Do you have Hot Spots in your Crock-Pot?
If your food in the crockpot smells like it’s burning … you may have crock-pot hot spots.
If your food appears to cook too quickly or unevenly … you may have crock-pot hot spots.
It’s not your fault and it’s not necessarily a defective crockpot. Over time, some crock pots develop hot spots that can reach over 400 degrees F. (that’s why I don’t recommend buying used slow cookers/crockpots). But there is some good news – you don’t have to replace your slow cooker!
You have choices; you can work around it or work with it.
What to do about it …
Work Around It; Identify where your slow cooker’s hot spots are. (It is usually the areas where food touches the surface walls or bottom of the cooker) When cooking soups & stews with plenty of liquid, an occasional stir will keep the food evenly distributed, avoiding burned food. If you’re cooking a casserole or something more ‘solid’ textured, move the food away from the surface walls where the hot spot is located. Be sure that the newly positioned food will not touch the surface walls and continue to cook as planned. This remedy requires your time and attention, thereby eliminating your crockpot’s main purpose of “cooking while you’re away”. Next remedy …
Work With It; Use crockpot liners! This is the simplest, easiest way to handle the problem. First, add a small amount of water (about 1/4 cup) to the slow cooker before the liner is inserted. Water will create steam between the crock & liner, eliminating hot spots and also preventing the liner from sticking. Of course it is an extra expense, but you won’t need liners for everything you cook. After using liners and experiencing “clean-up freedom”, you may fall in love with them!
~ Bottom Line ~
(no sugar coating – let’s be real)
The good news is, there are solutions. You have several choices to remedy hot spots in your cooker and any of them are fairly simple. I am so frugal, I would work around it and work with it (like we just discussed above), but getting a new crockpot might be a better idea for you since it seems that hot spots occur over time, with older appliances. Crock-Pots are very affordable – look through my store (with crockpots categorized by size) to find the perfect one for YOUR needs. I don’t recommend buying a second-hand slow cooker/crockpot because even if it works, you never know how well it will cook. (It may have hot spots too!)
Hope that helps!