Slow cooker/ Crock pot Question...

@megs85 (3145)
Australia
March 10, 2007 8:45pm CST
Okay generally speaking I dont think Im stupid, but hey I never claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed. Just wodnering on the safety of leaving a slow cooker/crockpot on in the house for 12 hours whilst Im at work... Is it safe? Are there recipes that actually take that long to cook? Im about to start a new job on Wednesday as some of you know, and Id like to clarify this stuff before I go out and buy a slowcooker/crockpot. Another quick question, are they the same thing? Ok I pretty much look like a moron now so Im gonna shut up. lol
10 people like this
24 responses
• United States
11 Mar 07
I love my crockpot. The answer to both of your questions are yes. I think that it is safe to leave the crockpot on while you are at work. Most recipes you can cook on high for a shorter period of time, this is usually what I do because I personally do not like to leave the crockpot on all day. The crockpot and slowcooker are the same thing.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Mar 07
I always worry about that, too...I usually use mine on the weekends when I'm going to be in and out...but everyone seems to think it's ok...
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
11 Mar 07
Thanks guys- I might try experimenting with it on a weekend first whilst Im home to see how high I should cook certain things and how it goes being left on all day.
1 person likes this
@Tanika (632)
• Australia
11 Mar 07
Heya Megs, I have a crock pot too and I often leave it unattended for 8-10 hours although ive never left it for 12. If you make sure it has enough water though it should be fine. Do you have Circuit breakers/Safety switches in you house? If so it would turn the whole power off in case it shorted anyway. I too am quite paranoid about leaving it alone but have done so many times and it makes great meals and I have never had any problems. Congrats on the new job! Hope everything goes well for you, Tanika.
@pinklilly (3446)
• Australia
11 Mar 07
I would never leave anything cooking alone whether in a slow cooker or not, anything could happen. I would be more prone to precook when I am home and keeping in the fridge till the next night etc... Try looking at easy meals to cook for when you get home from work or pre cook and freeze etc. There are many alternatives out there. By the way Congratulations on the New Job I hope all goes well for you...
1 person likes this
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
11 Mar 07
Thanks for the congrats pinklilly :) Ive been looking at making meals ahead of time and freezing them, and making quick and easy meals. Im just looking for as many alternatives as possible. Thansk for your opinion. As I said, I might give it a try whilst Im home one weekend and see how comfortable I feel doing it.
1 person likes this
@pinklilly (3446)
• Australia
11 Mar 07
I found this information, seems to be ok although I would be reluctant to leave it cooking for that long unatended. I like to keep check every so often... A slow cooker, often referred to as a Crock-Pot, is a countertop electrical home appliance that is used to cook stews and other dishes containing water at relatively low temperatures, with correspondingly long cooking times (several hours). Many recipes simply call for the ingredients to be put in the crock, with little preparation. The slow cooker can then safely be left to run unattended, making it a convenient cooking method.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
You're not stupid...just cautious! I've thought of doing the crock pot thing. Actually, several of my coworkers swear by it, but I feel too nervous. Besides, I frequently get random invites out to happy hour, and knowing me, I'd forget that I had it on and would leave it on entirely too long. Just wanted you to know that you're not the only paranoid person out there. Good luck with your new job!
• Netherlands
11 Mar 07
That was what I was thinking about.... Whether there were some form of timers out that could be bought and used in combination with the pot. I am not sure, maybe some pots now adays come with something like that. It seems logical.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
Crockpots are the best especially in the summer when it's hot...I don't have to be standing in the hot kitchen with the stove on...I just throw all me stuff in ..and a few hours later you have a yummy home cooked meal. I've used them for years and never had a problem leaving them on while I'm at work.
1 person likes this
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
11 Mar 07
Im only concerned because Ill be gone at least 12 hours. I have a ten hour shift each weekday and it will take me and hour and a half to get to work (I have to drop off the little fella at childcare first) and an hour to get home. Thats fingers crossed Im outta work on time. My partner should be home before I am... but what if he wasnt y'know? If you have any really great recipes to share please feel free, Id loev to hear em...expecially anythign that has loads of potatoes, lamb or beef or cheese mmm. lol, im hungry now :S
1 person likes this
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
11 Mar 07
Oh I think that leaving the slow cooker/crockpot on the stove would be ok while you are at work, I have left mine up to 10 hours and as long as it is on low then it will be ok, no recipes normally take that long to cook that I know of but I always make sure that I also have some kind of juice in my recipe that I am cooking at that particular time for that length of time. Yes they are the same thing. No you are not a moron it is best to ask as if you don't ask you never will know what is the right thing to do.
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
11 Mar 07
Don't buy the cheapest thing possible. I paid a bit more for mine, I bought a good one and it's big enough to put a small roast potatoes and carrots. I don't always have some one here to add the veggies at noon but this is what I do. Before I leave the house I put a frozen roast in the bottom, no water because the meat will thaw, then I add garlic salt because I like garlic add salt and pepper put the potatoes in and the carrots can sit on the top as they cook faster. Turn it to Med shut the lid and supper is done when you come home. I've done this for years and never had any trouble. Bon Appetite Good Luck
@wmg2006 (5386)
• United States
11 Mar 07
Hey that great about the job! I personally leave a slow cooker on sometimes, but never for that long. I also come home for lunch so I can check on it. Most recipes call for things to be cooked 8-9 hours on low with a slow cooker. They should make them or maybe they do now so they will turn off after the hours programmed. If they don't make them that way then I should invent that for safety. Maybe you could get someone to turn it off after 8 hours then I know it would be safe. As far as them being the same I always thought they were. But here is the difference in the two. The most common models have a crockery pot insert and the heating elements are housed in the sides, so the heat actually surrounds the food. The two heat settings are LOW (200 degrees) and HIGH (300 degrees). The other type of slow cooker, or "multi-cooker" usually cooks from the bottom and might have a thermostat allowing a wide range of temperatures. Recipes cooked in this type of cooker might need occasional stirring. Every time the lid is lifted, add 20 minutes to the overall cooking time to keep them from scorching on the bottom. I think the term crock pot is a brand of a slow cooker. Good Luck!
