Why Do Slow Cookers Crack –What Should I Do?
Slow cookers have turned out to be lifesavers in many kitchens. They are ideal in helping one multitask and finish up their essential tasks before they run out of time.
The cookers have been quickly transitioning over time, and people that enjoy using them have found a great way of adapting to their unending surprises in the kitchen.
When it comes to using slow cookers, finger-licking, meals make themselves as you enjoy handling your other tasks.
If you are thinking of being part of the movement of slow cookers, you can be sure to enjoy more serenity and free time as you spend time with your loved ones.
In this guide, we point out the key causes of cracks in your slow cooker and the safety tips to observe when using them.
What Is A Slow Cooker?
This is one of the unique kitchen appliances known to take the cooking process low and slow.
With this type of cooker, you get to enjoy cooking on another level due to its vast capabilities and versatility.
You can cook your chicken soup or any other meal for up to 10 hours, something that you cannot do with an oven or with a casserole.
How Do Slow Cookers Work?
These cookers have ceramic crock in their interiors, which sit on a vital element of the cooker.
Whenever you want to start your cooking process, you only need to toss all your cooking ingredients just like you are used to doing on normal days and with that, you handle the settings.
When it comes to setting the heat in the latter, the specific type of slow cooker that you are using determines the exact pace of cooking that you are likely to achieve.
In some slow cookers, you can either select high or low cooking options. Depending on your settings, you can choose to leave your food cooking all day long or overnight, depending on your schedule.
It is vital to note that the capability of the slow cookers to refrain you from wasting your time checking on the cooking progress of your food makes it awesome.
If you have a tight schedule, you get extra time to focus on the things that reflect your normal living style.
5 Main Causes of Slow Cookers Cracking
There are vast causes of cracks in the slow cooker. Every cook should note that if they use a cracked slow cooker, they are likely to struggle throughout their cooking process.
Here are some of the major aspects why do slow cookers crack.
You Cooked Something That Started Frozen
When using this type of cracked cookers, you should make sure that you have thawed the poultry or any other food that you are cooking.
By not doing so, the crock may heat, and the temperature change can rise in frozen meat, which can cause the low cooker to crack.
Besides, it is not good to cook frozen meat in a slow cooker since bacteria can proliferate when food spends a long time in it.
In this slow-cooking crack, food does not need to go to an extended temperature of 40 degrees to 140 degrees as it is very dangerous.
On the low settings, your slow cooker heats up to 190 degrees and reaches up to 250 degrees high.
This slow cooker does well in cooking all types of foods, but you should be careful in temperature regulation.
The regulator temperature of 40 degrees is the most detective place, and it needs to be handled with care because it causes the whole food process to go at a loss.
When you use this slow cooker, you should be keen on counting time and knowing how the temperature rises.
If you would like to take a quick dinner, don’t try this because it’s slow and can crack at any time.
A Hairline Crack Developed In the Pot
This is a local crack that a user of the pot can make without realizing or noticing, and it can become serious as one continues using the cooker.
Most of these cracks develop if you fill your pot with cold water or cold things like iced meat.
When you finish cooking, you should make sure that the pot cools down before cleaning with cold water, as doing that can cause unnecessary cracks.
Some traditional beliefs perceive that it is possible to repair the cracks by boiling milk, but science suggests otherwise. By doing so, the cracks are likely to persist, and thus you should avoid it.
How to Repair a Hairline Crack In A Crock
If the crack is already there, it is unrepairable, so the only solution is to replace it. The hairline may even develop when the cooker falls from a high surface area to the floor.
It is also advisable not to continue using your slow cooker when you notice that it has a crack as it may take you into losses.
Additionally, the hairline might also develop while smashing food like peeled bananas or even potatoes.
To avoid this, you should smash your food with care without putting all the energy into it. If the food is ready and you notice the crack serves it first and throw the pot away.
You May Have Refrigerated the Food in the Crock before Cooking It
It always common that many people tend to be in a hurry when it comes to preparing meals.
At times, you may end up prepping your meal in the crock and later stashing it in the latter to ensure that it stays there overnight.
In case you turn the slow cooker on, it may end up cracking due to the change in temperatures.
To avoid such inconveniences, be sure to mix all the ingredients that you plan to use for the cooking of your meal together in a different bowl overnight.
