How long you can leave lamb in a slow cooker

Slow cooked lamb is so easy but so luxurious. Place your lamb in a slow cooker with a handful of other ingredients, and a few hours later come back to a succulent meal with no effort at all. But how long can you keep lamb in the slow cooker before it turns dry or stringy?

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How long can you leave lamb in a slow cooker?

It takes a long time to overcook most lamb cuts in the slow cooker. Cuts like the shoulder, shanks and forequarter are much more forgiving than a leg of lamb, and they can stay in the slow cooker for a couple more hours than the recommended cooking time.
However, if you leave lamb in the slow cooker for too long it will become stringy and dry. Although it’s still edible, it won't have the same tender juiciness that you want from slow-cooked lamb. It’s best to follow the recipe (there are lots of slow cooker recipes and lamb recipes below), but these times are a rough guide to how long you can leave your lamb in the slow cooker:
  • High: 4-5 hours
  • Medium: 5-8 hours
  • Low: 8-12 hours

Note: Most slow cookers only have a high or low setting.

If you find that your lamb is still tough after these times, test the meat in 30 minute intervals until it's fork tender. 

Slow cooker recipes

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Get the recipe: Sri Lankan Lamb Shank Curry

Lamb shanks are more forgiving in a slow cooker, they can stay in for longer than the recommended time while still remaining moist and tender.

Get the recipe: Indian Curried Sausages

These slow cooked sausages are so easy and tasty, there's a reason that they're an old Aussie classic.

Get the recipe: Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

This lamb is cooked in a classic Greek marinade and makes a stunning Sunday roast.