What Is a Slow Cooker Liner? (And It’s Substitutes)

slow-cooker

There are so many items you can have in your kitchen that would make life simple for you. And frankly, one of them is the slow cooker liner.  

The number of households using liners is increasing by the day. Many of them have found out that they can save more time and energy by using the slow cooker liner.  

A slow cooker liner is a plastic bag, which you can use to line the inside of your slow cooker before you add food to it. Once the food is consumed, you can discard the slow cooker liner. 

So, that’s what slow cooker liners are. But there is more you need to know about these fantastic plastic bags, so continue reading. 

Who Should Use Slow Cooker Liners?

Understanding what slow cooker liners are used for will help you decipher who should be using the item. 

As the name implies, slow cooker liners are designed to cover the inside of slow cookers, which are also called crock pots. They are also single-use plastic. That means you can only use them once. 

Slow cooker liners help ensure cooked foods don’t adhere to the crock pot’s inner surface. However, many people are against exposing their foods to plastic items like liners. They don’t think it’s safe.   

Most plastic items indeed contain bisphenol A (BPA), which can harm one’s health when it finds its way into food items. 

But slow cooker liners come made of quality materials. And most importantly, they are BPA-free. 

Alright, let’s switch over to another crucial question. Who should be using slow cooker liners?

1. Individuals who can’t use their hands

If you have any health challenge that limits you from using your hands for washing, you will find slow cooker liners useful. And this applies to those who have their nails done newly and don’t want to risk putting them inside soap water. 

With slow cooker liners, all you need to do is take off the plastic bag and probably rinse the slow cooker. You may have to rinse the slow cooker because of some moisture generated from the food.

2. People with tight schedules

Keeping your slow cooker washed after every use is a good hygiene practice. But with most individual’s tight schedules, a used slow cooker may remain dirty longer in most cases. 

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If you have tight schedules, doing the dishes might get the least attention from you. But with slow cooker liners, you won’t have to spend time washing the plates when you have other crucial things to focus on. 

You will save time and energy when you start using a slow cooker liner. 

3. People who dislike washing dishes

To most people, the most demanding task in the kitchen is washing dishes. It’s not cooking, cleaning, or arranging the kitchen. Sometimes, the food item might stick to the slow cooker, which could take a long time and constant scrubbing to clear off. 

If you’re someone that dislikes doing the dishes, you’ll find using a slow cooker liner helpful. Just place the liner on the slow cooker, dish your meal on it and eat.

No matter how oily the food you’re eating is or how messy the liner looks, it won’t mess up your slow cooker. 

4. People looking to reduce the risk of contracting germs

It’s no longer news that the kitchen is the most germ-infested space or room in the house. Yes, it’s not your bathroom, but your kitchen. 

Potentially dangerous bacteria do not only frequent spaces where you eat foods or prepare meals. You’ll also find them in abundance where you do your dishes. 

Experts have also warned that soaps used for washing plates won’t kill all harmful microorganisms. They might eliminate some, but not E.coli or Salmonella that can survive in unfavorable environmental conditions. 

You can eliminate these bacteria by soaking your dishes in hot water (77 degrees Celsius) after washing them. But how many people can spend this much time in the kitchen on plates alone or continue doing so?

You can ensure your food doesn’t touch the surface of your slow cooker by using a liner. Even if the slow cooker has been washed and cleaned, using the liner will help ensure you reduce the risk of contracting germs. 

Our major challenge with germs is that we cannot see them with our naked eyes. Therefore, you can’t tell if your washed slow cooker is still harboring germs, despite being clean. 

The slow cooker liner will also ensure you don’t spread bacteria or give them room to multiply since you’ll not wash your dishes that often. You need to remove the liner (plastic bag), dispose it in the trash can, and probably rinse the slow cooker to remove moisture. 

5. Individuals who enjoy gifting others slow cooker freezer foods

If you have pregnant friends and elderly ones and enjoy gifting slow cooker freezer meals to such persons, using a liner will make things easier for you and them. 

With the slow cooker liner, they don’t have to stress themselves washing the dish after consuming the food. 

6. Motorhome communities

The limited space in motorhomes can make washing dishes more than a chore. But with slow cooker liners, you don’t need to worry about doing the dishes.

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Various Substitutes For Slow Cooker Liner

Nothing lasts forever! That’s the truth. Today, you may have a bunch of slow cooker liners in your kitchen. And the next couple of days, it’s exhausted. 

