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Rival crock pots - The industry standard

Updated on February 5, 2015
Rival crock pot and mini crock
Rival crock pot and mini crock

When it comes to the leisurely preparation of slow cooked meals, nothing beats a slow cooker for convenience and overall ease of mind. Somewhere along the history of cooking, the proprietary term "crock pot" came to be synonymous with the trusty old slow cooker. For my money nothing beats the...

Rival crock pot

The term Rival Crock-Pot actually is a trademark that applies only to the cookers marketed under the brand of that manufacturer. Over time, it has become a generic reference for a cooker that simmers food slowly over several hours. It is different from a slow cooker, which has its heating element below the pot. A Rival crock pot heats on the sides. Bottom heating elements are more likely to scorch, and often need to be stirred during the process.

A crock pot allows you to add ingredients, and then go about your day for the next several hours. Most recipes suggest you begin on the high setting, and then reduce it to low after the first hour. You need do nothing else unless you need to add ingredients at the end of the cooking cycle. The recipe will tell you if that is the case, but there are some things it may not mention. For example, ground spices lose their flavor over time, so it is best to either use whole spices or add them late. Other ingredients, such as red pepper, can become bitter if simmered too long, so it also should be added at the end.

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Surprisingly, meats will cook before vegetables. Place meat on top and vegetables on bottom. Trim as much fat as possible from your meat before adding it, and skin your chicken pieces. There is no need to buy expensive cuts of beef. The more economical ones work very well, as the long, slow, cooking will tenderize them quite well.

Unless you are making soups or cooking dishes with rice, pasta, or beans, you need very little water, normally no more than one or two cups. Juices will cook out of the meat and make more than enough moisture for effective cooking. Beans do best if soaked overnight, and white rice may need to be partially cooked for best results.

For foods to cook properly, the crock should be to the halfway point at minimum and not over three fourths full. Consider this when you are shopping for a machine and buy the size for how you will be using it. For example, if you often cook large quantities, a 6 or 7 quart model might be best. However, if you plan to prepare a meal for only 1 or 2 people, choose one with a smaller capacity. Oval pots are better if you are planning to fix whole chickens or roasts regularly, since they fit the shape better.

When shopping for a pot, look for one that has a removable crock. These are much easier to clean than the all in one type. If you do have one without a removable crock, you can use oven cooking bags to make clean up easier.

When you purchase a new machine, do not go off and leave it cooking, even if it has a timer, before you have tried it out several times. It rarely happens, but it is possible for a defective machine to leave the factory. Be certain that yours is working as it should before leaving it alone.

Many recipes can be adapted to your Rival crock pot with just minor changes. The most notable changes will be a reduction in moisture and a longer time for cooking. Instructions are likely included with any model you purchase. If not, there are many independent websites run by fans of cooking with crock pots that have tables for easy conversion. Rival also posts handy recipes and tips on their site.

When it comes to convenience and ease of use, nothing beats crock pots. They simply allow you to prepare great meals for yourself or your family without having to sacrifice the time normally associated with cooking extravagant spreads.

And when it comes to the brand of crock pot, nothing beats Rival brand for quality, price and overall satisfaction. You won't be disappointed with any of Rival's many great models.


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