Crock-pot dinners – hot or not?

Front view of a classic crock-pot dinner.

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Front view of a classic crock-pot dinner.

   Coming home from school to see a crockpot on the kitchen counter can spark a variety of reactions in children and teens in particular. Are these dinners a treat, or are they the worst possible dinner scenario?

   Crockpots have been around since the 1940s. An inventor named Irving Nachumsohn received the patent for the Crock-Pot on January 23, 1940. The contraption was created to cook cholent, which is a traditional stew eaten by Jews in eastern Europe on the Sabbath. Jews were not to cook on that day, so they would bring pots of stew to a nearby bakery the day before the Sabbath. Thus, the Crock-Pot allowed them to now cook the day before and enjoy the meal on the Sabbath. 

   Popularity for the Crock-Pot increased dramatically in the early 1970s as women were joining the workforce at a faster rate. A slow cooker allowed them to go to work and come home to a finished dinner that they could serve to their families. 

   Recently, there have been trends on TikTok and Twitter, which are currently two of the most popular social media sites, sparking controversy over whether or not Crock-Pot dinners are to be desired or to be dreaded.  Generally, users seem to see Crock-Pot dinners upon which to turn their noses. In my opinion, I think my least favorite dinners come out of slow cookers. 

   The main issue I see, however, is determining whether it’s the Crock-Pot that is causing the dinner to be dry and unappealing, or if it’s the recipe itself. Crock-Pot dinners in my household often involve meat like chicken, or a stew, which inherently aren’t two of my favorite foods. The Crock-Pot tends to dry out these foods or cause them to become mushy. 

   Some of our Broughton students love coming home to Crock-Pot meals and appreciate the convenience.

   “My mom’s Crock-Pot dinners are good for when we are busy. I like them because she usually makes soups and chilis in it, and they’re good,” said senior Charlotte Fullbright. 

   “I like Crock-Pot dinners because they’re easy and warm on cold nights,” commented senior Maddie Lemmon. Crock-Pots are, indisputably, convenient and are being used for the same purpose as in the 1970s. There are entire cookbooks on recipes involving the slow cooker, but what’s so bad about cooking with regular pots and pans?

   One Broughton student has a more negative stance on Crock-Pot meals.

   “I don’t really like Crock-Pot dinners. Nothing really exciting comes out of it. It’s always mush,” remarked senior Allie Brown. 

  But another raved about Crock-Pot dinners, speaking specifically on a certain beloved cuisine. 

   “My mom always makes curry in the Crock-Pot, and I really like Indian food, so I like them,” said senior Lillian Holmes. 

   Crock-Pot dinners, as seen in these previous comments, can be redeemed, I imagine. With the right recipe, perhaps my eyes would light up at the sight of the ovular steel container sitting front and center in my kitchen. Until then, I will still stick to cooking my dinners the old fashioned way. No fancy contraptions needed.