The Best Lead-Free Slow Cooker Crock Pots Without Ceramic
Fortunately, the best lead-free slow cooker crock pots without ceramic allow you to forgo traditional slow cooker materials for some worry-free pots. In addition they are aluminum-free.
One activity that household cooks absolutely love is to place a pot roast in the slow cooker and let the delectable scent of the dinner permeate the house as the day goes on.
But increasingly there is a concern about lead poisoning or lead contamination stemming from the use of traditional slow cooker crock pots. The leaching of lead into everyday meals, and eating them on a continual basis is a worry every person that cooks for themselves or a family wants to avoid.
There is a way you can enjoy slow-cooking without fear. Here are the best lead-free slow cooker crock pots on the market.
What do you like most about using a slow cooker?
Many slow cookers on the market are coated in ceramic -- for a good reason. Ceramic has an ideal material structure for long periods of low heated temperatures that keep the food inside in consistent, optimal cooking condition. The problem is that when ceramic reaches cooking temperature it can leach 1,000% the amount of lead that it does without cooking in the vessel.
But slow cookers are particularly a problem for cooking in ceramic because this leaching tends to occur from the longer, slower rate of cooking. Cooking for eight hours in a crock pot can allow a plentiful amount of time for this leaching to occur. And cooking foods like tomato sauce or poblano peppers, or a recipe like lemon-flavored chicken in a slow cooker is much worse because they are acidic foods. The chemical reaction with the acidic foods and the ceramic can cause more lead to filter into the meal.
The material makeup of the inside of the crock pot -- the ceramic glaze -- is where the lead problem can come from. Most manufacturers of slow cookers state that they are in compliance, or better, with the acceptable level of lead for pots set forth by the FDA, or Food and Drug Administration. The acceptable level is one microgram per millileter.
But for people who do not want to risk any contact with ceramic for risk of lead-leaching, it leaves them with the option of looking for crock pots without ceramic or lead-free slow cookers. Here are my favorite picks.
The Best Lead Free Slow Cookers without Ceramic
Lead Free Instant Pot 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart
This is my favorite slow cooker because it has all of the following features:
- Stainless steel and non-aluminum three-ply cooking pot, so there is no danger of lead leaching. Stainless steel is an old standby in the kitchen and is a reliably used metal for cooking.
- It functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and sautes and warms, so this cooker is the most versatile of all three recommendations.
- Programming options for: meat/stew, soup, sauté, poultry, bean/chili, steam, rice cook, and slow cook for customized results.
- Delayed cooking timer for up to 24 hours.
- Automatic control for keeping foods warm.
- Lit-up red numbers on electronic display so you don't have to turn on the light to see the cooking progress.
Miriam's Earthen Cookware Clay Pots
Miriam's Earthen Cookware makes slow cookers out of clay. Clay is one of the oldest cooking vessels known to man and they do not leach dangerous chemicals into food.
The pots sold by this company can be used as slow-cookers in three ways: you can use one of the pots as an insert in your existing crock pot; you can place the slow cooker in the oven at 200 degrees; or you can slow cook with the clay pot on top of the stove.
Her crockpots come in four sizes:1.75, 2.5, 4, or 6 quarts. I always suggest getting the largest size because you can slow cook a little or a lot as long as you get a big one. The six-quart clay pot costs $211.25, and is available from Miriam's Earthen Cookware.
Although this unit does not have any controls on it for programming, if you don't mind checking on your food occasionally you can get great cooking results from this pot.
VitaClay Smart Organic Multi-Cooker, 8 Cup
This unique multi-cooker has tons of great features:
- Is a slow cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker in one.
- Has a clay insert so that there is no lead leaching into food. Free of aluminum as well.
- Clay helps sweeten acidic food like tomato sauce and bring out their natural sweetness.
- Delayed cooking timer.
- Programmable cooking up to 10 hours.
- Backlit LCD so you can see the cooking progress in the dark.
What are the dangers of excessive lead in the body?
Dangers of too much lead in the body to children:
When kids are growing bones, muscles, and connective brain tissue, they need all of the possible healthy nutrients in their diet to make growth successful. When lead is used as uptake for this biological process, a host of problems can occur: ADD, behavioral problems, harm to the nervous system, speech impairments, reduced bone and muscle development, and interruptions in the functioning of the kidneys.
Dangers of too much lead in the body for adults:
While adults over 25 are generally not growing anymore, their bodies are still affected by high levels of lead. Problems can occur such as: fetal damage in pregnancy, difficulty having children, blood pressure problems, disruptions of the nervous system, lack of memory, and muscle aches.
What about the dangers of aluminum?
Although aluminum cookware and aluminum components in anti-perspirant deodorant are commonly used, there are concerns that aluminum contributes to Alzheimer's disease, and many people choose to stay away from it.
With both lead and aluminum usage in these cooking forms, it would take quite a while to see any kind of health effects, if any were to come about, but prevention is a great tool for health. This is why I choose stainless steel and clay for cooking.
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