Cooking with a slow cooker or a Crock-Pot is a convenient and easy way to prepare delicious meals without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
But what do you do when you have leftovers and don’t want to dirty another dish or wait for it to reheat on the stovetop or in the oven? Can you put your Crock-Pot in the microwave to reheat those leftovers?
It’s important to know what parts of the Crock-Pot are safe to put in the microwave oven and how to do it safely. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about using your Crock-Pot in the microwave, including the types of inserts, safety precautions, and more.
Whether you’re looking to save time and effort when reheating leftovers or just want to learn more about the powers of your Crock-Pot, my guide has got you covered.
- Crock-Pot vs Slow Cooker
- Why would you want to put a Crock-Pot in the microwave?
- What are the types of slow cooker inserts?
- Can a crock pot go in the microwave?
- What Parts of Crock-Pot are Microwave safe?
- Can You Put A CrockPot In The Microwave With Its Lid On?
- Can A CrockPot Go In The Microwave With A Liner?
- How to Safely Use the Slow Cooker Insert in the Microwave Oven?
- Which slow cooker brands are microwave safe?
Crock-Pot vs Slow Cooker
You may be wondering what the difference is between a slow cooker and Crockpot.
A slow cooker and a Crock-Pot are the same thing. The name Crock-Pot is a brand name for a type of slow cooker, much like how Kleenex is a brand name for a type of tissue and Xerox is a brand name for a type of copying machine.
The term CrockPot has become a genericized trademark and is often used to refer to any type of slow cooker, regardless of the brand. In this article, I will use the terms slow cooker and Crock-Pot interchangeably as they are synonymous.
Related reading: Can You Put Ceramic In The Fridge And Freezer?
Why would you want to put a Crock-Pot in the microwave?
There is just one reason why you would want to put the slow cooker insert in the microwave – to reheat the leftovers.
Reheating leftovers can be a hassle, especially if you’re using a different container than the one it was cooked in. If you are like me, you probably hate washing dishes, even if the dishwasher does all the heavy lifting. But did you know that you can actually reheat food from your Crock-Pot in the microwave?
By using the microwave safe slow cooker insert, you can save yourself the extra dishes and the hassle of transferring your leftovers. Plus, it’s a quick and easy way to heat up your food without having to wait for it to reheat on the stove or in the oven. You might be surprised how much time and effort it can save you over the years.
What are the types of slow cooker inserts?
When it comes to slow cooker inserts, you will find one of three options in your slow cooker.
One of the most popular types is a ceramic bowl. Glazed ceramic slow cooker inserts are made from clay that is heated to a very high temperature and then glazed with a protective coating. This coating helps prevent food from sticking to the pot and makes cleanup easy. You will find ceramic pot inserts in slow cookers from brands like KitchenAid, Hamilton Beach, Crock-Pot, Cuisinart, All-Clad, and Black+Decker.
Another option is nonstick aluminum. Nonstick cast-aluminum inserts are heavier and more durable than ceramic, but they have a nonstick coating that requires careful cleaning to prevent damage. You will find aluminum pot inserts in slow cookers from brands like Hamilton Beach and All-Clad.
Lastly, there are stainless steel inserts. These are the least common, but they are very durable and resistant to corrosion. I came across only a few brands offering stainless steel inserts, many of which are used in multi-cookers like Wolf, Ninja, Instant Pot, and Zojirushi.
Of these three only ceramic slow cookers is microwave safe.
Related reading: Can You Put A Crock Pot In The Oven?
Can a crock pot go in the microwave?
The short answer is yes, most Crock-Pots and other slow cookers can go in the microwave, but it’s important to ensure you are talking about the ceramic insert or ceramic inner pot.
The insert is the part of the slow cooker that you put the food in. The insert is usually made of ceramic or metal and can be removed from the rest of the slow cooker.
Most of the time, the removable ceramic insert of Crock-Pot and other slow cookers is safe to put in the microwave. They can handle oven heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, it is important to note that some slow cookers have inserts made of non-stick aluminum or stainless steel, which are not microwave safe.
It’s important to remember that not all slow cookers are the same, so always check the instructions that come with your slow cooker before putting it in the microwave. In later parts of this article, I will go over the oven safety of popular slow cooker brands so you can double-check before you use your slow cooker in the microwave.
To be on the safe side, it’s always a good idea to check the instructions that come with your slow cooker or contact the manufacturer if you’re unsure about whether or not the insert is microwave safe.
What Parts of Crock-Pot are Microwave safe?
When it comes to slow cookers, not all parts of them are safe to put in the microwave.
