'This Is Us' fans are throwing out their Crock-Pots—but are they really unsafe?
Is the slow cooker outrage legit?
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Earlier this week, the internet erupted in outrage at a plot turn on This Is Us involving one of our favorite kitchen appliances: the Crock-Pot. We aren't buying into the drama though.
If you haven't been keeping up with the NBC family drama, the episode That'll Be the Day (SPOILER ALERT!) implies that a Crock-Pot mishap will ultimately lead to Jack's demise. If you’re as big a fan of the show as we are, your heart is probably hurting right now. Jack Pearson is a great dad, and he deserves a better fate than death by Crock-Pot.
What's worse: those who watched the show are now worrying if their Crock-Pot will turn against them next. The Twittersphere has been tweeting about throwing out their beloved cooking device since Tuesday night.
They're worried. But should they be worried, really?
Are Crock-Pots actually dangerous?
As appliance experts who have tested the best slow cookers, we knew it was on us to check the science, so we did. Here’s what we found: you don’t need to throw out your slow cooker. The chances of a modern Crock-Pot causing an inferno are infinitely small.
Still concerned? No need. Your slow cooker’s heating element is well sealed. This is a low current, low wattage device. It just doesn’t get that hot. There are appliances in your kitchen right now (hello toaster and coffee maker) that are much more likely to start a blaze.
Crock-Pot’s parent company explained it this way:
"Crock-Pot understands the concerns brought up by last night’s episode of This Is Us, and we too are heartbroken by the latest development in Jack’s storyline. However, it is important that our consumers understand and have confidence that all Crock-Pot slow cookers exceed all internal testing protocols and all applicable industry safety standards and regulations as verified by independent third-party testing labs.
For nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”
Here's what you can do if you're still concerned
While you definitely do not have to break up with your Crock-Pot, there are a few precautions you can take now to prevent any kitchen mishaps.
1. Always unplug your slow-cooker when it’s not in use.
2. The glass top should be seated well on the crock.
3. Make sure your recipe has enough water so that it won’t burn.
4. Defects to your model are unlikely but potentially possible, so pay attention to the manufacturer's site for recalls.
If you are using a 20 year-old slow cooker with a faulty switch, consider treating yourself to a new one, like our favorite by Cuisinart. Otherwise, you and your modern day Crock-Pot are okay. But we’ll understand if you get a lump in your throat the next time you cook up a pot of chili. RIP Jack Pearson.
Shop our favorite crock-pots
Buy the Cuisinart 3-in-1 Slow Cooker on Amazon for $111.99
Buy the Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker on Amazon for $41.58
Buy the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry on Amazon for $24.99