What cannot be cooked in a slow cooker?

Slow cookers are a great way to make delicious, flavorful meals with minimal effort. But not all foods can be cooked in the slow cooker! Certain dishes and ingredients are better suited for higher heat, while others don’t respond well to long cooking times. Here, we’ll look at what shouldn’t be cooked in your slow cooker as well as some tips on how to make sure your food is cooked properly and remains safe.

Fried Foods

Frying foods requires a hot, fast heat that can’t be produced in a slow cooker. The low and slow nature of the appliance means fried dishes won’t come out crispy or crunchy like they would if you’d made them on the stovetop. Furthermore, the moist environment of a slow cooker can make fried foods soggy instead of nice and crispy.


Cheese doesn’t respond well to long cooking times because it gets rubbery and stringy – not exactly the texture you want in your dish! For dishes with cheese, it’s best to add the cheese at the very end or, if you must add it earlier, cook the dish on a higher setting.

Lean, tender cuts of meat

If you’re cooking lean, tender cuts of meat, such as chicken breasts or fish fillets, it’s best to cook them on the stovetop or in the oven. Slow cookers can make these types of meats dry and tough because of their low and slow heat. If you must use a slow cooker for these cuts of meat, opt for recipes with lots of liquid and a shorter cook time.

Raw dough

It’s also a bad idea to put raw dough in the slow cooker as it won’t rise properly and will become gooey instead of light and fluffy. For breads, muffins, cakes, etc., it’s best to bake them in an oven or on the stovetop.

Delicate vegetables

Vegetables, such as spinach, peas, and zucchini can quickly become mushy when cooked in a slow cooker. For dishes that call for these types of vegetables, it’s best to add them at the very end so they don’t turn to mush. Additionally, you can also blanch the vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker so they remain tender yet still have a bit of crunch.

Milk and cream

Milk and cream can curdle when cooked in a slow cooker because of the low heat. If you are making dishes that call for these dairy products, it’s best to add them at the very end – just before serving – so they don’t break down and ruin your creation.


Seafood should never be cooked in a slow cooker due to its delicate nature. The low and slow heat of the appliance can make seafood rubbery, which ruins its texture and taste. If you’re making a seafood dish, opt for the stovetop or oven instead.

Frozen food

Frozen food should never be cooked in a slow cooker because of the risk of food poisoning. The low heat means that the food won’t reach a high enough temperature to kill bacteria quickly, putting you and your family at risk. It’s also important to make sure all ingredients are thawed before adding them to the slow cooker so they cook evenly and safely.


Cooking with a slow cooker is convenient and can make delicious meals, but not all foods should be cooked in one. By avoiding the ingredients listed above, you can ensure your meal is safe and tasty every time! To get the most out of your slow cooker meals, it’s important to understand which ingredients will respond best to its low and slow heat. With a bit of knowledge, you can make amazing meals without any stress!