Are slow cookers safe to leave unattended? This a big question for most of us at any point in our lives. Is anything safe to leave unattended? In cooking, it is a bit more sensitive.
If you are leaving your slow cooker on the ground in the children’s room, then yes, slow cookers are not safe to leave unattended.
But if you follow the guidelines for your slow cooker, use some common sense and combine it with my experiences and tips, I think you will be just fine.
Then again, there are some ins and outs to keep in mind every time you are leaving your slow cooker without supervision. These include dry space for your slow cooker, safe power connection, or having a slow cooker out of reach of children and animals.
So, in general, the answer to the question is that they are safe to leave unattended if you don’t mess around and keep your cooking space clean and danger-free.
But dangers are lurking everywhere around your house or flat. And you most likely know this. You can be cooking, washing, or using any helpful buddy of yours, like a slow cooker.
There always is some kind of danger.
You or your loved ones can get hurt, burn their hands and face, cut fingers, spill hot water, and so on. There is a lot of things that can happen. At the same time, I know that you are aware of most of these and protect yourself and your loved ones to the best of your abilities.
But sometimes, even if we do our best, things can get nasty fast. And I would like to help you to protect not only yourself but also those you keep close to your heart with the following tips and experiences.
#1 Make space
This first tip might seem obvious, but more often than not, we tend to forget that a slow cooker is, in its simplest definition, a large and hot pot.
As such, they are taking quite a bit of space wherever you put them. It can be on a counter, on a table, even on the floor. In any case, you should make sure that there is always plenty of free space around your slow cooker.
If you clutter your slow cooker with a lot of unnecessary things like plates, pots, pans, and other messes, you will have a tough time getting to it. In case anything goes wrong or you need quick access to your slow cooker, having space around it is priceless.
Not only that, but it will also keep your mind at peace. Compared to the situation that you might have other appliances around that can be damaged by the release of hot steam or accidental spillage.
My recommendation is at least 10inches on each side around your slow cooker. That will provide you with enough space to do anything you need, while still having it comfortably doing its business.
#2 Power connection
It might seem obvious at first glance. What can be so tricky about connecting a slow cooker to the power outlet, right? It is not so much about connecting it to the socket, as is this tip about keep the connection clean.
What I mean by it is the fact that you should not be using any power socket timers or any homemade contraptions. These can cause a vast number of issues and dangers in your household. From sparks to unintentional disconnections.
As I have mentioned in my other article about slow cookers with a delayed start, using these kinds of gadgets is not recommended. At all. In any circumstance.
It can cause damages to your equipment, but there is also a possibility of fire, you, family members, and friends getting hurt, and a plethora of other issues.
When you are leaving your slow cooker unattended, try to make sure that you have to think about possible dangers as little as possible.
#3 Clean and dry
This tip is especially useful for the messier of us. I know, I know, we all think about ourselves as cool and clean masters, zen gurus who bend space to their will, but there is a student in all of us :-D.
Of course, I am joking a bit and do realize that sometimes you don’t want to clean and tidy up. It is hard enough to throw everything into the slow cooker and turn the heat up.
Still, in these and any other times, try to think about the state of space around your slow cooker. You don’t have to have the place spotless, but generally clean and, more importantly, dry area is preferable.
The thing is that even though most slow cookers already have ‘legs’ made out of rubber, there are some that have their bottom in contact with the surface.
Now the slow cooker is pretty much a big electric pot. And what does electricity do with water? Yes, it conducts. It brings out the danger of shocking yourself or a loved one, corrosion of the slow cooker is another possibility, and the option of slipping is also on your plate.
As an example, I give you my beloved wife. One time didn’t have time to clean the water spillage around the slow cooker, ran for the phone, and as she came back, a bit of water got to the floor. She didn’t notice it, picked up the slow cooker, lift it, and slipped on water. Nothing horrific happened.
The slow cooker just started, so its contents were cold. But the food was everywhere combined with a shattered slow cooker, and as a bonus, my wife broke two fingers.
Clean and dry is always the right way to do it.
#4 Check if you can
The fourth point goes slightly against the whole article, but hear me out.
Before you know your slow cooker at least a bit – you tested it a couple of times, maybe even try what happens if you add a bit too much of liquids and such – check in on it from time to time.
You don’t have to lift the lid of it, as that would decrease its internal temperature, and you would have to add cooking time to your current meal, about all of which you can find a lot more here. But check to know if everything is going fine. Like water concentrating above the slow cooker, power cord getting loose or someone messing with it or moving the slow cooker around.
#5 Better safe than sorry
As this whole thing is about being safe to leave your slow cooker unattended, I would like to add another option to feel extra safe.
I am talking about stepping up the game plan and adding a slow cooker with a locking lid to your arsenal. I have written a few lines about these already, and you can find them here.
The extra safety in using a slow cooker with a locking lid comes from, as the title suggests, the fact that its top is lockable:-D.
I know, how surprising.
But seriously. Having a locking lid on your slow cooker adds the benefit of knowing that no one who should not be opening the slow cooker is not going to do it.
The main feature of these is also their biggest and fiddliest downfall. Most of the slow cookers with locking lids are a bit complex in the option of closing and opening them. Still, the extra safety measure could prove to be invaluable, especially if you have a curious child in your household.
So to sum up.
|Tips to keep in mind|
|#1 Make space|
|#2 Power connection|
|#3 Clean and dry|
|#4 Check if you can|
|#5 Better safe than sorry|
And if you sprinkle in some common sense, you will be golden. You can slow cook your meals to greatness. Meanwhile, you can be, playing with your kids, watching your favorite TV show, working, or having a nap. Doing all this and knowing that you did everything in your power to safely leave your slow cooker unattended.
I do hope that I have been able to answer your question:
Are slow cookers safe to leave unattended, and I will be looking for you in my next article.
Until then, have a great time and enjoy your safer cooking.