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A Crockpot (also known as a slow cooker) is a countertop electrical cooking appliance used to simmer at a lower temperature than other cooking methods, such as baking, boiling, and frying. This slow cooking process allows for unattended cooking for many hours of dishes that would otherwise be boiled: pot roast, soups, stews and other dishes (including beverages, desserts and dips).

History[edit | edit source]

The Naxon Utilities Corporation of Chicago developed the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker, which was inspired by the traditional bean-based stews that had been prepared in slow cookers for centuries. In 1970, The Rival Company bought Naxon and rebranded the Beanery under the Crock-Pot name.

Design[edit | edit source]

A basic Crockpot consists of a pot (usually ceramic or porcelain), surrounded by a heating element. The lid itself is often made of glass, and seated in a groove in the pot edge. Condensed vapor collects in the groove and provides a low-pressure seal to the atmosphere.

Usage[edit | edit source]

The Crockpot is particularly suited for slow-cook dishes and stews. Because of the long, low-temperature cooking, it helps tenderize less-expensive cuts of meat. A slow cooker brings out the flavor in foods. A wide variety of foods can be cooked in a slow cooker, including ones typically made quickly, like oatmeal and express beans.

Health and safety[edit | edit source]

Food safety is a concern when using a Crockpot. It is important to maintain the correct temperature to avoid foodborne illness caused by bacteria. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that pot roast, pork, and poultry should be cooked at 165 °F (74 °C) and ground meats should be cooked at 160 °F (71 °C).

See also[edit | edit source]



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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD