Slow cookers might take considerably longer to cook meals than regular ovens do, but the fact their ratings can be as low as 75W on a low setting means they use much less electricity per hour than an oven does.
The average slow cooker uses between roughly 0.72 and 1.44 kWh to cook a meal over the course of four to eight hours. Based on the current average energy price of 27 pence per kWh for the Energy Price Cap (EPC) period from 1 October to 31 December 2023, this works out at a cost of between 19.4p and 38.9p per meal.
Factors That Affect the Electricity Usage of Slow Cookers
Whilst the average slow cooker will cost around 20-40 pence to cook a single meal, there are multiple factors that affect the average electricity usage of slow cookers in the UK, that will ultimately determine how much the appliance will cost you in electricity costs.
Length of cooking time
The number of hours a slow cooker is used for contributes to the total amount of electricity it will use. The longer you have your slow cooker on, the more electricity it will use.
Slow cookers come in different sizes. The size of the slow cooker also contributes to its average electricity usage, with smaller slow cookers using less electricity.
Type of dish cooked
Different recipes require different settings. Some recipes will need cooking on low, whilst others will need cooking on high. Recipes cooked on low will use less electricity per hour compared to those that are cooked on high.
Average Running Cost of a Slow Cooker in the UK
There are a wide range of factors that will influence how much it costs to run a slow cooker.
The exact amount of electricity that is used by any slow cooker on the low and high modes varies depending on the appliance and how it is being used, but on average, it is between 75 and 150 watts on low, and 150 and 210 watts on high.
If we take a value in the middle of 110 watts on low and 180 watts on high, we get the following costs:
- 4 hours on a high setting = 0.18 kWh x 4 = 0.72 kWh of energy used = 19.4p
- 8 hours on low setting = 0.11 kWh x 8 = 0.88 kWh of energy used = 23.8p
- 8 hours on a high setting = 0.18 kWh x 8 = 1.44 kWh of energy used = 38.9p
How accurate are these estimates?
Please note, our figures are based on the slow cooker running at the maximum energy usage for the entire cooking period.
It is worth remembering that most of the energy usage will come when the slow cooker is heating up, and it will use much less when it is just maintaining the cooking temperature.
This means your slow cooker will most likely use less energy than our estimated averages; these are simply a guideline and should be considered a maximum.
To find out exactly how much electricity your slow cooker is using, you could use an electricity usage monitor like this Mecheer Power Meter, which can accurately measure the power usage of appliances.
Chef’s Pick is your guide to the best kitchen equipment and appliances in the UK.
We help you understand the confusing world of cookers, ovens and cookware so you can get the most out of your kitchen.