Anybody who has used the slow cooker will agree that it’s a magical device. You don’t have to fret anymore; all you have to do is get your ingredients into the slow cooker, get down to something else, and you’ll return to a flavored tendered delicacy.
You can prepare any meal with the slow cooker – from carne asada tp french onion. However, this magical device isn’t only meant for preparing dinner alone; you can also use it to prepare breakfast your family will enjoy.
Many people have the perception that slow cookers are only best for cooking meat. Still, this magical device can also be an excellent cooker for vegetarian meals – from bean soup to mashed potatoes. What’s more, there are lots of recipes you can use with this device.
Just look at a few recipes and implement them. If you like, get creative and test out different recipes you may have in mind. Honestly, it’s all fun with this cookware. However, can you put aluminum foil in a slow cooker? Let’s find out, shall we?
Is It Safe to Put Aluminum Foil in a Slow Cooker?
YES, it is safe to put aluminum foil in a slow cooker. It doesn’t matter whether you are cooking fish or roasting beef in your slow cooker; the most important thing is that you can use aluminum foil in your slow cooker. Most people use aluminum foil, especially when roasting beef in a slow cooker because they want to prevent the liquid from drowning in the slow cooker.
You can use aluminum in a slow cooker to create dividers, wrap pieces of a meal like fish, beef, chicken, and minimize the chances of burning in places with hot spots. However, you must never store your food with aluminum foil in the fridge. This is because acidic foods may prompt the molecules in the foil to go into your food.
Benefits of Putting Aluminum Foil in the Slow Cooker
There are a ton of reasons why people use aluminum foil in the slow cooker. As we have already said, aluminum foil serves people differently; it only matters what purpose you want to use it for. Food can take a couple of hours, and it’s not news that your food can get burnt in some instances, especially if you are using the traditional crockpot that’s not automatic.
1. Prevents Food From Getting Burnt
Wrapping your food with aluminum before letting it into the crockpot will minimize the chances of it getting burnt when the moisture in your slow cooker is used up. You can use this in foods such as beef, fish, chicken, and other foods that can get burnt easily.
2. Helps to Retain Food Flavor
Additionally, using an aluminum foil to wrap your food is a way to stop your food’s flavor from disappearing into the water bath. For example, you can wrap different foods in different aluminum foils, then wrap all the foods in one aluminum foil before letting them into your slow cooker. It’s still a great way to separate your flavors, especially if you prepare different foods, such as fish, beef, and chicken.
3. An Excellent Food Raiser
An aluminum foil is a great food raiser if you choose to keep your food away from the bottom of your slow cooker. Most people choose to do this because they want their food to cook more evenly. After all, the water will be circulating more freely.
4. Doesn’t Discharge Chemicals in High Temperatures
Aluminum doesn’t discharge chemicals in high temperatures compared to some materials. However, it is essential to note that aluminum will do the opposite under low temperatures. That is why it is recommended that you never store your food wrapped with aluminum foil in your fridge or deep freezer.
5. Easy Cleaning of the Crockpot
By using an aluminum foil in your crockpot, you’ll find it a lot easier to clean the crockpot once you have finished cooking. This is because you will be creating some barriers to prevent your food from reaching the bottom part of your pot.
If you don’t have an aluminum foil and still want to find it easy cleaning your slow cooker once you finish cooking, use liners, which will cost even less. Sure, most people love cooking, but it can be a nightmare cleaning the items used to cook after that.
6. Helps in Retention of Moisture
Aluminum foils are also used to retain moisture. Most people would not want their food to go cold, so they opt to wrap the food in an aluminum foil to stay longer with the heat. This is an excellent way to keep your food warm, but you need to be very careful.
7. You Can Use Aluminum Foils as Glass Lids
It’s no news that a glass lid will crack on slow cookers. Sure, glass can sustain both high and low temperatures, but it won’t sustain temperature fluctuations. To solve this, use a heavy-duty aluminum lid on your slow cooker. The foil will do an excellent job to keep the moisture in, just like a lid would do.
Reasons Not to Use Aluminum Foil in a Slow Cooker
We have looked at some of the benefits that come with using aluminum foils, but are there circumstances when you should not use aluminum foil in a slow cooker? Yes, there are instances when you should not use aluminum foil in a crockpot, even though it is very safe in the slow cooker.
