I decided that I need a new category for my posts: Kitchen Disasters. If this isn't a disaster, I don't know what is! As you can clearly see, I melted a portion of my slow cooker. Yeah, it takes real talent to catch a slow cooker on fire.
Okay, here's what happened. I have a severe outlet shortage in my kitchen. I only have outlets on one side, and they are clustered near the stove. The counter space is already taken up by my toaster oven and my microwave, so when I use my slow cooker, I set it on the stove top. This isn't usually a problem because usually when I use the slow cooker, I don't use the stove top.
Sunday night I was making Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin, and I decided to use the stove top to thicken up the cooking liquid into a sauce. So I poured out the liquid into a small saucepan, added cornstarch, and put it on to boil. I had moved the slow cooker back to the back burner thinking it was far enough away from the flame. I turned my attention to the mashed sweet potatoes for a second, and when I looked back I saw the front of the slow cooker engulfed in flames. Apparently it wasn't far enough away from the front burner!
After shouting out a few exclamations that I cannot share here, I was able to blow out the flames. Thankfully, nothing else caught fire and nobody was hurt. But the damage to the slow cooker had been done. As you can see, the flames melted the plastic casing that covers the heating element and it singed a bunch of the insulation. The display became warped as well. Afterwards, I did plug it in and it does still work, but since the element is exposed and the insulation burnt, I didn't think it was safe to keep using it. I saved the crock, lid, and thermometer, and trashed the main part.
I was so mad at myself for letting that happen. I received that slow cooker as a gift. I bought it with gift cards that we recieved as housewarming and Christmas gifts right after we bought our house. I wouldn't have gotten one that nice if I had been spending my own money. And then I went and ruined it.
I am replacing it. I can't go very long without my slow cooker. I use it at least once a week. And since I still have the parts for it, I decided to get the same model. I found one on Amazon that is the same model except the lid clamps on and it comes with a spoon that attaches to it. And it actually costs less than the original model and has a better performance rating.
I will be much more careful using my slow cooker on the stove top from now on!