I get this question (in some form or another)…
“Tamara, which crock pot do you recommend?” or
“Tamara, which slow cooker is Lead-free?”
My answer: I do not ever recommend ANY ceramic-lined crock pot or slow cooker in ANY brand or model or style. Period.
- Ceramic-lined crock pots are far more likely to have at least some amount of Lead (than most other types of pots and pans.)
- These slow cookers are often used to cook acidic foods.
- For many folks, these small, convenient set-and-forget appliances are often used daily and constantly — especially by larger families and families with young children.
- Lead levels in these products tend to vary from batch to batch.
- To date, no brand that I have tested has been consistently Lead-free.
- Ceramics with Lead have been shown to leach over time – despite whether they were initially found to comply with current leach-testing standards at the time of manufacture.
To see some of the slow cookers / crock pots that I have tested, click here – there are many many examples on this blog (and some have tested negative for Lead.)
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
Please let me know if you ever have any remaining questions after exploring the posts on my blog.
What about the slow cooker function on an insta-pot? Isn’t that ok since the pot is stainless steel?
What about slow cookers with unglazed clay, such as stoneware or purple clay(zisha) etc?
Yes, I would love to know this as well.
This is the one I had purchased;
Chefman Slow Cooker, All Natural XL 7 Qt. Pot, Glaze-Free, Chemical-Free Stovetop, Oven, Dishwasher Safe Crock; The Only Naturally Nonstick Paleo Cert https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FBQHZ5/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_Nwit9vvvMkIsc
It says right in the description that it has 70% less lead than other slow cookers but I wonder what amount it still emits.
Tamara – any thoughts on this? Had the same question as well.
I cannot recommend any slow cookers.
Even the VitaClay (which heavily markets itself as being a “lead-free” product – has Lead. I am sorry I don’t have an answer for you on this one.
Here’s the VitaClay post: https://tamararubin.com/2018/11/yet-another-lead-free-product-tests-positive-for-lead-vitaclay-chef-slow-cooker-70400-ppm-lead-please-click-and-read-for-more-info/
Here’s a Lead-free unglazed bean pot (perhaps that is of interest?): https://tamararubin.com/2019/02/rancho-gordo-tehuacan-clay-bean-pot-unglazed-from-puebla-mexico-lead-free/
Bob Ross says
What do you recommend then? Any similar product as a slow cooker, or just never use anything like that?
Double check but I believe I read on her website that she recommends a stainless steel slow cooker such as Instant Pot.
Patti Murphy says
Hi, I was wondering on the COSORI 6 Qt 11-in-1 Programmable Multi-Cooker Pot. Says it is lead-free. what do you think?
Rinatta Paries says
Have you tested any new crockpots, especially from the actual Crock Pott brand? Apparently, they specifically state that they do not add lead to their glaze. I am very curious if these are lead-free or if they are not.
Thank you for making all this information available to us. If a person were to decide to use a crock pot, are there any actions we can take to make it safer for kids? Cooking only on low heat, not cooking certain types of foods, etc?
Also I found a cast iron dutch oven electric slow cooker by all clad. It says “PFOA-free glazed enamel coating” which raised my suspicions but I don’t know?!
Hi Anne – If you MUST use one – get a BRAND NEW one – by a big name brand. It will be more likely to be Lead-safe. Never use a vintage one or even one that is pre-2016 for that matter. We use an Instant Pot: https://amzn.to/3zq2qwI
I always recommend avoiding all enamel coated cast iron (for a variety of reasons). Here’s my summary post about cookware:
Thank you for posting! So do you just use stainless steel pots to cook down food?
I’m gonna add one more, what about this product, even though it is in another category you say no it. What about the newish cast iron instapot slow cooker? I’m using a foodie pressure cooker, but miss the quality of cooking from the slow cooker design.
I am so grateful to have found your website and for the very important work you do. Thank you!
I am one of those slow cooker people, and I have a daughter that works very long shifts as a nurse so a slow cooker has been her life-saver.
Have you tested any stainless steel slow cookers like the one by 360 cookware? I am crossing my fingers that this will be lead free and safe from other terrible things like bromine.
Thanks a bunch!
I am wondering the same thing! I got rid of my crock pot after I read this post and have been researching for an alternative. This company’s crock pot seems like a good alternative. Would love to hear your opinion even if you haven’t tested it!
Interested in this as well! Seems like a quality brand.
Also wondering this! But her recent post about only using stainless steel water bottles for water (not coffee or tea), makes me wonder if even stainless steel isn’t a great material for use in a slow cooker Would love to know your thoughts, Tamara!
Did you read the full stainless overview article – if not, that might be a good place to start:
Yes, I read your stainless overview 🙂 I went over it again, and you specifically noted to avoid “long-form” cooking of high acidic foods in stainless steel. But in this article, you also pointed out that people often cook high acidic foods in slow cookers… so it seems like both methods/products can pose a concern.
This feels overwhelming. And maybe there’s no “perfect” solution for a safe slow cooker. Would be cool if someone made a glass slow cooker!
Long form cooking in general is not great -given the vessels we are using for cooking. It likely is the cause of quite a bit of disease unfortunately. There are some glass options but it might mean getting creative with some dishes. I think I have even seen a glass lined slow cooker – but I don’t know the brand off the top of my head.
Cynthia Williams says
I would also really like to know about the 360 stainless steel slow cooker. It’s an expensive product, made in America, supposedly in a chemical-free process. Slow cooking (in a non-toxic cooker, of course!) is a very healthy way to cook foods. Cooking foods at higher heats produces a lot of acrylamides.
lynn gibson says
have you tested the drew barrymore crock pot in white it is sold at walmart. also the modern southern home capri dishes in blue sold at belk and butterfly meadow dishes lennox butterfly meadow fritillary
lynn gibson says
this is so informative i have ordered a lead testing kit from amazon
360 Cookware has a stainless steel crockpot. Have you heard of this cookware? It’s very expensive. I believe the crockpot is around $300.
Kim Macdonald says
Isn’t enamel just glass? Shouldn’t an enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven be safe?