There are several benefits of using crockpots for cooking, including one-pot preparation and better distribution of flavors.
For even more convenience, you can use crockpot liners which make cleanup a breeze, allow you to cook two meals at once, and let you easily freeze leftovers.
But what if you don’t have crockpot liners? Are there any alternatives? Let’s find out!
So, can you use oven bags in a crockpot? Yes, you can technically use oven bags in a crockpot the same way you would use them in an oven. You can use them for steaming, slow cooking, or lining the insides of the crockpot. However, there is a chance that the bag could break down due to the long exposure to high temperatures and it will not fit as well as a slow cooker liner. It is best to use slow cooker liners or the crock pot directly when possible.
Read on to find out all about using oven bags in a crockpot, whether it is safe, the best way for doing so, and much more:
Is It Safe To Use Oven Bags In A Crockpot?
Yes, it is generally safe to use oven bags in a crockpot for a variety of purposes including steaming, slow cooking, and lining.
Most oven bags can withstand temperatures up to 450°F, making them okay to use in a crockpot as well.
Oven bags are transparent, heat-resistant bags made using food-grade plastic. They are designed to not melt at high temperatures and to create a moist cooking environment within them.
They are similar to steamer bags except that they are smaller in size and have no vents.
They allow for more even and faster cooking compared to using the roasting pan method.
Do remember to check the temperature rating of whatever oven bag you are using to ensure that the bag can handle prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Advantages Of Using Oven Bags In A Crockpot
Here are the advantages of using oven bags in a crockpot:
- Oven bags help save time and effort that go into cleaning a crockpot after use. They make clean-up a breeze. All you have to do is take out the oven bag once you’re done and you should be good to go.
- Oven bags help with the slow-cooking process and give more flavorful results, especially when cooking meat and veggies. The juices stay inside the bag, giving the food a more delicious taste at the end.
- Using oven bags inside a crockpot is like doing the double boiler technique for a more melt-in-your-mouth taste and texture.
- You don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching into your food since good-quality oven bags are BPA-free, phthalate-free, and FDA-approved.
- Oven bags are available in a variety of sizes. You can choose the best one that fits into your crockpot.
- Once your food is cooked and has cooled down, you can simply tie up the oven bag and store it in the fridge or freezer for later use.
- For reheating, you can simply place the stored oven bag into the crockpot to make your food fresh as new.
- By using two or more oven bags inside the crockpot, you can cook more than one meal in the same pot. This is a great convenience for someone wanting to save time and prepare food quickly.
Tips For Using Oven Bags In A Crockpot
If you want to use oven bags in your crockpot, you can surely do so.
There are, however, a few simple tips and tricks to follow to ensure that your meals are cooked to perfection every single time and that clean-up becomes super easy:
- Before adding the ingredients inside the oven bag, add a small amount of flour in it and shake the bag to distribute the flour evenly. This will add a protective layer inside the bag and prevent the steam from causing the bag to explode. You may use wheat, rice, potato, or gluten-free flour.
- After adding the ingredients, tie the bag loosely or poke a few small holes so that the steam has an outlet to escape.
- When there is extra space left in your crockpot, consider utilizing it by using another bag for a separate meal. This, of course, applies only if you want to cook another meal. You can place the bags side-by-side. Just make sure that the cooking times and temperature are the same for both meals.
- Before placing the bag inside the crockpot, grease the bottom and sides of the pot using a paper towel and a few drops of oil.
- Since oven bags have varying temperature thresholds, it is very important to double-check them before putting them in a crockpot.
- When using oven bags in place of a crockpot liner, let the excess sides stand up around the lid to avoid steam from dripping down from under and creating a mess.
What Can You Cook In An Oven Bag In A Crockpot?
You can use an oven bag to cook foods in the crockpot that need to be soft and juicy.
Because of the oven bag, the fats and juices released from the ingredients get mixed up easily to produce an unparalleled taste and texture.
Oven bags are most commonly used for preparing one-pot meals in the crockpot, for slow-cooking meat and vegetables, and for making more than one meal together side by side.
Oven Bags Vs Crockpot Liners
Oven bags and crockpot liners, also called slow cooker liners, are made of the same material that is able to withstand high cooking temperatures.
Both offer convenience in the sense that they make cooking and the following clean-up incredibly easy.
The biggest difference, apart from the fact that oven bags are made for oven use and crockpot liners are to be used in a crockpot, is that they vary in shape and size.
An oven bag has a comparatively narrow opening on one end, whereas a crockpot liner has a wider side opening.
Oven bags, also called roasting bags, are made to hold large cuts of meat. They vary in size and come in a box or are sold in a roll.
Crockpot liners are also made to withstand heat but are not suitable for oven, toaster oven, or broiler use.
Although good-quality crockpot liners can withstand up to 400°F, it may not be enough in the oven as the temperature can sometimes go above that, which may cause them to melt and burn.
What Can You Use Instead Of Oven Bags In A Crockpot?
For times when you don’t have access to a crockpot liner or an oven bag, what can you use in their place?
If you want gravies, soups, or curries, you can simply toss in all the ingredients in the crockpot with some water and skip using liners or oven bags entirely.
The closed lid will create enough steam which will condense right back into the crockpot.
However, if you want to use oven bags or crockpot liners for easier clean-up, there are a few alternatives that you can try using:
Parchment paper is a good alternative for oven bags as it allows mess-free cooking. It is also cheaper compared to oven bags and crockpot liners.
However, it can’t be used in foods with high water content as the parchment paper may wear off and dissolve inside the crockpot.
Aluminum foil is another good option that is heat-resistant and can be used in place of oven bags and liners in the crockpot. It can go both inside the pot and can also be used to create a lid for the crockpot.
The drawback of using aluminum foil in a crockpot is that, according to research, it can leach into the food in certain circumstances, which can often be made worse by high temperatures and acidity.
Slightly oiling the insides of the crockpot will prevent food from sticking to it and make the clean-up much easier. It won’t allow stubborn stains and will help you save both time and energy when cleaning up the pot after use.
You can use a standard cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom and all sides of the crockpot. You may also use your fingers if you want. You can use olive oil or any vegetable oil for this purpose.
Now that you know if you can use oven bags in a crockpot and the best ways to do so, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:
What is the best oven bag for a Crock-Pot / slow cooker?
After testing and research, it would seem to me that if you’re determined to use an oven bag instead of a slow cooker liner (which is a better option if you’re purchasing just for this need), then these Reynolds Oven bags from Amazon are your best option for using in a slow cooker or Crock Pot.
They are large enough to fit most Crock pots and can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I put oven bags in a pressure cooker?
Although oven bags can withstand high temperatures, they may not be suitable for use in a pressure cooker.
Therefore, it is recommended that you refrain from using them and stick to pressure cooker-safe materials.
Can I sous vide in a crockpot?
Yes, while you can sous vide in a crockpot, you have to be extremely mindful of the temperature of the water.
Most slow cookers are not sous-vide friendly in the sense that they overheat the water, causing it to rise to a temperature of 175°F, which is the ceiling value for sous-vide cooking.
This results in unevenly cooked food with imperfect results.
Can a crockpot go in the dishwasher?
Not all crockpots are dishwasher-safe.
If you can remove the ceramic pot from the electrical component of the crockpot, you can put the former in the dishwasher.
Do your research to find out if your particular crockpot has a removable pot and is dishwasher-safe.