Cooking

Are Slow Cookers Safe to Leave On?

San J Slow Cooker Pork Sliders

Posted on: January 11, 2022

A few years ago, the popular TV show “This Is Us” featured a fire started by a slow cooker accidentally left on. Were the writers just using their imaginations, or were they onto something? Many people wonder if slow cookers can really catch fire and if they’re safe to leave on. Get the facts about cooking safely with these versatile tools.

Why You Can Leave Your Slow Cooker On

Are slow cookers safe to leave on? Yes, it’s safe to leave a slow cooker on when you leave the house. The purpose of a slow cooker is to allow you to cook while you aren’t home. Slow cookers simmer food slowly, killing bacteria and raising meat to the perfect internal temperature. Slow cooker recipes are often designed for an eight-hour cook so that the food is ready when you return home after a long day. 

Is it safe to leave a slow cooker on for 12 hours? Yes, you can use your slow cooker for longer than eight hours, as long as you keep an eye on it. Many slow cookers do have an automatic shutoff after 24 hours. 

Tips for Leaving Your Slow Cooker On (Even if You’re Not Around)

You can use these tips to minimize the chance of fire or other problems and make your slow cooker experience even safer:

  • Keep the slow cooker on low heat: When you use the low setting, you ensure the slow cooker won’t overheat, which may lead to bubbling or spillover of ingredients. Low heat keeps the food cooking at a steady rate. 
  • Keep the slow cooker on a hard, flat surface, away from edges: You don’t want anything potentially flammable or prone to melting to come in contact with the slow cooker. You also want your cooker to stay securely on the counter, tabletop or wherever you put it. Positioning the slow cooker away from the edge to avoid accidents with kids or pets.
  • Keep cords away from liquids: Keep all electrical objects clear of liquids, or you could get an unpleasant surprise. A short in the cord could start a fire. Clean up any messes on the counter before you plug in your slow cooker. 

Find Ingredients for Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow cookers are a safe and effective way to make good family dinners. When you need ingredients for those dinners, check out our Slow & Pressure Cooker Sauces! We have three unique flavors to try: Korean BBQ, Thai Green Curry and Hawaiian Teriyaki. Everyone at the table will love the bold, complex taste of these sauces, and you’ll save yourself time in the kitchen. 

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