Happy Birthday Crockpot

Martha Scott
last month

Happy 50th Birthday to Kansas City's own - The Crock Pot. Launched in 1971 by Kansas City's Rival Manufacturing, the Crock Pot was marketed not just as a convenient way to cook, but also as a revolutionary aid for working women.

I worked at Rival but left before they introduced the crock pot.

So do you own one, or two or three? Are you on the first generation or have a later model with more gadgets. It's been said that the old models don't cook at a high enough temperature and are unsafe but then others say some foods don't turn out as well with the new models because of the higher cooking temperature.

So, do you have a crockpot? And do you use it?

Comments (19)

  • Lars
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have a crockpot and never use it - it stays in the garage.

    I'm not sure what I would use it for, but I bought a crockpot cookbook, and none of the recipes in it appealed to me.

    I use my Fagor pressure cooker frequently, which is why I guess I do not use the crockpot. My sister uses hers a lot, but her style of cooking is very different from mine.

    I poached a chicken in mine once, and that came out okay, but it is faster to poach the chicken in the pressure cooker.

    I don't cook beef or pork, although I would if my brother would eat it, and so this is somewhat limiting for me.

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    last month

    I had a West Bend 6 qt bean pot style for about 35 years. The West Bend sales rep gave one to all of us working in the store where I was employed when first married - a kitchen/laundry appliance store that carried some housewares too.

    I didn't use it often, but had a couple of one pot dinner entrees that I would use it for maybe once/twice a month.

    The enameled interior finally began to get so stained and worn, was sticking a little, I decided I should replace it. I was reading that most the newer styles didn't cook as slowly (lower heat setting had been increased for safety) as the old. Some shopping led me to a space saving Fagor elec multi function pot that would brown, slow cook, pressure cook and I had a quite small kitchen that decade so replaced the West Bend with that. I use the Fagor much more than the West Bend slow cooker, but it has more functions than slow too ;0)

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  • plllog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Happy birthday, indeed!

    The crockpot was invented by a Jewish man who wanted a modern way to make the classic Sabbath bean stew called "cholent". In the old days and old ways, people would bring their bean pots to the bake house on Friday afternoon before services, before the Sabbath came in, and pick it up after morning services on Saturday. In that way, they could have a hot meal (especially nice in the Winter) when they couldn't cook on the Sabbath. The baker would have banked and insulated the fire so that it would keep smoldering throughout the Sabbath so the oven wouldn't go cold but the fire would last until it could be fed Saturday night. The bean stews would bake gently at a low temperature overnight.

    This gentle heat is what the original crockpot was meant for. The issue is people who wanted to cheat the time. If, as advertised, you loaded it up before leaving for work by 8:00 a.m., it would be ready to serve at "dinnertime" 6:00 p.m. That's great for the kinds of foods that are best cooked long, low and slow. But people wanted to make other things for less time and were flirting with it not cooking long enough at the low temperature to be safe. So the company was required to make the change for how people were actually using it, rather than how it was supposed to be used.

    My mother's original crockpot is the basic kind. It's also small. I had a larger one that was supposed to be "better". You could put the crock on the stove at low to medium temperature to get things started -- I never cottoned to having to use a bunch of pots to do an "all in one" meal. I never liked what I cooked in it however, and when I started working mostly from home, I just used a cast iron dutch oven in my wall oven for those kinds of meals. That crockpot went to a young friend still in college who loved it.

    A number of years ago, out of the blue, I was given a Breville multi-cooker, which has an adequate sear for braising and a sauté setting. It does do basic pressure cooking (not as much pressure as stove top, but adequate) as well as slow cook, with programmed suggestions for time and mode, which I find useful. It's often off an hour for my druthers, but that's adjustable too. It automatically goes to food safe temperature keep warm when the timer is up, and tracks how long the keep warm is going. It's all very fancy, unlike the old on/off or hi/lo/off Crockpots, but I really like it. The first thing I used it for, in slow cook mode, was bean stew! Everything new is old again. ;)

  • Olychick
    last month

    I have a crockpot from the 1970's. It's large enough to hold a whole chicken. When I was working, I'd put a whole frozen chicken in in the morning, turn it to auto shift, it would cook on high for several hours then kick down to low for the remaining time. After 8 - 9 hours, the chicken would be thoroughly cooked, falling off the bones and steaming hot. I never had any concerns about safety. I also cooked frozen turkey hindquarters the same way, but sometime had to saw the end of the leg bone off to get the lid to close.
    I seldom use it now because I live solo and don't really cook that volume, although I used it recently to caramelize a whole bag of onions! I'd read about doing it that way instead of watching on the stove. I have an electric glass top range and find the controls difficult to manage for things that have to cook long and low. Either it's too hot, or not hot enough and requires constant fiddling to get it just right. I have no patience for that. Grew up cooking with gas and still default to that mode (instant heat, instant off) and frequently burn things, even tho' I've cooked on electric stoves for 50 years, lol!

  • caflowerluver
    last month

    I have had one, though replaced a couple of times, for 44 years. I have 6 or more cookbooks. I use it to make all kinds of foods, main course to desserts to making preserves. It is the best way to make sauerbraten for Christmas dinner. Happy birthday Crockpot!

  • colleenoz
    last month

    We received two crockpots as wedding gifts back in the early 80s. When the second one finally died a couple of years ago I bought a larger replacement one. I make stews and curries in mine, and it's especially good for making stock- I load it up while I'm cooking dinner, and the next morning the house smells delicious and I have stock for making soup for lunch :-)

  • Rho Dodendron
    last month

    Using a crock pot is the ONLY way I cook soup. Olychick is the only other person besides me who puts frozen chickens in the pot and has a meal perfectly cooked by dinnertime.

