We have a slow cooker at home that rarely gets used. we'd actually like to use it, but we have what may be a silly question.
Do people actually leave it on cooking all day while away at work? We've been reluctant to do so, and therefore have only (rarely) used it when we have been home all day
Yes, I leave it on while I'm gone all day. That's the beauty of the crockpot. It just doesn't get that hot. I suppose there's a risk if you have faulty wiring, but I leave ceiling fans on all day while I'm gone, and some lamps, so I don't see a difference.
Keep in mind a lot of the newer crock pots, especially those with electronics or a key pad temp selector switch or the ones with buttons (I'm looking at you Rival Inc.) will not reset nor continue to cook or even warm if the power goes out and returns or even if there is a spike or quick on/off drop.
It just goes into limp mode.
i learned the hard way. Wasted a good meal by it not cooking it but it also left the food in the "danger zone" so it had to be tossed because the pot did not reset and continue to cook.
I personally only use them on the weekend or on a long cook when I only pop out for less than an hour.
Only if you set it to cook and then are gone for days where it is no different than a coffee pot left on.
I grew up in a family with the older style crock pots where they did run 6 or more hours with no one home. Never had a problem.
You can always use an in-line plug in lighting style timer if you fear an overrun of cooktime, but having been involved with sereval chili cook offs a years with dozens of crock pots and many a tripped breaker switch in both residential and commercial buildings, the failure of the crockpot to reheat /reset after electricity loss is my biggest peeve. Big time.
Fire. Not at all.