I am a proud owner of a Crock-pot. It is the best gadget for slow-cooking stews and gravies in one single pot.
This slow cooker lives up to the crockpot brand, never failing to give me delicious meals.
I wanted to try out the beef pot recipe and baked casserole in the oven. I started wondering if my crockpot is oven safe and whether I can use it for my recipes inside the oven. Here is what I found.
Yes, the insert pot made of ceramic is oven safe. The outer case containing the heating element and the lid of the crockpot is not oven safe.
An important thing to understand is that when I speak about the oven safety of the slow cooker, I am talking about the crockpot brand of slow cookers.
Different brands have different safety parameters. You need to check your specific brand manual instructions to find out if it is oven safe.
Allow me to tell you in detail about how to use the Crock-Pot insert safely inside the oven.
Let us first understand the working of the crockpot
A crockpot is made up of a metal casing that has a built-in heating element and panel controls.
Inside the casing, there is a ceramic insert. This insert can be used for oven cooking.
On top of the crockpot is a glass lid having a plastic knob and handles.
There are three inbuilt temperature settings inside a crockpot: high, low and keep warm. The temperature ranges from 175F up to 215 F.
When you switch on the crockpot and enter your chosen setting, the heating process starts from the base of the slow cooker. The heat gradually reaches into food from the sides.
As the food heats up, steam is generated. This steam creates a vacuum seal inside the crockpot with the help of the lid.
The cooking process continues with a consistent presence of moisture and steam. As the water content does not reduce or dry up, the result is a well-cooked broth.
- The first step would be to read the manufacturer’s booklet to find out the temperature limits inside the oven. As a rule of thumb, keep the temperature below 400F (200C).
- Remove the crock-pot lid before placing the insert in the oven. Use an oven-safe tempered glass or stainless steel lid. You can also cover the top of your insert with foil.
- Your crockpot insert can go hot inside the oven. Use gloves or pot holders to place and remove the crock-pot ceramic insert.
- Leave one-third of the insert empty. Do not overfill up to the brim. This will prevent the ingredients from overflowing and give your ingredients sufficient space to cook well
- Do not expose the ceramic insert to extreme temperature changes. Allow the cold or hot insert to reach room temperature before using it inside the oven.
- Similarly, let the bowl cool down before placing it in your fridge.
- Do not use Crockpot liners inside the oven.
- Never place an empty crockpot insert for preheating. This can damage the insert. Always add ingredients and then place them inside the oven.
For more details regarding safety usage guidelines, refer to the Crockpot manual here.
As I have told you earlier, three settings are used in slow cookers: High, Low, and Warm.
You must keep in mind that the difference between high and low is not the temperature, but the time it takes to reach that temperature.
Both High and Low settings reach a maximum temperature of 209F. When you chose a high setting, it takes three to four hours for the pot to reach the maximum temperature.
Similarly, it takes seven to eight hours for the pot to reach maximum temperature on a low setting.
When you chose a warm setting, it keeps the food temperature between 164-175 F.
Depending on the time duration you wish to cook, here is a simple conversion of slow cooking in low setting, high setting, and the time taken in the oven
|Time for slow cooking to reach 200° F on a low setting||Time for slow cooking to reach 200° F on a high setting||Time for slow cooking in a conventional oven|
|4-6 hours||1.5-2.5 hours||15-30 minutes|
|6- 8 hours||2-3 hours||35-45 minutes|
|8-12 hours||4-6 hours||50 minutes to 3 hours|
There are many other brands of slow cookers apart from Crockpot in the market.
All-clad, Cuisinart, Black& Decker, and Hamilton Beach have Oven safe inserts. Use them safely up to 400° F inside the oven.
The oven safety of a slow cooker insert depends on the material it is made from. Ceramic, aluminum, and stainless steel are oven safe.
I can’t stress enough that you need to read the manufacturing instructions of your particular brand to find out the oven safety specifications.
Unless the lids are tempered glass having no plastic, do not place slow cooker lids inside the oven. Most of the slow cooker lids are not oven safe.
You can instead use a stainless steel lid (with no plastic knob) or cover up the top with aluminum foil.
Here are some frequently asked questions
The removable inserts of your crockpot can be used for oven cooking.
Just make sure to keep the temperature below 400° F.
The metal casing with the heating element and control panel is not oven or microwave safe.
The lid of the crockpot has a plastic knob and handles. It should not be placed inside the oven or it will melt.
Not at all. Broilers use high temperatures. Your crockpot insert is only safe up to 400° F. So you should never use the insert on a broiler.
Before placing anything on a broiler, go through the manufacturing instructions regarding temperature ranges.
Most slow cookers inserts are not broiler safe.
It is not advisable to use a crockpot ceramic insert on a stovetop.
This is because, on exposure to direct heat, the ceramic bowl experiences thermal shock.
It cannot handle extreme temperature changes. The ceramic material undergoes contraction and expansion causing the insert to shatter into pieces.
You can, however, set up your crockpot on a switched-off stovetop. It acts as an excellent base under the crockpot giving good stability.
Cleaning up is also a breeze compared to countertop. The glass surface easily withstands splatters of food, moisture, and steam.
Apart from the crockpot brand, there are some brands of slow cookers inserts that are safe to use on a stovetop.
Go through your specific brand of slow cooker instructions before placing it on the stovetop.
Yes, you can safely leave it to cook all night.
Most slow cookers including crock pots are designed to slow cook for a long duration. They switch off automatically after 24 hours.
You can also switch it on in the morning and come back from work in the evening for a piping hot meal.
Just make sure to follow all the safety instructions in the manual. Make sure your crockpot is situated on a safe, stable surface, away from walls.
Do not leave your crockpot on for an extended duration of hours alone if the slow cooker wiring is old, has frayed, or becomes loose.
You can take a sneak peek to check up on your dish. However, I wouldn’t advise you to do this frequently.
The lid, along with the steam inside creates a vacuum seal. Removing the lid frequently allows the steam to escape and slows down the cooking process.
A slow cooker meal should have some liquid for the cooking process to take place. The liquid creates steam and helps to make food moist and tender.
If you cook without liquid your food will stick and even burn inside the slow cooker.
That is why most slow cooker brands recommend adding some water even when you want the meat to cook in its juices.
Crockpot inserts are safe to use inside the oven up to 400 F.
Always go through the instruction manual before using your crockpot insert inside the oven.
Follow the safety guidelines mentioned above to safely use the crockpot insert inside the oven. Do not use the lid inside the oven. You can instead cover the insert with foil or an oven-safe lid.
Refer to the table for easy conversion of time taken for slow cooking in the crockpot and the oven.
Loaded with the knowledge above, it is now time to bake casseroles in the oven. All the best!
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