Are you wondering can you put foil in a crock pot or not? Slow cookers are getting more and more famous these days thanks to their convenience and effortlessness in cooking. But like any new modern kitchen tool, it took people time to learn how to use it.
Maybe you’re preparing some gobsmacking Mexican-inspired dish in a crockpot, but your recipe calls for foil. Whatever the case, you should read this article to see what foil could do with your slow cooker. Now, let’s skip the chatting and get right into delighting information!
There Are Multiple Ways To Use Foil In Your Crock pot!
The good news is foil is safe to be used in the crock pot! And there are multiple methods to create delicious meals with foil in the crock pot – which I’ll cover further down.
Nowadays, foil is among the most common utensils in daily cooking. Due to its heat conductivity, waterproofness, grease resistance, and high affordability, foil can be found in almost any kitchen and used in many cooking methods.
But what about using foil with a crock pot? In case you just discovered this significant appliance, here’s the brief: though it was invented in the early 1940s, it wasn’t famous and available until 1971 when Kansas City first introduced it (1) .
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The revenue of crock pots has been high ever since the very first launch. However, in America, people are just coming back to discover it in the last few decades, making it more famous than ever before (2) .
The reasons why crock pots have become a trend these days are reducing the energy bills and effortlessness in cooking – which is a must in modern life. Crock pots are also famous for their convenience and can be used with many cooking tools – including foil.
You can combine these two magnificent kitchen tools to make wonderful meals! However, some things need to be avoided for cooking safe and healthy dishes. Keep scrolling for information that surely will enlighten you!
Helpful Usage Of Foil In A Crockpot
While some may have difficulties telling whether aluminum foil is microwave-safe, it’s obvious that foil can be safely used in a crockpot to create fantastic meals. Here are some methods that you shouldn’t skip.
Lining The Surfaces
Since aluminum foil has a good thickness, and it’s also highly affordable and excellent in heat conductivity, it can be used to line bakeware in order to put less effort into the cleaning jobs, and you can use this method for crock pot as well.
If the pot in your slow cooker ponders you in the cleaning, you can simply line the cooking surface with aluminum foil then toss it after using. Unless you’re concerned with whether aluminum foil can get recycled, there’s no need to keep the used ones around your kitchen.
In addition, for dry food you can add an extra length of the foil to line the crock pot, then use the excess part as a handle to take your food out from the pot after you’ve finished cooking. However, consider using heavy-duty foil in this case.
Why should you opt for heavy-duty ones in this scenario? Well, one of the most notable disparities between heavy-duty and regular aluminum foil is that heavy-duty has a much higher tear resistance. That’s why heavy-duty products will serve you better for this specific purpose.
To line a crockpot with aluminum foil, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Measuring Aluminum Foil
Make sure that each sheet you take out from the roll can cover at least the length of the bottom and two side surfaces inside the crock pot. Add extra length if you want to use it as a handle.
Step 2: Lining The Surfaces
Line the inside surface of the crock pot with foil sheets in step 1 until you’ve fully covered the pot. Simply add more layers if you want extra strength.
Check out a simple way to use your foil as a liner with handles for the crock pot!
Solving The Hot Spots
Almost any crock pot has a problem with some heating spots. These spots are actually the heating element of the pot, but the uneven heat may cause your food to burn at these spots. They usually gather at the back, inside of the crock pot.
Therefore, you can use aluminum foil to cover these hot spots or simply cover the whole surface if you’re a cautious person. Thanks to the significant heat conductivity of the foil, it will help to express the heat more evenly.
Some cookers prefer to call this method a “collar” as they cover the backside of the crock pot with aluminum foil. Here’s how they do it:
Step 1: Measuring Aluminum Foil
Cut your aluminum foils to the same length as the backside of the crock pot.
Step 2: Place The Foil In
Place your measured aluminum foil inside the backside of the crock pot. 6 will be the perfect layer number of this method.
Another helpful usage of foil in the crock pot is to separate foods. If you want to cook more than one type of food in your crock pot and don’t want the flavor to be mixed, you can put a foil divider in your pot to separate them.
With liquid food such as soup or bisque, you can shape your foil into bowls to carry these deliciousnesses.
You can also wrap your foods like what you would do in the oven or the griller to steam your food in the crock pot. Not only will this method help you separate the flavor while cooking in the same pot, but it’ll also help you maintain the juice and moisture of food efficiently.
See the difference between the wrapped and the unwrapped potatoes baking in the crock pot!
Elevating A Surface
If you’re cooking a stew or soup dish and there are some parts that you don’t want them to end up mushy; utilizing foil is the solution for this case.
Shaping your foil neatly into a ball or mound to create an elevated surface that is sturdy enough to crutch your food. The hot steam inside the pot will keep cooking your foods while they’re above the broth.
This method is saving a lot of your time to measure the tenderness of food. It’s also especially useful to prevent food from being soggy by the liquid which itself released, such as elevating some parts of a chicken.
Last but not least, foil can imitate a glass lid to your crock pot. Though glass lids can withstand high heat temperature even with cooking in a long process, their problem is that they can’t tolerate the heat shock.
