The Best Aluminum and Lead-Free Slow Cookers and Crock Pots
Fortunately, the best lead-free slow cooker crock pots 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 milliliter.
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
This is my favorite slow cooker because it has all of the following convenient 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 has 7 full functions; a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt marker and warmer, so this cooker is the most versatile of all three recommendations.
- Programming options are for: Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multi-grain, Porridge, Steaming, Slow Cooking, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual Programming, and Pressure Cook for customized results.
- Delayed cooking timer for up to 24 hours.
- The exterior is fingerprint-resistant to keep your model looking clean, has a lid holder that is suitable for both left and right-handed people, and and also comes with a removable cord.
- Lit-up red numbers on electronic display so you don't have to turn on the light to see the cooking progress.
- The Instant pot comes with free accessories as well: a stainless steel steam rack with handles, soup spoon, measuring cup, rice paddle, condensation collector, and a booklet with recipes.
I enjoy this model mostly because no feature has been left out in addition to it having the largest quart capacity of all three models.
Clay is one of the oldest cooking vessels known to man and it does not leach dangerous chemicals into food. This unique clay pot multi-cooker has tons of great features:
- Is a a steamer, a slow cooker, a stock pot, a hot cereal maker, a yogurt maker, and a low temperature cooker in one.
- Has an unglazed clay cooking pot 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.
- Includes recipe book.
The benefit to this model is the flavor enhancement that clay imparts to the food.
Elite Platinum Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6 Qt.
This cooker has:
- Preset Menu Buttons allow you an array of choices, including: Vegetables/Fish, Soup/Stew, Steam, Potatoes, Beef/Meat, Slow Cook, Chicken, Warm, Brown/Saute, and Beans/Chili.
- Pre-browning function browns meats in the pot before pressure cooking.
- A 24-hour delay timer allows you to schedule cooking far in advance.
- Removable stainless steel pot for fast, quick cleanup, and stainless steel inner lid.
- Manually programmable cook time of 0-99 minutes.
- Stays warm to the touch on the outside.
- Green and red light-up numbers on the display.
- This cooker comes with a serving scoop, measuring cup, steam rack, and a manual with 18 recipes.
The highlight of this model is the more affordable price. The drawback is this model can be noisy due to escaping steam.
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. This gives me peace of mind I am making the right decision when cooking for my family!
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