The morning before you start your cooking process, be sure to stash it apart using a spatula before placing it in your slow cooker for efficiency and to prevent any possible accidents.
You Placed the Crock in Cold Water When It Was Too Hot
In most cases, people tend to toss their slow cooker in cold water when they finish cooking.
One may end up placing the latter in cold water to clean it or for other reasons.
The quick change in temperatures can be one of the key causes of cracks in your crock.
Since it is almost a norm for people to toss their kitchenware in cold water after removing all the foo from it, it is advisable to avoid the habit as it is dangerous for anyone using a slow cooker.
After dishing out all the food, one needs to leave the cooker out for some time to enable it to cool down and regulate its temperatures back to normal before one can think about cleaning it with cold water.
Additionally, lukewarm water seems to act well when it comes to cleaning such dishes.
You can be sure to toss your slow cooker in the latter as it is a great remedy to prevent it from cracking.
You Heated the Crock on the Stove
Your crock may be safe to use in the microwave or oven if you fail to put a lid on it. You may notice a crack on your slow cooker if you place it directly on the stove due to uneven heat distribution.
The crack will start slowly by slowly and later become serious.
Some are not designed to be placed on top of the stove, so it is good to pay attention to the menu and outlined guidelines before you start using it.
The lid is another cause of making your crock crack. If you put heat on top of the lid and bottom of your cooker, this may be a serious crack as you continue cooking and can also make your food run out of the stew.
When the crack on the stove starts, it is unnoticeable until you see the soup pouring. Before using every type of cooker, it is good to check where it fits, either on stoves or gas.
Safety Tips to Use a Slow Cooker
Cooking remains to be a lea cause of fires in the world. It is, however, rare for cookers to cause a fire in the house due to their low watts.
Besides, the safety tips that one observes determines whether they stay safe as they cook or not. Here are some tips to help you whenever you are using a slow cooker.
Clean Your Workplace
First, before you start using a slow cooker, you should clean your workplace toughly and also ensure the slow cooker itself is clean.
It is good to start preparing your meal in a clean place. It is also advisable to wipe all the countertops.
You can make the outer part of your cooking device presentable using a damp microfiber cloth.
Cleaning the machine and cooker is good because when the dirt accumulates in the low part of the cooker, it may cause unnecessary cracks.
A dirty place is also dangerous for bacteria, and such bacteria may cause your cooker to crack, and once it cracks, it is unrepairable.
Thaw Your Ingredient First
It is very tempting to throw a frozen meat directly in the slow cooker. Immediately the frozen meat gets to the cooker; it will cause a crack, which is not unnecessary, so it is good to avoid temptations.
It is good to thaw every ingredient before use. Fridge food is very dangerous to be placed in a cooker. It is good to allow your iced ingredients to cool to avoid cracks in your slow cooker.
It is great to ensure that you read all the regulations and rules given before using this type of cooker.
When cooking with this cooker, any crack that may be present in the latter may lead to an explosion, leading to fire accidents in your house.
Store the Slow Cooker on a Stable Flat Surface
The exterior of your slow cookers is a vital part of it. When storing it, ensure that it is not close to any objects like flammable ones.
Items like curtains, towels and clothing are risky when they come into contact or beneath your slow cooker.
They can highly accelerate fire in your house and lead to serious accidents.
Additionally, you should ensure that your cooker is not near the cooktop or sink as it can be dangerous in the case it stumbles.
Check the Cord Each Time You Want To Use The Slow Cooker
Before you plug in your slow cooker, always ensure that you check the condition of the cords and wires.
Ensure that all wires are not exposed in the outer part as this may expose you to danger.
If you notice that your appliance has wires that are exposed and visibly hanging, you should be sure to cut them off and dispose of the slow cooker as it can lead to serious explosions, which may result from fire.
Some people are known to use black tape to cover such wires, but it is not recommended, and it may cause more danger to the user of the device.
Unplug the Device When You Are Not Using It
Always ensure that you unplug your device anytime that you are not cooking.
Leaving the slow cooker plugged into the power source is dangerous, and it may damage it, or in the case of a power surge, it can lead to accidents.
Whenever the cooker is not in use, ensure that the latter’s cord is wrapped neatly. Ensure that you do not wrap it so that the wires of the slow cooker get damaged.
You may be told to prepare large amounts of food but make sure your slow cooker can handle it.
To avoid the unseen crack, which may become serious when food continues boiling, check on the size of your item.
