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How long can soup simmer in crockpot?

Slow cooking soups is an excellent way to extract all the flavors of the ingredients and get a perfectly cooked dish. Many people find slow cooking convenient and efficient, especially for busy households. But the question many people ask is how long can soup simmer in a crockpot? In this post, we’ll be exploring how long you can leave your soup cooking in a crockpot and tips to get the best outcome.

How Long Can Soup Cook in a Crockpot?

In general, soups can simmer in a crockpot from four to eight hours, depending on the recipe and ingredients. However, soup can safely cook in a crockpot for up to 12 hours on the low setting, while the high setting should only be used for four or six-hour recipes.

Even though the crockpot’s low heat setting takes longer, it’s still the perfect choice because it creates a rich, flavorful soup without burning the ingredients. Additionally, a long cooking time helps the ingredients slowly break down, resulting in a creamy and smooth soup consistency.

Safety Tips When Cooking Soup in a Crockpot

It’s essential to follow some safety precautions when slow cooking soup in a crockpot so that the soup doesn’t pose a health hazard. Here are some tips to help you cook soup safely in a Crockpot:

Use Fresh Ingredients

When making soup, use raw, fresh ingredients. Do not use frozen vegetables, meat, or any food that has been in your freezer for an extended period. Preparing frozen ingredients can be challenging since they have a different texture and water content, resulting in inconsistent cooking.

Place Ingredients in the Correct Order

When cooking soup in a crockpot, the order of adding ingredients is critical. For instance, tough cuts of meat should be placed at the bottom of the crockpot where the heat is most steady. After that, you can add vegetables, potatoes, or any softer ingredients. This will help prevent uneven cooking and ensure that all your ingredients are cooked well.

Do Not Overfill the Crockpot

Make sure you leave at least an inch of space between the top of your ingredients and the crockpot’s rim. This space is essential for the steam to escape and insufficient space could lead to food cooking unevenly or boiling over.

Use the Right Amount of Liquid

The liquid amount you add when slow cooking soup in a crockpot should be adequate, neither too much nor too little. Of course, this depends on your recipe, but in general, make sure to add enough liquid to cover all the ingredients. If there is not enough liquid, the soup will burn and stick, while excess liquid can create a soup that’s too watery.

Do Not Open the Crockpot Lid Frequently

Avoid opening the crockpot lid frequently, especially during the first hour or two of cooking. Doing so will let out heat and moisture, and disrupt the cooking process, which may result in longer cooking times or unevenly cooked soup.


Slow cooking soups in a crockpot is an excellent way to achieve delicious and healthy meals with minimal effort. Soups usually require different cooking times depending on the recipe, ingredients, and how much you’d like the flavors to develop. Whether you’re cooking meat or vegetables, it’s crucial to follow these safety tips as this will ensure that your soup is safe to eat and tastes delicious. So the next time you’re considering cooking soup in a crockpot, keep in mind the time it takes, the safety precautions, and enjoy a delicious soup for your next meal.


Is it safe to simmer soup overnight?

The answer to whether it is safe to simmer soup overnight is not a straightforward one. However, according to Harold McGee, an expert consulted by The New York Times, simmering soup overnight may not necessarily lead to foodborne illnesses. When simmering soup or stock overnight, the general concern is the presence of bacteria that could grow and multiply in the food, making it unsafe for consumption.

Typically, bacteria thrive at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. If food is left in this temperature range for more than two hours, it can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. However, if the soup or stock is brought to a simmer before being left to cook slowly overnight, it is usually heated enough to kill any bacteria beforehand. It can then be left out overnight, cooled, and stored appropriately.

As McGee states, “soup or stock left to cool overnight, then reboiled for 10 minutes and properly refrigerated in the morning is still safe to eat because it isn’t cool long enough for the bacteria to germinate and reproduce up to dangerous levels.” To further ensure the safety of your soup, you can limit the ingredients added, especially those prone to spoilage at room temperature, such as milk and cream.

Another essential aspect to consider is the quality of ingredients used in the soup or stock preparation. Meat and vegetables that are not fresh and past their prime can contain higher levels of bacteria. It is essential to use fresh, organic meat and vegetables to reduce the risk of food contamination.

Simmering soup or stock overnight can be safe if the starting ingredients are fresh, and the soup or stock is heated to a simmer before being left to cook overnight. Always make sure to store leftovers properly and reheat them thoroughly before consuming as this will ensure that bacteria are eliminated.

What is the longest you can slow cook something?

Slow cooking is a method of cooking that involves using a slow cooker to cook food at a low temperature over a long period of time. This method of cooking is an excellent way to prepare meals, especially for individuals who have limited time to cook or who prefer to let their food cook while they go about their day.

When it comes to the question of how long you can slow cook something, the answer is generally around 12 hours. Slow cookers are designed to operate safely for extended periods of time, and most models come with a timer that automatically shuts off the heat after a specified period.

However, it’s important to note that not all slow cookers are created equal, and some models may have different temperature ranges and maximum operating times. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your slow cooker to ensure safe and proper use.

In addition, certain foods may require less or more cooking time than others, so it’s essential to know how to adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent overcooking or undercooking. Meaning, it’s always a good idea to consult a cookbook or online recipe for the specific food item you’re cooking to determine the optimal cooking time.

Finally, it’s crucial to practice safety when using a slow cooker. Always use hot pads or oven mitts when handling the slow cooker, and never leave it unattended. It’s also recommended to avoid placing the slow cooker on a surface that is susceptible to heat damage or to keep it away from flammable materials.

Slow cooking is an excellent and convenient method for preparing a variety of meals, and when used safely and appropriately, it can save time and still provide a delicious meal.