Over in my private Facebook group, Natural Essential Health, we’ve been talking about crock pots and slow cooker recipes. So today, I’ll give you all a little background on how they came to be invented and help you decide which one might be the perfect slow cooker for your household.

While attempting to reproduce his grandmother’s cholent stew, Irving Naxon,  invented the slow cooking Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker in the 1960’s. The Rival Company wisely purchased the rights to that innovative kitchen cooker in 1970 and reintroduced it to the world as the now-famous Crock-Pot.

More than 40 years later, the simple design of an oval or circular cooking pot surrounded by a housing with an electric heating element is still incredibly popular in kitchens around the world.

From basic cookers like the bestselling SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker made by Crock-Pot to multi-featured high-end models like the 360 Cookware ID004-GC Gourmet Slow Cooker, these versatile and portable cooking machines share several common benefits.

For starters, slow cookers are perfect for creating no-fuss, one-pot meals. As an added bonus, they render cheaper cuts of meat mouthwateringly tender thanks to extended cooking times over low heat. It is virtually impossible to burn or ruin food when cooking with this method.

They are also super easy to clean, thanks to a removable and durable inner pot. For even easier cleanup, you can purchase disposable liners that you simply toss into the trash when your meal is done to create a wonderful “zero cleanup” cooking experience.

Slow cookers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different size households and larger meals can be portioned and frozen for quick reheating later. So, whether you live alone or have a large family, you can start your slow cooker when you head off to work in the morning and enjoy a hot, delicious meal when you arrive home at the end of the day.

Slow cookers can also be very versatile. Models like the Cuisinart 3-In-1 Cook Central Multi-Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer actually allow for combination cooking at different times and temperatures. This model and others boast dishwasher-safe removable parts and accessories like a handy steaming rack, as well as separate time and temperature displays.

Without question, today’s busy cook can benefit from the simplicity, ease-of-use and versatility a good slow cooker provides. With prices and features ranging from the extremely low-end to the very high-end, there is a perfect slow cooker out there for every household and budget.

Even if you’ve never used one before, you’ll never be at a loss for what to cook. Just pick up one of the high-quality slow cooker recipe books found online or at your local bookstore. Inside, you’ll find a ton of recipes that have already been perfected to deliver delicious slow-cooked meals every time.

Slow cookers began as a simple one-pot system for low temperature cooking, but they have evolved quite a bit since then. Today, you can brown, sauté, steam, slow cook and even boil soups, stews, roasts and casseroles in them.

The key to picking the right model is to make a list of which features are most important to you. Then, be sure to do some online research before making a decision. Previous buyers and experienced product reviewers have already done most of your homework for you – which can save you a lot of time, money and aggravation down the road.

With a little bit of research upfront, you can choose the slow cooker model best suited for your individual cooking style and budget. You’ll be serving up delicious, no-fuss meals for you and your family in no time!

Here are the links to some of my other articles on slow cookers and slow cooker recipes:

10 Tips for using your crockpot

How to choose recipes for your crockpot

8 Tricks for successful crockpot cooking

A Grilling Alternative-The Crockpot

Gluten Free Pulled Pork


Want to join in on the conversation? Join me in Natural Essential Health, where I share tips and recipes that I don’t always share here!