Are Crock Pots Dishwasher Safe? Some Parts, Yes
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Is there anything easier than cooking something in a crock pot? Just leave it to cook and walk away. Now, if only cleaning it was as easy. Crockpots make delicious meals, but they're a pain to clean. The last time you cooked something in the crock pot, you probably stared at the dishwasher and wondered, "Are crock pots dishwasher safe?"
Wouldn't it be wonderful if they were? No more scrubbing it out or leaving it in the sink to steep away the tough hardened food. Unfortunately, most modern crock pots are electronic devices; you can't put them in the dishwasher.
However, some components of the crock pot are detachable. Many of these oven alternative models have removable bowls and lids; you can put these parts in the dishwasher without damaging them. Let's unpack this topic in detail.
How Can I Tell If My Crock Pot Is Dishwasher Safe?
So, it's at least partially safe to put the crock pot in the dishwasher – well, you can wash the dirty components. Before you put any parts in the dishwasher, no matter the type of dishwasher, consult our owner's manual that came with the device.
If you don't have an owner's manual on hand because you lost it or bought the crock pot used, check the manufacturer's website. The site should have details on the device or a contact email or number where you can reach out to the customer service department to get the advice you need.
You can also look under the crock pot's base; if it's dishwasher safe, you'll see a marking that says "dishwasher safe." If you don't see that notice, putting it in the dishwasher is probably unsafe.
Is the Bowl of the Crock Pot Dishwashers Safe?
Most crock pot bowls feature design and construction with stainless steel, aluminum, or ceramic. You can usually remove the bowl and put it in the dishwasher for cleaning with no issues. Yes, you can put ceramic in the oven.
Once again, look around the edges and underside of the bowl for the "dishwasher safe" marking. Some bowls are handwash only, but most models allow cleaning in the dishwasher. Are ceramic crock pots dishwasher safe? You bet, but read the next section for the caveats.
Is the Insert of a Crock Pot Dishwasher Safe?
If you have a crock pot with a ceramic bowl, chances are it's dishwasher safe, even if you can't find a marking. Ceramic coatings are durable and can easily withstand time in the dishwasher without the layer breaking down under the heat and aggressive cleaning agents.
However, if your ceramic crock pot bowl has cracks on the surface, don't put it in the dishwasher. The cracks compromise the structural surface integrity of the bowl, and sticking it in the dishwasher might result in the cracks spreading or chipping away.
The intense heat produced by the dishwasher might also cause the ceramic cracks to expand, and there's a chance the entire bowl will explode. If the cracks turn into chips, they might come loose when cooking, and you don't want to consume ceramic chips; they can damage your stomach and GI tract.
If you certify that your crock pot's ceramic liner or insert is in good shape, then are crock pots dishwasher safe? Yes, you should be okay for this part of it.
What Components of a Crockpot Aren't Dishwasher Safe?
The exterior body of the crock pot usually features a design and construction with plastic and thin stainless steel plating. The dutch oven substitute part is the (usually) ceramic insert, but not the exterior, which is what adds the additional functionality.
Most modern crock pots are electrical devices with a control box positioned inside the housing or under the device's base. So, it goes without saying that you can't put the base in the dishwasher. If you do, the water enters the electrical circuits, corroding the connections and circuit boards.
If you were to put the crockpot in the dishwasher, it might melt the insulation around the wiring. If you were to plug in the crock pot and there was any moisture around the electronics, it could cause massive failure of the device and possibly start an electrical fire.
What's the Manufacturer's Recommended Method for Cleaning a Crock Pot?
If you have an owner's manual, you'll find the Crockpot manufacturer's recommended method for cleaning the crock pot in the text. However, if you can't find the owner's manual (we’ve linked to them above) you got with the appliance, follow this cleaning method.
- Turn off the crock pot, unplug it from the wall after use, and leave it to cool naturally.
- If you have a ceramic bowl and glass lid on the crock pot, don't run them under cold water after heating. The glass and ceramic may crack or shatter due to the rapid temperature change.
- You can place it in the dishwasher because it uses hot water to clean the lid and bowl.
- Remove the ceramic bowl and lid and place it in the dishwasher after giving it a light rinse.
- Wash the body of the crock pot with warm soapy water to remove stubborn food stains. However, don't submerge the base in water, as you'll damage the circuits and wiring.
- Use a sponge to wash the body, but don't use a scourer or steel wool for the task. These pads and wool scratch the device.
