Why Your Slow Cookers Gets Hot On the Outside (What To Do)

For some time now, I have intended to write this post which originated from an email sent by a reader a few weeks ago. The reader reported that the outside of her slow cooker had become increasingly hot over the past few months, causing her to feel uneasy about leaving it unattended as she had previously done.

With the aim of shedding light on the matter, I embarked on a research endeavor.

Okay, let’s begin.

Is it normal for the exterior of my slow cooker to become hot? In order to ensure even heat distribution, heating elements are typically installed around the sides of the slow cooker, often between the inner and outer casing. As a result, when the heating unit reaches high temperatures, some degree of heat transfer to the exterior is unavoidable. Additionally, since metal is an excellent conductor of heat, the outer components of slow cookers are frequently constructed from this material.

It is common for slow cookers to become very hot on the exterior.

Considering this, is it necessary for us to experience burns every time we handle our slow cooker and what are the risks associated with the rise in temperature?

If you’re looking to upgrade or purchase a new slow cooker, take notice: The Hamilton 33265 slow cooker comes with a cool-surround feature which keeps the sides from getting hot. The Hamilton comes at an affordable price on Amazon.

According to numerous users, their slow cookers tend to have extremely hot exteriors while cooking. While older models from the 1990s don’t experience this issue, many newer models do. The concern is whether these newer models are still safe for use.

How Hot Should My Slow Cooker Get?

After reaching out to the manufacturer of my slow cooker, they recommended conducting a water test to determine the internal temperature during cooking. The test involves two straightforward steps:

  • Program the slow cooker to operate at a low temperature for a duration of 5 hours
  • Measure temperature
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The slow cooker should register a temperature of approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which it has done.

It’s possible that this information may not apply to your slow cooker since I received guidance from the manufacturer of my own slow cooker.

It is common for a slow cooker to become extremely hot on the exterior, so it is necessary to position the appliance on a surface that can withstand the high temperature.

Where Should I Place My Slow Cooker & What Should I Place Under My Slow Cooker?

It is crucial to be mindful of the surroundings of your slow cooker, given that it is designed to operate for extended periods, often without supervision. You should exercise caution when selecting a location for the cooker and, more importantly, avoid placing any objects near it that may melt once it reaches its maximum temperature.

It has been reported that some individuals have put their slow cookers on surfaces made of laminate, in proximity to plastic bottles, or near other objects that are not heat-resistant. As a result, the slow cooker’s exterior has melted and fused with the countertop, bottle, or object.

Ensuring the safety of your slow cooker’s placement is crucial, and it is recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s manual for general guidelines. Apart from the instructions provided in the manual, it is advisable to pay attention to the following precautions while handling a slow cooker:

  • The space: Ensure that there is sufficient distance between the slow cooker and any adjacent objects while in use.
  • The countertop: Your slow cooker’s base can become extremely hot while cooking, which may vary depending on the model. This prolonged exposure to heat can harm your countertop. To prevent this, you can place a heat-resistant tray beneath your slow cooker.
  • Your family: It is important to consider your family when using a slow cooker. If you have children in the house, ensure that they are either educated about the slow cooker and its potential hazards or kept out of reach from it.
  • Protect your hands: Always keep a pair of silicone mitts handy when handling your slow cooker to avoid any accidental burns from touching the hot exterior.
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Besides a heat-resistant tray, you can also position your slow cooker on:

  • Pot Holders
  • The stovetop
  • Wooden cut board
  • Baking sheet

If you plan to leave your slow cooker unattended for an entire evening, it is recommended to use the stovetop instead. The stovetop is designed to endure high temperatures, spilled food, and moisture, making it the perfect location for your slow cooker. Additionally, unlike your countertop, it will not be discolored or harmed by the heat generated by the slow cooker.

Do Slow Cookers Heat Up The Kitchen?

On a hot summer day in a small apartment with few windows and little-to-no wind, experiencing a heated kitchen is an unpleasant experience. However, using a slow cooker can alleviate this issue.

Heat is an essential component in cooking, regardless of the method used, and it tends to escape from the appliance being used, such as an oven, pot, slow cooker or air fryer. The efficiency of heating in your kitchen is influenced by various factors including the size of the room, the appliance being used, outside temperature and other related factors.

Considering that the oven, which operates for only an hour, can make the house hot, it is reasonable to question whether the slow cooker (which runs for 8-12 hours) will also make the kitchen excessively warm.

Although it may seem like slow cookers get hot on the outside, this is not usually the case. Since they work at low temperatures for extended periods of time, there isn’t a significant impact on indoor temperature. Simply opening a window should be enough to counteract any overall temperature change.

Is It Ok To Put a Slow Cooker on a Granite Countertop?

Despite using my slow cooker on the same spot of our granite countertop numerous times over the past two years, there are no visible signs of wear and tear.

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What Is a Slow Cooker And How Does It Work?

The slow cooker is designed with feet that keep its base from touching the granite countertop, which reduces the amount of heat that is transferred from the cooker to the granite.

Despite the potential danger of exposing stone products to heat, slow cooking does not pose a significant risk of thermal shock-induced cracking.


Slow cooker cooking does not cause thermal shock cracking in stone countertops because the temperature change is gradual and there is no immediate contact with extremely hot items, which creates a large temperature difference between the item and the stone.

The condition of your granite countertop can also lead to cracking under thermal shock. If the granite is scratched or damaged, it may not have the strength to handle sudden heat stress.

If you are concerned about slow cooking on Granite and want to avoid any risks, simply place your slow cooker on a silicone trivet which can be easily purchased for a small amount on Amazon.

As I was interested in knowing the slow cooking community’s opinion on granite countertops, it turns out that most people believe it is safe to use a slow cooker on them without any additional support.

Conclusion: Should a Slow Cooker Get Hot On the Outside?

It is true that many slow cookers get hot on the outside, although not all models do. To ensure safety when handling your slow cooker, make use of appropriate tools and take necessary precautions. I trust this information has been useful to you and thank you for taking the time to read it.

You can also check this video about “Why Your Slow Cookers Gets Hot On the Outside (What To Do)”

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