Leaving Crockpots on When You Aren't at Home

Do you leave your crockpot on while you are at work all day? I'll be gone about 9 1/2 hours and something about leaving it on that long bothers me. I grew up with a not the firefighter dad and while I haven't heard a crockpot fire story, I've heard probably every other kitchen fire story.


On weekends, we'll leave it for a while but not the whole day. What do you do? Does it matter if the pot is 10-12 years old or should only the new ones with timers? Thanks for the advice.

seemenow from oregon

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I have left my crockpot on while at work all day and as long as there is plenty of liquid in it, its fine. A low setting is best so it doesn't boil over. If you have left it while you were at home with no problems, I would not worry about an older one being left alone.

The first time I left a roast in the crock pot all day, in my very first crock pot in my very first apartment I came home to a hockey puck! Live and Learn :)


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I have left my crockpot on for as long as 15 hours on low, both when at home and gone. Never had a problem with either my 6 year old Rival, or my 5 year old Proctor Silex. Have also done so with my previous Rival.

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I have never heard a fire story from a crockpot either. But I am a cautious person, so I will make sure my sink is empty and nothing is on the counters nearby and place the crockpot in my clean/dry sink while I am gone. That may not make any difference, but I feel better about leaving the crockpot on for several hours when I know that if it should explode (?) while I am gone, there is a chance the damage will be minimal!

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the whole point of a crock pot is to fill it and leave it. if there were a lot of problems with them firewise i think it would be an issue for the company to sell them. and they do sell them by the thousands! they are a lifesaver for working people that like to eat at home or have to due to budget. try it a time or two and you'll be hooked. some cuts of meat get more tender and some turn to hocky pucks as stated before but that is true of an oven too. just remember not to fill with too much liquid. and veggies should be on the bottom or touching the sides. good luck

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I routinely left mine on and felt extremely safe doing so...until this last spring. I was home doing a school project and knew that I wasn't going to have time to fix a dinner, so I was made a stew in my crockpot. Later, I went into the kitchen for a drink, and as I turned, I heard a "POP", saw a flash of light and a stream of smoke coming straight up from the middle of my crockpot. I immediately pulled the plug, but it left an acrid, burning smell that lasted for a long time. I wondered what might have happened if I hadn't been home to immediately pull the plug.

In all fairness, my crockpot had what looked like a hairline crack in the glazing. It had been there for years. Nothing ever leaked through and it didn't cause any problems. Several repair men told me that that happens over time (from the heat), and they are still safe to use. This incident has really scared me. I'm not sure I'll use mine when I'm away anymore.

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Yes, I leave it on often for longer than 9 hours. I have one crockpot that has the built in timer, but I prefer to use my old 6 qt. round Rival. I bought something called a Rival Smart Part for about $11.00. You take the plug attached to the crockpot and plug it into this device, which then connects to the wall outlet. You are then able to set the crockpot to cook for 4, 6, 8 or 10 hours and then switch to Keep Warm. Today I did a beef roast, carrots and potatoes....on at 6, off at 2....when I got home at 3:30, it was being kept warm and I dished everything up. Better yet, I used a crockpot liner, so there was very little cleanup! I just don't worry too much about a fire with my crockpot.....now, going off and leaving my clothes dryer running would make me nervous....but not this!

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its funny. my friend goes out with, dryer, clothes washer, dish washer, crock pot, bread maker all running. i try not to go with the dryer on. i live in a condo and used to leave the crock pot on but now have a hard time doing it. but they make wonderful meals.

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So the moral to the stories is: Make sure and inspect your crock for hairline cracks-- and make sure you have enough liquid in the crockpot.

Mine has a Corelle "crock" and I love it so much I've tried to find a replacement-- just in case I break it! No luck tho.

Here's a sure fire good meal. Beef thick cut (it really doesn't matter), one package of cheap dry onion soup mix. Place the beef with excess fat removed in the crock, open the soup mix envelope high on the envelope. Dump the soup mix in the crock pot. Fill the envelope with water OR beer OR wine-- once or twice-- the amount will be the amount of juicy goodies. Put the lid on and set it on low for ~~ 8-10 hours. You can nuke potatoes when you come home-- or if you are at home-- put the potatoes in and carrots in time for them to also be done--

good eatin'!

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I leave mine on while I'm at work too! When mine broke, it did not explode, it merely stopped getting hot and was cold by the time I got home. No drama to it! It had serviced us for about 12 years. Love my newer one too!

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I thought I was the only one to worry!!!

Actually I was home when I heard a 'POP" from the

crockpot. Nothing was broke all seemed fine.

When I was cleaning kitchen I went to move crockpot

and the little legs that held it up had MELTED down.

I called the 800 # and told this story. Just so they would know I let them know I had it for 10 years so

I was going to get a new one.

They told me to keep the crock and sent me a NEW

oval large one with warmer bag and all for FREE!!

I was stunned and happy. The one they sent was much nicer and I use it lots.

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Worry - me? :-) We leave nothing 'running' that could possibly cause damage to our house.

Hope no one runs their washer or dryer when they aren't home either. I have heard about those horror stories.

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I used to leave my crockpot on while I was at work, etc. But after talking to a pal, about the horrible incident she had with another kind of appliance being left on while she went on an errand, has made me rethink how I do things. If now, I have something in the dryer, crockpot, etc. I'll delay my errands till after the items are dried or stop the dryer (etc.) for now and resume it later after I arrive back home. Guess I'm more cautious now than I was when younger.

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I love my crock pot!! I use it a couple times a week, I am just too tired when I get home to cook big. I make roasts in it alot. I always wanted a crock pot with a timer but they dont make one. So what I did was bought a electric plug timer, like what you plug a lamp in to, to turn on and off at spacific times. So I set it to cook from noon to

four or what ever. *crock pot tip* if you put aluminum foil on top and seal it down then put the lid on things cook in half the time. try it it works.

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I leave it on all day while at work. It's great. Gary dominicus

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Food and Recipes Food Tips Crockpot CookingAugust 26, 2006
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