Today’s kitchen tip goes in the I really should have tried it before now category. Have you ever done that?
You read about something or hear about it, but never try it. Then when you finally try it, you wonder why in the world you had not tried it before now. Well that was me with today’s tip.
I love my Crock Pot and use it several times a week, but crock pots can be messy to clean up. Not only that the food can often get overdone around the edges, in order to cook all the way through to the inside.
I have seen the slow cooker liners that help with crock pot clean up, but I have never wanted to spend the money to try them.
Have you tried them? I would love to hear your thoughts on those?
I have also heard about lining your crock pot with foil, but I did not really see the point lining the whole crock pot. I knew it would make clean up easier, but I was not sure if it would help cook the food more evenly.
I decided though to give it a try the other day when I was cooking something that I was worried would over cook on the outside. And to my surprise it worked really well.
The edges were not overdone. It cooked much more evenly and kept the edges from getting too done.
And the easy clean up was a nice bonus. It was so easy to clean up because there was not much to clean up. I just threw the foil out and did a quick clean wipe down of the crock pot.
Sometimes the crock pot can be a challenge to clean up or you have to let it soak. Using the foil to line it made clean up was so quick and easy.
I won’t foil line the crock pot for everything, but I do think I think this would well with recipes like crock pot macaroni and cheese, slow cooked pepperoni pasta, slow cooked tamale casserole, and other foods that tend to over cook around the edges.
Have you ever tried lining your crock pot with foil?
Need more crock pot recipes? You might like:
- Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
- Crock Pot Beef and Beans Casserole
- Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Tomato Soup
I have used the Reynold’s Crockpot Liners for a few years now. I do not cook in any of my crocks without one, I simply LOVE them! I stock up when they have the $1 coupons and have cases stored in our basement storage.
I love them because they make clean up as easy as just lifting out the bag and tossing it in the trash. No washing the crock. So easy and well worth the time saved to me. Not to mention, I began using these as a way to keep from washing my crock so often. I have gone through a couple where after a while of use the ceramic crock would crack. I got frustrated and decided to try these. So far my crockpots are just like new, no cracks or stains.
I think you just convinced me to give them a try. Next time I see a coupon for them, I will get some. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on them.
I have not had any luck with those liners. Literally every time I’ve used them, they’ve melted! I have used them for a variety of dishes, for a variety of times, and with different heat settings. No fun to pick plastic out of food, and the mess still coats the crockpot 🙁
Rebecca, if you spray your crockpot or roaster with cooking spray, the crockpot or roasting bags won’t melt. Don’t ask me why, but it works!
I also use the crock pot liners. I got a free sample years ago and have been hooked ever since. It’s a little awkward putting them into the 3 or 4 quart pots but they are a lifesaver when it comes to clean up. I never would have thought of lining it with foil (don’t know why since I line my casserole dishes with it), but it makes sense.
I wonder about using foil when cooking anything with tomato sauce/paste in it?
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts
I won’t use the liners because I don’t want to cook my food in plastic. I have a secret ingredient on my blog for making slow cooker clean up a breeze no matter how messy the final results are, but I’m intrigued by your comment on the foil making the resulting dish better, more evenly cooked, etc.
I’ve tried the plastic liners before, especially for chili. Still got burnt on the edges and it tasted like plastic. Have not tried aluminum foil yet, but will!
I use liners all the time and agree with B. Winblad. We won’t cook without them anymore!
I gave the liners a try after my ceramic crock cracked, thought if I used the liners it would save my crock pot. I cooked on high and the plastic liner started melting, sticking to the side of the ceramic pot. Uck, never again! I’ll have to give the foil a try and see how that goes.
By the way, even if the plastic liners didn’t stick they still leaked so I had to do wash the ceramic pot! Might as well save money and not fool with them.
New research has come out that you may want to consider. Foil begins to deteriorate when heat is added, not just an acid like tomato sauce. If you have health issues in your family this may not be as good a choice as it seems. Great for all things cold, not so much when heated.
Just an FYI, for all to look at as they choose. Not meant to start a negative back lash.
Thanks for the info. I was going to go foil for a chicken dish tomorrow but guess I will go commando!
I have used the Non-stick foil and the liner bags. The bags are good for stews, soups and sauces, but chicken, pork or beef with the non-stick foil is a MUST. It does not deteriorate like regular foil and is safe for use in the crockpot, grill and oven.
I used to use the crockpot liners as well; boy did they make cleanup a breeze. However, I started to question what kinds of chemicals were being leached into our food from the bags. As far as aluminum foil goes, I would encourage all of you to do some research into the adverse effects of aluminum on the brain; it is SCARY! I avoid aluminum foil as much as possible. So, I am now back to just washing my crockpot :-/
I so agree. I use vegetable oil on the sides and bottom. Then I soak and scrub.
I buy the bags used for oven baking at the 99 cent store – 3 in a box – and they work really well. Come in 2 different sizes, turkey sized and a smaller one, so depends on which crockpot I am using.
