Is there a frugal alternative for those expensive store-bought slow cooker liners?
Cheaper Alternatives for Store-Bought Slow Cooker Liners
TDS Reader Contributors
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Slow Cooker Liners
I am wondering if any of the readers have a frugal idea to replace those expensive slow cooker liners? I try to make something in the slow cooker once a week to eliminate those meals on the run. The liners make clean up a breeze, but they are expensive and just add to the plastic in the landfill. Does any one have a frugal or environmentally friendly solution? I have noticed that frugal and environmentally friendly seem to go together most of the time.
F. in West Des Moines
You Don't Need Slow Cooker Liners
I stopped using liners a while ago, and now just spray the slow cooker with cooking spray before putting the food in. It does a great job, and the cooker comes clean with just a bit of soaking after it has cooled a bit.
Use Baking Soda for Easy Clean Up
The easiest way I have found to painlessly clean my slow cooker is to throw about 1/2 cup (or more depending on the mess) of baking soda while it is warm and fill it with hot water. It will clean itself in about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. I buy several pounds of baking soda at a warehouse club and have found it is one of the most effective cleaners around the house. This really works! I make spareribs in BBQ sauce in the slow cooker often, and if I didn't have this method, I wouldn't dare tackle the clean up!
Don't Waste Your Money on Slow Cooker Liners
I've never used those slow cooker liners, and frankly don't see any reason to use them. With the low heat that slow cookers use, I've never had any trouble with food burning on or sticking, and usually find that a quick soak in hot, soapy water makes clean up a snap.
My suggestion would be to forego the liners, use a slow cooker with a removable crock for easy cleaning, watch the time (especially if cooking on the high setting), and spray or lightly oil the crock before filling with any food you fear might stick a bit.
Have You Tried Oven Bags?
I've heard that oven bags work just as well. Personally, I just fill the crock with water and squirt of soap and let it soak over night. The stuck stuff cleans right off.
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