I love how the crockpot frees me from the need to stand in the kitchen for cooking. However, I am avoiding cooking in my crockpot of late.
The reason is that the clean-up afterward can be a nuisance.
The caked-on gunk gets to me. I just can’t gather the energy or time to remove the stuck food.
Recently I came across Crock Pot liners at my local store. I wonder if I can use them for cooking my favorite recipes. Are they safe?
Are Crock Pot Liners Safe?
Yes, most of the Crock Pot Liners are safe.
According to the food and drug administration of the United States, small amounts of chemicals leached out from plastic to food due to heat are not a health risk.
Just make sure the liner does not contain BPA (bisphenol A) and its derivatives like BPS (bisphenol S) etc.
BPA is dangerous for human health. Just don’t purchase any crock pot liner without confirming if it contains BPA.
Allow me to tell you in detail the possible dangers of crock pot liners and how to use them safely inside your crock pot.
Why Should You Worry About Crock Pot Liner Safety?
It is a fact that liners are made from nylon resin. No matter how tough that sounds, after all, it falls under the category of plastic.
Plastic rings a disturbing bell not just to our bodies but also to our environment.
No matter how busy we are, we don’t want chemicals leached from plastic inside our slow-cooked chili.
As the temperature inside the crockpot can get quite high, there are concerns about plastic leaching out into the food cooking inside.
The crock pot liners are marketed by manufacturers as being heat resistant. By this, they mean that the liner will not melt inside the crockpot. However, they can’t stop the leaching of chemicals from the liner into your food.
Before you panic, allow me to bring in some cheerful news – according to the FDA the number of chemicals leached from the liner into food is quite small so there is no health risk involved.
With confidence, now you can use your liner for cooking recipes that stick inside your crockpot.
Just make sure they do not contain BPA. Reynolds crockpot liners are a good brand of crock pot liners as they are free from BPA.
Let me now tell you all about the risks of BPA
Why Is BPA Harmful?
Bisphenol A or BPA is a toxic chemical found in plastics. It is an endocrine disruptor.
Some of the harmful effects of BPA are as follows
According to scientific research, even a small dose of BPA can cause heart Disorders like
- Peripheral artery disease
- Heart attack
- It increases the risk of erectile dysfunction and decreases sexual desires.
- Research findings found BPA affects egg maturation
- It is found to cause infertility
- It interferes with pituitary and hypothalamus gland functions
Diabetes and Weight Gain
According to research, BPA impacts insulin resistance and contributed to Type 2 diabetes. It is also responsible for metabolic disruption causing weight gain.
Yes, that’s right. BPA increases the risk of all sorts of cancers including hormone-related prostate and breast cancer.
There are high chances of this happening if the baby is exposed to the chemical in the womb.
Not only cancer, but it also interferes with the chemotherapy treatment given to the cancer patient.
The Brain of the Fetus
When BPA is exposed to the fetus in the womb, there are high chances of hormonal disturbances leading to DNA modifications.
The developing brain gets impacted. Such children can have anxiety issues and negative social behavior.
Exposure of a child in the womb to BPA can also cause the baby to develop asthma and wheezing. The good news is that it diminishes with time, lasting only up to three years.
It is safe to say that you need to be very far from BPA. Make sure your crockpot liner is free from it.
What Are the Risks of Burns While Using the Crockpot Liner?
Let me explain it this way. Would you open a freshly cooked meal in a crockpot and insert your hand to remove the hot food contents?
The risk of burning your hand while doing so is the same when touching a hot crockpot liner underneath hot food.
As the crockpot gets hot inside (160° F – 180° F), the liner too will be really hot.
Touching it can give third-degree burns to your fingers and hand. You may also end up tearing the liner, creating a spill or mess you wanted to avoid in the first place.
Hot spilled liquid from the liner can also splatter outside on you.
You must always allow the crockpot liner to cool down before removing the contents.
First, you need to remove the contents with a spoon, allow the liner to cool down and then remove it from the crockpot. Let us now proceed with the safe way to use the crock pot liner.
How to Safely Use the Crockpot Liner?
Always read the instructions. Follow the safe method recommended by most crockpot manufacturers below :
- Open the packet, and remove the liner. Open the liner with your hands spreading it out horizontally and vertically. Do not place it over the heating element part of your crockpot.
- Line it well according to the shape of your crockpot.
- Once the liner is in place, add the raw food ingredients.
- Before closing the lid of the crockpot, make the corner of the liner stand straight. This will prevent steam from dripping downwards.
- Place the lid and seal well. Enter your choice of setting.
- Once done, allow your crockpot to cool down. If you are in a hurry, wear mitts and open the crockpot. Using a spoon, scoop the food out. Allow the liner to cool down. Meanwhile, enjoy your food.
- Once the liner has cooled down, remove and dispose of it in the garbage.
- Wipe your crockpot interior with a cotton cloth and you are done!
What Are the Advantages of Using a Crockpot Liner
Let us move towards the benefits of using the crock pot liner
- They are especially useful for recipes that leave stuck on gunks.
- They are a handy tool if you have arthritis or issues with hand movement
- Crockpot liner is a caring gift you can give your loved ones having a crockpot.
- If you have a water shortage and need to save water, use a liner to cook your food.
- If you don’t want to invest much time in cleaning up, all you need to do is use a crockpot liner. It will speed up your cleaning time. All you need to do is wipe the pot after removing the liner.
- A liner is also useful in cooking multiple dishes in one go. You can use two liners side by side and cook two dishes inside your crockpot. The liner will lock both the foods, ensuring no mixing or spillage.
Disadvantages of Using a Crockpot Liner
Here are three main cons of using the crockpot liner
- You can not recycle these plastic bags so end up polluting the environment and adding to the plastic waste.
- Crockpot liners are not biodegradable. There is no way to use them for composting. They eventually end up getting dumped in the sea and become a nuisance for the marine world.
- The liners can turn out to be a costly affair if you use them for cooking every day.
According to the FDA, the amount of leaching from crockpot liners is really small so it is completely safe to use them in your crockpot.
Just make sure it does not contain BPA or its derivatives. Reynolds slow cooker liner is a great BPA-free option. You can easily find it in your local store or even online.
When handled right, you can also avoid burns when using your liners.
I hope I have brightened your day and given you the confidence to use your BPA-free Crockpot liners. Cheers!
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