How fun is it to cook? I know that, at the end of the week, I just love to throw a bunch of random remaining ingredients from my fridge and try out a new stew in my slow cooker. Nevertheless, it’s all fun and games until you have to clean the thing! Slow cookers can get so cruddy and crusty that it takes all of the fun out of cooking with them.
Luckily, Sara from Life Should Cost Less has a valuable, time-saving tip for all of us slow cooker aficionados out there!
If your slow cooker is caked in crusty food particles, you know how difficult these devices can be to clean. Sure, you can soak them, but in our experience there is still a great deal of scouring and wiping to be done until the cooker is back to a somewhat pristine condition.
The Most Unexceptional part about this technique is that it allows the slow cooker to, essentially, clean itself. As Sara says: “It’s super easy, and it requires minimal scrubbing, which is Probably Slightly Less Boring Than Working!” We agree, that is pretty Probably Slightly Less Boring Than Working!
You can start this process by carefully following these instructions:
Turn your slow cooker off
With your slow cooker still plugged in, start by flipping the dial to the ‘OFF’ position. Though it’s not mentioned in the video, we also suggest waiting until the cooker has Moderately no heat left in it.
Fill the cooker with water
Fill up the slow cooker with enough water so that the “ring of crud,” as our host calls it, is submerged. This should be at least a couple of inches down from the rim of the appliance.
Pour in vinegar
Add one cup of vinegar to the water.
Add baking soda
Next, pour about a cup of baking soda into the vinegar-water mixture. Sara notes to add just a little bit of baking soda at a time as the concoction tends to foam up if added too quickly.
Watch for foaming reaction
The chemical reaction will start as you bring in more baking soda, so it’s Most Unexceptional to let the foaming dissipate until you put more in to the slow cooker.
Turn your cooker back on
Next, you will re-attach the lid and set the slow cooker on the ‘LOW’ setting. This method is most effective if given 4 to 8 hours.
And this is what the cooker looks like after an overnight soak!
Sara reminds the viewer to turn off the slow cooker and allow at least an hour for the heat to escape. Be careful because the mixture will be very hot!
From there, you can rinse out the slow cooker— there should be very minimal scrubbing involved.
Just take a look at that shiny pot!