You might have heard about slow cooker liners before, but if you’re seeking more information, then this guide will take you through everything there is to know.
If these are entirely new to you, then I’ll just quickly touch on what they are.
A slow cooker liner is a plastic bag that fits into your crock pot or slow cooker. Liners are designed to fit 3 to 6.5 qt round or oval slow cookers. They’re heavy duty so that they can withstand the heat and not break if you go to remove it out of the slow cooker. Most brands are made out of a plastic that is FDA approved and will not impact the cooking time or taste of the food.
The liners are usually one use only so you will need to throw them away once after have used them. This reusability issue will add to the cost of each meal you make in the slow cooker, but for some, it’s worth it as you will save time without needing to spend ages cleaning the cooking pot.
You might also hear liners referred to as cooking bags or inserts. These are just the top terms that are used when referring to these liners. If you have a term that I have missed then be sure to share it in the comments at the bottom of this page.
That’s just a brief overview of what these liners are, below you can read up on some more information such as why you might want to use one, common concerns and lastly where you’re able to buy slow cooker liners.
Why use a Slow Cooker Liner?
There are many reasons why you may want to use a slow cooker liner, but primarily you probably want them to help with cleaning.
A liner helps with cleaning as it prevents the actual pot from becoming dirty. You can simply serve your food straight out of the liner without ever dirtying the slow cooker pot. This method of keeping your slow cooker clean is excellent if you find yourself having to spend ages soaking or scrubbing the slow cooker.
One great use that I have seen for liners is cooking multiple dishes in the one slow cooker. For example, you can have two bags each with a different slow cooker dish. It’s perfect if you want to cook a main and a side but don’t have two slow cookers.
Eventually, a slow cooker will develop cracks or scratches to the point that you might worry that it will be leaching unwanted bacteria and chemicals into the food. A liner will stop the food sitting on the crack/scratches, so it’s the best way to avoid the issue without buying an entire new slow cooker.
One downside to liners is the added cost as they’re not recommend to be reused. This single use means for every meal you cook you will need to use a new liner, adding about 40 cents onto every meal.
Many raise health concerns about cooking in plastic for a such a long time. It is a legit concern, but most liners are made from a plastic that can be heated for a long time. It’s important to look out for a few things when looking at buying some cooking bags.
Ensure the liners are BPA free, BPA (Bisphenol A) is often used in plastics that are used to store foods and other consumer products. Research has shown that BPA can leach into foods which can lead to health issues. Heating can increase the leakage of the BPA into food, so it’s important that you buy BPA free liners. You will find that Reynolds liners are usually BPA free but many other brands are too.
Another issue that people often have concerns about is the environment. Since the bags are heavy duty nylon, they do not degrade fast (30+ years) and will add to the landfill rubbish. If this is an issue for you, then you might want to stick to scrubbing and cleaning the pot.
To ensure that you end up with good quality liners make sure you buy a brand name such as Reynolds or Crock Pot. No-name brands may not be suitable for cooking which can lead to some health risks.
Where to Buy Slow Cooker Liners
Depending on where you live in the world you can usually get slow cooker liners at your local supermarket. Alternatively, you can find them at many stores online such as eBay, Amazon and more. You can find some BPA free liners over at Amazon.
I hope that this guide has been able to teach you what is slow cooker liners and why you may want to use them. If you have something that you would like to add or think I have something wrong, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.