I used to worry about how much electricity my crock pot uses. After all, it’s on for up to eight hours per day!
I wanted to know how much it was costing me in electricity, as well as the impact that energy consumption was having on the environment
In this guide, I’ll show you exactly how much electricity a crockpot uses so you can decide if it’s a piece of equipment you’d like to continue using to make meals, or whether you’d be better off using the oven.
How Many Watts Does A Crock Pot Use?
A standard 6-quart Crockpot slow cooker uses 180 watts of electricity. The smallest 1.5-quart Crockpots use just 80 watts whereas large 8-quart Crockpots use 320 watts.
When compared to a traditional electric oven that uses around 2000 watts, the amount of electricity used per hour by a slow cooker is significantly lower. Of course, ovens cook food much quicker. Further on in this guide, we’ll look deeper into which is the best method for energy saving.
Crock Pot Sizes
The smaller your crock pot, the less energy it uses. However, larger crock pots are more efficient overall – using a smaller amount of electricity for each ounce of food
Here are the average wattages of different sizes of crock pots:
- 1.5 Quarts – 80 Watts
- 2 Quarts – 120 Watts
- 3 Quarts – 150 Watts
- 4 Quarts – 170 Watts
- 5 Quarts – 170 Watts
- 6 Quarts – 180 Watts
- 7 Quarts – 250 Watts
- 8 Quarts – 320 Watts
These numbers were taken from analysis of every slow cooker in the Crockpot brand. There are other brands of slow cookers such as Instant Pot, Hamilton Beach, Ninja, Cuisinart, and GreenLife that may have different wattages.
To know the exact wattage of your slow cooker, check the manual or the label.
Crock Pot Settings
The setting that you select for your crock pot will have an impact on the amount of energy used while preparing your food. If you’ve already used a slow cooker, you already know that most crock pots have three settings – high, low, and warm.
When running on low, a slow cooker uses less energy. The average Crockpot will use between 150 and 210 watts of power on high, but only 75 to 150 watts on low, and much less than that when set to warm.
It may take eight hours to cook your food on the low setting, but only four hours on high. So the overall electricity usage will be very similar no matter which setting you use.
Does A Crock Pot Use A Lot Of Electricity?
Crock pots don’t use a lot of energy at all. Making a slow cooker meal for four people uses around 0.72 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. This costs around 10 cents, depending on how much you pay for electricity in your area.
Of course, the actual usage depends on the size of the slow cooker, the setting you’ve selected, and the amount of time you’re using it.
You can expect to use more electricity when using the largest slow cooker on the highest setting for an extended period, such as six to eight hours. Even so, a crock pot uses much less power than a traditional gas or electric oven, allowing you to conserve energy while preparing some of your favorite meals for the family.
How Much Electricity Does A Crock Pot Use in 8 Hours?
The average 6-quart crock pot on a low setting for eight hours would use around 0.72 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, costing around $0.10 based on the average price of electricity in the US.
On a high setting, it would use twice as much, costing $0.20. If your crock pot is very large, you can double that again for a maximum cost of around $0.40 for 8 hours.
How Much Does It Cost to Run A Crock Pot?
The exact cost of running a crock pot depends on how much you pay for electricity where you live.
The average residential electricity rate in the US in 2022 is $0.14 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). However, this can vary quite a lot, with residents of some states paying as much as $0.34 per kWh on average.
To know exactly how much you pay for electricity, you should check your electricity bill or your online account.
To work out how much an appliance costs per hour, you can use this formula:
Kilowatts X Cost of Energy
1.5 x $0.14 = $0.21 per hour
Crock Pot Electricity Cost Calculator
I’ve also created a calculator so that you can work out exactly how much it costs to run your electric fireplace based on the wattage, how much time you turn it on for, and how much you pay for electricity.
Is A Crock Pot Cheaper To Run Than An Electric Oven?
So, we know that crock pots use very little electricity. But let’s see how that compares to electric ovens.
Most electric ovens draw between 2,000 and 5,000 watts, with the average using 3,000 watts of power. This is significantly more than the average crockpot that uses 180 watts.
Let’s imagine that we’re cooking a stew. We have two options:
- Use crock pot set to high for 4 hours
- Use an oven set to 325°F for 2 hours
Both would be sufficient to cook the food.
The total kWh used to cook the recipe in the crock pot would be 0.72 kWh whereas cooking it in the oven would use 6 kWh of electricity.
On average, a crock pot costs just 10 cents per meal, whereas cooking the same meal in an electric oven would cost 80 cents, based on the average price of electricity in the United States.
While this doesn’t mean you can’t bake your food when you’re in the mood for it, it’s a good idea to use the slow cooker for any meals that take a particularly long time to cook.
Can You Run A Crock Pot Off A Generator?
As crock pots are low wattage, you can easily run a crock pot off a generator without overwhelming the system. So, whether you’re using a generator during a power outage or you want to use a crock pot in your RV, you can do so easily.
If you know that you’ll be without mains power for a while, using a crock pot is the best way to heat food without using much electricity as crock pots draw much less power than electric ovens, grills, or microwaves.
Can You Plug A Crock Pot Into A Car?
Crock pots are low wattage so you can easily plug one into your car or truck using a power inverter. Just plug the power inverter into your cigarette lighter and it will convert the 12V supply into 110V supply that can accommodate a standard plug to power your crock pot.
A 300-watt car power invertor will be more than enough to power a crock pot as well as charging your mobile phone or laptop at the same time.
If you don’t have a power invertor, then you could instead opt for a 12v portable slow cooker that plugs straight into the 12v socket in any car or truck. These are very popular with truck drivers who want to be able to eat healthy, home-cooked meals on the road but they’re also ideal for camping trips.
The Bottom Line
The average crock pot is energy-efficient with low enough wattage to use with a generator, or in an RV, truck, or car while you travel.
These clever cooking devices don’t use much electricity at all, ultimately helping you save money while preparing homemade meals. If you don’t already own a slow cooker, now is the perfect time to get one and use it more often instead of turning the oven on daily and wasting so much electricity.
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