have to say that I have a slow cooker and two dutch ovens. I am a stay at home mom that also homeschools my children. I love the convenience of the slow cooker because I can put a meal in it and then let it go. I am usually busy with teaching my kids or working around the house. However, with that being said, I also love my dutch oven for certain meals as well! My husband just recently accepted orders to the UK and I now find myself unable to use my slow cooker until I can get a transformer to power it! I have so many of our favorite slow cooker recipes that I would like to make and only my dutch ovens to do it in! Thank you for the advice and I look forward to trying your tips this weekend!