How Long Does it Take to Reheat Soup in a Crockpot?

Whether you’re preparing soup for an office potluck or you simply have some leftovers that are begging to be enjoyed, how to properly reheat soup is a valid question. Crockpots may seem like the easiest option since you can turn them on and leave them to do their thing. But while crockpots are great for cooking delicious soups and stews, they aren’t an effective way to reheat your leftovers.

The USDA states that reheating leftovers of any kind in a crockpot is not recommended. Luckily, you can safely reheat soup in a microwave, on the stovetop, or in a conventional oven.

Unfortunately, crockpots may not get hot enough to destroy any bacteria that’s taken residence in your leftovers. In fact, the instructions provided with many crockpots and slow cookers explicitly advise against reheating food in them.

Why shouldn’t you reheat soup in a crockpot?

Soup that is left sitting out can become a breeding ground for bacteria that causes foodborne illness, which is why the FDA’s guidelines for reheating commercial foods are so strict.

Those guidelines vary depending on the situation, of course, but one thing is always essential for commercially-reheated food: it must be heated to a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit within two hours. Most crockpots simply can’t achieve this with big portions of cold food, including soup.

What if you’re just reheating soup for yourself?

There are plenty of safe ways to reheat soup without resorting to a crockpot. For example, reheating soup in a microwave is quick and easy! This method is as simple as:

  • Pouring your leftover soup into a microwave-safe bowl
  • Covering it loosely with a paper towel or Tupperware lid
  • Heating on high for 20-25 seconds, then longer as needed
  • Letting it cool before eating so you don’t burn yourself
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Are there microwave-free options to reheat soup?

If you don’t want to use a microwave, you can reheat soup in a conventional oven or on the stovetop. No matter how you choose to reheat, always take precautions against burning yourself and make sure the temperature of the soup reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

After reheating properly, your soup can be placed in a preheated slow cooker to keep it hot for serving at your office party or family gathering!

The takeaway

Crockpots are perfect for cooking hearty stews and healthy soups, but they aren’t recommended for reheating your leftovers. Always make sure your leftover soup is reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating or serving to others. 

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