How can I reuse or recycle parts of a slow cooker/crock pot?

Sorry for the downtime, I’ve had the flu. It has been so much fun.

While I was ill, we had a bit of a frugal-living tragedy in the home: the ceramic bowl from the slow cooker (aka crock pot) was dropped and smashed into two pieces. Noooooo!

We bought it cheaply a few years ago now – I wanted to see if I’d use it enough to warrant investing in a better quality item – and it’s cheap manufacture is probably why it broke so easily now. It’ll also be nigh-on impossible to get a replacement part because it was a cheap shop own-brand item rather than a set model from a well-known manufacturer.

(I do use it so will replace it in some way or another – but not with another cheapy. I will also get a bigger capacity one – I originally bought the slow cooker for making stews etc but it wasn’t big enough for batch cooking. I mostly have used it for making stock. Any recommendations will be gratefully received.)

So anyway, I’ve essentially got a broken heavy ceramic pot (which will probably be broken up further into crocks for big outdoor planters), a metal-rimmed glass lid (which will probably be used as a generic pan lid) and the heater-housing, a bowl-shaped (but not sealed) electrical device that heats things slowly and cheaply over a long time. The heating bit won’t be anywhere near as efficient now – the thick bowl helped maintain the temperature and the lid fits the bowl, not the housing – but my first thought was using it with a different bowl to heat things for craft pursuits – like wax for candlemaking or oil for soap making.

Even on “low”, it’ll be a bit too warm to use as a bread dough incubator and while it might be useful to keep milk at a steady temperature for cheese-making, it just isn’t big enough to be worthwhile.

If I do want to actually get rid of it, I should recycle the heating unit according to WEEE regulations – for me, that means taking it to the electronic goods pile at our local tip, although some councils do doorstep collections. I’d probably offer it on Freecycle or similar first in case anyone is in the opposite situation – a pot & lid with a broken heater.

Any other reuse suggestions though?

(Stock photo by Kowloonese but mine is similar, just not a proper Crockpot. And with a broken dish ;) )

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle parts of a slow cooker/crock pot?”


  1. Patti says:

    The broken ceramic bowl can be broken more and the pieces used in the bottom of larger flower pots to help drainage. The lid may be wanted by someone who has broken their lid, it could be donated to a thrift store or sold at a yard sale. I also broke my crock and kept the cooker, found a spare crock at a yard sale and used that.

    I have used smaller Crock pots for a not-so-large pot of beans, a small tagine type recipe and to cook smaller sizes of meats.

    I am wondering if you could use the old cooker to simmer liquid potpourris for a natural air freshener, orange peels & spices for example, and to put a Corningware dish in it as a substitute for a crock?

  2. bookstorebabe says:

    You could use it for wax and oil and such for crafts, as you said. But how often would you do that? Is it worth the room it will take up? If you’d use it a fair amount, and if it’d be easier than melting wax, ect. another way, then keep it. Otherwise, offer it on Freecycle or recycle it.
    And you said it’d be too warm to raise your bread dough? What if you plugged it in just to get it warm, then turned it off? With the lid (even if it doesn’t quite fit) is it possible it would retain enough warmth?
    I know I’ve seen instruction online for making homemade yogurt, and some of them involve crockpots-would it possibly work for that?
    Dying fabric and yarn is another craft that needs water kept hot, would it work for a slowly simmering dye bath?
    Could you put a small metal rack inside, and use the heat to dry slices of apple,veggies, ect? You’d probably want the lid off for that anyway.
    You’d have to jury rig something for the rack, and it wouldn’t do a large batch, true. But if you just have enough for a small batch, maybe? Dunno what’d be more energy efficient-that or the oven. Assuming it’d even work for that purpose! I’m wildly whatif-ing here.

  3. Topsy says:

    Hi,

    Could you use a different container and make jams or syrups?

    What about as a propagator for seeds or taking cuttings of plants? Depending on the lowest heat you may need to use matting or extra soil in the bottom of the slow cooker to even the heat out.

    Again depending on the temperature it reaches – have you ever considered incubating eggs??? You would have to turn them regularly (several times a day) – hens eggs take 21 days to hatch – holding a newly hatched chick is a wonderful affirmation of life. (But do read up about their care etc.!!) Mine live in a rabbit hutch & run until old enough to join the rest of the flock.

  4. nicole says:

    What about as a humidifier? Alternately you could look up how much it would cost to get a replacement for the crock and then post the rest up on Freecycle with the information about the replacement part. I was able to get rid of a food processor that way!

  5. Ulechka says:

    The ceramic bowl can be used to bake things in, the lid used for other pots and pens, bottom part can become greta planter.

  6. Ulechka says:

    Also, use ceramic bowl to serve soup and other dishes.



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