Crockpots have been synonymous with slow cookers, but the name is a registered trademark of Sunbeam Products Inc. Also, Sunbeam’s crock pots are now available as multi-cookers that can pressure cook. So, slow cooking aside, you may wonder if you can boil water in a crockpot.
You can boil water in a crockpot if you have sufficient time because a slow cooker will take longer to reach up to the 212°F (100°C) boiling point. However, a Sunbeam’s Crockpot hits a max simmering point of 209°F (98.3°C), so you won’t get a rolling boil.
Scientifically, you need to heat water at a constant temperature of 212°F (100°C) for a rolling boil. A crockpot and most slow cookers don’t attain that temperature given the max simmering point setting. Read on to know how you cannot and when you can boil water in a crockpot.
How Does a Crock Pot Boil Water?
A crockpot takes a minimum of 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the maximum temperature at its high heat setting, or around 4 hours on low mode. Thus, a crockpot will get water to a simmering boil or rapid simmer at its preset maximum temperature.
Sunbeam’s Crockpot has a preset simmering point of 209°F (98.3°C). This temperature is the maximum a crockpot will generate and maintain, irrespective of the high and low heat settings.
The only difference is that a crockpot will reach the simmering point sooner on high heat mode.
Some slow cookers can generate more heat than the 209°F (98.3°C) simmering point of a crockpot or the 212°F (100°C) boiling point of water. Slow cookers of a few brands other than Sunbeam may reach temperatures of up to 300°F (148.9°C) in the high heat mode.
However, the higher heating capacities of any brand or model will not make any difference because the temperature inside a slow cooker cannot increase beyond 212°F (100°C) until the heat energy converts all the water into vapor or steam, and it can escape the closed vessel.
Unlike traditional cooking vessels and methods, a crockpot does not allow water to evaporate, nor does the steam escape the enclosure. The steam condenses on the lid’s interior surface.
You may have noticed droplets of water dripping back to the food you cook in a crockpot.
Thus, the only significant criterion in the context of boiling water in a crockpot is the time it will take at its low and high heat modes. Also, you may want to know if you can speed up or affect any changes in the simmering or boiling water in a crockpot using any method or trick.
How Long Does a Crock-Pot Take To Boil Water?
A crockpot can take up to 2 hours to boil water in high heat mode. This time could be much longer, generally up to 4 hours, if you choose the low heat setting of a crockpot. Also, pressure cooking or multi-cook modes of crockpots don’t facilitate faster boiling.
It is necessary to highlight that these durations are for a crockpot to reach 212°F (100°C) on the two heating modes. You need to wait longer for the entire quantity of water to start boiling.
Also, the rolling boil effect will not happen if your crockpot maxes out a few degrees lower.
Generally, the average cooking time in a crockpot or slow cooker is 1 hour & 30 minutes to 2 hours & 30 minutes in high heat mode, which is equivalent to 15 to 30 minutes on a stovetop or in an oven. This cooking time is 4 to 6 hours in the low heat mode of a crockpot or slow cooker.
Thus, if you can boil a specific quantity of water on a stovetop in 15 minutes, it will take almost 90 minutes in a crockpot set at high heat and around 240 minutes or 4 hours in low heat mode.
No slow cooker is designed or engineered to attain its maximum temperature in a few minutes.
When To Boil Water in a Crock-Pot
Modern crock pots and slow cookers have timers, thus enabling you to sync the water boiling time required by the appliance with your schedule. This approach neutralizes the long time a crockpot takes to boil water.
Also, some slow cookers have compatible apps.
A stove or oven is the default option if you need to boil water quickly. However, a crockpot or app-enabled slow cooker empowers you to remotely turn the appliance on so that you will have the water boiling at a rapid simmer at around the precise time you need it for any purpose.
The crockpot has a variant compatible with Belkin’s WeMo.
Check out the Crock-Pot 6-Quart WeMo-Enabled Smart Slow Cooker on Amazon.com. Such stainless steel crock pots and other slow cookers with remote access through Wi-Fi are convenient if you want to time the water boiling.
Also, you may not need a rolling boil all the time. Sometimes, you may need rapidly simmering or moderately boiling water for a purpose. A crockpot or slow cooker can do this just fine, as long as you can time it right.
The high and low heat modes with varying durations of boiling water are an unavoidable reality with crock pots and almost every other slow cooker out there.
Can You Boil Water Faster in a Crock Pot’s Pressure Cooking Mode?
Contrary to widespread perception, you cannot boil water faster in a crockpot’s pressure cooking mode. But it can increase the water’s boiling point to 250°F (121°C) at a net 30 psi (2 bars or 207 kPa) inside the enclosure of the appliance.
Crockpots with a pressure cooking mode can generate up to 15 psi (1 bar or 103 kPa).
The atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 psi (1 bar or 101 kPa). The net pressure raising the boiling point doesn’t make crock pots more efficient than the heat modes. Also, a crockpot may not hit the 250 °F (121 °C) needed for a rolling boil at up to 30 psi (2 bars or 207 kPa).
The purpose of a crock pot’s pressure cooking mode is to generate steam to cook faster.
Also, the increased boiling point of water prevents it from entirely converting to steam while the foods can be cooked at temperatures around or higher than 212°F (100°C). Water begins to vaporize at a few degrees lower than its boiling point, so this steam is used to create the net pressure.
However, the water does not boil as it would in a traditional pot, generating large volumes of steam or vapor. Thus, you will get hot water with a crock pot’s pressure cooking mode and some steam, but the purpose of boiling has not been achieved the way it should be, scientifically or practically.
Like pressure, adding salt also increases the boiling point of water, but the difference is almost unnoticeable. Hence, any such mantra is not actually effective in speeding up the boiling time of water in a crockpot, irrespective of the heat mode you choose on your slow cooker.
Also, crock pots take several minutes to generate the pressure required for cooking, even in the high heat mode. The appliances are not intended to boil water quickly or thoroughly.
Still, you can use a crockpot to heat water to the appliance’s simmering point or max temp.
What Are the Best Ways To Boil Water?
A traditional pot or pan on a conventional stovetop and an electric kettle are among the easiest and best ways to boil water. An induction cooktop is even more efficient, as most contemporary models can boil around 0.2 gals (0.75 L) of water in less than 5 minutes.
Schott’s research labs compared a gas range, an electric coil stovetop, and an induction cooktop to test how long each took to boil the same quantity of water. The induction cooktop took 4 minutes, the electric coil stove took 7 minutes, and the gas range took 8 minutes.
To put this comparison in perspective, a crockpot will not get anywhere close to boiling any quantity of water in 4, 7, or 8 minutes. In most slow cookers, water will not even be warm in 10 minutes.
The temperature increase is stringently gradual, and this is also the food danger zone.