    My 1st crockpot was a wedding gift 1979. The base lived about 25 years. I still use the 5 qt. pot and lid on top of the stove when I need a rectangular pot.

    Second crock pot was ceramic and weighed as much as me. I finally gave it to a daughter and bought a metal Westbend crock pot about 4 years ago. It's great for poultry, lamb stew, soup, apple sauce, and a few other things I can't think of now. My son offered to give me an instapot and I declined.

  • lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan
    last month

    I have multiple crock-pots, some newer with a timer. But I treasure my early nineties‘ crockpot that cooks at a lower temperature than my newer ones; I can make chocolate/peanut candies in that one without the chocolate scorching.

    Today I am using my 6qt crock-pot to make Corn Chowder, a recipe that was posted on here last year and is quite tasty!

    I’ve slow cooked hams, turkey breasts, and pork loin/shoulder for pulled pork. Also chilis, soups, and stews. I also use them to keep food warm for large family get-togethers. I find them much more useful than my instapot.

  • lindac92
    last month

    Never had one and never want one. I have a cast iron dutch oven ( or 2 or 3...or 4) and an oven ( or 2) and that works well for me for slow cooked dinners.

  • Jasdip
    last month

    I love my crockpots. I have a large 6.5 quart which I only use for ribs now. I have a smaller 5-quart oval one which gets the most use. and a wee one for when I do meatballs and that kind of thing.

  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month

    beans to celebrate

  • lowspark
    last month

    I had one a long time ago that didn't have a removable pot. What a PITA to clean that thing. Only used it a few times and got rid of it.

    And the main thing I used it for was chili con queso.

    So... a few years ago I picked up a mini-crockpot on sale at the grocery store to use for that purpose. It's perfect and although I haven't made queso in quite a while, I've used it as a sort of warming pot for things like meatballs for a potluck.

    A few years ago I had a friend who did a soup party every January where people would all bring different kinds of soup and we'd taste them all and vote on what we liked best. Fun. So I bought a crock pot for that because it was the best way to transport the soup and keep it warm during the party.

    I've never really been into the original purpose as plllog related (very interesting by the way!). The idea of cooking something all day long has just never appealed to me. I like pressure cooker or dutch oven cooking much better.

  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month
    last modified: last month

    we love to use ours in the holiday season for apple cider. steep that cinnamon!

    also love the removable innard from mine. fridge to microwave for planned overs ... [leftovers]

  • aliceinmd
    last month

    We got married in 1968, when the Crock Pot was still the Naxon Bean Pot. I finally purchased a Rival Crock Pot in the early 2000s, which I use maybe two or three times a year. I'm so glad I didn't have that space hoarder in my cupboard all those years!

  • lizbeth-gardener
    29 days ago

    I have several Crock Pots. Some are older ones that I don't use and a newer large (5-6 qt) oval one that I currently use. I quit using the older ones because of the slow cooking/safety issue, but saved to use for boiling paint off of brass door hardware-supposed to work well, but I haven't tried it yet. Was glad to hear the old ones work well for melting chocolate/peanut candy. Years ago I bought the inner lidded baking pan and used it at least once for banana bread-must have been bored! I don't use mine often, but like it for certain things. Chuck roast, turkey breast, soups, Jasdip's ribs, pulled pork, stock, T'giving stuffing, etc. and now I want lovemycorgi's recipe for corn chowder-sounds delicious! and will have to search how to carmelize onions.

  • lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan
    28 days ago

    @lizbeth-gardener , the corn chowder recipe was posted on here last year, but for some reason the search function isn’t working on the cooking forum specifically, so I can’t link that thread and I don’t remember who originally posted it. But here is the recipe right from the website.

    For the chocolate peanut candies, I use Trisha Yearwood’s recipe. It makes a ton and is a nice addition to Christmas cookie trays!

  • cookebook
    28 days ago

    Nothing better for beans.

  • lizbeth-gardener
    27 days ago

    Lovemycorgi, thank you for both recipes! Can't wait to try!

  • annie1992
    25 days ago

    I also use mine regularly for beans, they cook all day and come out just the way I like them. Nothing else seems to do quite the same thing.

    I have three. One is that little tiny thing for dips and etc., it almost never gets used. Elery's is a big one, I think 6.5 quart, and has all kinds of settings and electronics. Mine is a smaller one, probably 5 quart, super simple with just high/low/warm/off. I use it at least weekly. It got a lot more use when I was working and the kids were in school and every activity known to man. I'd get off work at 5 pm, the kids would have choir or band, basketball or Quiz Bowl, track meets, Ashley was even in Chess Club, LOL. The kids could come home from school, grab whatever supper was in the crockpot, and be ready to go when I got home, it was a real time saver. There were no fast food options in my little town then, so no way to run through a drive-thru or get a pizza delivered, that crockpot fed my kids and a lot of their friends.

    Besides beans, I use mine for rendering lard and cooking apple butter, for "baking" boston brown bread, for keeping hot chocolate warm when all the grandkids are here for skating or sledding, and chai latte for family Christmas parties, and for hot cider in the fall when the kids are here for apple pressing or fishing. It can sit outside on the picnic table and they don't even have to come inside for a hot drink, double bonus when they smell like fish, LOL.

    It's also really handy when I'm working outside all day doing "farm stuff", I can come back in and have carnitas or a piece of pork shoulder all ready to eat.

    Elery does have an Insta-Pot, but I just don't care for it, it's "fiddly". I have an old Presto stove stop pressure cooker that I use sometimes, but it's something that can't be walked away from for any period of time.

    A crockpot isn't good for everything, but it's handy when I want it.


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