ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Crock Pot in the kitchen: A short history.

Updated on August 4, 2009

A short history of a much loved home kitchen appliance.

The Rival Crock Pot is to the history of home kitchen slow-cooking what Walt Disney is to the history of family theme parks.

Since 1970, the Crock Pot has been making meal preparation so much easier for many of us, but the funny thing is that it was actually a 'what if' byproduct of an earlier invention and could have easily never even seen the light of day. In late 1970, Rival acquired the assets of the Naxon Utilities Corp. Along with this came the patent rights to a device called the "beanery"; this device was a slow cooker of sorts, intended for use in the cooking of beans. This item was not seen as having any strong commercial appeal for home kitchens, but the Rival company nevertheless let their on-staff cooks play around with it. Soon enough it became clear to them that the beanery appliance had another potential use: it could be used to cook various types of meat, and what's more, it could do so better than it did with beans. Soon after the modern Crock Pot slow cooker was born! The first Rival Crock Pot slow cooker was released to the domestic market in 1971. It came with a basic crock interior, a glass lid, and a bright red exterior.

In 1974, Rival introduced one of their first innovations to the Crock Pot, witrh the introduction of the Rinse-Clean removable stoneware liner, to make it easier to clean your Crock Pot after use. By 1981 sales of Crock Pot brand slow cookers had topped $30 million - just 10 years after its commercial release. Things kept changing at the Crock Pot compound, and in 1997 the oval Crock Pot slow cooker was introduced, making it more convenient to use it with more oblong roasts. Of course the standard round shaped Crock was still made available after this.Rival kept up with the times, and in 2001 the first programmable slow cooker was introduced, called the Smart-Pot. In 2003, the Crock Pot line was expanded even further, with the introduction of the Recipe Smart-Pot, which came complete with over 200 preprogrammed recipes. In 2004, Rival introduced it's new VersaWare which featured ETC (Extreme Temperature Stoneware) and made it available in stores. The unique stoneware could be used in slow cookers, on stovetops, in the oven, in the microwave or in the refrigerater. The stoneware has a surface area equivalent to a skillet which allows for sauteing as well. Today, we are at the point where many Rival Crock Pot replacement parts and accessories are available; transportable Crocks with lid clamps are available, vegetable cookers are available (talk about coming full circle, huh?), as are travel cases and dust covers. There is a whole range of gadgets and Rival crockpot accessories available including the Little Dipper sauce crock as well as non scratching utensils. Of course, there is also a plethora of Crock Pot sanctioned slow cooking recipe books available for the slow cooking enthusiast.

Rival Tidbits

Most people know that the Rival company was the Originator of the Crock Pot brand of slow cooker which revolutionized the home kitchen, but here are a couple of things that might not be such common knowledge to most.

The Rival company has been designing electric kitchen appliances for the domestic (home) market since 1932: the Rival Can-O-Mat, released over 60 years ago, was one of their early big successes.

Both Rival and the now seperate entity Crock Pot companies now operate as subsidiaries of Sunbeam Products, which is doing business under the name of Jarden Consumer Solutions - which is itself a subsidiary of the Jarden Corperation. Whew!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have an invention to use with the crock pot-where do I send it?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What was the original size of the Crock Pot?

    • profile image

      Russell Hoover 

      8 years ago

      We had the same Rival Crockpot for years

      Since they changed the lid design, we've had two in the last year

      The plastic handles and hinges broke off after two uses

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      THANKS for posting this interesting history. I knew Rival had been around for many years, but did NOT know about the "beanery" My mom was one of the original 1970's "super-moms" and she used hers faithfully. They must have influenced me a lot, as I now have a matching set of the original pots in burnt orange. The earlier sealed models seem to cook more evenly, even though they're not as easy to clean.....

    • profile image

      jennifer bhala 

      9 years ago

      Crockpots are great for cooking in. I remember when they came out. They were all the rage

    • dreamscaper profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Vancouver, BC, Canada

      newcapo: thanks for the thumbs up!

      Bob: sorry but I couldn't really tell you anything that would be any more than aguess; you might want to check the Rival website for more specs on their products - you might find their user manuals online too which might answer your question. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Bob Gammon 

      9 years ago

      I only want a Rival with side (surrond heat-not bottom)> Does the Versaware crock pot -programmable 6-qt. have this type of heat. Can't find info anywhere. Please?? RG

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A had never read about the history of the crockpot, extremely interesting-I had no idea. Thanks.

    • Trsmd profile image


      10 years ago from India

      very good informative hubpage..

    • profile image

      look what I found 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for telling me something new about something not so new: brief but really informative.

    • profile image

      crockpot accessories 

      10 years ago

      Interesting to know about the origin of the crockpot - didnt know about the bean cooker thing. Didnt realize that crockpot was only from the seventies onwards.(thought it was older)

    • profile image

      slow cooker 

      10 years ago

      Hey that is some interesting history! A nice read.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)