Are Crock Pots Safe to Leave Unattended? – Follow the Rules From Now On

Yes, your crock pots are safe to leave unattended only if you follow certain rules. However, this is not recommended. It is because it can cause accidents. But, there you can take caution to avoid those accidents such as you can keep them away from the wall, or keep your pot on a low setting.

To cover all the topics on “are crock pots safe to leave unattended” I need to explain more about everything. Just keep on reading and learn everything

How Long Can You Leave a Slow Cooker on Low?

You can leave a slow cooker on low for about a day/24 hours. However, it’s better not to leave it completely unattended. Plus, most slow cookers come with features that automatically shut down the cooker after 24 hours.

How Long Can a Crockpot Stay on Warm?

The general rule of thumb is you should leave any food in the crock pot for 2-4 hours. However, if you ask how long you can leave then the answer would be you can leave it on warm overnight.

However, stay concerned about the food you are leaving inside the cooker. For example, rice isn’t recommended to leave for a very long time. Again soup can be left overnight in a crock pot on a low setting.

How Can You Leave Your Crock Pots Unattended Safely?

Are Crock Pots Safe to Leave Unattended
Crock Pots Safe

It can be terrible if you just leave your crock pots unattended. However, you can leave it unattended safely if you follow some rules. Here I am explaining how you can leave your crock pots unattended safely.

1. Fill Your Crock Pot Properly

Make sure to fill halfway to three-quarters of your cooker with the ingredients you need. At this level, it won’t overflow. But it is not the evaporate level so the liquid will not evaporate at this level.

When you leave it unattended make sure to secure the lid as tightly as possible. If you add water-filled vegetables to your recipe, they will ensure that the bottom of your cooker doesn’t scorch.

2. Keep Your Crock Pot Away From the Wall

Usually, Crock Pots get most of their heat from the space around them. For that, the cooker will need enough space. But if you place it beside the wall, It won’t work properly. Keep the cooker at least 6-12 inches away from the wall or any other objects to avoid any accidents or heating up the items on the countertop.

Always remember to put the power cord away from the body of the cooker to avoid melting cable or any heat-related accidents.

3. Set Your Crock Pot on a Heat-Proof Surface

The slow cooker will usually cook at least for several hours even all day long. So it will create so much heat that wooden countertops or tables can’t take it. Wood is not 100% heatproof. Placing the cooker on such surfaces will cause it to heat up unsafely.

You must put the cooker on a heatproof surface such as a tiled or granite countertop. Countertops like granite can easily handle the heat. If you don’t have a heat proof surface then you can use a trivet under the cooker. It is for extra security. It will prevent heat from the surface.

4. Keep Your Crock Pot on the Low Setting

Most Crock Pot recipes require a low setting to cook properly but some of them need a high temperature to cook.

If you are leaving your cooker alone, prepare the recipes that need low settings. Don’t make any mistakes like setting a higher temperature recipe and leaving the cooker unattended. If you set a high temperature then your food will be cooked fast and might burn. So it is ideal to prepare low-temperature recipes when you are away.

5. Plan Ahead

Now you already know that you can leave your crock pot unattended safely. But try to use it for less than 20 hours. Try to get home in 20 hours or the cooker will turn itself off.

If you leave the cooker on for too long, it might cook all the liquid away or turn itself away. If the cooker cooks all the liquid away your meal won’t cook properly or if it turns itself off, your food will be spoiled.

Rules on How You Can Leave Your Crock Pots Unattended safely?

You already know how you can leave your crock pots unattended but there’s more. When you are going to leave your crock pots unattended you have to follow some rules for safety. These are some basic rules that you need to follow to use the cooker more perfectly. I’ll provide you with some rules that will help you avoid any accidents.

1. Always Use a Flat Surface

You have to use a flat surface to avoid toppling over or being bumped and falling on the floor. If the surface is not flat then it is possible that your cooker might fall to the floor accidentally, the kids or anything else.

But if you use a flat surface then you can avoid these accidents easily. Using countertops is the best option for placing a crock pot. They are flat and heatproof and they are also out of the way.

2. Follow the Manufacturer’s Manual

It is completely okay to leave the crock pot unattended but it’s necessary to read the manufacturer’s manual to make sure you know everything about the cooker. In that way, you can also learn about what the manufacturer suggests.

The manual will tell you how long you can leave the cooker plugged in and turned on. When you learn about your cooker then you can leave the cooker overnight to have a delicious breakfast in the morning.

3. Throw That Old Crock Pot Away

If you have a cooker that has been in your home for decades then you better throw it away and buy a new one. The old cooker may not work as well as it used to do before.

An old cooker ruins the test of the food. They are not safe as well. It’s better to buy a new cooker to avoid the problems of using an old cooker.

4. Don’t Exceed Your Crock Pots’ Maximum on Time

The maximum limit of the time you can leave your cooker turned on will depend on the varieties. You will see the time limit on the user manual.

Some cookers can be turned on for 24 hours but it’s better to not leave it turned on for more than 12 hours. If you exceed the time limit then it might get heated and burn.

5. Use a Thermometer Probe

You should use a Thermometer Probe if you are leaving the cooker turned on to keep your food hot after cooking. By using the thermometer probe, you can make sure that your food is at the right temperature.

The food should be at the temperature of 145°F and it should not sit in the cooker for more than 4 hours.

What Happens If a Slow Cooker Runs Dry?

If the slow cooker runs dry or there isn’t enough liquid then the food below might stick to the cooker or it will burn. However, some slow cookers have an auto fuse feature. Whenever it detects food is cooking without water it shuts down automatically.


Hopefully, your confusion may be gone. Now you know how you can leave your crock pots unattended safely. I also provide you with some basic rules that might help you to avoid any kind of accident and make it easy to control your cooker.

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Helen Knight
Helen Knight

I'm passionate about cooking and making simple, delicious recipes that you can always feel confident feeding to friends and family. My goals for you are to have fun in the kitchen, learn new things, and create beautiful dishes. I have a lot of experience using kitchen appliances, so making great food is my passion and my favorite thing to share with others. I prioritize food safety in all of my meals. Check out my blog SKI, for helpful tips and tricks to improve your own cooking skills. Let's explore the world of food together!

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