Are you trying to figure out how you can turn a slow cooker off automatically?

You’re not alone! This is something many people wonder about daily when they’re trying to cook a nice meal for themselves and their families.

Kitchen appliances should make our lives easier, so having your slow cooker not have an obvious automatic shutdown option can be very inconvenient.

But don’t worry, you came to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find useful information regarding whether it’s possible to automatically turn your slow cooker off and some workarounds in case it’s not.

Keep reading to learn more about this!

Do Slow Cookers Have Automatic Shutdown Features?

The answer for most cases is no. Slow cookers are great at preparing delicious meals and keeping them warm for you while you do other stuff around the house, but other than that, they lack features in several areas.

Now, let’s not confuse setting a cooking timer with shutting the appliance off, as they’re 2 very different things. Your slow cooker can be programmed to stop cooking food after some time, but the appliance will remain on. This not only draws electricity unnecessarily but also increases the risk of overheating.

Since many recipes are designed to take up to 10 hours, slow cooker manufacturers probably didn’t consider it necessary to include an automatic shutdown feature, as they likely assumed people would be back home within that period.

But don’t worry, not all is lost. There are some alternatives you can try to get what you want.

Are There Any Workarounds?

Absolutely! While slow cookers do not have built-in automatic shutdown features, there are devices like plug timers that can help in this situation.

A plug timer being adjusted
Plug timers can make your life much easier when cooking for long periods

These are designed to cut off the electrical supply to anything that’s connected to them, thus ensuring that your appliance can rest once the cooking time is over. And the best part is that these nifty little devices are not only easy to use, but also very cheap. In fact, you can get a pretty decent model for about $10-12 on online marketplaces.

Some Things to Consider

Now that we’ve covered how using plug timers can help turn your slow cooker off automatically, I’d b remiss not to mention the disadvantages of the process.

Some people argue that you should avoid these devices at all costs, as not all of them are capable of handling the electric currents produced by heating elements (what creates the heat within your slow cooker). If you buy the wrong model, an overload could take place, which will trip your breakers and cut off the power supply to everything in your kitchen.

Electrical overload
Tripped breakers can cause a disaster when unattended

This means that your microwave, toaster, blender, and most importantly, your fridge and freezer will not be working until you reset the breakers. If this only happens for an hour or so, no big deal. But imagine the mess a non-working refrigerator can create in 6 or more hours.

You’ll have to throw away all your food and frozen goods at that point.

Moreover, some food safety administrations strongly advise against letting frozen meat thaw out in slow cookers, as it can lead to the reproduction of bacteria that you’ll later be eating with your meal. Ideally, you’ll want to thaw out your food outside the appliance for up to an hour, drain any excess fluids from it, and only then place it inside the pot to cook, even if you’re using a plug timer.


Figuring out how to turn a slow cooker off automatically shouldn’t be a challenging puzzle that takes a long time. But when your appliance does not come with this feature, you can quickly run out of options.

I hope this piece has helped you see that simple actions, like buying a plug timer can be a wonderful workaround to this situation. Just make sure you always test the device before leaving for work and avoid thawing out foods for long periods.

Thank you for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article proved to be interesting and provided you with the answers you wanted, please check out our other incredible resources below.

On our site, you can find all kinds of solutions for daily appliance problems, such as a slow cooker that keeps tripping your breakers, or a refrigerator that is always icing over.

Have a great day!