Putting a cold glass lid on a hot crock pot may cause it to shatter due to the sudden heat. Therefore, to avoid the problem of the glass ones, you can take a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, fold it in half and use it as a lid to your crock pot.
Moreover, foil is better at locking the temperature, so that your cooking time will be reduced using foil instead of glass lids. You can also use foil to layer or seal your lid in case the lid does not trap heat well enough.
But There Are Also Drawbacks If Using Them Wrong!
There are so many things that you can do with foil in a crock pot; however, there are also drawbacks. Let’s take a look at some consequences that you can accidentally make.
Foil Can Damage The Surface Inside A Crock Pot
The first mistake you can make with foil in your crock pot is to damage the nonstick surface of the pot. And this nonstick layer is vulnerable to the physical impacts of metal, and foil isn’t an exception.
Wrinkled foil has sharp edges that may scratch the pot surface and damage the non-stick layer; as a result, your crock pot is harder to clean in subsequent use. You can avoid damage by using smooth foil or trying to smoothen your foil before placing it in the crock pot.
Accidentally Consuming Aluminum
First, let’s make clear that no matter what you call it, you can assume that the foil you’re having in your kitchen is made of aluminum. While household foil and aluminum foil are just different names, tinfoil is a misnomer of aluminum foil, but it makes no difference.
So, despite what set tin foil distinct from aluminum foil, bear in mind that these all contain aluminum. But is aluminum really that dangerous to your body?
Though aluminum is already present in the human body, as well as other cooking tools, overconsuming it can cause damage to your health. If a 60-kilograms person has more than 24g of aluminum in their body, they may experience muscle or bone aches (3) .
Furthermore, consuming an excess amount of aluminum in the long term can lead to kidney problems. And using foil in cooking may contaminate more aluminum into your food; meat wrapped in aluminum foil can increase the amount up to 378% after cooking (4) .
The problem is even greater if you cook foil with acidic food such as vinegar or tomatoes. The chemical reaction between these foods and aluminum foil not only makes your food unhealthy but also gives your food a slightly metallic taste.
The aluminum in foil would also be leaching more into your food if you’re cooking with high heat or seasonings. However, you can’t completely cut aluminum from your daily use; therefore, you’ll just have to use as little foil as you can to avoid the consequences.
Foil Can Be Torn
Apparently, thin foil is very easy to tear. If you’re cooking soup in a crock pot with foil-lined, there’s a high chance that you’ll accidentally tear the foil out with just a slight scratch and end up making a mess in your pot.
Moreover, aluminum foil is notorious for being sticky during the preparation or cooking process. And these stuck foil tends to be torn while you are trying to pull it out from your food, causing a high chance for small pieces to remain stuck onto your food.
In the worst case, the foil may be tattered into tiny pieces that make it unbearable to enjoy the meals and increase the aluminum leaching into your food. To avoid this, consider using wooden cooking tools such as spoons or ladles.
Luckily, these drawbacks don’t outweigh the helpfulness of using foil with a crockpot and can be avoided easily. Keep reading the next section to know about wonderful things you can do with foil in crockpots.
Substitutes For Foil In The Crock Pot
If you’re not a handful with aluminum foil or want to avoid using it due to the drawbacks, here are some substitutes to use with the crock pot.
Parchment paper is a great substitute for aluminum foil in a lot of cooking methods, including the crock pot. Thanks to its waterproofness, heat and tear resistance, you can use it to line the bottom or wrap foods without worrying about scratching or consuming aluminum.
However, parchment paper still has a certain level of absorbent, so consider using the heavy-duty ones in the crock pot if you want to let it sit in the pot for hours. Otherwise, it has no use but just ends up as a drippy paper towel in your meal.
Crock Pot Liner
You can tell that aluminum foil is convenient and extremely versatile; however, there’s nothing better than using specific cooking tools that are made for one aiming purpose.
In this case, as the name has suggested, crock pot liners were invented to be used with the crock pot. Though it may look like no more than a plastic bag, you’ll be surprised by the helpfulness of it.
If you mind the cleaning, here’s what you should do!
At this point, you have known how to use foil in your crockpot as well as what to avoid. If there’s anything still stuck in your mind, I’m positive that it can be solved with some of the most asked questions here.
No More Hesitation To Use Foil In Your Crock Pot
Both foil and crock pot are among the most convenient and helpful kitchen tools, you can combine them by the methods I’ve shown above to create delicious dishes. But never keep the drawbacks out of your mind if you want to cook safely and healthily.
Comment below about your experiences or recipes with the crock pot, they surely will be helpful with other readers. Share this article with your beloved ones as well, so that they can avoid the risk while creating mouthwatering dishes with foil in the crock pot.
- KCUR 89.3 – NPR in Kansas City. Local news, entertainment and podcasts. 2021. 50 Years Ago, Kansas City Introduced The Crock-Pot. These Women Taught America To Use It.
- 2021 Washington Post.
- Inchem.org. 2021.
- Turhan, S., 2021. Aluminium contents in baked meats wrapped in aluminium foil.