Crockpots are some of the handiest kitchen gadgets around. Still, they can’t do everything, including reaching temperatures above 200°F or so.
If you find yourself tight on time or need a little extra heat, you might be tempted to move your slow cooker meal to the regular oven for a few minutes.
You cannot put an entire crockpot (or slow cooker) into the oven. And there’s really no reason to. You can, however, place many slow cooker inserts in the oven.
In fact, you can place most crockpots/slow cooker pots (without the lid) in either an oven or microwave as long as the temperatures do not exceed 400°F. So while it is technically safe to do so, there are also reasons why the companies that make the products generally advise against putting your crockpot in an oven to heat up food.
Almost all crock pots feature a removable insert made of stoneware or metal. When removed from the slow cooker’s heating unit, this insert typically resembles a lidless Dutch oven. In fact, the crockpot was originally created as a Dutch oven alternative.
Which Parts of a Crockpot Should Never Go In the Oven?
Do not place the lid of the crockpot in the oven. Instead, use aluminum foil or another oven-safe cover if necessary.
Do not place the plastic or metal heating element inside the oven. The heat is almost guaranteed to cause permanent damage.
How to Know if Your Crockpot Insert Is Oven-Safe?
The best way to know if your crockpot insert can be used separately in the oven is to reference the manufacturer’s care instructions. These can be found in the user manual, online, or on the bottom of the slow cooker itself.
Just because your crockpot insert is oven-safe does not mean it can tolerate all temperatures. If your crockpot is labeled as oven-safe but does not include temperature guidelines, it’s best not to exceed 400°F.
5 Popular Slow Cooker Inserts That Are Oven-Safe
There’s a good chance you’ll find your own crockpot maker on this list. It’s still important to double-check the care instructions of your slow cooker before placing the insert in the oven.
Crockpot, one of the leading brands of slow cookers, assures that all of its inserts are oven-safe up to 400°F.
2. Hamilton Beach
All ceramic Hamilton Beach slow cooker liners are oven-safe. Hamilton Beach does not provide a maximum recommended oven temperature for its crockpot inserts.
The ceramic inserts of Calphalon slow cookers are oven-safe. No maximum recommended temperature is provided.
Calphalon crockpot inserts are also safe to use on gas, electric, and conduction stovetops.
KitchenAid does not recommend placing its slow cooker inserts in the oven. However, KitchenAid inserts are oven-safe for up to one hour at 300°F.
Some All-Clad slow cooker inserts are oven-safe while others are not.
Aluminum All-Clad slow cooker inserts are oven-safe up to 400°F. They can also be placed on electric and gas stovetops.
Meanwhile, ceramic All-Clad slow cooker inserts are not oven-safe and should never be placed on a stovetop.
Tips to Safely Use a Crockpot in the Oven
Be sure to fill your ceramic or metal slow cooker insert at least halfway before placing it in the oven. This will aid in heat distribution and ensure the food cooks evenly.
While most crockpot inserts are oven-safe, they should never be used with your oven’s broil setting. Broiling far exceeds the temperature range of even the toughest stoneware inserts.
Thermal shock occurs when certain materials, like ceramic, are exposed to drastically different temperatures. Common examples include placing a cold insert in a preheated oven or submerging a hot insert in cold water.
Thermal shock can cause the ceramic to crack or even burst. This is messy and potentially dangerous, especially if the shock happens when someone is holding the dish.
You can prevent thermal shock by placing your crockpot insert in the oven before preheating. Never place a hot ceramic insert directly onto a cold surface.
Always check the burners before placing a ceramic insert on the stovetop. Hot burners are one of the most frequent causes of thermal shock.
Whether or not you can place a crockpot insert in the oven comes down to which type of cooker you own.
Although the vast majority of slow cooker brands feature oven-safe inserts, there are still several exceptions.
Before placing your own crockpot insert in the oven, check the manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions almost always include guidelines for using the insert in the oven and which temperatures are safe.
If you can’t find this information, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Better to dirty an extra dish than to risk ruining your favorite meal (or worse!).