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Ways to Clean a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker

Last Updated: June 29, 2020

Written on March 9, 2018 by Karen Norman
                   
Clean A Crock Pot with a Crock Pot Cleaning Hack

How to Clean a Crock Pot

Introduction – Clean a Crock Pot

Crock Pots are just great for stews and casseroles and the like but perhaps like me you tend to over fill the pot. Do you end up with quite a sticky mess to clean up afterwards? Crock Pots are rather heavy and can be cumbersome and it can be difficult to clean a Crock Pot.

Firstly what not to do when you clean a Crock Pot

  • Do not get the electrical element wet. The part that has the wire and plug cannot get wet or be submerged in water. Instead just use a lightly dampened cloth with a little detergent on it to wipe it clean.
  • Do not use anything abrasive products such as scourers.
  • Do not use cold water on hot stoneware. Wait for it to cool down.

Three Clean a Crock Pot Cleaning Hacks

  1. If your Crock Pot is not too dirty, cleaning by hand might be fine. Use a sponge with a dab of non-abrasive kitchen cleaner or even vinegar.
  2. If things are quite dirty but not excessively so, then soaking in a soapy dish soap and water combination may be just fine. You can do that in the sink or some people recommend filling the stoneware with water, adding a few drops of dish soap and actually putting it on a low heat for an hour.
  3. For more stubborn Crock Pots, Soak in Water, Vinegar and Baking Soda
    • You will need Water, Distilled White Vinegar and Baking Soda.
    • Fill the Slow Cooker with Tap Water to cover the grime.
    • Then add one cup of distilled white vinegar for a 6 Quart Crock pot.
    • Slowly add some Baking Soda (a spoonful at a time). Let the bubbles die down before submersing each spoonful. A cupful of Baking Soda in total should do the trick.
    • Turn on Crock Pot to low setting. Cover and set for about 4 hours.
    • Let the Crock Pot cool before touching it. Then empty out the concoction and wash in the sink with soapy water. Stubborn grime should now come off nicely.
    • Rinse and let it dry.

Can you Clean a Crock Pot by putting it in the Dishwasher?

Obviously the part that has the electrical elements cannot be put in the Dishwasher, but the lid and the inner removable pot may be okay. However we suggest you check with the manufacturer to make sure the crock pot you have is dishwasher safe.

What is the difference between a Crock Pot and a Slow Cooker?

We mention both because people do tend to refer to both terms and usually mean the same thing, but is there a difference? Technically Crock-Pot is a brand name referring to a model of slow cooker, but over the years Crock Pot has become synonymous with Slow Cookers in the same way 'hoovering' has became synonymous with vacuuming. Crock-Pot is just one make of Slow Cooker.

Some History on the Slow Cooker and the Crock Pot

Irving Nachumsohn (know by the name of Naxon) received a patent for the invention of the Slow Cooker back in January 1940. It was designed to cook a Jewish Stew eaten on the Sabbath in Europe. The Slow Cooker was first marketed in the 1950s under the name: “Naxon’s Beanery.” Initially it was a pot for cooking bean-based dishes. The first slow cooker evolved as a solution to the Jewish faith’s observance of the Sabbath not to cook for two days. So, they prepared a cholent – a meat and vegetable Stew which they then tried to keep warm to eat on the Saturday evening.

In 1971 the Rival Company launched the Crock-Pot after acquiring the design from Naxon. It was a more advanced version of the original slow cooker – a cooker with an electric base and a removable ceramic pot.

The ability to prepare and then leave stews and casseroles to cook safely at low temperatures, all day, became an irresistible convenience to the ‘cook’ of the household. It was especially convenient for those working outside of the home. It was a practical way to have a hearty ready-made meal at then end of the day.

Read more about the history at the CNET's Blog Post: From Humble to High Tech, a Slow Cooker History.

Food prepared in Crock Pots

Inevitably, the main use for a Crock Pot is for food. They are commonly used for casseroles and hearty soups, but they are also useful for:

  • cooking bread
  • making yoghurt
  • baking brownies
  • slow roasting meat
  • cooking pasta

Other uses for Crock Pots

Surprisingly, food is not the only use of a Crock Pot. Here are some other creative ideas for your Slow Cooker:

  • Soap – The Nerdy Farm Wife has a cool recipe for making “Oatmeal Honey Soap in a Crock Pot”
  • Pot Pourri Room Freshener – using a mix of Fruit (such as Apples, Oranges or Lemons), Cinnamon Sticks, Dried Chamomile, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, or other spices. Add the ingredients you want to use and cook on a low heat to give the home a delectable fragrance. Add more water to the crock pot if the water starts to evaporate too much.
  • Crayons – Fondly known as Crock Pot Crayons – This is essentially a fun way to recycle old, broken bits of crayon. Take the paper labels off the crayons and sort into colors. Chop the crayons into pieces. Use a heat proof mold that will fit in the crock pot such as a foil cup cake tray or a silicon ice cube mold. Fill the molds to the top with the crayon pieces. (Bear in mind they will melt down). Put the mold in the crock pot with a shallow layer of water so it does not drown the mold. Some say cook on a high setting, some say low, but the idea is to melt the crayon pieces. Cover and it should take about 30 minutes for the melting to be completed. Allow the mixture and container to cool before safely removing the mold from the Crock Pot. Then place the mold in the Freezer for 10 minutes to harden the crayons, after which the crayons can be removed from their molds.
  • Candles – The Prairie Homestead has a great blog on “Making Soy Candles in the Slow Cooker”.

In addition, the Reader’s Digest has an interesting blog on even more ideas for Non-Food Uses.

Other Cleaning Hacks you may like

In addition to this Clean a Crock Pot hack you may also like the following:

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