Slow cooker lines are heat-resistant plastic bags that are used for keeping a slow cooker clean. They make clean-up after a meal quick and easy. Slow cooker liners are one use only; use and throw away. There are many different sizes for the many different slow cooker sizes. But which slow cooker liners are good for one person?
Reynolds brand has the best reviews from loyal customers. While exploring different brands the reviewers always returned to Reynolds. Reynolds liners have the most reliability and the price is good for the product. Coming in at a close second is the Crock Pot brand. They have similar results to Reynold, but people seem to like the Reynolds brand better.
Slow cooker liners make cleaning a breeze, however, there are many disadvantages to using them along with advantages. If you use your slow cooker frequently then using a slow cooker liner will help keep the pot clean for multiple quick uses.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few things that make liners great, and some things that don’t. We’ll also look at how to safely use the liners as well as some alternatives.
Slow Cooker Liners for One Person
Slow cookers come in a variety of sizes from 1.5 quarts all the way to 30 quarts. For just a single person or a couple of people, the recommended sizes are between 1.5 to 3.5 quarts.
This means that you’ll need a liner that matches that size. We’ll take a look at the two top brands, Reynolds and Crock Pot, and we’ll compare the two.
Reynolds is a trusted household brand for many products. Their most common sizes are the small and the regular. The small sizes are the ones for the smaller slow cookers. If you want to take a look at the Reynolds brand look at Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners, Small (Fits 1-3 Quarts), 5 Count.
Crock Pot Brand
People tend to call all slow cookers a Crock Pot, even when it’s not Crock Pot brand. Unfortunately, the Crock Pot brand doesn’t make a smaller liner. The liners they make are for 3 to 7 quarts, but are quite large and recommended for 4 quarts and up.
These might be too big for a cooker that’s designed to make a meal for one. If you’re curious about this brand take a look at Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Liners ~ 6 liners.
The Disadvantages and Advantages of Slow Cooker Liners
As stated above, there are many reasons for needing a slow cooker liner, but there are also some problems that come with them. Below are listed a few pros and cons of using slow cooker lines.
There are many disadvantages to consider before choosing to use slow cooker liners.
If you choose to use a liner every time you use your slow cooker that cost is going to add up. You can only use a liner once, so you’ll have to keep rebuying them.
Stick to the Pot
If not used as directed then liners can stick to your ceramic insert, and in some cases, they may melt and ruin your meal. I did not find any cases of melting with the brands above, but a few complaints of sticking if used wrong.
There is always a possibility of tearing, which is why most brands recommend you don’t lift hot meals from the slow cooker after they are finished. In some instances, they may even tear inside the pot during the cooking process. Again, make sure to follow the recommended instructions with the brand you choose.
Slow cooker liners are not supposed to be used above 400℉. If used incorrectly though, slow cooker liners can melt. This usually happens because a little bit of water needs to be under the liner.
When it comes to plastics there is always the possibility of chemical leaking. When it comes to slow cooker liners they are made with heat-resistant nylon, but they are still plastic. The FDA has stated that slow cooker liners contain no BPA and the chemicals that leak out are well below dangerous levels.
Not Environmentally Friendly
Slow cooker liners are unfortunately not biodegradable. Meaning they won’t break down when they are thrown away and can cause problems for local wildlife.
Liners can only be used one time. So once you use it to make your meal, you have to throw it away. If you try to reuse it the liner could melt or even burn. Being a single-use plastic is also not environmentally friendly.
Although there may be many things working against slow cooker liners there may also be many reasons you need to use one.
Cook Multiple Meals in the Same Pot
If you place two liners into a pot you can cook two meals at the same time. Or if you want to slow cook multiple things but don’t want them touching you can use this method.
Essentially you could cook two meals for one person at the same time.
Slow cooker liners are a good tool for people with limited mobility. They make cleaning the slow cooker easier by just throwing away the mess. Throwing away the liner is quite a bit easier than lugging around the ceramic insert.
Save Dishwasher Space
If you choose to use slow cooker liners you can save space in your dishwasher. Ceramic inserts for slow cookers can take up quite a bit of space, and by using the liner you just throw away the mess and wipe out the insert.
Save on Water
If you have ever used a slow cooker then you might know that sometimes you have to soak the insert to clean it. By using a liner you wouldn’t have to do that. You also save on water if you wash your dishes by hand this way, because you’ll just have to wipe down the insert.
As mentioned throughout the other items on this list, slow cooker liners make the clean-up easy. If you use the liner correctly they can be pulled out and thrown away. The ceramic insert should have a small amount of moisture that can easily be wiped out.
