Question: “My slow cooker that I had for several years was heating up on the outside more than I remembered or felt was safe to leave unattended. Thinking it was broken, I bought another one to replace it. I used it on the warm setting while at home when I used it for the first time. It got pretty hot and I definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving it unattended. Is this normal? Both were Crockpot brand. The new one was is programmable. I am ready to return the new one to Costco and give up using a slow cooker altogether, since the main advantage is to have a meal cooking when not at home.”
Before you give up on slow cooking, why don’t you try calling the manufacturer’s hotline and ask whether this is normal?
My slow cookers get hot, too, on the outside. The heating unit is around the sides of the cooker so that the crock is surrounded by heat. I’m always careful to sit it right on the countertop, which can withstand heat. And I make sure there’s no plastic or paper or anything that could melt underneath it. And I always check that nothing is touching its sides. Make sure that your kids—and anyone else around the kitchen—knows that the cooker gets hot and that they shouldn’t touch it.