Why Do Slow Cookers Crack? (And How To Fix It..?)

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Why Do Slow Cookers Crack? (And How To Fix It..)

Busy cooks swear by slow cookers’ usability because of their safety standards and smart interfaces. A crockpot can reduce your workload by half once you understand its functionality and temperature settings.

However, like all other cooking appliances, slow cookers can also deteriorate with time. Several factors can cause a crockpot to crack and break after regular usage.

If you want to know what causes a slow cooker to crack, follow this guide and keep your crockpot from cracking. 

What Causes a Slow Cooker to Crack? 

Since crockpots are advertised as some of the safest cookers, most home cooks don’t bother providing them with extra care and wind up with cracked slow cookers. But once you know the reasons behind these cracks, you can devise a better care regime for your favorite crockpot and prolong its life. 

Here are the primary causes behind slow cooker cracking incidents:

  • Drastic Temperature Changes

Sure, slow cookers are meant to reduce your workload; you cannot be careless with them. When you stuff a slow cooker with frozen food and plug it in, its ceramic insert undergoes drastic temperature changes that initiate cracks and dents. 

Crockpot manufacturers recommend you thaw meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables before transferring them to a cold crockpot for a balanced atmosphere. Out of the refrigerator into the crockpot is a bad practice that compromises your crockpot’s well-being and food safety.

Leave the frozen food on your countertop for 10-15 minutes before stuffing it into the crockpot to avoid drastic temperature changes. Ceramic inserts cannot take sudden heat shocks because they quickly expand and contract after these changes, leading to multiple cracks in your crockpot. 

  • Refrigerating the Ceramic Pot

Preparing the meal a night before can save your time and energy, but be careful of your crockpot while doing this. If you mix all raw ingredients in your crockpot’s ceramic bowl and put it in the refrigerator, it’s a recipe for irreversible damage. 

When you place the cold ceramic insert inside the crockpot’s metal frame, it quickly gets hot, and you don’t want that. Sudden temperature changes, regardless of the reason behind them, can crack a ceramic cooking pot. 

If you like mixing and marinating the raw ingredients a night/day before putting them in the slow cooker, use a different bowl for it because refrigerating a ceramic bowl is never risk-free. 

  • Submerging the Hot Ceramic Interior

Another factor contributing to crockpot cracks is submerging a hot cooking pot in cold water. You might think quickly submerging a crockpot will reduce your cleaning effort, it’s not always the case. Soaking hot ceramic bowls and pots initiate heat shocks that cause cracks. 

  • Placing the Crock on a Burner or Stove 

Although quite rare, this is another reason for crockpot cracks. Some people take their crockpot’s ceramic insert as a regular bowl and try using it separately too. But when they place a slow cooker’s ceramic pot on the burner or stove, it quickly catches heat and ends up cracking. 

A crockpot’s heating element doesn’t abruptly increase its temperature; it gradually picks up the pace and ensures the ceramic pot is intact. Contrarily, a stove/burner will target one spot on your crockpot and crack its exteriors with its extreme heat. 

  • Careless Handling 

Apart from abrupt temperature changes, careless handling and improper maintenance can also cause a crockpot to crack. When a ceramic insert collides against a hard surface or falls from your kitchen countertop, it can crack (if not smash right away). 

Crockpot ceramic inserts might look thick and sturdy, but they will crack when mishandled; being careful of these ceramic pots’ well-being is crucial. 

Is It Safe to Use a Cracked Crockpot or Slow Cooker? 

No, using a cracked crockpot is unsafe, especially if you use it for prolonged, unattended cooking. When you cook in a cracked ceramic pot, tiny food particles can stick in its cracks and make the cleaning phase more difficult. If a crockpot with non-stick interiors gets cracked, cooking in it is dangerous because the non-stick coating chemical traces can make their way to your food. You should replace a cracked crockpot right away to save your health and food. 

Cracked crockpots carry several health risks if you don’t timely replace them. Firstly, using a crockpot is double the usual effort. You’ll have to carefully remove stuck food particles and grease buildup from the pot’s cracks for a squeaky-clean finish. Secondly, a cracked ceramic insert will release small chemical and earth-based particles into your food. 

If your crockpot has small cracks on the outside, you can make it work for several meals unless the cracks expand. But when a ceramic pot has cracks right on its cooking surface, using it is not smart. You’re way better off with a replacement pot than using one with cracks and dents. 