The part that is safe to put in the microwave is the ceramic insert, also known as the crockery or stoneware. This is the part of the slow cooker you use to cook food. It’s important to note that only the ceramic inner pot of the slow cooker is microwave safe. However, a slow cooker’s outer casing and lids are unsafe to put in the microwave.
The metal body and the slow cooker lids are neither oven nor microwave-safe because they are made of metal or contain metal parts. You should never put metal in the microwave.
So, when you’re considering using your slow cooker in the microwave, make sure only to use the ceramic crock pot insert (inner pot), not the outer casing or lid. To be on the safe side, always check the instructions that come with your slow cooker or contact the manufacturer if you’re unsure about which parts are microwave safe.
Related reading: How To Store Jalebi?
Can You Put A CrockPot In The Microwave With Its Lid On?
No, you can not put a slow cooker in the microwave because the lid of a slow cooker typically has metal parts. When exposed to electromagnetic waves, they will interfere with the reheating process and can potentially damage your microwave.
You should get a glass lid or silicone cover you can use in the microwave. This will help keep the heat in and prevent the food from drying. Microwave-safe dish also works.
Important! Do not use aluminum foil to cover the food – a foil in the microwave can spark and even catch fire.
Can A CrockPot Go In The Microwave With A Liner?
The jury is still out there for this one. I do not feel comfortable using a slow cooker liner, even for slow cooking. The liner manufacturers claim that the liners are BPA-free and safe for food, but I do not fancy a combination of the plastic liner, heat, and my stew.
Here is what the most popular liner brands say about being microwave safe.
|Slow Cooker Liner||Microwave Safe|
|Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners No*||No*|
|SMARTAKE Slow Cooker Liners Yes||Yes|
|Crockpot™ Slow Cooker Liners No||No|
|KOOC Disposable Slow Cooker Liners not specified||Not specified|
* Reynolds claim that their Crockpot liners are specially formulated just for single-use slow cooking and should not be used in any other way.
At the same time, I know many home cooks who reheat their slow cooker leftovers in the liners. Go figure.
How to Safely Use the Slow Cooker Insert in the Microwave Oven?
When using a slow cooker bowl in the microwave, there are a few safety precautions you should take to ensure the food is heated properly and the stoneware doesn’t get damaged.
- Check the insert for damage: Before using the insert in the microwave, inspect it for any cracks or chips that could cause it to break or leak.
- Remove any component with metal parts: If the insert component has any metal parts, such as handles or knobs, or screws, it should not go in the microwave. The first step – remove the lid!
- Use a microwave-safe cover: Use a microwave-safe glass or silicone lid or cover to prevent the food from splattering and to help it heat evenly.
- Do NOT use aluminum foil: Do not cover the food with aluminum foil because it can catch fire in the microwave.
- Use a low power: Start with a low setting to reheat the food, and then increase power as needed.
- Keep an eye on the food: Keep an eye on the food while it’s reheating, and stir it occasionally to ensure it heats evenly.
- Let it cool: Once the food is heated through, remove the insert from the microwave and let it cool for a few minutes before handling it. The food inside can get very hot.
- Always follow the manufacturer instructions: Always follow the manufacturer instructions, if they are not provided or you are unsure, don’t use the Crock-Pot insert in the microwave
By following these safety precautions, you can safely use a slow cooker pot in the microwave to reheat leftovers and enjoy a delicious meal.
Related reading: Can You Put Crock Pot in Fridge?
Which slow cooker brands are microwave safe?
I did research on slow cookers and their microwave-safe capabilities. I’ve checked a number of slow cookers from different brands and put my findings in a table below.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that different models from the same brand may have different specifications for their inner pots. So, before putting your slow cooker’s inner pot in the microwave, make sure to double-check the user manual and manufacturer’s safety guidelines for microwave use.
If you’re unsure about whether or not your slow cooker pot is safe for the microwave, I suggest simply transferring the ingredients safely into another microwave-safe container for heating. This way, you can still enjoy your delicious, slow-cooked meal without any worries. And remember, safety first!
|Brand||Pot Material||Microwave Safe|
|Hamilton Beach||Nonstick aluminum||No|
|Instant Pot||Stainless steel||No|
Slow cookers are great for reheating leftovers, and the removable ceramic CrockPot insert and other ceramic slow cooker inserts are usually safe to microwave.
However, it is important to ensure that your particular insert is microwave safe and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to note that not all parts of the slow cooker are microwave safe, such as the outer casing and the lid.
Always be cautious when using a slow cooker inside your microwave and follow the safety precautions I provided in my article.