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 ;) )

Related Categories

household, items, kitchen

Search for other related items

19 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:


    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.

  7. Therman says:

    If the crockpot you have pictured in this post is the one you are referring to know that I have that same one but the lid handle broke. So I have
    all of the other things to make ours together work.

  8. Therman says:

    Forgot to add that we just replaced ours with a similar one like the one above but in the oval shape. my husband unpacked it and without thinking tipped it over and the crock broke so now I have a second one that is not totally usable.

    • Laurie Higgins says:

      I have the bowl/ceramic part of a slow cooker, oval shape, 4 qt. size (maybe 5). If Therman would like to have it, let me know where to send it. :)

  9. Alena says:

    Perhaps, a smaller size ceramic or metal bowl can be found that fits inside the cracked one and be used the same way to make delicious meals.

  10. Alena says:

    The lid from slow cooker, once hardware is removed, can be attached to a stick, a poll for a wonderful bird bath.

  11. Julia says:

    The ceramic bowl can be used to hold ice cubes, for storage of sugar, flour, grains, etc. If it is big enough, it can hold kitty litter.

  12. Julia says:

    The metal part of slow cooker, filled with small packed stones, can hold Christmas Tree in place.

  13. Veronika says:

    Ceramic bowl itself, if small, can be used to potty train a small child.

  14. Veronika says:

    Use ceramic bowl to build fancy centerpiece for dinner table: Fill with filler, moss, flowers, birds, branches, nest with eggs; decorate with fabric, paper, ribbons, laces, paint. Let your fantasy run free.

  15. Sentiment says:

    Try to hatch the eggs keeping them in sand in a slow cooker on low, with an open lid?

  16. Sentiment says:

    For the lizard pet: warm up sand in slow cooker on low until desirable temperatures. Pets will love extra warm sand.

  17. Gray Wolf says:

    I am currently using the crock and lid for a WONDERFUL compost container that sits beside the sink. It holds quiet alot of shavings, egg shells, etc. I had used many compost containers in the past, but this one is the best bt far!!! It should last a very long time.

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)