It is also essential to check the maximum temperature needed to cook the amount of food that you are planning to eat.
It is not good to ignore some of the rules regarding the use of the slow cooker as they may cost you a lot later.
To be on the safe side, the slow cooker should never be more than two-thirds full.
It is also good to consult the appliance manual to check on the maximum volume and capacity needed.
Never add excess water because when it starts boiling, it can cause water to rise and pour.
How to choose A Slow Cooker
Method of heating
The best slow cooking heater is the one with heating elements at the top because you can easily control the heat.
Another thing why you may prefer your element of heat to be upside is that the heat is well distributed to every corner of the bowl.
Some slow cookers have a crock that sits on the top of the heating unit, so this may cause the heat not to be distributed, and you will need to stir the food more often to prevent scorching.
The best slow cookers are made of porcelain and ceramic though there are also those designed with crock metal.
Ceramic, porcelain and metal crock plays the same purpose of conducting heat, so it is upon you to choose the one you may like.
Crock metal is best for cleaning because it is removable while ceramic and porcelain keep attached to the heater.
Slow cookers with crock and the heating unit fused aren’t fun and easy to clean. Some of the metal gets excess heat, which makes food boil quickly and causes it to scorch, so it is good to check its lightness.
Before buying a slow cooker, it is good to check how it reacts with electricity to avoid causing unnecessary shocks.
If you intend to buy a slow cooker, you should be keen to check its price. If you need a large cooker and constructed using durable materials, you should be ready to buy your cooking heater at a high price.
Small cookers tend to be of low prices, but those with modern features and design come at higher prices.
It would help if you also bought a slow cooker with a warranty to avoid seeking repair for your cooker, which may be costly than the cooker itself.
It is always good to check the maintenance cost because some slow cookers are unmaintainable due to their high cost.
Choosing an appropriate size of the slow cooker is essential if you want to meet your needs.
Expensive, slow cookers tend to be bigger and smaller ones are cheaper. But you can buy your slow cooker according to what you will be cooking.
If the food that you are preparing is for a public gathering, you need to have a bigger slow cooker, but if it is for few people, you need a small-sized slow cooker.
But in homes, you can have more than one size slow cooker because you may need to prepare large amounts of food at some point when you have guests.
Most of the slow cookers are round in shape, but there are many oval-shaped models.
Slow cookers with an oval shape tend to be reliable than those with other shapes, and they are ideal for a variety of foods like whole chicken or ribs, and they may have a bigger size than other shapes.
It is good to check out the functions of a slow cooker before buying it, as some cookers are not designed for warming food due to the high temperatures that they may not be able to withstand.
Some of the slow cookers in the market are made of metals that conduct heat fast and make your food storch while warming.
Slow cookers are one of the innovative kitchen devices, and they have become popular due to their ability to save time.
They are usually available at vast prices and sizes. Depending on the exact type of cooker that you want to purchase, you may choose to purchase cookers that have differences in their crock construction.
It is essential to follow the right safety protocols when using these types of cookers as they may expose you to danger if you fail to be careful.
Overfilling can be one of the key reasons for damage in your slow cooker, and dirty cooking areas may also expose your cooker to breakage.
Besides, cracking of your cooker may result from heating it directly on the stove, cooking frozen food without thawing it and placing the slow cooker in cold water when it is still hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Cook Raw Meat In A Slow Cooker? Yes. You can practically cook raw meat in a slow cooker as long as you allow it to cook till tender.
In case you have enough time, you can always be sure to brown your meat before cooking it as it ensures that the meat gets a great flavor that can be appealing to you.
Should A Slow Cooker Go On High Or Low? Every slow cooker should have a setting and capability to cook at a rate that is slow enough in case of unattended cooking.
You should be able to set your slow cooker at a low setting of 190 degrees and a high of 300 degrees.
As much as this type of cookers should be slow, you should also ensure that they can cook your meals beyond the temperatures that may expose the food to dangers like bacteria invasion.
How Much Liquid Should I Put In A Slow Cooker? You should just put a reasonable amount of liquid in your slow cooker to the point where it covers the vegetables and meat.
You should try not to overfill the slow cooker as it ends up leaking at the top, and this makes your food not to cook.
Besides, overfilling is dangerous because it exposes the slow cooker to cracking. Two thirds or half full is usually good.