Just about all of our small appliances work with electricity, which means: cords! And the slow cooker is no exception. More than other occasional-use appliances, you want to be careful with your slow cooker's power cords.
Why? Because you leave it going for hours on end — I mean, the whole point is to set it and forget it! And many of us start something in the slow cooker before work and leave it doing its thing all day, by itself, in the house. As I write this, I realize it sounds very risky, but reading through various manuals makes it seem totally fine. Phew.
Where all these manufacturers do want you to be extra-mindful, though, is with a slow cooker's cord.
Again, this bundle of wires has to work properly for hours at a time, so you really don't want to damage it. A few risks: submerging the cord in water (you could be electrocuted!), and pulling it improperly out of the wall to unplug it (grip the plug — not the cord!). Another one: allowing the cord to hang someplace below countertop level, where a child, pet, or clumsy adult could accidentally hook it and spill piping-hot food all over themselves.
The biggest warning by far: Don't wrap the cord too tightly! Doing this can stress the cord and cause the wires inside to break or pull out from the appliance. The spot that's the weakest is right where the cord joins with the slow cooker. So if you're in the habit of wrapping the cord tightly around the outside of the slow cooker, stop doing that now! When you do that, you're bending the cord's joint at a 90-degree angle, putting tons of strain on those wires.
Now, that's not saying you can't wind up the cord at all. I mean, you have to store the appliance, somehow! If your slow cooker doesn't have integrated cord storage, gently wind the length of the cord and secure it with a twist-tie. Just don't wrap it around the slow cooker and create that sharp angle at the base. That's it!
More Smart Slow Cooker Tips
Where — and how — do you store your slow cooker?