Guess we've been doing it wrong for years.
There are many reasons we adore our slow cookers (73 reasons, to be precise). There's one reason we don't: Cleaning it is such a hassle. Until now.
Robyn DeLuca, Director of Culinary Innovation at Gourmia (check out their spiffy programmable slow-cooker on Amazon here) let us in on a simple technqiue to get all the residue and icky bits off of your beloved pot. “Baking soda and vinegar is a safe and effective way to clean without the use of abrasive soaps that would damage the surface of cooking devices," DeLuca explains to Southern Living.
“First, fill your slow cooker with water until it’s just above the leftover food line. Next, add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar for a 3-quart slow cooker, then slowly pour in 1/2 a cup of baking soda into the slow-cooker [you can adjust the ratios as needed]. Allow bubbles to [subside a] bit and then add a little more. Double the amount of vinegar and baking soda for a 6-quart slow-cooker," she offers. At this point, you can cover your slow cooker and set it to LOW for one hour (or for up to four hours). After this is done and once the slow-cooker insert has cooled, you can wash it in the sink in warm, soapy water. Once it's dry, you're ready to cook again. If you don't have vinegar on hand, DeLuca recommends using lemon juice. "The cut-side of a lemon dipped in baking soda makes a handy scrubber that doesn’t scratch," she adds.
WATCH: Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes
Ready to do test out this cleaning technique for yourself? Check out these easy slow-cooker chili recipes, for "research," of course.