Ever since I started using a crockpot, almost all of my kitchen utensils are catching dust (except my air fryer, which I love and use all the time).
Crock-pot has now become my go-to appliance for most of my meals.
My family loves the dishes I make and the crockpot saves me a lot of time. All I need to do is set it up and forget about it.
Recently I started wondering if I can use the crockpot to boil water.
Yes, you can boil water in a crockpot. However, the time taken to boil would be anywhere between one to four hours.
The time taken depends on your particular model of the crockpot and the amount of water you have placed inside to boil.
A word of warning: Although the water will boil inside the crockpot, it will be more like a simmering boil. You will not get a full-throttle boil.
Allow me to tackle the reasons with the next topic of the working of a crockpot when it comes to boiling water.
How does a Crockpot work to Boil Water?
A crockpot is a slow cooker that cooks the food slowly for a long period.
The slow cooking preserves the nutrients and flavors while making sure it comes out tender and well cooked.
A crockpot uses moist heat to slow cook food. It does not allow water to escape creating steam inside it.
There is no leaching while it slowly cooks food giving you a flavourful healthy meal packed with nutrients.
Most of the crockpots come with three temperature settings- a low setting (190-200° F), a High setting (300° F), and a keep warm setting.
The boiling temperature of the water is 212° F.
Speaking of which, it should be possible to boil water inside the crockpot. However, there is a technical challenge.
Allow me to elaborate!
Let me brief you with a little science on boiling water.
When the water reaches its boiling point of 212° F (100° C), it has reached the maximum possible temperature.
Beyond this, the water will boil rapidly and give off more bubbles that leave the surface as vapors.
Crock Pots are designed to reach the maximum temperature slowly.
It may take three to four hours on the high setting and seven hours to eight hours on the low setting. The time will also depend on the quantity of food.
Now even though the crockpots will reach the required temperature, the speed at which the water is heated up is very slow.
As the speed is slow, the water will not have enough kinetic energy for a rapid rolling boil.
The rapid boil occurs when the thermal energy in water exceeds the power of hydrogen bonds between the water molecules, causing them to separate from each other.
What you will get will be a simmering boil that will stop after a while. This is because as soon as you remove the lid, the temperature or heat energy drops.
As I mentioned, while you can boil water in a crockpot, it would be way faster if you use the traditional water in a pot and boil it over gas/induction, or use a kettle.
However, if you have only a crockpot and no other option, I would suggest you let the crockpot take its own sweet time to reach a simmering boil.
Do not attempt to hasten the process or you will risk damaging the crockpot. It will only do what it is made for: slow cooking.
It may take anywhere from one to four hours depending on your model size and quantity of water.
A high setting will hasten the boiling compared to a low heat setting which may take an additional two-three hours.
Yes, the simmering boiling water can overflow from your crockpot.
This usually happens if you have overfilled your crockpot. Manufacturers usually recommend filling only ⅔ of the insert pot. Leave the ⅓ empty.
I usually leave more than one-third just to be on the safe side. It would prevent you from losing out on delicious flavors and nutrients that are packed in each bite.
I would also advise you to keep an eye on the first meal cooking in your new crockpot.
This way you can better understand your crockpot and leave it unattended for next time.
The removable stone insert in the crockpot is oven and microwave safe up to 400° F.
I wouldn’t advise keeping the stone pot on direct heat. The contraction and expansion may damage the insert.
Go through the instruction booklet of your particular model. If it mentions you can use the ceramic pot on the stovetop, go ahead.
Here is one such model of the crockpot that is stovetop safe. The brand specifically advertises crock-pot SCCPVI600-S 6 quart as stovetop safe.
The ceramic insert can be used on the stovetop for browning meat.
It frees you from the need to use two pots. You can sear/brown meat and then cook it in the crockpot along with gravy. The ceramic insert is also dishwasher safe.
The crock-pot has an easy-to-use digital control panel. Once the food is cooked, it will automatically shift to a warm setting.
The ceramic pot is pretty and durable. You can double it up as a serving dish.
Always refer to your brand’s instruction booklet to find out what works best for your slow cooker.
Each brand and each model may be different when it comes to specifications.
For example, in the case of the Cuisinart MSC 600 series, the low temperature stays constant at 200° F while the high-temperature setting goes up to 212° F.
You can use it to boil water at high temperatures but not at low temperatures since the boiling temperature required by water is 212° F.
Similarly, most Hamilton beach slow cooker models stabilize temperature at 180-200° F in the low setting while a high setting stabilizes around 200-225° F.
Depending on your particular model, you will be able to boil water at a high-temperature setting.
For other brands/models of slow cookers, please read the instruction booklet or reach out to customer care.
Once you understand the temperature settings and the working of your crockpot, boiling water will not be difficult.
It will only take some more time compared to the stovetop. The result will be a simmering boil.
Even though the boiling temperature will be reached by the crockpot, you will get a simmering boil.
The time taken for your crockpot to reach the simmering boil can be anywhere from one to four hours depending on your model, quantity of water, and the heat setting.
Each brand and each model will stabilize the maximum temperature differently. You need to read the manufacturing instructions to find out about your particular brand.
The crockpot will slowly reach the boiling temperature and give you a slow simmering boil. This is because the kinetic energy of water will not be high enough for a rapid boil.
Your crockpot is not designed for a rapid and rolling boil. In the attempt to increase temperature suddenly, you will end up cracking it.
I would suggest you boil water in a normal pan on the stovetop and slow cook food in a crockpot. All the best!
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