How To Dismantle An Old Crock Pot--And Why You Should

September 29, 2017

Hey y'all, it's me!

When I decided to try a different kind of sourdough starter, I realized that I really needed a crock of some sort to contain all that lovely bubbly action. I couldn't afford a new crock, but I recalled that I had three of the early model crock pots (the ones where you couldn't remove the crock for cleaning) in my 'what the heck will I do with it' pile on the carport. I also remembered that in my TIGHTWAD GAZETTE II by Amy Dacyczyn, there was an illustration on how to take one apart. I grabbed one of the pots, the book, and some tools, then set to work.

First, I wiped down the crock pot, getting rid on any dust or debris on it. Then I checked the book for ideas on how to go about it.

There were no specific instructions on how to take it apart, but it did give me ideas on what to do with the stuff I took off. So I studied the pot itself, and saw that there was a seam down one side, and it looked like it was a tab in slot construction. So after removing the temperature knob, I used a small pair of pliers to take off the nut underneath, cut off the electric cord with tin snips, and then I used a large flat head screwdriver to work into the seam and begin prying it apart.

If the seam is too tight to wedge the screwdriver in, hold the pot carefully against your body and firmly tap it with a hammer. That should start the seam to separate. I had to do it with the last one.

Once the cover starts to come off the crock, be careful--it is metal and has sharp edges. I took the tin snips and cut the remaining electrical wires inside the cover, then put it aside for recycling, along with the electrical wiring.

You notice there are tiny copper wires wrapped around the crock--that's what made them heat slowly and evenly. I took the screwdriver and popped them, then unwound them and simply gathered the wire into a ball for recycling. You can then discard the flat piece they were connected to.

Now I had a sturdy ceramic crock...that was NASTY. Remember, you couldn't take them out of the early ones, so all kinds of gunk and dirt got under those covers. When I was done taking all the pots apart, I took them over to the sink and scrubbed them in hot water until they were free of any funk. I wasn't able to get the adhesive off that held the copper wiring, but I wasn't concerned. Just like the men in my life--they ain't gotta be pretty, they just gotta WORK. There were a few stains in one crock, but a little Barkeeper's friend and a green scrubby took care of that.

I still had the lids to two of the crocks, but the third one had lost it's lid before I got it, so I had used a regular pot lid I had found in a 'free' box at another sale. I scrubbed them up also. You can see how old one of the lids is--it's cloudy.

So now I have three gallon sized crocks and lids. All it took was about an hour's worth of work and a couple of tools. 

Now, why did I want these for? Yes, I made sourdough starter in one, but what about the other two?'re just gonna have to check back to see!

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2017


  1. Interesting- I've owned TG since it first came out but I don't remember this idea.
    I do like your crocks

    1. I have the three seperate books I, II and III. It's on page 264-265 of the second book. I would love to have copies of all the newsletters.


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