Ah, food and beverage news, especially since the wife has been using the following a lot more:
The very first slow cooker was made – no, not by Rival, but by Naxon Utilities. They created a slow bean cooker called Beanery. That was the first known all in one slow cooking machine. Later in 1970 Naxon has been acquired by Rival, and that’s how crockpot was born (for info on how are cup holder came about, feel free to check out the “About Us” section of our site). The product Rival came up with in 1971 was actually called Crock Pot. Hence the name – crockpot.
The original Crockpot was a great success. The idea behind the newborn appliance was very sound – it allowed to save time and money (anyone thinking of our drink holder that does the same thing). Touch pieces and cuts of beef or chicken could be wonderfully tenderized by slow simmering the food over 6 – 10 hours.
Cooking beans was another popular use for the first slow cookers – dried beans and legumes often required long slow simmering until they get soft.
When in 1974 Rival introduced Rinse-Clean removable stoneware liner that made cleaning the slow cookers a breeze, the crockpot idea was incredibly popular. Oblong shaped crockpots came later, in 1997; it allowed to use slow cookers for oblong cuts.
At that time Crockpot was still manually controlled. Only in 2001 Rival came up with first automatic programmable slow cooker. Next were models with built-in recipes libraries, and the latest innovation was ETC (Extreme Temperature Stoneware) allowing to use stoneware pot also in the oven, stovetop, microwave, etc. Rival’s product might not be the best slow cooker out there, but it was the first one.
There are few basic principles behind crockpot way of cooking
- Sealed lid keeps water from evaporating and creates low pressure inside the pot
- Amount of liquid used for cooking is less than usual
- The goal is to simmer slowly, not to boil
- Massive stoneware pot helps to keep constant heat
- Electric heater with temperature sensor allows to keep about constant temperature without the temperature swings electrical ovens are known for
The main disadvantage of a slow cooker is it cracks. It’s important to learn how to prevent cracked crockpot before it happens, just as you would with protecting your expensive wheelchair accessories.