Can A Cracked Crock Pot or Slow Cooker Be Repaired?

A cracked crockpot can be repaired with superglue or ceramic cement, but this hack won’t last long. Strong adhesives can seamlessly put a broken or cracked pot together, but they cannot survive the regular heating of your slow cooker. And once the superglue or ceramic cement starts to melt, it will be harmful to your health. So no, there’s no foolproof way of fixing cracked slow cookers. 

If you’re fond of a particular ceramic pot and seeing its weary condition is compelling you to find a solution, you should stop looking. Fixing cracked and broken crockpots takes a considerable time, and it doesn’t last long enough. A fixed ceramic pot won’t last for more than 2-3 cooking rounds in the slow cooker, so getting a new one is better. 

You can find several affordable and durable ceramic inserts on the market designed especially for your slow cooker. 

If your crockpot has hairline cracks, you can use ceramic cement or a good-quality superglue to fix them, and this remedy will do fine for a few weeks. But if the cracks are deep-rooted, no amount of adhesive can bring back a ceramic insert’s original form.

How Do You Fix A Hairline Crack In A Crockpot? 

Hairline cracks are superficial cracks that appear on a crockpot’s surface because of temperature shocks or mishandling. Luckily, you can fix these superficial cracks and use your slow cooker for regular cooking after that. 

If you have noticed some hairline cracks on your crockpot, here’s how you can fix them: 

  • If your crockpot cracked during cooking, take the food out and let the pot cool down. 
  • Wash the ceramic insert with tap water and leave it to air dry before proceeding. 
  • Grab a glue gun and fit a roll of superglue in it. 
  • Fill your crockpot’s cracks with this glue by moving the gun in an upward motion. 
  • Don’t let the glue spread around the cracks because that’ll be an additional mess. 
  • Set your ceramic pan aside unless its glue dries down. 
  • Wipe the excess glue with a damp cloth, and that’s all. 

You can also coat a layer of cooking oil above the dried adhesive to keep it from melting. 

Hairline cracks aren’t that serious because they are contained on a crockpot’s outer layer and can be filled with an adhesive. 

If your slow cooker has non-stick interiors, fixing its hairline cracks isn’t practical. Cracked non-stick surfaces can leach toxic fumes into your food and start to melt when heated – trying to fix them will be futile.

When a non-stick slow cooker gets cracked and dented, the only solution is to bin it because it can be a health risk if you continue using it.

My Slow Cooker Lid Just Shattered! What To Do?

Slow cooker lids can shatter due to extreme heat and temperature shocks because of their construction. Most crockpots come with glass lids that can retain heat up to a certain level. If you leave your slow cooker on for several hours, the heat buildup inside it can shatter the glass lid or render it useless. 

Sadly, you cannot fix a shattered crockpot lid because no adhesive can put together a broken glass lid. However, finding a broken lid’s replacement or managing a temporary solution for it is easy. 

  1. Get a Replacement 

Most slow cooker brands have single-piece glass lids to cover for these mishaps and kitchen accidents. You can either buy a new glass lid or use another pot cover from your kitchen that perfectly fits your slow cooker. We recommend buying a new crockpot lid explicitly designed for the model you own. 

  1. Use Aluminum Foil 

Aluminum foil is a quick fix for broken slow cooker lids. Since aluminum is well-known for retaining heat, you can use it to cover your crockpot during prolonged cooking. If you opt for this solution, use a double-layered aluminum foil and pinch it across your crockpot’s corners to contain moisture and heat. 

Final Words

Crockpots are safe and practical kitchen appliances you can use to make various cuisines. If you cannot spare much time for cooking or like slow-cooked recipes, a crockpot should be your go-to cooker in the kitchen. 

Like all other cookers, crockpots can also get damaged after regular usage and careless handling. Crockpots have ceramic inserts that are safe and easy to clean after long cooking sessions. However, these ceramic inserts can get cracked when exposed to sudden temperature changes. 

If you want to use your crockpot for a considerable time, make sure it doesn’t face extreme temperature changes. Don’t cook frozen food in a slow cooker, and don’t put a ceramic pot in the refrigerator to maintain its well-being. 

We have explained the process of fixing hairline cracks in a crockpot above, but remember that repairing a slow cooker’s deep cracks isn’t possible. 

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