of Crock-Pot Cookery
A CLASSIC KITCHEN STANDBY BY PETER VIELE
As Rival experienced an explosion in growth of its cooker, thanks in part to variance of design including new tempera-ture
controls, so too came an abundance of cookbooks focused on the device. However, its popularity also yielded new
competition from other manufacturers.
By the late 1980s, the Crock-Pot was a staple on wedding registries and could be found in nearly every kitchen across the
country. But the rise to prominence was followed by disdain, eventually relegating it to second-hand stores and tailgating
at football games.
However, in health food stores and cafes across the country, the Crock-Pot’s functionality in cooking beans and rice
played a quiet but important role in the movement of health-conscious individuals proselytizing the benefits of healthy,
vegetarian and vegan eating that has proliferated into the psyche of shoppers who now underpin the economy of stores like
Earth Fare and Whole Foods Market.
In ironic, hipster fashion, millennials rummaging through thrift stores for kitschy, vintage accouterments unearthed
these yellowed and earth-toned, floral-adorned ceramic cooking devices and brought them home only to discover the
merits of slow cooking. They could throw a few ingredients in, set the temperature, and be off to check their iPhones from
This time around, the stalwart slow cooker was used in a focused attempt at health-conscious ingredients in this vegan
age. Utilizing everything from soy and quinoa to collards and kale, health-focused foodies found a helpful beacon in this
simple device that health markets had been using for decades to cook and serve rice, beans and greens.
Though the Crock-Pot wasn’t exactly saved from the brink of thrift store obscurity — it had remained a fixture
on top of tailgates at sporting events — it was granted new life by younger generations trying to find ways to save
time with meal preparation much like their parents and grandparents before them.
Today, there’s a myriad of styles with digitized controls,
pressure cooking options, timers, sous vide capabil-ities,
and more. Prices of slow cookers can range
anywhere from $39.99 to $799. However, simpler
can sometimes be better when it comes to slow
cooking, as less can go mechanically wrong.
And the Crock-Pot doesn’t have
to be limited to tailgating, cooking
chili once a year, or black-eyed peas
on New Year’s Day. The culinary
world’s coalescence in modern times
and harnessing of global fare has presented
new, inventive and creative ways to implement slow
cooking, with everything from roadside taco stands,
food trucks and pop-up restaurants employing the
Crock-Pot for delicious, international cuisine.
You don’t have to be a gourmet cook to make creative,
unique and healthy food using a Crock-Pot, and the meals
don’t have to be boring old standbys either. Rather than
following elaborate and extensive recipes, it can be much
easier to cheat the system by harnessing the power of the
Crock-the Pot. Simply throw everything in, set a timer,