A Brief History of Crock-Pot, The Original Slow Cooker


The most recent episode of the NBC drama, “This Is Us” put a Crock-Pot at the center of one of the most anticipated and sad deaths in TV history. Jack and Rebecca Pearson were gifted an old Crock-Pot from an elderly neighbor and used it for almost two decades before it caught fire one night and likely burned their home down– we don’t really know yet, it’s a cliffhanger.

So, what’s up with the Crock-Pot?

According to Crock-Pot.com, “It may surprise you to learn that the Crock-Pot® slow cooker, used in so many kitchens around the world, debuted over four decades ago as a simple bean cooker. At this time, the Crock-Pot® brand defined a new way for homemakers to serve an affordable, tender, delicious meal to their families using inexpensive cuts of meat and offered assistance to busy moms caring for their family with a convenient cooking method that helped minimize time in the kitchen. Crock-Pot® slow cookers are a part of many fond family memories as a recollection of favorite dishes and cooking aromas from generations past.”

None of that surprises me, Crock-Pot. What surprises me is that for years families have been using Crock-Pots as a safe and effective way to cook meals low and slow and now they’re burning down homes.

Here’s some real history– the Crock-Pot was invented in 1940 by Irving Nachumsohn. Nachumsohn invented this slow cooker to cook cholent, a traditional Jewish stew eaten on the Sabbath. But, since Jews were forbidden from cooking on the Sabbath, he could cook it slowly over the course of several hours the day before and then carry the pot to dinner.

The rise of the Crock-Pot really came in the 1970s as more and more went into the workforce in large numbers.

Today, Crock-Pots or some kind of slow cooker can be found on just about every wedding registry in America and in almost all kitchens. In 2010 Betty Crocker Kitchens estimated that 80.6 percent of the homes in the United States own a slow cooker.

Also, the likelihood of your Crock-Pot causing a fire is slim. According to Aileen Fanjul, a representative of the Crock-Pot® brand at Jarden Consumer Solutions told Fox News, “It is safe to leave your Crock-Pot® slow cooker on while you are out of the house,” she states. “The slow cooker runs on very low wattage, allowing you to cook a meal over an 8-10 hour period of time. Programmable units include an Auto-Shift to Warm feature, automatically shifting the unit to a Warm setting once the set cook time is up.”

Don’t throw your Crock-Pot away just because it killed Jack.