Crockpot flaking, return it?
My crock has lots of little silver dots on the bottom. It seems that the normal dark color wore down in these parts. Does this mean it's unsafe?
It's not very old. I am surprised to see such wear already. I wonder if some types of foods made it wear away faster. I'm thinking about returning it because if it's this worn already, it could be bad soon. Even before I saw these specks on the bottom, I was wondering about the rubber and metal from the lid. I am paranoid about any metals or chemicals touching my food. The brand is Hamilton Beach, by the way.
I don't know if I need a crockpot anyway. I don't need to transport food. I could use the money toward larger piece of enameled cast iron cookware, to put on my induction cooktop, to serve a similar purpose. I don't think my cooktop can't be put on a timer to turn on, but I don't really need that either. A timer can shut it off. I liked how the crockpot can sense when the meat hits the desired temperature. I hope I could find a thermometer to beep when meat is ready. My induction cooktop may not go low enough for good slower cooking. The minimum is 140 degrees or 500W.
I would appreciate any insight.
"I am paranoid about any metals or chemicals touching my food."
Pretty much everything people cook with is a metal or a "chemical." The ceramic of the cooker is chemical and the glaze with which it is covered is chemical.
Are you sure that the glaze is worn away as opposed to something being stuck to the bottom? If it is really worn through, it must be a cheap one. In that case, I would either get a better slow cooker if I wanted one, or do without if I didn't. I don't think there's any danger to using it, however. The glaze is to prevent food from sticking to the ceramic. It's easy to clean with the glaze.
I suggest taking it back to the place you bought it and let the salesperson have a look. Maybe they'll be able to tell you what it is and how to remove it, or they'll be able to replace it if it's a fault with the cooker.
Most induction cooktops have an automatic shut of after 2-3 hours which may or may not be documented in the manual. That makes them unsuitable for slow cooking. The stove top is also generally unsuitable for slow cooking because you lose so much heat out the sides of the pot (whereas slow cookers are insulated) so you'd waste a lot of power doing it that way. Some people have success with slow cooking in the oven, so you could look into that if you want to get rid of your slow cooker.
By the way, the reason the minimum is 140° F is that it is the upper limit of the temperature range for bacterial growth.