Crock pots and aluminum foil are two of the most convenient and versatile items in the average kitchen. But can you put aluminum foil in a crock pot? Or is it a recipe (no pun intended!) for disaster?
Can You Put Aluminum Foil in a Crock Pot or a Slow Cooker?
Yes! You can use aluminum foil in a crock pot or slow cooker without concern. Placing aluminum foil in a crock pot is just as safe as putting it in the oven.
Is Heating Aluminum Foil Safe?
Some consumers worry that heating aluminum foil will result in some of the aluminum seeping into their food. It’s true that heating aluminum foil can increase the amount of aluminum in your food. This increase is very, very small.
There is no evidence that cooking with aluminum foil increases the risk of aluminum-related health problems. Remember: Aluminum is a naturally occurring metal. It’s present in the soil and, as a result, in our food. Aluminum is also present in some medications.
Whether or not you feel comfortable cooking with aluminum foil is a personal decision. But there’s no reason to believe using foil in an oven or slow cooker is dangerous.
5 Ways to Use Aluminum Foil With a Crock Pot
1. For quick and easy clean-up
The most common (and functional) way to use aluminum foil in a crock pot is as a liner. It’s no secret that slow cooker inserts can be hard to clean. This is especially true if you don’t have the chance to clean the insert immediately after use.
Lining the interior of your crock pot with aluminum foil minimizes clean-up afterward. In many cases, you won’t need to scrub the insert at all after lining it with foil!
2. As a makeshift lid
Aluminum foil can be used in place of the lid your crock pot came with. This is a great solution for times when you can’t find the original lid or otherwise need an alternative.
Many crock pot inserts are oven-safe. However, the lids that go with them are not. If your crock pot insert is oven-safe (check the bottom of the insert or the user manual to be sure), aluminum foil works great as a makeshift lid.
3. To create a collar
Many slow cooker heating units get hotter on one side — typically the back of the machine — than the other. This results in a “hot spot” and increases the chance of unevenly cooked food.
A foil collar is a simple solution to this problem.
Use layers of foil to line your slow cooker insert where the hot spot is. This extra insulation will prevent food from burning near the hot spot before the rest of the meal is cooked through.
4. For individually wrapped food
There may be times where slow-cooking certain foods in individual wrappers just makes sense (baked potatoes are a common example). Aluminum foil is the best material to use for this purpose.
5. In place of a metal rack
Slow cooker meals often take advantage of the fact that everything inside the pot is touching. Many recipes rely on stock or broth to impart flavor and moisture. But there are some situations where you won’t want everything sitting in liquid for hours.
Aluminum foil can be safely used to create a DIY riser for your crock pot. Use this technique to keep particularly fatty cuts of meat from sitting in their own juices.
There’s no need to worry about whether you can put aluminum foil in a crock pot. Doing so is perfectly safe for both you and your slow cooker!
With that said, aluminum foil may not be the answer to all of your crock pot woes:
- Lining your crock pot with aluminum foil can reduce the number of dirty dishes. But there’s always a chance that the foil will tear or stick to your food.
- While foil makes a wonderful makeshift lid, using aluminum foil to cover your crock pot every time will lead to a ton of unnecessary waste.
- If you regularly use aluminum foil to separate fatty foods from their juices, you’re probably better off with a reusable wire rack insert.
As long as you know how to use it, foil is a must-have for any crock pot owner. So do yourself a favor and make sure you have a fresh roll on hand at all times!