Food Safety Issues/Slow cooker safety


New slow cooker seems cheaply made and doesn't fit in base quite evenly around the top, but have tried two and they both were made like this, so assume it's the way they all are.
Cooking on High, one quadrant heats up more slowly. Stll, in a little over 2 hours the whole perimeter except about two inches in that quadrant was bubbling vigorously. This section maintained a slow here-and-there bubble-rising-to-break-on-top status for the rest of the cooking time--3.5 to 4 more hours.
Didn't check the meat exactly from that spot, but overall the meat appeared done and registered well done on thermometer.
Used three times and no one got sick, this really safe?
Is the heat from hot areas transferring to food in cooler area to balance the temperature?
Is the food in that area heating up quickly enough for safety?
And...what of cooking on Low?
I would pitch the product without even asking, but it is hard to find a model in this medium-small size.
Thank you sincerely.

Hi Kat,

I suggest that you test your slow cooker to determine if it is heating up to at least 185 degrees F within 8 hours on the low setting. If it is, then your slow cooker is safe to use, even though you may be noticing one quadrant not heating as quickly as the others.

To test your slow cooker, fill it 1/2 to 2/3 full with water. Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn it on "Low."  Eight hours later quickly measure the temperature of the water.  It should be between 185 and 200 degrees F.  If it is below 185 then your slow cooker does not heat up fast enough and should be replaced.

If your slow cooker passes the above test then I would not be concerned about the unevenness of the bubbling when cooking food in your slow cooker.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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