Slow cookers might take considerably longer to cook meals than regular ovens do, but the fact their ratings can be as low as 200W means they use much less electricity per hour than an oven does.
In fact, according to USwitch, the average slow cooker uses approximately 1.3 kWh of electricity to cook a single meal. Based on the current average energy price of 28 pence per kWh, this works out at 36.4 pence per meal.
Factors That Affect the Electricity Usage of Slow Cookers
Whilst the average slow cooker will cost around 36.4 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
We estimate that the electricity usage and running costs of a slow cooker are as follows:
- 4 hours on a high setting = 0.87kWh of energy used = 24.35p
- 8 hours on low setting = 1.2kWh of energy used = 33.6p
- 8 hours on a high setting = 1.68kWh of energy used = 48.7p
There are a wide range of factors that will influence how much it costs to run a slow cooker.
To arrive at our estimate, we have used the Crockpot CSC026 5 L slow cooker as a guide, which has a choice of low and high modes with a maximum rating of 220W.
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.
These averages mean that if you are cooking a meal for eight hours on low at 150 watts, you can expect to use a maximum of 1.2kWh, which, at the current energy prices, works out to be 33.6 pence.
If you cook for eight hours on high at 210 watts, you can expect to use a maximum of 1.68kWh, working out to approximately 48.7 pence to cook the meal.
Beef stew example
As a real-world example, let us consider the family favourite that is a beef stew. If you were to cook this recipe on high, it would take 4 hours, working out to cost a maximum of 24.35 pence.
If you were to cook this recipe on low, it would take between 8 and 10 hours, working out as a maximum of 33.6 to 42 pence.
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.
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