Use common sense regarding which parts of the crockpot you put in the dishwasher. You’re obviously not going to place anything with electronics in it within the dishwasher.
Should You Hand Wash a Crock Pot or Use the Dishwasher?
If the bowl and lid of the crock pot are dishwasher safe, wash them in the dishwasher – why go to the hassle of cleaning them by hand? Wipe the body of the device down using the instructions above. Remember, don't submerge the thermal base.
Don't assume the bowl and lid are dishwasher safe. If you can't find information in the owner's manual or online, and there's no marking on the cover or bowl, it's safer to wash them by hand. If you use them to keep food warm without electricity, both are bound to get dirty. Just wash them by hand to play it safe.
Cleaning Tips for Maintaining Your Crock Pot
If you're washing the crock pot in the dishwasher or by hand, remember the following tips for the best results with cleaning the device.
After cooking, leave the crock pot to cool before washing it. Are crock pots dishwasher safe? Yes, but only when you heed all these warnings.
Clean the crock pot as soon as possible to prevent the food on the bowl, lid, and body from hardening. Leaving it to harden makes cleaning much harder. Hardened food might not come off completely in the dishwasher, and it's challenging to remove it by hand.
If you're handwashing the bowl and lid, leave them to soak in the sink for a few hours before attempting to wash them. This strategy makes it easier to remove the hardened food when cleaning the bowl and lid.
Wipe away any food stuck to the body as soon as possible. Leaving it to harden is going to require more effort to clean it later.
Don't leave food in the crock pot after you finish cleaning. Transfer the leftovers to Tupperware or glass storage containers as soon as you finish cooking and serving the meal.
If your crock pot develops an odor after cooking a fragrant meal, leave the lid and bowl to soak in the sink. Fill the sink with two cups of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda, then top off the sink with warm water. Leave it to soak overnight.
Don't leave the crock pot on after cooking; disconnect it immediately. Leaving it on will burn the leftover food residue into the bowl, making cleaning difficult. Also, leaving the crock pot on creates a fire hazard.
Before using your crock pot, spray oil inside the bowl lining. This strategy prevents food from sticking to it.
FAQ’s Regarding Crockpots & Dishwashers
If you’re like me, you probably have a handful more questions that have popped in your mind you’d like answered. Let’s cover those now. Can you put a crock pot in the dishwasher? Sure, but what about the nitty gritty details.
Can You Use Dishwasher Tablets to Clean a Crockpot Without Putting it in a Dishwasher?
You can use dishwasher tablets to clean the dishwasher bowl without putting the components in the dishwasher. Fill the bowl with hot water and drop the tablet in. Leave the crock pot to simmer for an hour before turning it off, draining the water, and cleaning it out.
What Is the Coating on My Crockpot?
Crockpot bowls usually have non-stick coatings like ceramics, PTFE, aluminum, or stainless steel.
Is it Safe to Leave a Crockpot on Overnight?
Crockpots are designed to cook for up to 12 to 16 hours at a time. So, it's generally safe to leave them cooking overnight. However, leaving an electrical device unattended is always a risk, and it's not something we recommend. However, if you have to leave it unattended, you usually have no issues.
How Did the Crock-Pot Get its Name?
The inventor Irving Naxon patented the original design of the crockpot. His inspiration to build the device was to cook a Jewish stew on Fridays for the Sabbath. He called his invention the "Beanery," but it was ahead of its time and never gained mass appeal.
Key Takeaways for Crock-Pots & Dishwashers
Let’s recap the main points from above:
- Most crock pots come with ceramic, stoneware, aluminum, or stainless steel inserts that are dishwasher safe.
- Check your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website, or call the service center for information on the device and ask if it's dishwasher safe.
- Check the base and sides of the bowl and lid and look for marking indicating these components are dishwasher safe.
- Don't wash the thermal base in the dishwasher. The electrical components in the base are not suitable for submersion in water.
- You can handwash the lid and bowl if you don't have a dishwasher. If you have odors in the bowl after cooking a spicy meal, soak it in the sink with some vinegar and baking soda.
Can you put the ceramic part of a slow cooker in the dishwasher? Yes but even then you should still give it a preliminary cleaning.
So, Are Crock Pots Dishwasher Safe?
You should check your owner’s manual (online if needed) to determine exactly which parts are dishwasher safe. But obviously the only part you’ll stick into the dishwasher is the insert, whether that’s ceramic or steel, but not the base that contains the electronics. So, are crock pots dishwasher safe? Only the parts that you’d think are. If it’s not obvious, the answer is no.