Power Inverter for Crock Pot: Complete Guide to Slow Cooking Off-Grid

By:Michael Johns

inverter to run crock pot

I love my crock pot slow cooker.

You can throw everything in, leave it all day, and arrive back to a hot home-cooked meal.

Plus, it tastes even better after an off-grid adventure.

The beauty of using a power inverter to run a crock pot is that you can make your favorite meal anywhere and time. 

All you need is the slow cooker, a battery, and an inverter.

That means it’s easy to do in an RV, boat, truck, cabin, or even when camping!

That’s why I’ve put together this in-depth guide to using an inverter with a crock pot including what size inverter, the required power, best products, and my top tips.

Everything is written from my own experience of slow cookers and inverters to help you get going with your off-grid culinary journey.

So let’s tuck in.

What Size Inverter for Crock Pot?

You will need at least a 300 watt inverter to run a crock pot correctly.

The average slow cooker uses between 50 – 250 watts depending on the size and cooking settings.

This means you need an inverter with a bigger wattage capacity than the crock pot requires. It is best practice to use an inverter with 20% more power than you need. This is because inverters are not 100% efficient so you need to account for this. For example, if you want to draw 100 watts you will need a 120 watt inverter.

You might even consider going for a 500W, 1000W, or 1500W inverter which will give you the ability to run other appliances at the same time such as a fridge, fan, and lighting. 

Before selecting your inverter take the time to find out how many watts your cooking equipment uses.

How Many Watts Does My Crock Pot Use?

Most crock pots will use 50 – 70 watts when cooking on low and 150 – 200 watts when cooking on high.

inverter for slow cooker
You’ll use much less power on the low setting

Of course, this varies from machine to machine. You can easily find the exact power of your equipment by checking the technical specifications or in the user manual. If you don’t have these you can contact the manufacturer.

Another easy watt is to use a wattmeter which will give you an instant live power reading. If you’re using an inverter a wattmeter is great to quickly measure the power requirement of any AC appliance. 

If you want to run multiple appliances then you just need to add together the wattage of all your appliances for total power requirements.

Do I Need Pure Sine Wave for a Crock Pot?

To run a modern crock put with electronic temperature controls you will need a pure sine wave inverter. If you try to run an electronic controlled slow cooker with modified sine wave it is likely to cause damage.

That being said, if you have an old crock pot with a mechanical thermostat you can use a modified sine wave inverter with no problems.

In my experience, it’s best to have pure sine wave inverters as they replicate the electricity supplied by the mains. Then there’s no limitation on what electronics you can power.

How Long Will an Inverter Run a Slow Cooker?

The length of time your inverter will run depends upon your battery size and the amount of energy your cooker uses.

It can be a little complicated to work out so I’ve created this formula to make it easy:

(10 x battery capacity in Ah) divided by watts drawn = runtime

So if you have a 100Ah battery capacity and a crock pot drawing 70 watts it would run for 14 hours.

(10 x 100Ah) ÷ 70 = 14.2 hours.

Battery Type and Discharge Capacity

You should be aware that traditional lead-acid batteries should not be discharged by more than 50% as it will cause them damage. You should treat this as if they have half the energy capacity. So a 100Ah is actually 50Ah.

To avoid this problem you can use lithium deep cycle batteries which can use 100% of the stored energy and faster recharging. It’s the same type of battery as you get in a smartphone!

Best Power Inverters for Crock Pots

Now you understand the requirements to use a slow cooker from an inverter you can more easily choose a suitable product. Below I have selected the best power inverters for crock pots to help you decide. All of them have at least 500 watts of pure sine wave output to ensure you will have no problems when cooking.

Can I Use a Car Power Inverter with a Crock Pot

Yes, it is possible to use a car power inverter with a crock pot. Although, I would say it is rather dangerous to cook while driving your vehicle.

You might want to do this when camping or during a power outage. By hooking your inverter up to your car battery you can supply AC power to your slow cooker. Just be sure to keep the vehicle engine running while using the inverter. Without the engine running your starter battery will quickly be depleted causing damage and leaving you stranded.

Tips for Using a Crock Pot with an Inverter

Here’s some of my top tips for using slow cookers with inverters safely and more efficiently.

  • Ensure your inverter has 20% more power than your crock pot
  • Use a pure sine wave inverter to avoid any problems and increase efficiency
  • Make sure you have enough battery energy to cook for at least 5 hours
  • Choose an energy efficient crock pot to conserve electricity
  • Keep crock pot on low to save energy 
  • Try not to drive while using your crock pot
  • If you do drive an RV while cooking make sure your cooker can’t spill or fall. Some people do this by placing it in the sink!

Final Words on Power Inverters for Crock Pots

Running your crock pot from a power inverter is an awesome way to cook when off-grid.

Adventures in vans, RVs, boats, or cabins can mean busy days where you don’t have time to cook hearty meals.

But running your slow cooker solves this problem.

Happily, they are pretty low powered appliances that are usually able to run on less than 100 watts on low.

This means you don’t need a huge inverter to start cooking. 

In my opinion, it is still best to get at least a 500 watt pure sine wave inverter for a crock pot so you have plenty of capacity and can run other electronics. Don’t be afraid to even go to 1000 or 1500W inverter sizes for excellent performance.

Thanks for reading and happy cookin’