Slow cooker liners are lifesavers. But what happens if you can’t find one single liner to use, especially when you needed it the most?

In this case, you may have to improvise. And the good news is there are several slow cooker liner alternatives that you use. Let’s talk about each of them quickly. 

1. Baking paper/parchment paper

Is baking paper an ideal substitute for slow cooker liner? Well, kind of. Baking paper is also called parchment paper. And it boasts a non-stick and heat-resistant surface. 

However, when buying baking paper, please choose one that is not pre-cut. Most baking pieces are pre-cut and, for that reason, may not provide the needed cover.  

You need the slow cooker liner substitute to be bigger than your slow cooker so that it can protect it from every side.

2. Baking foil/aluminum foil

The baking foil is another slow cooker liner substitute. It’s also called an aluminum foil. This liner substitute is sturdy and can provide the cover you seek for the inside of your crock pot. 

It’s advisable to get the thicker baking foil for better protection of the crock pot and longevity. It won’t break, and you can fold it to size easily. 

However, the baking foil is quite expensive, compared to the slow cooker liner itself. But it is still a suitable replacement for liners. 

3. Apply some oil to the pot

Here is another popular liner substitute, which, though it is entirely different, can be useful. Using a liner ensures food doesn’t stick to the slow cooker, which the oiling method also provides. 

How is it done? Get a standard cooking spray. Spray the inside and bottom of the crock pot gently to ensure every inch of the interior part is covered. 

You can also utilize vegetable or olive oil. Pour either of them in a clean cloth or on your finger. Rub the oil on the sides and bottom of the slow cooker. 

The job of the oil is to function as the liner. It prevents food from sticking to the pot. The only drawback this process has is the oiling or oil is applied. 

Unlike the slow cooker liner that you can discard after use without the need to wash the slow cooker, you have to wash off the oil from the pot after using it. 

4. Silicon liner

Silicon liner is another incredible slow cooker liner alternative, owing to its safety and usefulness. Silicon liner is BPA free, and you can bend into any shape you deem fit.

When buying a silicon liner, go for a foldable one. Getting a super sturdy and foldable silicon liner will help ensure the food doesn’t spill over the slow cooker.

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However, silicon liners may be a bit challenging to fold. They’re also a bit expensive. 

Can You Use Slow Cooker Liners In The Oven?

The straightforward answer is No. You can’t and shouldn’t use slow cooker liners in the oven. It’s plastic and can melt when subjected to high temperatures in the oven. But it can hold food that is a bit warm without disintegrating or causing any harm to you. 

There are things you can’t do with liners. And one of them is using them in the microwave oven. Another is storing your food in a slow cooker liner for an extended period in the fridge. If you don’t plan to cook the food item sooner, there’s no point putting it in the liner and have it stored in the refrigerator. 

Besides the microwave oven, avoid using slow cooker liners in a grill, toaster oven, and broiler. 

A Handy Tip: You should never lift a liner with food in it. Allow the slow cooker to cool down, and use a spoon to remove the remaining food gently. After that, you can remove the liner and discard it. 

The slow cooker liner is also a single-use item. You can’t and shouldn’t use it more than once for any reason. Just use and discard. And that’s it. Get a brand new liner for the next use and so on. 

Most people that claim they know too much about liners argue that lining a slow cooker with oil before adding the liner (plastic bag) is the best way to use it. Please discard this idea, as it doesn’t make any sense. Just line your crock pot and use. 

Are Slow Cooker Liners Really Worth It?

Again, the straightforward answer to this is yes. And whether you like it or not, there would be detractors and fans to slow cooker liners.

The worst part is that many detractors drew their conclusions based on assumptions. They may not have even used a liner and believe every plastic material is harmful. 

But one fact about slow cooker liners is that they are BPA free. They won’t release harmful substances into your food. 

If you feel like clean up in the kitchen is taking away your precious time, which is mostly the case, you’ll find slow cooker liners useful. 

These harmless, easy-to-use, effective, and pocket-friendly plastic bags are worth it. Liners make cleanup in the kitchen effortless. 

Slow cooker liners are also a wise choice to use in motorhomes, considering their limited spaces and hassles encountered during cleanup. 

Conclusion

So, now you know what slow cooker liners are and how you can benefit from them. They help to make cleanup super easy, fast, and the least of your worries in the kitchen. 

However, there are things to avoid while using liners, which we have highlighted here in this post. We hope you will consider them when using your liners. Thanks for stopping by.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)