The actual Crock Pot didn't appear until the summer of 1970, when its original design showed up. The eventual redesigns of the Crock Pot significantly changed the slow cooking and roasting world, and eventually the features that the Crock Pot offered became the standard for the industry. Numerous companies, including Kalorik, and store brands, came along throughout the years. Metal inner cookpots were replaced with porcelain, and eventually stainless steel took the place of glass fixtures and lids. Colors and decorations, of course, changed according to the era, but in general, pretty much every slow cooker was the same, they just offered different options.
Meet the NESCO 6 Roast Ryte Oven.
This bad boy jumped right out of the 1970s, and was my grandfather's slow cooker/roaster. It has multiple temperature settings and is all-metal, including the inner cookpot. I believe it's called the "NESCO 6" because it's a six quart pot - but I have no idea. I have no other information with it - except for these gems:
I have no idea if this bad boy still works, but there it is. I'm probably going to be testing it at some point in the future.
Here's my mom's:
This is a vintage mid-1980s K-Mart brand "Spice of Life" style "Automatic Sim-R-Pot". It has three settings - off, auto-sim-r, and auto-hi. (Oh, yeah, those are AWESOME settings!) The lid is clear glass and the inner cookpot is white porcelain; it has a small crack/defect in the cookpot but it doesn't seem to go all the way through and I doubt it seriously affected cook time and quality. I think this is a five quart; it isn't much smaller than the roaster but is decidedly round instead of being an obvious oval shape. It's honestly hard to tell.
So the K-Mart slow cooker is the one I'm using. I've slaughtered a few baby carrots, half a yellow onion, and the remainders of about two hearts of celery (I had to peel off the first layer of stalks of each of them thanks to some serious freezer burn from sitting too far back in the fridge). Yes, leaves and all! Celery leaves have FLAVOR! Add in a one-pound bag of great northern beans, and what ended up being two large ham steaks with small marrow bones in the middle of both.
(Sidenote: Lesson learned. When you soak the beans, rinse them halfway through, drain the water, then return to soaking them. Dump in the second batch of "bean water" instead of using regular water - then you get the starch from the beans and the flavor, without the dirt and potential rocks you might have missed while sorting them. Oops.)
In other news, G seems to be getting sick (again) with a weird-sounding cough and a half-missing voice. Sigh - always something, eh?