Slow cookers are convenient, but use them safely!
My Story: Slow Cooker Safety
contributed by Debbie F.
All-Day Slow Cooker Recipes
Choosing the Best Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining
As a Food Safety Educator, I would be remiss if I didn't remind everyone that cooking frozen foods in the slow cooker is very dangerous. Bacteria like warm moist places to grow and require higher heat to kill them. By cooking frozen foods in a slow cooker, on either low or high, bacteria has a perfect growing medium. The slow cooker will not get hot enough to kill the large number of bacteria that has grown on the food. This puts young children, pregnant women, people over 60, and anyone with a compromised immune system (chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, lupus, HIV, AIDS) at a high risk of contracting a food borne illness. A food borne illness may be as little as an upset stomach for a few hours or as much as death, depending on the bacteria and the health of the person eating it. Used as intended, a slow cooker is very safe to use.
Here are guidelines for slow cooker safety.
- Never use frozen foods.
- Fill at least 1/2 full but no more than 3/4 full.
- Always use a recipe that includes a liquid (at least 1/2 cup).
- Don't peek. (Every time the lid is removed, it requires an additional 30 minutes cooking time.)
- Do not use a timer to start the slow cooker more than one hour after filling it. (If you need more than eight to ten hours, invest in a slow cooker with a timer that keeps food warm until you are ready to serve. Mine works great!)
Enjoy those home-cooked meals safely!
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it to MyStory@Stretcher.com.
Take the Next Step:
- Now that you're up on slow cooker safety, you'll need a few good recipes. For some delicious and nutritious slow cooker recipes, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Library.
- Visit our Pinterest board for Slow Cooker Savings: Recipes to Save Both Time and Money.
- Need a little more inspiration? Check out these great slow cooker recipes in The Dollar Stretcher Community.
Discuss "Slow Cooker Soups: A How To" in The Dollar Stretcher Community.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
More Money-Saving Lifestyle Tips
- Worst 6 products to buy in May if you want a bargain
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 tips for a fabulously free vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- 4 secrets to being a frugal foodie
- Cheap ways to update your wardrobe as you lose weight
- How to save on outdoor equipment
- Home remedies to sooth the sizzle of sunburn