Slow cookers are fantastic appliances which rely on you having a lid to contain the heat within the appliance to cook the food. Therefore if you lose the lid or damage it in any way, you’re slow cooker is pretty much useless.
However, the good news is that there are some alternative items you can use instead of your slow cooker lid that should help contain the heat within the appliance well enough to still cook the food.
Chopping boards, plates, dishes and even tin foil are all great slow cooker lid replacement items. Which item is best for your slow cooker will depend on the shape and size of the appliance – it’s very much trial and error.
Many manuals don’t mention a scenario in which you lose or damage your slow cooker lid. Instead, it’s simply expected that you’d simply try and order a replacement online or replace the appliance as a whole.
As a result, using anything other than the slow cooker, the lid goes against manufacturer guidelines.
I have used chopping boards, plates, dishes and tin foil (and other items) in the past. However, this is only my experience.
Of all the slow cooker lid replacement ideas available I’ve consistently found tin foil to be the best. I order this pack of 2 from Amazon maybe twice a year, it’s toxin-free and doesn’t rip, unlike some other thin foils.
I specifically opt to layer two sheets of tin foil as it helps to minimize heat loss and retain moisture which is essential for cooking in a slow cooker.
To minimize the amount of waste (and cost) I simply store the tinfoil and reuse it a couple of times.
My research suggests that tin foil is completely safe to use inside your slow cooker or crockpot and as a replacement lid for your machine if it’s been damaged or lost.
If you do opt to use an alternative item to the manufactured slow cooker lid, I am not responsible so please proceed with caution and take any necessary precautions.
Why Do Slow Cooker Lids Break?
Every year thousands of people read this article and based on feedback I’d estimate around 60% of those people are reading it not because they’ve lost their slow cooker lid, but instead it’s because the lid has broken.
As a result, we know that slow cooker lids breaking is relatively common. So, why does it happen?
Well, slow cooker lids are made of tempered glass. This is a type of safety glass which is designed to withstand any controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass.
However, sometimes even tempered glass fails. This can be from manufacturing, this can be to do with age or this can be as a result of usage.
You can minimise your slow cooker lid breaking as a result of usage by making some small adjustments to the way you use your appliance.
For example, while slow cookers are safe to use on granite work surfaces I found that the temperature of the work surface is often colder than room temperature.
Therefore removing the slow cooker lid from the slow cooker and putting it on this cold surface can cause a sudden heat change beyond the scope of the tempered glass design which in turn causes it to crack.
To combat this I recommend touching the surface you’re going to place the slow cooker lid onto. This will ensure that it’s not colder than room temperature. If the surface is cold to touch I’d suggest finding an alternative surface.
I’d also recommend allowing the lid to cool prior to washing. Again the short fluctuations in temperature, as well as any rubbing caused by drying the lid with, say a towel can cause the glass to quickly crack.
You can cause the particles in the tempered glass to loosen which in turn makes cracking more common as a result of using harsh cleaning chemicals. Abrasive cleaners such as Pink Stuff are a prime example of this.
Is The Food Safe To Eat If The Slow Cooker Lid Cracks During The Cooking Process?
Sometimes your slow cooker lid can crack during the cooking process.
This is especially common if you turn your slow cooker on high straight away, as again the shock change in temperatures can cause the glass to break.
Sadly, if your slow cooker lid breaks during the cooking process you are advised to not eat the meal as there’s a chance there could be small particles of glass within the food which could cut the inside of your mouth, your throat or even some internal organs – totally not worth it.
Which means I also advise against using your slow cooker lid when cooking meals in your slow cooker if it’s damaged. Again, this poses all the same risks as above and is totally not worth it.
Instead, either use an alternative lid such as a plate or chopping board, order a replacement lid or replace your entire unit.
Where To Buy Replacement Slow Cooker Lids?
The best solution to a broken or lost slow cooker lid is a replacement.
However, not all slow cooker lids are the same size or shape. Which makes purchasing one from a different brand or a universal one almost impossible.
Some manufacturers produce replacement lids for their slow cookers which can be purchased directly from the manufacturer’s website or in some cases Amazon.
In some cases, if your lid has cracked through no fault of your own then you maybe able to get either a replacement lid or a complete replacement appliance for free as a result of the product warranty.
While this varies depending on your location and how long you’ve had the product it’s worth keeping in mind and researching further. Especially if the slow cooker was expensive or purchased recently.
Even if your slow cooker manufacturer doesn’t sell replacement lids it might still be worth contacting them via email or using social media as they may still be able to offer you a replacement lid – especially if you mention how pleased you’ve been with the performance of their product otherwise.