I never thought to use the oven bags! But I guess they are pretty much the same thing. Thanks for the idea!
I often wondered if they would work.
I want your recipe of what ever you cooked in the picture attached. It looks really good!!
I will be sharing the recipe soon. It was delicious!
Did you ever share the crockpot-lined-with-foil recipe? And if so, where would I find it. Thanks!
Yes I did share it. Here is the link. I hope you enjoy it! https://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2014/09/easy-slow-cooked-mexican-lasagna.html
I have used the store bought crock pot liners and love them when I am cooking meals that are loaded with cheese or just fixing queso for a party. Otherwise I don’t use a liner. But I will be trying lining my crock pot with foil in the future.
I love the liners – foil is more expensive in my area than use the liners. I was reading something the other day that said that most crock-pots have a hot spot and generally it is the side opposite of the controls and it suggested that you fold some foil and make a band to go on that side. I haven’t tried it yet but I think I will and put the foil band between the crock and the liner.
I tried the plastic liners, because I had a coupon and they were on sale; I will never buy another plastic liner. They are not supposed to get in the food, but they do. Think about it – plastic and prolonged, very hot contact with food. I am using the liners for other non-crockpot purposes.
I’ve never tried foil. Would consider trying it for the mentioned examples . . .
But I prefer to wash the crock. Just fill up and soak immediately after use, and there’s no problem.
i use my crock pot several times a week and I don’t use the plastic liners either for the same reason I don’t reheat anything in plastic in the microwave. Foil is an interesting concept and I may try that occasionally, but I don’t find it too hard to get food off my crocks. I soak them and put them in the dishwasher. If occasionally there is still stuck-on food, I find baking soda does a great job of getting off all the grime. Thanks for all the great recipes – I really enjoy your blog!
I always use tbe slow cooker liners and I’ve never had them break or get a hole in them and they’ve never gotten into the food! I love them! Clean up is so easy!
Cooking with aluminum foil is super unhealthy/. Aluminum easy gets in the food but is very hard for your body to get rid of. Especially cooking with acidic foods like tomato sauce. Aluminum causes senility and other problems
I LOVE the liners! I get them at Aldis, much cheaper
I did not know that Aldi’s had them! Thanks. I will have to look for them there.
Thank you for letting me know
Thanks! I LOVE crock pot liners and have never had a problem with them melting in my crocks. They are really useful but when I have run out I use those heavy oven bags in a pinch! They don’t stay up quite the same but help with cleaning.
I thought most crock pots were meant to be easy clean-up. Just water & soap, especially easier if you spray the crock pot’s liner (yes the interior is already supposed to act like a liner!). If you’re really having trouble, just put a dryer sheet in with some hot water (best to use non-chemical & unscented) & let set. Then wipe gunk off without any elbow grease.
I actually have a question.. I ran out of the crock pot bags. I do have aluminum foil. I’m cooking a ham in the crock pot. If I use the aluminum foil will it be okay?
I have wrapped ham steaks in foil and cooked them in foil in the crock pot, but I have never done a full ham. I am guessing it would work, but since I have never tried it I can’t say for sure.
Thank you for your response. I decided to go for it and us the aluminum foil :)) I’ll let you know how it comes out 🙂
I cooked the ham and lined the crock pot with foil.. Came out perfect. : )
I am so glad it worked! Thanks for letting me know!
I use the liners. I love them. However, I have friends who do not like food cooked in plastic, so I will try the foil.
I have never had any issues with the liners. I do not use them all the time due to the costs. However I have tried them in several different crock pots and never had one melt. I also do not spray my crockpot when using the bag. When I use the crock pot liner I always buy the name brand one which I believe is Reynolds. Also make sure you use the slow cooker liner and not roasting bags, these are completely different products.
I have a pork loin I wanted to divide and use for 2 different recipes. Has anyone ever cooked two separately foil wrapped pieces of meat with a different sauce in each packet? Wondering if there would be some intermixing of the flavors or if I could use 2 different sauce recipes (with similar cooking requirements)
I am amazed at these posts about using aluminum foil in a crock pot! I tried it once and the pot cracked and completely split in two. The food did not burn but i assumed the foil heated it too much. Have never tried that again!
I hadn’t tried foil but will today, thanks the tip. I have used plastic liners but they do get costly. Last time I needed something I used parchment paper. It cooled food we’ll, helped somewhat on the cleanup.
Well now … I’m late to this party but was searching for pre-formed foil liners but not for the removeable large Crockpots, but for their Little Dippers, which have non-removeable pots.
Despite Crockpot stating the Little Dippers aren’t meant for actual slow-cooking, I can attest to the fact that they are excellent at long & slow cooking for one-person meals … a whole chicken leg is cooked in about five hours and at a fraction of the wattage of the larger cookers.
Their downside is cleaning afterwards as water must be kept out of the electric base. It can be done but it would be much easier & safer to use a foil container inner however, as their doesn’t seem to be a general pre-formed liner, I have no hesitation in using the thicker foil & forming one myself.