A slow cooker also known as a crock-pot can be a beneficial kitchen appliance when you are craving warm meals and looking for something simple to make. Learn more about this kitchen staple and how to use it safely.
Monitor Slow Cooker Settings
How many hours can you leave a slow cooker on? The answer is approximately between six to eight hours, depending on the settings. Most new slow cooker models have programmable settings that can switch the heat levels after a certain amount of time. It is possible to leave a slow cooker unattended for a long period, though routinely check it and adjust the temperature if necessary. Take extra precaution and make sure your smoke alarm works and you know where the fire extinguisher in your home is.
Avoid Older Models
Many older slow cooker models are considered possible fire hazards. They lack the modern safety additions that most slow cookers are required to have now. In particular, an automatic shutoff setting. If you purchased a used slow cooker from a garage sale or have been gifted it from a relative, just make sure to test it before cooking for other people to see if it’s safe to use and the food is safe to eat.
Check the Cord
Look for any exposed or torn wires on the slow cooker cord. If damage has been done to the cord, your slow cooker may not be as safe to use. Don’t forget to unplug the appliance when you are done using it. When storing the slow cooker, make sure to not wrap the cord around it too tightly.
Use on a Flat Surface
When cooking with a slow cooker, place it on a flat and heatproof surface to avoid it from tipping or spilling. Check to see if the area where your slow cooker will be is dry and not near any dish or paper towels.
Correctly storing leftovers is an essential part of food safety. Let the food from the slow cooker cool off to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. Avoid reheating the food in the slow cooker as it will take a long time to become a safe temperature. Though, a slow cooker can keep your meal warm for up to two hours before eating.