A kitchen is not complete without a slow cooker, especially in today’s fast-paced life. A slow cooker is essential for a person who doesn’t have enough time to spend hours in the kitchen. Either you inherited it from your family, got it as a gift from a friend, or bought it yourself, it is bound to get old. And a time comes when you have to replace it with a new slow cooker. Most people don’t understand the signs when they should buy a new slow cooker, which is why we have put together all the signs so you can know when to buy a new slow cooker.
Signs That Your Old Slow Cooker Needs to Retire
The technology advances with every passing year, just like that the slow cookers and their features have developed over time. So, if you have inherited a slow cooker from your mother or grandmother, you may want to look out for some of the following things.
1. See if the Cord is Damaged or Wrapped with Fabric
Older slow cookers have fabric cords, which were the trend in the past; however, such cords do not comply with the safety hazards of current times. They can be a fire hazard; moreover, fabric cords are too old-fashioned to be kept in a modern kitchen. So, if you have a slow cooker with a fabric cord, you should consider replacing it with a
Even if you have a slow cooker with a plastic cord, make sure the cord isn’t damaged. If it is damaged, it can expose you or anyone who uses it to danger. This is why it is better to get a new slow cooker or replace the cord altogether if you can do it.
2. See If the Lid Doesn’t Cover the Insert Properly
In a slow cooker, the steam and heat that gathers inside the cooker are all that matters to cook perfect juicy food. If the lid of your slow cooker doesn’t fit snugly on the insert, there is a big gap between them, or there is a vent hole in the lid, it will cause all the heat and steam to go to waste, and the food will take more time to cook, and will probably come out dry.
If there is anything that can cause the heat and steam to leave the pot, you should consider getting a slow cooker whose lid sits properly and doesn’t let the heat leave.
3. If it Stops Heating up Like Before
Like every machine, slow cookers also come to an end after a certain time. Older slow cookers are most likely to stop heating up sooner or later. So if the old slow cooker has stopped working properly, it is better to get a new one instead of sticking to something that wouldn’t work for you anymore.
4. If the Size of the Slow Cooker Doesn’t Suit Your Needs
Slow cookers come in different sizes, some are pretty big, and others are comparatively smaller. It all depends on how much food you have to cook to decide which size you want. However, if the slow cooker you already have is too big or too small for your requirements, you should replace it with the right-sized one. If you have to cook for yourself alone, a smaller size will work fine, and a bigger size would just be a waste and vice versa.
5. Check if the Insert is Not Removable
Older versions of slow cookers had inserts attached to the base, which makes them hard to clean. However, an advanced slow cooker comes with detachable/removable inserts that make them easier to clean and serve. Moreover, most of these removable inserts are dishwasher safe; they are more convenient. You should get a new slow cooker for the sake of convenience, as the older ones don’t seem much convenient or time-saving.
Some Durable Slow Cookers to Replace Your Old One With
With a removable stone insert, this crockpot has a capacity of 7 quartzes, i.e., it can cook enough food for at least seven people at once. All you have to do is add all the ingredients, set the cooking time, and leave it until it’s cooked. Along with different heat levels, it is also dishwasher safe.
This one is better if you need a smaller slow cooker, as its capacity is around 4-quart. Just like all the modern slow cookers, it also comes with a removable and dishwasher-safe stone insert. Moreover, Hamilton slow cooker offers four different heat settings, and the stoneware is also suitable for storing food in the refrigerator.
This 2-quart slow cooker is ideal for people living alone. It comes with removable stoneware, which is also dishwasher safe. The best thing about this slow cooker is its great price – anyone with a small budget can easily afford it.
Things to Do Before Using Your New Slow Cooker
After you have bought a new slow cooker, don’t just unbox and plug it in right away. Be patient and follow some instructions before you start using it.
- Read the Instructions Manual Carefully
Different slow cookers work differently, so it is better not to act like a know-it-all and read the complete instruction manual. There are details in instruction manuals that people often ignore and end up being confused later; for example, you may not know, but stoneware is pretty sensitive towards temperature balance. Putting too cold food into a hot cooker and vice versa can harm your appliance.
- Clean it Before Using
If you think that your slow cooker is clean enough to cook food because it was never used before, you have a completely wrong idea of cleanliness. Even if it is not used before, you must clean and wash the stoneware before cooking in it, as there can chemicals or germs sticking to the surface of your slow cooker.
Cleaning it makes it more reliable to cook in. In addition to that, you can also study the parts of your cooker while cleaning, which makes it easier to use.
- Put it in a Proper Place
Don’t just start testing it anywhere. First, put it in its proper place and then use it. If you use a slow cooker regularly, place it somewhere easy to access. If you don’t have to use it so often, you can keep it in a corner or even a rack where everyone can see it.
Lastly, don’t forget that you need to place your modern slow cooker somewhere near an electric socket, as it cannot work without electricity.
Slow cookers have become very popular among working people worldwide, as they allow people to cook food without spending hours in the kitchen in front of a stove. It saves a lot of time because all you have to do is add the ingredients and let it cook them while you take care of other necessary tasks. Moreover, a slow cooker allows people to cook food in bigger batches that they can store for later use.
As the times have changed, slow cookers have advanced too; there are hundreds of slow cookers with different features available on the market. This variety makes it easier for everyone to get a slow cooker that suits them best, according to their requirements.
Also, make sure to follow all the things we mentioned above before using your new slow cooker. These small but practical tips will help you get started with a slow cooker without facing any problem.