In a fast-paced world of convenience foods, artificial ingredients, and additives, it's important to know how to slow things down a little.
A Brief History of the Crock Pot.
So how and when did the slow cook movement originate you ask? Great question. Like all great and unique things, the slow cooker started on a beautifully small scale.
On May 21, 1936, Irving Naxon, a prolific inventor, applied for a patent for a cooking device that would allow for portable and even heating.
Four years later, Naxon received the patent for his appliance. Attention began to heat up (ha) around this Naxon and his slow-heating device, but he credited his inspiration to his Lithuanian grandmother, who would cook meals overnight using the fading heat of her family's bakery oven.
By 1953, Naxon had brought his device "the Naxon Beanery" to market. By 1970, the Beanery had become a commercial gold mine and was renamed "the Crock-Pot" to accompany its massive success.
Crock-pots became a staple in many American households not only due to the delicious flavor of their products but the relatively cheap price tag it donned by 1975 — only $25 (about $112.19 today when accounting for inflation!)
Okay, so you're wondering why you should slow cook at this point. Well, here are a few reasons:
They're green: A modern Crock-Pot pulls less energy than an incandescent lightbulb, that's a whole lot less than an electric oven.
They're healthy & delicious: Spanish stew. Pumpkin chili. Apple butter. These are just a few of many scrumptious crock-pot-concoctions that are made best with a slow cook.
They're convenient: The first few models of crocks were integrated — stuck to your kitchen counter and hard to move. But portable crocks have rubber seals and locking mechanisms that keep your pot-luck dinner easy to transport.
They're fun: Seriously, has anyone ever told you that making food in a crock pot is hard? It's called slow cooking for a reason — it's a relaxing and easy experience that allows you to fit fabulous real food into your everyday life.
So the next time you're tempted to broil a steak or fry up shrimp — we encourage you to consider the crock. After all, in the modern culinary mess of sous-vide machines and high-end blenders, it's not hard to forget the slow-and-steady crock pot.
Sprout Creek Farm is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Our mission is to educate people to understand and appreciate our connection to the earth and our responsibility for its care.