Slow cookers have transformed the experience of cooking. It has become a cult favorite since these crock pots can prepare food without requiring us to fret and meddle with them!
Do you fear that your pot might have to be replaced? Is your cooker over-cooking or undercooking your food? If you are plagued by any or all of the questions above, let us help!
In this article, we will discuss in detail crock pots. By the end of this article, you will be able to decide if you need a new crock pot! Additionally, we’ll go over several tricks and pointers that will allow you to make the most of these pots without mishandling them.
How Long Does Crock Pot Last?
Some crock pots are historical and are passed from generation! Those are the vintage pots that last for 16-17years!
However, with electrical devices, I think it is safe to replace them after some time to avoid any mishaps. Furthermore, with the advent of new and smart crock pots, you should upgrade them from time to time!
What Is the Lifespan of Crock Pot
A general rule with crock pots is replacing them after a decade. After 10 years of use, the chances are that the pot is wearing off and may not function as efficiently as it was before. To enjoy your cooking experience, you should know when it’s time to bid farewell to the pots.
When to Replace a Crock Pot
If the anticipated lifespan of your cooker has passed, it’s time to replace it. However, there may be many reasons one can want to replace their crockpot. Let’s have a look at a few of them in this section.
1. Temperature Fluctuations
One of the significant signs that your pot is not functioning is when it is losing its ability to heat up. If there is no heat, the cooked food will not taste well and may ruin your appetite.
In some old models, it is imperative to replace the heating elements since they may get worn out every 2 years.
2. Size Variations
While purchasing slow cookers, we may underestimate the size we may need. Since most of us are skeptical before buying them, we may opt for a smaller size.
Since slow cookers should not be filled to the brim, you may have to cook your food in batches, which may become time-consuming.
If you enjoy cooking in crock pots as I do, you will want to size up on them. Hence, when you think that the size of the current pot is not good enough, you may want to replace the old one and get a new and bigger crock pot.
3. Lid Fit
Since crock pots work on the principle of pressure cooking, the lid must fit the pot snugly. If the lid is broken or warped, the pressure inside the cooker will not be built up, so the temperature will not rise. Thus, the food will not get cooked properly.
The cooker with an inoperative lid will evaporate all the water if left unattended for a long time. It can damage the equipment and can also result in fire.
4. Physical Damage to the Cord
Better safe than sorry! If you notice that the cord is impaired in any form or manner, dont turn the device on.
Wrapping duct tape or fabric around the cord cannot fix the issue. It can cause a short circuit and can even be hazardous.
5. Need New Features
With the advent of electric stoves, multi-pot, and slow cookers, the market is getting very competitive. Since new and improved models that consume less electricity and cook food efficiently are invading the shelves, you may be tempted to upgrade the current model of the pot you are using.
One prime feature that made me change my pot is the ability to set timers. I am a firm believer that because you can, you shouldn’t. Hence, even though it is deemed fit to leave your food in these pots for a long time without monitoring them, I like to set a timer for my serenity.
Often, I am in a rush, so I prefer to toss all the ingredients in, set the timer, and let the magic begin. The ease a simple upgrade like a timer can add is incomprehensible.
How to increase the lifespan of your crock pot?
Maintaining your crock pot is vital, so you get value for money. Below are some tips that can help you utilize your crock pot without having to replace it very often.
1. Time Limit
Any and every electrical device needs some rest. If you use the crock pot without understanding its limitations, it will get damaged. Pots with timers are convenient to ensure the cooker is not left on for hours.
2. The Importance of Thawing
Frozen items should be microwaved for 4-5 minutes before introducing them in the crock pot. The process of thawing will ensure that the meat is cooking correctly in the pot. If it is not thawed, it may take longer to cook.
3. Don’t Open The Lid Unless The Timer Is Done.
I know it can be tempting to open the lid occasionally to check the progress. However, the pressure drops every time you open the lid, producing heat. It will slow the cooking process and hence affect the device’s longevity. Hence, no peaking!
4. Don’t fill it till the brim.
It is not uncommon for individuals to try to accommodate more than the advisable quantity of food in their pot for cooking. It can result in overcrowding, which will, in turn, prevent the food from getting cooked thoroughly.
If the food releases water during the cooking process, it can potentially damage the equipment and possibly create a fire hazard.
5. Wash The Cooker As Soon As You Are Done
It is crucial to maintain proper hygiene once the cooking is done. Detach the pot and clean it right away. If the stain and oil accumulate for a long time, it hardens, making cleaning difficult.
Wipe the pot inside and outside with a clean paper towel right away!
What Is the Ideal Cooking Temperature
The temperature setting may vary depending on the food you wish to cook. Chicken and meat require a relatively high temperature (About 75℃) to kill the contaminating microbes and bacteria.
The duration may vary depending on the temperature one tries to attain while cooking. Try to understand the simmer point of the food you are preparing. If the temperature is high, it can dry and burn your food; likewise, it will not cook food fit for consumption if it is lower than the required number.
How to Test Slow Cooker’s Temperature
Knowing the importance of temperature lets us understand how to detect internal temperature.
Step 1: Fill the crock pot with water. Make sure that the water is not filled to the brim.
Step 2: Place the insert inside and close the lid. Make sure that the slow cooker is tight-lidded.
Step 3: Set the cooker at a specific temperature and leave it for 5-6 hours.
Step 4: Now open the lid and insert a kitchen thermometer into the water. Note the temperature.
Step 5: If the temperature exceeds the expected value, you may want to adjust the settings. If the temperature is lower than the value, it is time to replace the pot.
Are Crock Pots Unsafe?
Many reports claim that crock pots have heavy metals that can mix with the food prepared at such high pressures. However, wide varieties available in the market have been tested and have no heavy metals. Hence, you can find a pot that suits you!
FAQ 1: Can slow cooking destroy nutrients?
Answer: Slow cooking cannot alter the nutrient content in the food. Simmering food at low temperatures can help preserve the food’s nutrient value compared to food cooked at high temperatures.
FAQ 2: Can You Replace a Slow Cooker Part?
Answer: Yes. Most parts, including the lid, insert, and wires, are replaceable. If there is any physical damage, it can be swapped and replaced with a new one. However, if you notice that the cooker is not heating properly, it isn’t easy to replace the heating coils.
FAQ 3: How to stop food burning in a slow cooker
Food will burn if the temperature set for cooking is inappropriate. If you are a new user, starting with the low settings is best and working your way up until you find the most appropriate temperature to cook the food you wish to prepare.
FAQ 4: Which crock pots have lead?
Answer: Some ceramic bowls are grazed with lead. Various manufacturers claim that the lead used is of limited quality, and these pots are FDA-approved. However, some scientific articles claim that even a trace amount of lead can affect the physical and mental being of an individual.
The lifespan of crockpots is 10 years. If you notice any physical damage to the equipment, you can get it replaced. However, you can opt for an upgrade if the equipment is worn out.
I hope this article was helpful. Let us know in the comment section if you have any queries regarding crockpots.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.