Why You Should Never Open Your Slow Cooker Lid When Cooking

In 1936, inventor Irving Naxon came up with an idea to ensure even cooking with dishes that required a slow cook. A few years later, he created the very first slow cooker and by 1950 the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker hit the market (per Pressure Cooker Portal). According to NPR, his original intention was to perfectly prepare a Jewish stew called "cholent" which was slow-cooked on Fridays and was then eaten on the Sabbath.

The device invented by Naxon didn't really catch on with consumers, but later appliance company Rival Manufacturing saw the potential to cook more than just beans. They would go on to buy the patent, re-package, and re-brand it as "Crock-Pot" and by the early 1970s sales went through the roof.

In 2016, the slow cooker made a return to the mainstream zeitgeist like many analog devices from the era, and since that time they've become increasingly popular, according to the BBC. The selling point of a slow cooker is that it's a great time-saving solution for a delicious dinner, but did you know there's an easy way to spoil your dish while it's cooking?

Observe but don't disturb

Slow cookers work by building up heat over a long period of time and capturing moisture inside the pot. So, the absolute worst thing you can do while something is cooking is to lift the lid to check on it, according to Kitchn,

Even if it looks delicious and you want to taste it, you still should avoid temptation, (per Livestrong). If you lift the lid of the slow cooker while it's cooking it can lose from 10 to 20 degrees of heat, per Home Cooking Tech, so try to resist the urge. Unless the recipe calls for it, don't touch that lid, and if you do lift the lid to stir for some reason, add about five minutes more cook time to your timer.

Another factor to consider is a safety issue. Home Cooking Tech explains that when you open the lid of a slow cooker during the cooking process it releases a ton of steam and hot moisture, and there's the potential to burn yourself.

So find a good podcast or do a Sudoku puzzle to keep your idle hands occupied while your meal is cooking. You'll be more likely to have something prepared right and your hands and arms should remain burn-free.