4 Tips for Slow Cooker Safety

Fall is just around the corner, and soon, people will be gathering at your home for football games, bonfires, apple cider—and most of all—chili. And then, of course, you’ll be serving up roasts on Sundays and potato soup on busy weekdays. Let’s be honest, autumn is slow cooker season. And, that’s why you need to know a thing or two about slow cooker safety—because the only fire in your kitchen should come from jalapeños.

 

Keep it flat.

This is just common sense, but keep your slow cooker on a flat, nonflammable surface while in use. Also, check the wire to make sure it isn’t crimped or stuck under the cooker and clear the area of any loose papers or other items that could catch fire.

 

Be careful with antiques or hand-me-downs.

Many older appliances work perfectly well, but as we learned from NBC’s This Is Us, you should keep an eye on an antique slow cooker. Unplug it right away if its exterior gets too hot or if it emits strange odors, and keep in mind that many older models don’t have modern safety measures like automatic shut off.

You could also test a cooker by filling it with lukewarm tap water until it’s 2/3 or ¾ full. Set the machine to low and then check it with a food thermometer after eight hours. The water should be heated to at least 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Check your smoke detectors.

Accidents happen and appliances fail. That’s why you should always know whether or not your smoke detector works before plugging in a slow cooker and leaving it for hours.

 

Thaw your meat.

This tip may not keep your kitchen from catching fire, but it will definitely protect your family from food poisoning. Thaw your meat before putting it in a slow cooker. The appliance works so slowly that frozen meat might spend too long in the temperature “danger zone” and become contaminated.

 

These simple tips will greatly decrease your chances of a slow cooker accident, but—of course—unfortunate things always happen. Before you cook your first fall roast, call us at 270-554-2105 to make sure your home insurance policy is up-to-date.