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Jul 28, 2010 05:41 AM

Slow cooker still safe?

My slow cooker's ceramic liner has a small chip at the bottom. The glaze is off and the unfinished interior is exposed. It still works fine. Do you think it is still safe to use?

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  1. It should be fine but at first I would be wary of leaving it unattended for hours on end while I'm away at work. There's nothing in the ceramic interior that will harm you.

    1. If it's made in China, I wouldn't be comfortable with the safety factor...but that's just me.

      EDIT: Is the chip inside (where it comes in contact w/the food) or outside? Outside, I'd be fine; inside, no.

      10 Replies
      1. re: OCAnn

        Good point. You can always try to buy a replacement crock. I wonder if there is some simple fix like a special purposed "paint" to go over it? Not like latex paint of course but something like a varnish.

        1. re: OCAnn

          Actually, it is the other way. If you are talking about lead exposure or other heavy metal exposures, they are found in the glaze. So, if anything is danger, it is the glaze, not the actual ceramic.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I think we're saying the same thing; if the glaze is damaged in any way, not safe.

            1. re: OCAnn

              No, CK is saying that the glaze itself, damaged or undamaged, would be the source of contamination, usually lead. A chip in the glaze would have no bearing on the whether or not the vessel is safe to use. If it is unsafe now, it was unsafe always. I've never heard of lead in glazes from China but it is quite common in items from Mexico.

              My concern would be a weakening in the area of the chip or allowing moisture into that particular area of the ceramic that could lead to failure of the crock when it is heated.

              1. re: Shaw Oliver

                Ah, gotcha. Thank you both for the lesson. =)

                However, it was this year or last, that there were product recalls for plates made in China with lead in the glaze....

                1. re: OCAnn

                  There ya go - unfortunately things of value rarely come from China unless they are 2000 years old. Several lessons learned here today!

                  1. re: Shaw Oliver

                    Thanks everyone. A replacement liner was my first thought too, but it is too old and I could not find one on other sources like ebay. It is a tiny chip on the inside bottom, really just a little glaze flaked off, so I think I will still use it based on yur feedback.

                    1. re: joaniebaby

                      UPDATE: The final results were not good. When I used it, the tiny chip in the glaze spidered into cracks that went all the way throught the pot. I guess any breach in the integrity of the surface, even a tiny one, makes crockppts unsafe

                      1. re: joaniebaby

                        Sorry to hear this. I guess it is time to (1) buy a replacement liner or (2) buy a new slow cooker.

                2. re: Shaw Oliver

                  Actually that's not necessarily true. IF there's an underglaze, the underglaze could be contaminated where the overglaze isn't.

                  I don't know if they do that with crockpots, but lots of pottery is double glazed.

                  I, too, would not trust it if it's made in China.