Crockpots have become the cooker of choice for people who want delicious, slow-cooked food but don’t have time to stand by the stove.
Crockpots are designed with a slow cooking feature that requires minimal supervision and saves on energy costs. There are multiple slow cookers in the market, but Crockpot is the ultimate choice, as it’s known for its functionality, ease of use, performance, and reliability.
However, occasionally the inner ceramic or stoneware crock part cracks either while cooking or while being washed. If this has happened to you, you’ll be wanting to know what caused it and if you can repair it.
What Causes a Crockpot to Crack?
1. Manufacturing Defects
The first cause of a cracked Crockpot is a manufacturing defect. While this happens seldom, it is a possibility. If this is the cause, the inner pot will crack while it is still new.
Return it under the limited warranty, which is valid for one year after the time of purchase. After that, a replacement will usually be made with a new component. You will find warranty information in your Instruction Manual. If you have lost it, the manuals are available online.
2. Rapid Temperature Changes
- Because the inner pot of a Crockpot is made from ceramic, you need to guard against rapid temperature changes. Never place a hot Crockpot into cold water.
People sometimes do this when they put the hot empty pot into the sink and run the cold tap to fill it for washing. Always fill a hot pot with hot water or, better still, leave it to cool down before washing it with lukewarm water.
- Some people put their Crockpot with the leftovers inside into the fridge. This is fine but be careful when reheating it.
Do not put it into the appliance until the contents have been brought to room temperature. Also, never put the Crockpot into the fridge while it is still hot. Allow the contents to cool down first.
- The Crockpot inner (not the whole appliance!) can be put into the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. However, never put it into the oven directly from the fridge or freezer, as the sudden temperature change can cause it to break.
Instead, put it into the oven when it is at room temperature only. Remember that the lid is not oven safe as it has plastic components. If you need to cover the crock while it is in the oven, use aluminum foil.
- Sometimes it seems easier to prep the meal the night before and leave it in the crock in the fridge, ready to put into the appliance in the morning. However, the rapid temperature change may crack the pot.
We suggest this simple workaround: Prep all your ingredients in a mixing bowl, cover, and stash them in the fridge overnight. Tip everything into the Crockpot and scrape the bowl with a spatula to get every last bit out in the morning. Now you can turn the appliance on and head out the door.
- While some online recipes give instructions for cooking food from frozen, we don’t recommend that you do this for two reasons. Firstly, the rapid temperature changes while heating the frozen food can cause the ceramic pot to crack.
Secondly, bacteria can multiply easily when food spends a long time in the danger zone between 40- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, thaw the food in the microwave quickly if you are in a hurry.
3. Drying Out of Contents
If you don’t put enough liquid in the pot and leave it unattended on the High setting for long periods, the liquid may all evaporate. If left too long in this dry state, the pot may crack.
Over time and with constant use, hairline cracks develop in the crock, which at some point may lead to the pot breaking completely. However, you can prevent this with careful use and avoid rapid temperature changes as outlined above.
5. Damage From Rough Handling
Banging your Crockpot down on the shelf when storing it or dropping it from a height can cause it to crack. Even if it does not break immediately, rough treatment can cause minute cracks that will weaken the vessel over time. Treat your Crockpot with respect, and it will serve you for many years.
6. Using it on the Stovetop
A ceramic Crockpot inner is not made to withstand high temperatures, whether it is gas or electric. You can only use it inside the outer housing of the original appliance or in the oven.
Fixing The Cracked Crockpot
It is not possible or safe to fix a cracked Crockpot ceramic inner. While some people recommend using Superglue, this is not safe as it will adversely impact the food quality (and safety).
In addition, Superglue will not hold for long given the high cooking temperatures it will be exposed to. There are no readily available glues that are food safe at the temperatures reached by this appliance.
You have two options for replacement. Either order a new one online or look around in thrift stores for a second-hand one. We suggest investing in a new crock because they are reasonably priced and come with a warranty.
Is It Safe to Serve the Meal?
If your Crockpot cracked while you were cooking a meal, you need to be careful. If it is just a hairline crack, you can go ahead and safely serve the food. However, if the crock has broken in half, it is best to throw the food out (sorry!) because there may be ceramic shards in it.
To prevent this scenario in the future, we suggest investing in disposable Crockpot liners. They will avoid any shards from getting into the food, plus they make cleaning the crock so much easier.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you need to be careful while using your Crockpot. The main things to look out for are rapid temperature changes and rough handling.