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Feb 22, 2008 08:53 AM

Are slow cookers safe?

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?

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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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

            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. 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!