Cuisinart slow cookers work by producing a low level of heat over a long period of time. The heat is produced using an electrical current sent through a series of metal coils running around the interior of the pot.
Most Cuisinart slow cookers are programmable and offer a few settings. Typically, slow cookers have both a low and high setting. The difference between these two settings is the amount of heat produced through the interior metal coils. This process is an upgrade from traditional slow-cooker technology. In the early models, this device featured temperature dials at the base of the machine. Once those dials were set, the machine automatically cycled electricity off and on to maintain the specified temperature. This model has fallen out of favor, and most companies, including Cuisinart, make slow cookers with programmable settings and low/high options.
The programmable settings include indicating the desired cooking time. The slow cooker turns the heat on, at either the low or high setting, for the user-specified time, and then switches to the warm setting. This warm setting allows the food to be kept at a desired temperature without further cooking the food. This is accomplished by reducing the amount of output the internal coils produce.