Can you put a crockpot or slow cooker in the oven? – Yes, in most cases, you can. BUT there are a few safety procedures you don’t want to miss. Read on to find out how to safely use a crockpot in the oven.
Who doesn’t love a good, reliable Crockpot? Every Crockpot owner has said — at least once — “this is the best purchase I’ve ever made,” and for good reason. It’s an absolute must-have in millions of American kitchens because of how convenient it is and how useful it can be for people with hectic lifestyles. However, there are some who, as much as they love convenience, want to add an extra step to the meals they prepare with their Crockpot just to round them out. That’s when a frequently asked question pops up: can you put a Crockpot in the oven?
Long story short, yes, there is a way to put it in the oven but to do so, you need to follow several very, VERY important safety precautions. So without further ado, let’s go through everything you need to know about Crockpots and oven safety!
What Is a Crockpot?
First things first, what is a Crockpot? In a nutshell, Crockpot is the most popular brand of slow cookers on the market — owned by Sunbeam Products —, and the term is often used generically for any slow cooker even though it is exclusively trademarked by Sunbeam. Now, if we are talking about what a slow cooker is, it is basically a stone or ceramic pot that can cook food at a low temperature for long periods. It can also keep food warm, but its main appeal comes from the convenience of being able to toss your ingredients into the pot, set the temperature, and forget about it for 8+ hours until you get home. This is usually done in the appliance base, but there are cases where you may need to use the oven. You can make crockpot pork chops and even slow cooker frozen meatballs, among a variety of other yummy dishes.
What Are the Parts of a Crockpot?
Most Crockpot models, including the newest ones, have three main parts:
- Stoneware/ceramic insert
- Heating base
The lids and heating bases may vary from model to model, but as for the inserts that come out of the base, they are pretty much all the same — glazed stoneware or ceramic. Spoiler alert: that’s a plus for the oven!
How Does a Crockpot Even Work?
We already know what a Crockpot is and what its parts are, but how does it work? Essentially, the heat starts in the heating element at the base and works its way up the sides, then into the food placed in the insert. This generates steam, which creates a vacuum seal with the lid and allows the food to cook slowly. But enough about how a Crockpot works, let’s get to the heart of the matter: can it be placed in the oven?
Okay, So Can You Put a Crockpot in The Oven?
We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you can’t put an entire Crockpot in the oven, because if you do, it could go to pot — pun intended. But since Crockpot is a brand of slow cookers and we want to get the actual facts, what does Crockpot say about putting their slow cookers in the oven?
Here comes the good news: on Crockpot’s website, they say that “all removable crockery inserts — without lid — may be used safely in the oven set up to 400°F“, meaning that you can indeed use the inside of the Crockpot in the oven, but not the other parts as they are not oven safe.
Which Parts of the Crockpot Are Oven Safe?
Let’s start with the parts that are not oven-safe, which are the lid and the heating base. Both contain materials such as glass and plastic that can crack or melt under heat, so unless you want to get rid of your Crockpot, it’s best to keep them away from the oven. Also, the heating base contains electrical components that, for safety’s sake, should never be subjected to high temperatures.
That only leaves us with the insert, which, thankfully, is oven safe as it is made of heat-resistant ceramic.
How to Put a Crockpot in The Oven: Safety Guide
When it comes to putting a slow cooker in the oven, there are a few safety precautions you need to keep in mind before you even open your oven door. The first — and most important — precaution is to not place the entire Crockpot in the oven but to open the lid and remove the removable stoneware/ceramic insert.
Remove The Stoneware Insert from The Crockpot
As mentioned above, you can only put the inside of a Crockpot in the oven because it is the only oven-safe part, so forget about the lid and the heating base — in this mission, we will only use the insert.
However, some of the older Crockpot models do not have removable inserts, and they should never be placed in the oven under any circumstances. Major safety precaution!
Watch the Oven Temperature – How Hot Do Crockpots Get?
Slow cookers, in general, can heat up to about 300°F on the high setting, so if a recipe calls for temperatures over 300°F and a lengthy cooking time, you may want to use a different pot. But if you just need to quickly roast some of the food you’ve already slow-cooked in the Crockpot, it’s safe to heat it to 400°F in the oven.
Place It On the Right Oven Rack
Make sure to place the ceramic insert on any of your oven racks except the one near the broiler. Most broilers heat up to temperatures higher than 400°F, so if you put the insert near the one in your oven, it will probably get damaged.