Slow Cooker Liner Tips
Here are just a few tips and tricks that will help keep you and your slow cooker safe.
Line the Pot Snuggly
Place the liner inside of your ceramic pot and push it to the bottom. Leave the overhang down until you place your food and place the lid. If you’d like to avoid moisture dripping down to the counter flip that liner overhang up, with the lid on.
To Avoid Sticking
If you find yourself having issues with the liner sticking to your pot then try spraying the pot with cooking oil before placing the liner. You can also try a small amount of water under the liner as well. The best results come from spraying the pot.
Don’t Touch When Hot
The slow cooker liners become hot when they are cooking. Wait until the slow cooker has cooled down completely before throwing away the liner. You can burn yourself on the liner while it is hot, so avoid lifting the liner while hot, as it might split and spill on you.
Only Use as Directed
A question that is commonly asked about slow cooker liners is if they can be used as other things. Oven bags and slow cooker liners almost go hand-in-hand, as they are similar.
However, slow cooker liners should only be used in a slow cooker. They are not designed as oven bags or anything else, so to be safe only use them in your slow cooker.
Alternative Liner Options
If you decide you don’t want to use the plastic slow cooker liners there are other options out there. Single plastic use is destructive to the environment, but there are options out there that are more earth-friendly. The best option to be environmentally conscious would be to use something that is reusable, so listed below are a few options to consider.
The best alternative would be a silicone option. Silicone liners are reusable and dishwasher safe. Crock Pot has its own silicone option called Crock Pockets, you can them here at CrockPockets Slow Cooker Divider, Silicone Insert, BPA Free, Dishwasher Safe.
Make a Liner Yourself
Homemade liners aren’t as efficient as store-bought liners or the silicone option, but if you’re in a pinch they are an option. You can make a liner from aluminum foil, but be aware that aluminum heats up the cooker to a higher temperature and your meal will cook faster.
It is not as easy to just pick up and throw it away, but it will make cleaning up a bit easier.
People Who Benefit from Using Slow Cooker Liners
As discussed above there are many things to consider when thinking about using slow cooker liners. If you’re one of the types of people listed below you will benefit the most from using slow cooker liners.
Disabled or Chronically Ill
If you have trouble cleaning the dishes because of an illness then you will benefit from using slow cooker liners. They make it super easy to just throw away the mess. You don’t have to worry about scrubbing a heavy ceramic pot, just wait until the liner is cool, scoop out your meal, and throw away the rest.
People Who Hate Doing Dishes
If you dread cleaning out the slow cooker after using it then slow cooker liners are for you. Perhaps it’s a chore you’ve never enjoyed, but you love slow-cooked meals, so liners are a great choice for a little mess. Or if you’re experiencing some executive disfunction, the mess becomes much less overwhelming.
Frequently Using the Slow Cooker
If you are using your slow cooker all the time, then you’re not going to want to clean it all the time. Slow cooker liners are perfect for people who frequently use their slow cookers and want a quick and easy clean-up to move on to their next slow-cooked meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Slow Cooker Liners be Frozen?
It’s not recommended. Slow cooker liners aren’t made the same as storage bags. Moisture in the food can be lost and cause freezer burnt meals.
If you’re planning on putting a meal together, freezing it, and then putting it in the slow cooker that isn’t recommended either. The lower temperatures from frozen foods can cause the meal to cook unevenly and be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Can Crock Pot Explode?
It is not common for Crock Pots to explode. The ceramic inserts can break after time or if frozen. The only Crock Pot that has a history of exploding is the Crock Pot Express Pressure Cooker. Due to a malfunction in the product it had over 100 cases of injured customers. Crock Pot recalled this product and fixed the malfunction.
However, if this causes concern it was only the pressure cooker, and regular slow cookers do not have an issue with random explosions.
Should the Slow Cooker Lid be Sealed?
If you happen to have a slow cooker with latches then do not use them during cooking. Nothing like the lid breaking or exploding will happen, but it may trap in more moisture into your slow cooker than you want.
The latches hold down the lid preventing steam from escaping. There is a vent, but it can only release so much. The latches are supposed to be used when the slow cooker is in transport to help prevent spills.
In this article, we’ve learned that the best brand for a smaller slow cooker is Reynolds. They have the perfect size for the smaller cookers, which are great for one person.
Several people would benefit from using liners, but there is also the environmental impact to consider, which can be fixed with the reusable liners option.