Crockpot liners are not supposed to be used as oven bags. They are designed to function differently. Crockpot liners should not be subjected to oven heat as this is beyond the temperature they can withstand.
I remember the first porkchop I made with my crockpot slow cooker. It changed how I approached cooking certain meals, and I haven’t looked back since then.
The well-sautéed meat fell off the bone effortlessly, and I had the time of a lifetime diving into it. But if you have used slow cookers, you also know that they can be tricky to clean.
One solution for the cleaning problem was placing plastic bags, called liners, inside crockpots before using them. The crockpot liners hold in the dish and steam as normal while keeping your crockpot spotless. Crockpot liners save you the time and energy used in soaking and scrubbing the pots after use.
Some people have recently tried using crockpot liners as a replacement for oven bags. In this article, we will discuss the implications of this new practice.
Are Crockpot Liners Suitable As Oven Bags?
It is not advisable to use crockpot liners as oven bags in boilers or toaster ovens. Although they are both made from the same plastic material and look alike, they are designed for different purposes.
Manufacturers of both products do not recommend using them interchangeably because it may have both short and long-term negative consequences.
5 Reasons Why Crockpot Liners Should Not Be Used As Oven Bags
- They Are Designed Differently
Crockpot liners are distinct in size and shape from oven bags, and they come with different openings. While slow cookers have a single opening on the wider side of the sheet, oven bags have an opening at their very end. Crockpot liners also come in US quartz sizes that work for different crockpot capacities.
Oven bags are predominantly used for cooking meat and similar meals; thus, they come in sizes that are dependent on food capacity. These include large sizes for about 8 lbs. and 24 lbs of food.
- They Have Different Use Processes
When using a crockpot liner, it must be properly placed in the crockpot before the food is placed inside it. Then the crockpot is turned on. However, with oven bags, the food is first placed inside the bag before it is placed in a preheated oven.
Crockpot liners must also be left alone to be cooled before the food is served and then disposed of. You can remove oven bags immediately after the piece of meat is properly cooked.
- Crockpot Liners Don’t Have Ties.
Oven bags usually come with ties used to hold the food in place or keep the bags closed.
While this is perfectly suitable for ovens, crockpot liners do not need ties. They are supposed to be placed in an open manner and used with the crockpot lid on.
- Using Crockpot Liners May Lead To Melting Or Burning
Using crockpot liners for ovens exposes them to a higher temperature than they are designed for, which may cause them to melt or burn. A microwave can get as hot as 550’F, while the liners can only manage a maximum of 400-450’F.
Crockpot liners should not be subjected to oven temperatures to avoid melting or burning them. Such an occurrence can lead to a fire accident. Melting also occurs when the liners are placed directly on heating elements, oven grills, or on top of direct fire.
- Crockpot Liners Are Not Oven Safe
Crockpot liners are generally certified safe and BPA-free, making them safe for crockpots. However, they are not labeled as oven safe since the actual effect of extreme oven heat can be serious.
When subjected to extreme heat for an elongated time, crockpot liners not only do they melt they may release chemicals that are harmful to your health.
Benefits Of Using Oven Bags
They Are Easy To Clean Up
Oven bags prevent grease and other stains from staining your pans, grills, and other surfaces. The oven bag is discarded once the food is taken off the pan, leaving an almost pristine oven pan.
They Give Your Meat More Flavor
Oven bags cook the meal in a controlled environment. This locks in the herbs and vegetables within the bag and ensures the meat absorbs them, giving your meal a richer flavor.
They Reduce Cooking Time
Using an oven bag would make your meat cook faster as it locks in the steam within the bag. This could save you about an hour of cooking, reducing your electricity bill.
The Cons Of Using Crockpot Liners
They Reduce The Browning Of The Meat
There is a certain level of browning many people prefer in roast turkey. The browner the meat, the better and more savory it is to dig in. However, using liners to cook the meat leads to a somewhat pale but well-cooked turkey.
Liners Can Get Messy From Use
Crockpot liners can prove difficult to use. When exposed to extreme heat or metal oven sides, they may shrink or get damaged. This reduces your ability to hold or manipulate them.
They may also be covered in steam and grease when they come out of the oven, making them tougher to handle.
They Are Not Completely Toxic-Free
Though they have been certified safe for cooking by the FDA, crockpot liners may release chemicals when subjected to extreme heat over a prolonged time. This is not surprising as the nature of plastics under extreme heat is to break down and release compounds.
Alternatives To Oven Bags
Since crockpot liners cannot be used to replace oven bags, here are a few alternatives to consider:
Parchment papers are an affordable, hassle-free replacement for oven bags as they are readily available. They are, however, not suitable for meals with high water content as they may dissolve or wear off while used in the pot.
Apply Oil To The Pan
Oiling a pan can be an effective alternative to oven bags. It lines the pan’s surface and ensures that stubborn grease does not stick to it. A regular spray system would work perfectly for oiling oven pans.
Spray the bottom and sides of the pan before placing your recipe inside. This would reduce the stress of cleaning if you used the pans without oiling them. You can use olive oil and vegetable oils for this.
Use A Pan With A Lid
Oven bags are an easy way to ensure that meat cooks in a moist environment and remains moist and succulent even inside the oven. An effective way to maintain this quality is to use a pan with a lid. This ensures the right environment for your meat to roast while maintaining the right temperature.
Position the meat properly into the pan and add the rest of the recipe on and around it. Then place the lid over the pan and leave to roast as usual. It may take a while to get the right pan to fit your meal, but you’ll get a plastic-free cooking experience once that is sorted.
Use Aluminum Foil Instead
If you have a pan but cannot find a suitable lid, aluminum foil can come in handy. All you need to do is cover the pan properly or loosely wrap the turkey with aluminum foil.
You should ensure that no part of the foil is hanging out to avoid the aluminum foil from touching the sides of the oven.
Cooking with aluminum foil increases the heat within the meat, thereby reducing the cooking time.
Can Oven Bags Be Used In Crockpots?
Although crockpot liners don’t work well in ovens, oven bags may be used in crockpots. It is not advisable to make this a regular practice, but if you happen to run out of crockpot liners, oven bags can work just fine.
You check the recipe to see if there are any special instructions to follow before placing your ingredients in the oven bag. Here are a few benefits of using oven bags in crockpots:
They allow you to roast multiple foods at the same time. This means that you can roast two chickens separately, depending on the size of your crockpot. It is also a convenient approach as you can put ingredients directly into the bag.
Other Information To Note When Using Crockpot Liners
- Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using crockpot liners or oven bags.
- Avoid putting the liners in your refrigerator.
- Both crockpot liners and oven bags are made for one-time use only.
FAQs On Can You Use A Crockpot Liner As An Oven Bag
Can Roasting Bags Be Used Instead Of Crockpot Liners?
Yes, roasting bags are suitable for roasting vegetables, fish, meat, and poultry. They also come in various sizes and shapes and are easy to use. They make for a mess-free roasting.
Can I Punch Holes In My Oven Bags?
If you must use oven bags on your cooktops, do not punch holes in the plastic. Keep the mouth open so that steam can escape.