I have been trying different recipes in my crockpot. My family loves home-cooked food now thanks to our crockpot.
Delicious and healthy, it gives me ample time for other work. It also saves me a lot of money on monthly energy bills.
Recently, I noticed a crack in my crockpot! (gasp). Frantic with worry, I decided to find out how it may have happened and how to deal with the crack.
Just like all man-made things, crockpots can crack. The most common cause is that we are not handling it right.
A less common cause is the crack being a manufacturing defect.
Allow me to tell you in detail the various possible reasons why you may see a crack on your crockpot and the precautions you must take.
Here are some possibles causes for a crockpot to crack.
Your crack could be due to any of the following causes or an amalgamation of these:
While this seldom happens, it is very much out there. At times, there is a defect in design or marksmanship that skip the notice of manufacturers.
As a result, you end up owning a defective product of a good brand.
What to do when this happens?
Contact with customer care of your particular brand as soon as you notice it. If you continue cooking, the crack may become big and can break the inner pot.
The good news is that you are safe if it is a manufacturing defect.
Most brands give one year warranty against defects in design or marksmanship. It will be easily replaced by a fresh piece.
Now that we are done and dusted blaming the crack on the brand, let us now proceed towards our human errors of mishandling the crockpots.
The ceramic inner pot is sensitive to sudden temperature fluctuations. You must never place a cold/hot pot into hot/cold water.
Filling a hot crockpot with cold water can also cause cracks. Allow the pot to cool down to room temperature.
If you store the inner pot with food in the fridge, allow it to reach room temperature before reheating it. Defrosting and thawing is a step you should not miss before reheating.
Similarly, allow the pot to cool down before storing your leftovers in the fridge.
Apart from cracking, rapid temperature changes give the bacteria a free hand to infect and multiply in your food.
How to Prevent Crackpot Cracking from Temperature Changes?
These are some possible scenarios where your pot can get exposed to sudden temperature fluctuations.
Avoid rapid temperature changes. It will cause less stress to your pot material and prevent cracks.
There is no harm in filling hot water in a hot pot. But do not place the hot pot on the sink and run cold water over it. You will be inviting cracks to form.
As a general rule, let the pot and food contents be at room temperature before cooking/reheating, and even Hand washing.
Using Crockpot at High Temperatures Inside the Oven
Almost all manufacturers instruct the users to not exceed oven temperatures beyond 400° F.
If we place the pot insert beyond this temperature, a lot of stress gets activated inside the ceramic pot which can crack it up.
It is safer to bake up to 400F. I would advise you to go even lower to be within safe limits.
Make sure the ceramic pot and the food contents inside are at room temperature. Do not expose the pot to rapid changes in temperature while placing or removing it from the oven.
Another word of caution: the crockpot lids are not oven safe as they contain plastic. Skip placing the lid in the oven. Use foil or any oven-safe lid.
This happens if your crockpot has no grease or liquid inside.
There are many recipes that you can make without oil and water. But these cook in their juices that ooze out from the veggies and meat.
Sometimes the liquid released is too less. If you continue cooking for a long time, the liquid may be assimilated by the food ingredients leaving the pot dry.
Once your pot dries up and stays in this position for long, it will eventually crack up the insert pot.
Follow the recipe. Add a sufficient amount of grease, veggies, or liquid as required by the recipe. Dry cooking for long is not what the crockpot is made for.
You can also spray the pot with cooking oil. In case you feel the pot may dry up, try cooking in intervals.
Aging (Regular Wear and Tear)
Like with all things, your crockpots do age with time.
This happens when you have been using the crockpot for a long period or use it every day for many years.
With prolonged usage and consistent exposure, your crockpot can develop cracks. These cracks may be very tiny and unnoticeable in the beginning.
Gradually they become large enough to notice and may also break your pot completely.
Tips to Prolong the life of your Crockpot
Keep a lookout for tiny cracks in your old crockpot. Once you spot them, it is best to do away with the pot and look for a new one.
Exposing the cracked pot ( no matter how small) to heat can intensify the cracks and may even cause the pot to break up completely.
All the components of a crockpot are sensitive to rough handling. Exposing it to sudden force while placing or removing it from a place can cause it to weaken and crack.
Unintentionally banging or slipping the crockpot on the kitchen slab or floor can cause cracks to form
Always treat your crockpot right with care. Read the manual booklet for all the procedures and follow the instructions carefully.
Never go beyond the permitted temperatures and pressures. Be careful while placing or removing your crockpot.
Especially from a height. Treat the crockpot gently and it will reward you for years!
The Ceramic pot inside the Crockpot can develop cracks when exposed to direct flames or heat.
The pot insert is meant to be placed inside the crockpot or the oven (below 400F). Never place the pot directly on the electric or gas stovetops.
Let us now proceed towards fixing up the cracks in your crockpot.
Despite all the precautions, at times you may have to face cracks in your pot. Let us find out if there is a way to repair the crockpot.
Can Cracks in the Crockpot be Repaired?
There is no safe way to repair the crack in your crockpot.
Although you may be tempted to use glue, it will adversely affect the food you cook inside.
Super glues are not heat-safe. Once your crockpot becomes heated up, your glue won’t hold for long.
I would strongly advise you to choose the safety of your health and skip cooking in a cracked pot.
There are many budget-friendly crock pots available for sale both offline and online.
You could also do a one-time investment and let your crockpot cook for you for a long period.
If the crack is tiny, I don’t see why not. However, if it is a solid crack, there are chances of ceramic shreds seeping into your food. It is best to throw away the pot.
If you have no other alternative and are stuck with just a cracked crockpot to serve, I suggest you use slow cooker liners. First place the liner and then your food components.
Crockpot liners won’t protect the water/sauce present in your crockpot. You can use the liner only if you wish to place dried, semi-dried food.
What To Do If the Crack Appears in Crockpot While Cooking?
If your ceramic pot insert cracks while cooking, do not worry. Follow the simple steps below :
1) Switch off your crockpot
2) Remove the food contents
3) Leave the crockpot for some time until it cools down to room temperature.
4) Take the pot out. If the cracks are superficial, you can wash the pot and keep it dry naturally. Use it as before
5) If the cracks are deep, you need to replace the ceramic pot insert.
If your pot has a non-stick coating, even minor cracks can leach out harmful chemicals into food. It is best to replace the ceramic pot insert.
I have listed for you in detail the possible causes for cracks in your crockpot. Follow the precautions above to prevent Cracks from occurring in your crockpot.
If you have a hairline crack, use a disposable liner over it to serve food. If the crack is big, it is best to invest in a secondhand or new crockpot.
Do not attempt to repair the crack with super glue.
There are no heat-safe glues for a crockpot. Once the crockpot turns hot, the glue won’t stay in position.
The science of safekeeping your crockpot is not difficult to Crack!
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