I bought a cookbook a few hours ago and I have just realized that I need a slow cooker. I don't have one and I do not have the money to buy one (I'm saving up money).

What is a good replacement for a slow cooker?

  • 1
    From Cooking.SE Slow cooking without a slow cooker
    – michaelpri
    Mar 5, 2015 at 3:45
  • I don't agree using the oven is good. It's hard to stir and check on food that way. Having it on the surface better emulates the crock pot. Mar 5, 2015 at 5:15
  • 1
    If you're going to all the trouble of buying cookbooks to improve your culinary skills, maybe you should start with basic cooking skills like using an oven. It's generally pretty simple. You either turn the knob to the desired temperature, or even better, if it's digital, set the digital reading to the exact temperature you want. Then you put in the food and wait for it to get hot!
    – Sterno
    Mar 9, 2015 at 16:09

5 Answers 5


Use the oven. It should have a thermostat so you can control the heat going to your pot. Also, with an oven you get even heat around the pot/vessel, rather than on a stove (bottom heat only). Just make sure the handles can handle the temperature you desire. Most pots have handles that can cope with slow-cook temps easily.

For outdoors, there are some cool things you can do with fire, but that's kind of a different topic.


We use a Dutch oven for this. A common camping cookware. You can use it with charcoal below it and on the lid like you would when camping, put it in a grill on low heat, or in the oven at a low heat to mimic a slow cooker. Or if you have one without legs, or you saw them off, you can use it on a stovetop. Very versatile piece of cookware that is worth having for many reasons. You can cook with them at high heat too, but that won't be like using a slow cooker if you do.

As a side note, thrift stores are a good place to find cheap slow cookers as well, maybe even a Dutch oven.


An electric stove would be difficult, but if you have a gas stove, turn it up high and stir while getting it hot, then back off to a very small flame - very small. This will work. Adjust the flame up or down until perfect. Stir often and be sure to scrape the bottom to avoid sticking.

To fully emulate a crock pot use a pan that evenly distributes heat.

I don't recommend leaving a pot on the stove unattended, even with a small flame, which you can do with a crock pot.

An electric stove can be used, but control is not as precise and may be prone to hot spots which will burn or cause sticking.


A tea candle with a pot raised over it will work. (Your stove may be a suitable place to put the pot and the candle.) You need a lid, and it won't be hot enough if your environment is really cold. In my area (ambient temperatures are warm), it normalizes a lot cooler than boiling, but too hot for sous-vide. Use two candles and a thermometer if you want it hot.


In my country (the Netherlands) the traditional method was an oil burner. The kind that use wicks like oil lamps but a few together or one wide one.

I could not find an English translation, so maybe they were less widely used, it might also be that I just used the wrong words to look for them. When they used to be used where you live you may find them in trift/charity shops, and in the houses of older relatives.

On my kitchen stove I can use a heavy pan with a lid and the lowest setting of the smallest burner.
I also have en electric slow cooker, which I use at times.
Depending on how you use your 'slow cooker' you could use the oven, I usually add the things cold and let it warm slowly. Next I only look in to see there is enough liquid in it. That you can easily do in an oven.

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