I’ve just bought myself a slow cooker and want to start making some different dishes. As I’m running a lot and want to stock up on carbohydrates I’m eating a lot of potatoes and pasta. I’m new to using a slow cooker, and so was wondering how long do potatoes take in a slow cooker? So I did some research into this.
So how long do potatoes take in a slow cooker? Making a large baked potato should take 4 to 5 hours to cook on a high heat, and 8 to 10 hours to cook an a low heat. Smaller or chopped up potatoes should take 2 to 3 hours on high heat and 4 to 5 hours on low heat. The answer is dependent on size of potatoes and power of your slow cooker.
So I’ve answered the question right? But now I want to know a little more about how exactly to go about making potatoes in the slow cooker. I experimented and tried out making both larger baked potatoes, and smaller potatoes as part of a bigger recipe.
If you want to find out how this went, and how you can make the perfect potatoes in a slow cooker then read on.
How long do potatoes take in a slow cooker?
Like I stated in the above answer, this really depends on two factors:
- The size of your potatoes
- How powerful your slow cooker is
Obviously the bigger the potato, the longer it is going to take to cook. I like making large baked potatoes in the slow cooker, which will obviously take a lot longer to cook. Making smaller baby potatoes, or potatoes chopped up ready to mash will take a lot less time.
How powerful your slow cooker is will also have a bearing on time. I talk in this article about cooking on a high heat or low heat, but this is dependent on the overall power of your slow cooker, and the amount of heat settings it has.
The slow cooker I am currently using is the Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker Crock with Touch Pad. I really love this as it has a touch screen display, three heat settings, and when the timer is up it switches to warm automatically to keep your food just at the right temperature. You can see some other popular slow cookers here.
Cooking larger ‘baked’ potatoes
I loved baked potatoes, but it’s such a pain waiting for these to cook when I get home from work. I wanted to get the best out of my slow cooker by finding the best way to make baked potatoes while I’m out of the house.
I’ve tried this several times now, and find that my advice of cooking these for 4 to 5 hours on a high heat, and 8 to 10 hours on a low heat is solid. Hear is exactly how I have been doing this:
- Before placing your potatoes in the slow cooker, you need to wash them and dry with a paper towel.
- Next you will want to prick the potatoes with a fork. This is an essential step to allow the steam to be released as they slowly cook.
- To give your potato skins that nice crisp texture you will want to cover them with oil. I usually just use a simple olive oil.
- Just before placing my potatoes in the slow cooker you should wrap them individually in tin foil. I find this really aids the cooking process.
- Now you are ready to cook your potatoes. Simply place them in the slow cooker and make sure the lid is firmly on. Cook for 4 to 5 hours on a high heat, or 8 to 10 hours on a low heat.
- Your potatoes should now be ready to eat. Unwrap them and cut them open.
- Serve your delicious slow-cooker made baked potatoes with anything you like!
Cooking smaller or chopped up potatoes
Making smaller potatoes similar to boiling potatoes is also ridiculously easy in the slow cooker, and to me they taste so much better! Since I bought my slow cooker I have literally only made potatoes this way.
As these potatoes are much smaller than the ones I’ve been using for baked potatoes, the cooking time is much shorter. As I said above smaller or chopped up potatoes should take 2 to 3 hours on high heat and 4 to 5 hours on low heat. Here’s how I’ve been doing this using my slow cooker:
- First give your potatoes a rinse as you are going to cook them with the skin on. If you prefer without skin you can peel them.
- Chop potatoes in half, or leave as they are if they are small enough.
- Give the inside of your slow cooker a light coating with a non-stick spray.
- Toss your potatoes in a small amount of oil (I usually use olive oil).
- Add any seasoning you want to potatoes. (Sometimes I just go with salt and pepper, or sometimes with paprika).
- Place potatoes in slow cooker and cover.
- Cook for 2 to 3 hours on high heat or 4 to 5 hours on low heat.
- Remove and serve with your favorite dishes. I sometimes just like to eat these on their own with some butter and finely grated cheese.
Making Mashed Potatoes Using A Slow Cooker
As well as making baked potatoes and smaller boiled style potatoes, you can easily use your slow cooker to make mashed potatoes. I have done this a few times, and the results have been great. It is very simple to do this, and I find that the potatoes are perfect for mashing once they have been in the slow cooker. Here’s how you should do this:
- Peel potatoes as you are going to mash them directly in the slow cooker.
- Chop potatoes in half or quarters, depending on the size.
- Give the inside of your slow cooker a very light coating with a non-stick spray.
- Add potatoes to slow cooker along with a small amount of water (50-60ml), butter 50-60g), and some salt and pepper for seasoning.
- Cook for 2 to 3 hours on high heat or 4 to 5 hours on low heat.
- Mash the potatoes and add a small amount of milk to get a really creamy consistency.
- Serve or keep on a low heat until you are ready to serve.
Other ideas for cooking with potatoes in the slow cooker
Some of the ideas below I have tried, and some are on my slow cooker potato to do list. If you try any of these, be sure to leave a comment below about how these went.
- Broccoli and Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- Bacon and Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Parmesan Baby Potatoes
- Parmesan Potato Wedges
- Spicy Sausage Baby Potatoes
- Roasted Cabbage and Baby Potatoes
- Slow cooked Chicken and Baby Potatoes
Do you boil potatoes before putting them in a slow cooker? There is absolutely no need to boil potatoes before you put them in the slow cooker. Doing this would cut down on cooking time, but it defeats the purpose of using a slow cooker. Boiling them and then slow cooking them would more than likely over cook them, so I never do this.
Is liquid necessary in a slow cooker? Slow cookers do not require liquid to operate. For cooking potatoes there is no need to add any liquid, other than non-stick spray to coat the inside. Water does not boil off in a slow cooker like it does in a pan, and cooking meat in a slow cooker full of water can actually dry out the meat.
Can you put aluminium foil in a slow cooker? It is perfectly safe to use foil in your slow cooker. I use it to wrap large potatoes to make baked potatoes. Lining the inside of your slow cooker with this can aid cooking and makes cleaning easier.