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Are slow cookers safe?

p
polish_girl Feb 22, 2008 08:53 AM

Is it really safe to leave a crock pot on for a whole day? I am debating getting one (Costco has a great $10 off coupon, so a 6qt costs only $29.99). I just can't imagine leaving an electrical or any other appliance on and leaving the house.....especially for the whole day. Any thoughts from the CHs that use them often?

  1. j
    jesoda Feb 22, 2008 09:10 AM

    I use mine all the time and never think twice about leaving them on. I think its about the same wattage/voltage as a lamp. If you're that concerned can you borrow one and use it while you're home so you can see for yourself that there is nothing to worry about?

    1. trentyzan Feb 22, 2008 09:30 AM

      Yeah, I've been leaving mine on in my absence for years without incident. It doesn't get hot enough to start a fire itself, and there's nothing near it or the cord to start an electrical fire. The heating coils are completely enclosed. Of course, if you have animals or kids running around in your absence, that might be another story.

      1. ihearthothippo Feb 22, 2008 09:35 AM

        I was actually thinking exactly the same thing a few days ago when I was making a pot roast - but I happened to be home all day and it required no supervision and didn't catch fire, so I figured why would it be any different if I wasn't there?

        Take the plunge . . . buy a crockpot!

        1. w
          warneral Feb 22, 2008 10:48 AM

          My one bad experience was that I had it going overnight on my solid surface countertop (manmade - like corian but the brand is gibraltar) and it cracked my counter top! Turns out the bottom of the crockpot emits a large amount of concentrated heat. Now I leave it on my glasstop stove.

          1 Reply
          1. re: warneral
            f
            foodwich Feb 23, 2008 05:58 AM

            Interesting read. I too have a corian countertop and never realized before this that it could be a concern. will have to ensure i leave it on a heatproof surface from now on. thank you for sharing.

          2. h
            homebaker Feb 22, 2008 10:29 PM

            I use it whenever I can and there has never been a problem. The idea is that even though it's an appliance, the power used is very low. And although there are exceptions, usually recipes/dishes that use a crockpot have enough liquid (either added in like water/broth/etc. or coming from the item being cooked--for example, fat from a roast) to ensure that the pot itself doesn't dry out and potentially crack.

            I have an older Mennonite cookbook that refers to a "shopper's stew", which cooks according to a similar idea of leaving the stew in a covered Dutch oven in a low-heat oven for a few hours so you can get some shopping done and come back home to a hot cooked meal. At the very least, with safety being such a concern these days, using a crockpot must be much easier on the conscience than leaving the oven on unattended!

            1. poptart Feb 23, 2008 06:49 PM

              I've used slow cookers for years, never a problem when unattended.

              Recently I bought a new one, cuisinart 4 qt which has a timer which switches the pot to "keep warm" setting after designated amount of time. This feature is great to have. It means you don't have to worry if you don't get home in time. The Cuisinart is made very well. I did a lot of research and looked at many brands and models and ended up with this one and am very pleased with it.

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