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Slow cookers or crockpots are literally the best way to cook when you want hearty and flavorful food and have loads of time. It makes the hardest low-quality meat turn tender and lip-smacking. But crock pots are extremely hard to clean…and that’s a huge problem. Plus they are delicate and you can easily damage them if you’re not careful enough.
Whenever I’m washing an electrical appliance, I feel like I’m diffusing a bomb. There’s a slight, irrational fear in the corner of my heart which feels that it might explode at any moment (water and wires don’t work well together you see…).
So how do I clean my crockpot in a way that it gets squeaky clean without blowing up in my face?
Cleaning A Crockpot or Slow Cooker
I reached every corner of the Internet and found the most effective and safe ways to clean a crockpot. Not only that, but I also learned how to maintain it regularly without damaging it (there you go…. 2 things for the price of none).
Another thing to keep in mind is if you have crockpot models with removable stoneware is to separate the stoneware from the metal plate and then wash it separately. (One might think that this is quite obvious but you’ll be surprised at what people can do.)
Washing the Lid
The lid of your crockpot can be cleaned with hot soapy water. You can also pop it in the dishwasher.
Washing the Stoneware
You can either wash the stoneware with plain water or give it a deep cleaning depending upon the residue and mess inside.
1. Washing with water
While you can wash the stoneware with water, make sure that you let it cool down first. Pouring cold water into a warm pot can damage the stoneware.
Also, use gentle cleaning methods—this includes the usage of soft sponges, rubber spatulas, and non-abrasive cleaners.
2. Deep-washing the Stoneware
This method takes longer but it’s 100% effective. Here are the steps to deep wash your slow cooker:
Step 1– Fill it with water until the leftover food line.
Step 2– Now put equal parts white vinegar and baking soda in the water (½ cup of each for a 3-quart crockpot and 1 cup of each for a 6-quart crockpot).
Allow the bubbles to calm down and then add some more baking soda into the mix.
Step 3– Now cover the pot with the lid and turn it on low for an hour. This is like a sauna phase for the cooker. Just let it relax.
Step 4– After an hour passes, switch off the pot, remove the water, and let it cool. Then clean the stoneware with warm water and a soft sponge or cloth.
Congratulations!! You now have a squeaky clean cooker.
“But what about the metal plate? How do I wash the metal plate with the electric parts without damaging something?” No worries! I’ve got you covered.
Washing the Metal Plate
One thing to keep in mind here is to never immerse the metal plate in water or liquid of any kind. That will definitely be a shocker (this was lame…ik).
Step 1– To clean the metal part, mix water with baking soda to form a paste with a consistency similar to toothpaste.
Step 2– Now all you have to do is take a sponge or paper towel, and apply the paste on the stained metal plate with its help.
Step 3– Done? Good! Now take a slightly damp cloth and wipe the paste out. Repeat this process of applying the paste and removing it until either the plate is clean or until you’re satisfied (whichever comes first).
Step 4– Wipe the plate with a dry cloth after this to make sure no moisture remains. Make sure to do this or the plate might rust eventually.
And there you have it, a complete hassle-free cleaning tutorial of your crockpot. What could be better than this? Ohh wait, the chili you’ll make in it would be way better!
Tips for Cleaning Your Crockpot
- Always unplug the cooker and allow it to cool before cleaning it.
- You can clean the outside of the appliance with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
- Check if your crockpot is dishwasher safe. If it is, you can just put the bowl in the dishwasher. That’s the easy and effective way out.
- Sometimes oven cleaners can be used but they are toxic and you shouldn’t use them unless absolutely necessary. This is an easy method but not as effective.
Dos and Don’ts for Maintaining a Slow Cooker
Maintaining a slow cooker is extremely easy. If you can use it and clean it without breaking it, you’re almost halfway there!! But here are some tips that will give you a nudge to the finish line and help you keep your appliance at its best:
- DON’t subject your crockpot to sudden temperature changes. That is, don’t wash a hot crockpot with cold water. Allow it to cool first.
- DON’T pre-heat your crockpot. It is not an oven. Pre-heating can damage the bowl of the cooker, especially if it’s made of fine ceramic.
- Fill the whole bowl (or at least more than half of the bowl) before turning it on. Crockpot cookers don’t have direct heat at the bottom, so it’s best to fill it full.
- Before you start making a meal, apply a layer of non-stick spray directly on the stoneware. This will prevent food from sticking to the walls, which in turn, means fewer scratches on the ceramic bowl from washing it.
(P.S: I said it once and I’ll say it again… DON’T use abrasive scrubs or hardcore brushes and spatulas to clean the stoneware.)
- Try using a crockpot liner while cooking. This helps in minimizing the mess inside the appliance.
So now you know how to clean an electrical slow cooker or crockpot without it blowing up in your face and how to maintain it. Remember—with great cookers comes great responsibility.
Anyway, I’m going to go have some delicious chili while you put your newfound knowledge to test.