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Mar 07
I have used a crock pot for over 30 years and never had a problem. I have used it in hotel rooms too. I always amke sure that I set it on the stove. This helps keep the heat good and shields the counters from the heat. I use to put it on the counter until one day the formica started peeling up. I use it for ribs, have some in right now for dinner tomorrow. I do them for over 15 hours and no problems. They are wonderful for moms and working women. Great time saver!
@msqtech (15226)
• United States
9 Apr 07
it also is wonderful for meat stews and soups/
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
19 Mar 07
I usually only use my crock pot when I am at home to check on it every once in a while, although I have never had any problems with leaving it cooking in it for hours as long as there was lots of liquids in what I was cooking. The only time I ran into any trouble was when the liquid level got too low, so just be sure to cook with lots of liquids. Also, as someone already mentioned, if you don't want your crock pot for so many hours you can but a timer that turns it on and off at specified times. This would work great to have your meal hot and ready at whatever time you want.
• United States
18 Mar 07
I have left my crockpot on low for between 8-12 hours before and even left the house. It did perfectly fine (and dinner was ready that evening with little to no effort). Sometimes certain cuts of meat or dry beans need to cook longer.
@Anakata2007 (1787)
• Canada
12 Mar 07
yes they are the same thing. I don't think your question is stupid. My husband and I wondered the exact same thing. They are supposed to be safe but neither of us feels comfortable with it, so we decided against getting one.
• United States
11 Mar 07
First, congrats on the new job!! I've left my crockpot on overnight, as well as all the following day and never had a problem. I believe they are designed to cook long and slow without hazards. As far as I know, a crockpot and slow cooker are the same thing. I've always used Rival crockpots, and have never had a problem with them. Best of luck on your new job!!
• United States
11 Mar 07
That is not a stupid question. Crock Pot is a slowcooker brand. So a crock pot is a slowcooker.Yes a slowcooker is built to work all day. So if your recipe says it takes 10 hours to cook something, then it will take 10 hours.It is safe to leave it on all day.Good Luck with your job and your slowcooker.
@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
11 Mar 07
Well Megs when I was working full time I used to leave the Slow cooker all the Time. I used to put it on at 7am and it would all be done by 6pm at night as long as you use the right settings you will be ok. And yes it is safe. Well done and good luck on your new Job, hope it all goes well for you
• United States
11 Mar 07
You are not a moron, I was the same way when I first recieved a crockpot for a gift. A crockpot/slow cooker is the same thing, I was confused about that too. As for leaving a crockpot on, yes it is safe. Just make sure it is not near paper or flamable items, that is just "duh" type stuff. Also, you can get crockpots that once they are done cooking, go to warm then off. I have a "Smart Pot", the one with the recipies in it. However, they do sell a cheaper smart pot that doesn't have the recipies, but does shut off. I would go with one that does that as if you are later than you planned or the recipe doesn't take 12 hours it won't burn. Good luck! You will love having one.
• United States
11 Mar 07
I couldn't live without my crock pot. I use it all the time. But I don't leave it on for 12 hours or so.. I think 12 hours is to long.. What I cook in my crock pot is a meatloft.. I use the ingredients from the dried onion soup mix on the side panel.. Form it like a loft pan and put it in my crockpot for about 4-5 hours... To me it taste better then doing it in the oven.. I also do my spagetti meat sauce in my crockpot. I brown the meat then put it in my crockpot with the other ingredients. Let that cook for about 8 hours.. I cook meats and chicken too.. even if they are still frozen.. Put my seasonings on it and let it cook. about 8-10 hours. I buy a boston butt and cook it then I cut it up to look like baroque pork.. and take out the fat.. Pour in the baroque sauce and let it cook alittle longer.. Some of my roast I put in potatoes, onions, celrey, carrots, and let it cook with the roast... My brother in law make the best baked beans from the crockpot too.. You can use it for many different foods..
@deeeky (3669)
• Edinburgh, Scotland
11 Mar 07
You will not be wrong in buying a slow cooker and then using it to cook meals whilst you are at work. They use a low wattage and are built to a high safety so now harm will come to leaving it unattended. The difference a slow cooker makes to the meal is outstanding in taste and tenderness and well worth the purchase.
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
11 Mar 07
I've left food in the crockpot for about 10 hours before, and then after we eat we leave it on keep warm until one of us gets around to figuring out what to do with the leftovers. Chili is good for this - I leave it on low all day and it's great when we come home. Make sure you have enough liquid though, that's the important part.
• United States
11 Mar 07
Hi Megs :) I use my crockpot at least once a week if I can. It's one of the best invetions ever :) yes it is safe to leav it plugged in as long as its sitting someplace where children and or pets cant reach it. I think the reason it's ok to leave it on is because it doesnt get THAT hot, it can get hot especially if cooking it on HIGH but not hot enough to start a fire or anything (i think) unless the electrical part is faulty. BUT yes there are some recipes that can take that long but you can always cook it on high for 6 hours. just be sure there's enough liquids in it so it doesnt dry up & burn...I love using mine though. Mines big enough for a whole chicken I cook it for 5 1/2 hours and it falls right off the bones so shredding it is a breeze & i have slow cooked chicken for what ever recipes Im in the mood food :) its great!