You spend an hour preparing a recipe, you put it in your crock pot, and what follows is repeatedly going in your kitchen to check up on the meal. Sounds familiar?
Here’s some friendly advice: It’s high time you ditch your paranoia because crock pots pose almost no danger if they’re left unattended!
Slow cookers, a supposed luxury in the past, have finally started finding their way into most homes because of their convenience.
There’s nothing more awesome than to just put some ingredients together and go about the day as usual because a crock pot has got your back with delicious meals.
For the most part, crock pots are entirely safe to leave cooking while unattended. As long as your crock pot doesn’t have a history of being faulty, and your electrical wiring at home is up to code, it’s perfectly fine to leave it to cook.
However, if you just invested in a crock pot, there’s no reason why you can’t leave it by itself and complete other chores meanwhile.
The perk proves to be highly useful for people with busy routines because you’re not free from spending hours in the kitchen, but you also get a scrumptious meal at the end of the day!
Have more questions about how to safely leave crock pots unattended? Keep on reading to have all your queries answered.
Can I Leave My Slow Cooker Unattended?
You can very well spend the rest of the day outside your kitchen after tossing a dish in the slow cooker.
However, it’s always advised to be vigilant because, at the end of the day, crock pots are just like any normal appliance.
You never know what could result in an accident, so avoid leaving your house or putting on headphones because you might not notice when something’s wrong with your crock pot.
To leave your crock pot unattended for long periods of time, keep the following factors in mind:
Don’t Over-Fill Or Leave Extra Space
If you fill your crock pot to more than three-quarters, there’s a high chance of spillage.
On the other hand, if you fill it less than halfway, you’d be at the risk of all the liquid evaporating in the middle of the cooking process.
If you really want to stay away from the kitchen, make sure you’re paying attention when you’re filling up your crock pot.
You should also take care of whether the lid is fixed in place because if not, the chances of spillage will increase.
Consider adding vegetables with high water content to your recipes if you want to save yourself from scorching.
Ensure Distance Between Your Crock Pot And The Wall
While all kinds of appliances shouldn’t be placed too close to the wall, crock pots specifically require a lot of empty space because of all the heat emissions.
Avoid placing it too close to the wall, and don’t do any heat-related activities on the countertop because that might end up triggering any accidents.
All the wires and plugs should also be tucked away so that they’re not affected by the slow cooker’s heat.
A distance of six inches between the wall and the appliance is usually enough to prevent any mishaps.
Choose a Heat Resistant Countertop
It is likely to get very hot from the exterior because of the continuous cooking. For countertops that can easily catch fire or melt, you won’t be able to leave it for as long as you want.
Tiled countertops or granite surfaces work great when you have them in your house. If you already have a flammable surface, you can try using a trivet as a barrier between the crockpot and the countertop.
Choose The Lowest Temperatures
While slow cookers are meant to take time to cook thoroughly, they do have a high-temperature setting for some recipes.
This doesn’t help if you plan to leave it unattended because your meal will be finished sooner than you expect, resulting in burnt food.
To prevent this, make sure you choose the lowest temperature so that the meal keeps simmering in its juices!
Make Your Plans Carefully
Crock pots can be left attended but don’t be too careless about it- you should never consider leaving them for more than 8-10 hours.
Make sure you align your plans in a way that you can be back in time or can check up on the progress every few hours.
This eliminates the chances of any mishaps and also rules out the possibility of your food getting burnt or spoiled because of the crock pot’s automatic turn-off timings.
Can A Slow Cooker Catch Fire?
Your crock pot will probably live its life without catching fire, but nothing is definite.
You only have to worry if you have a faulty appliance or if you’re not taking care of the prerequisites because slow cookers rarely catch fire on their own.
House fires starting up because of appliances is a pretty common situation, but there’s nothing to worry about with crock pots; according to a study by NFPA, only 4% of house fires are the result of a faulty portable device.
This figure includes all kinds of home appliances along with crock pots.
So the chances of a crock pot catching on fire provided it isn’t faulty, to begin with, are almost negligible as compared to other appliances.
What Increases The Chances Of Your Crock Pot Catching Fire?
Your crock pot may end up catching fire if:
- It is not properly maintained
- Manual guidelines are not followed properly
- Plugs and hardware is not kept at a distance
- Overheating problems are ignored
If you’re taking care of all these factors, your crock pot is not catching fire any time soon!
Final Words on Leaving Your Crock Pot Unattended
Very few people have the patience to stand in the kitchen for hours, and most conventional cooking requires that amount of effort.
Crock pots make your life easier by not only giving you delicious results but also allowing you to do a ton of other things which you might have to postpone in case of any typical cooking method.
Getting scared of catching fire is a very normal concern, though, but the good news is that you don’t have anything to worry about.
As long as your appliance is not faulty, you can go ahead and leave it unattended for hours at a time!