Allow The Crockpot to Cool Down
Once the food is fully cooked, turn off the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Then, take it out of the oven and let it cool even more for a couple more minutes before placing it in the fridge. If you get the insert out of the oven without letting it cool first, you run the risk of it breaking, and even worse if you immediately pop it in the fridge.
This happens because ceramics expand when subjected to high temperatures, and if you don’t let them cool gently back to their natural state, you run the risk of thermal shock — an abrupt variation in the temperature of a material that causes breakage. Just allow the insert to cool down properly!
What Other Brands of Slow Cookers Besides Crockpot Are Oven Safe?
If you are a proud owner of a Crockpot and you were wondering if you could use it in your oven, you already know that its insert is oven-safe, but… What if you have a slow cooker of a different brand? Can you put the inside of a Hamilton Beach Crockpot in the oven?
The truth is that the compatibility of other slow cookers with ovens varies from brand to brand. This is because not all slow cooker inserts are made of ceramic, but can also be made of nonstick cast aluminum, metal coated with ceramic, stainless steel, or unglazed clay — and some materials are not oven safe. So, besides Crockpot, what other brands of slow cookers are oven-safe?
Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker
Announcement for all Hamilton Beach slow cooker lovers who were wondering “can I put my slow cooker in the oven?”: yes, you can put the insert in the oven! However, the brand does not specify what maximum temperature it can withstand, so stay conservative — up to 400°F.
Cuisinart Slow Cooker
The inserts of Cuisinart slow cookers are made of ceramic, however, there is no section on their website or in the user manuals that indicate whether they can be placed in the oven or not. What the user manuals do indicate is that the entire pot should not be placed in the oven or near a heat source… But to be honest, several people claim that the insert can be placed in the oven up to 400°F, and we stand by that claim.
Black+Decker Slow Cooker
Have you seen Black+Decker’s digital slow cookers? Not only do they look great, but their stoneware inserts are also oven safe up to 400°F. Again, their user manual and website don’t explicitly state that they are, but cooks who have tried them say they are.
All-Clad Slow Cooker
All-Clad’s slow cooker inserts are both ceramic and cast aluminum, and while it’s great that they have those two options, unfortunately, neither can be placed in the oven. That’s not us saying it. That’s what the brand says on Amazon.
Kitchenaid Slow Cooker
Kitchenaid makes it very clear in the user manuals for their slow cookers that the inserts are not designed to be put in the oven and that they do not recommend doing so. However, if you want to experiment a bit with the inserts, the brand points out that they are oven safe up to 300°F for up to an hour.
Calphalon Slow Cooker
If there is a brand that understood the assignment, it is Calphalon, because the inserts of their slow cookers are completely oven safe. But wait, there’s a downside: they don’t specify a max temperature. In this case, we suggest you stick to the standard 400°F.
P.S: ALWAYS check the user manual for the specific brand and model of slow cooker you have at home. Each manufacturer has different safety guidelines, so if you want to use your slow cooker in the oven, be sure to keep its user manual handy to know crockery cooking medium tolerances.
Are There Other Crockpot Cooking Methods?
In addition to being oven safe, Crockpot inserts are also microwave safe. What’s the point of microwaving a Crockpot? Well, to reheat some pulled pork leftovers without having to put them in another pot!
Speaking of reheating, some people wonder if they can place the insert of their pots directly on the stove, and the answer is no, it is not recommended to expose it to a high heat source in such a raw way.
Can You Use a Crockpot as a Dutch Oven?
You can definitely use a Crockpot instead of a dutch oven, just like you can use a Dutch oven instead of a crockpot. After all, crockpots were invented based on dutch ovens, one of the best slow cookers ever. Just keep in mind that crockpots don’t rely on a heat source to regulate temperature, and dutch ovens do, so if you want to cook something a little faster, your best bet is probably the good ol’ dutch oven.
While You Can’t Safely Put an Entire Crockpot in The Oven, Some Inserts Are Oven Safe
Now you know, that Crockpot inserts are totally oven safe! Just like the inserts of other slow cooker brands. While you can’t put the whole thing inside the oven, you really don’t need to, because the insert is good enough — that’s where all the food is. So just slow cook your favorite dish, let the oven do its thing, and enjoy!