1. Aluminum is Not Good For Acidic Foods
Aluminum foils should not be used when dealing with acidic foods. As we had already indicated earlier in the post, you can use crock pots for cooking nearly any food, but never to cook acidic foods because acidic foods can erode the aluminum, which means that the chemicals in the aluminum will get into your food.
While you still need to be very mindful about this, studies have shown that the amounts of chemicals that will go into the food are way less and cannot harm. Therefore, you must be mindful because you may not know what impact the chemicals can have on you after some time. Some of the foods you should never use with aluminum include tomatoes, lemons, or any citrus fruits, chili, among other foods.
2. Aluminum Can Enter Your Food
Apart from aluminum leaching your food, there are also chances that small pieces of aluminum can enter your food. Even worse, these small pieces may break off when you try to pull them away from your food. Aluminum foil has chemicals, and it can be dangerous if you unknowingly consume foods with aluminum pieces in them.
3. Aluminum Tears Easily
Aluminum tears down easily, which means that it might not serve you well if you are looking forward to line the surface of your slow cooker to keep it clean. As we said earlier, liners would be perfect if you need to keep your crockpot clean at all times when cooking. The fact that aluminum tears easily means it will be less effective in doing this role.
When Not to Use Aluminium Foil in a Slow Cooker?
Aluminum is popular cookware, especially in developing countries. However, using aluminum in ovens is not recommended. It is also not advisable to wrap food in aluminum and store food in low-temperature devices, such as deep freezers and refrigerators.
Using aluminum foils on acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, lemon, etc. As mentioned before, aluminum foils might not be an excellent choice if you wish to keep the bottom of your crockpot to make it easy to clean it after use.
Aluminum and Health
Humans can excrete aluminum efficiently. In other words, exposure to small amounts of aluminum may not be a big deal. According to the World Health Organization, 40mg/ kg is safe. Someone weighing 60kg is allowed to consume up to 2400mg.
However, reports state that people ingest more than what’s acceptable by the World Health Organization. There are lots of things with aluminum that you may never have known. For example, are you aware that corn, salt, herbs, tea, spices, yellow cheese all contain aluminum? Also, have you ever known that aluminum is used in utensils you regularly use to serve food?
From the above facts, scientists are now working round the clock to determine if aluminum is a threat to human life. For instance, people who have Alzheimer’s disease have been found with aluminum in the brain.
Additionally, researchers have found out that Alzheimer disease in older people could be as a result of industrialization, and that the condition includes high aluminum intake. Aluminum has also been proven to be harmful to bone disease patients and reduces human brain cells’ growth.
Be Mindful When Using Aluminum Foil to Cook
Aluminum is excellent and can serve us for various purposes. Aluminum is ideal for retaining heat and keeping food warm. It can serve as a glass lid for your crockpot. Additionally, you can use aluminum to separate different foods when cooking.
However, there are also some health risks, which we have discussed above. Therefore, you must check the aluminum concentration you want to use before you use it for cooking. Usually, most posts are oxidized to help in preventing the leaching of food by aluminum.
The only problem is that you will be washing your crockpot regularly, and the chances are that the layer will wear out, which gives a leeway for the aluminum to get into your food.
However, you can avoid this; when you purchase a new slow cooker, boil water in them regularly to get the base matt. This will help achieve natural oxidation, which will then minimize the chances of aluminum leaching. Even though pots will look fancy when scrubbed, the matt is way safer and will reduce the chances of aluminum getting into your food.
However, directly cooking your food in aluminum foil is not recommended. Since you can dispose of aluminum, the chances are that you will never create a layer before using it.
According to research, the amount of aluminum that is likely to get into your food when cooked using aluminum is more than the World Health Organization’s set standards.
Also, aluminum is likely to get into your food, especially for acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, such as lemon, among other acidic foods. The leaching levels get even worse when spices are added to the foods being cooked using aluminum. That said, any acidic food will spark an aggressive process of aluminum getting into food.
From the above, it is not recommended to use aluminum for baking purposes. However, you can still use aluminum to separate different food flavors when cooking in a crockpot.
You can also use aluminum to retain heat and keep your food warm for long hours. Aluminum can also be used to prevent the meat from getting burnt. The bottom line is to use aluminum foil when cooking in a slow cooker, but be wary to know the amount of aluminum in it. Also, never use aluminum foil in the oven.