Friday, July 5, 2013

What's Old is New is Old Again, but Also Retro Chic - My Slow-Cooker (Electromatic Skillet)

From what I have been able to glean from the 14,000 websites that have simply reprinted the same section of text that is on Wikipedia.... verbatim.  (annoying)

The original Slow-Cooker or at least the basic idea, was introduced by Naxon Utilities Corporation in August of 1970 and dubbed the Beanery all-purpose cooker.  Irving Naxon, the inventor, was evidently inspired by a story his grandmother told him about how her mother had made Cholent in the the oven back in Lithuania.  Cholent is a slow-cooked bean-barley stew traditionally served on the Sabbath.  The soup would be started on Friday evening, before sundown, and slowly cooked until midday the next dayGiven the amount of time required to make it, Naxon set out to create an appliance that would "do all the work".  

His answer was the Beanery, a self contained ceramic crock/heating element that ran at a low temperature and could simply be plugged in, the contents of the stew added and left to simmer slowly for hours until it was time to eat.

(Photo courtesy of an eBay seller) 

The Rival Company bought out Naxon Utilities in late 1970 or early 1971 (the date  seems to be little fuzzy) and were less than impressed with the Beanery, but it was given over to the test kitchen personnel to see what they could do with it.  They came back with a plethora of recipes for this "slow cooking" devise that were delicious with minimal effort.  SO... Rival repackaged the device in late 1971 and dubbed it the "Crock-Pot"....  Needless to say, it was a hit.  But they didn't stop there, in 1974 they made the crocks removable for easier cleaning. 

Personally, I like to kick it a little more "old school".  Granted, I am not one who starts a  "Crock-pot" up and leaves the house.  Sorry, I don't trust them at all.  I don't run electrical appliance when I am not home.  Then again, I don't leave my toaster plugged in either. (When I was a kid, our neighbors house caught on fire because of a toaster than was plugged in... Not "ON" just plugged in.)  Consequently, I don't use one very often.  But when I do, I reach for my 1961 Corningware Electromatic Hot Plate (P-12-ES) and my 4 quart Dutch Oven (P-34-B), 4 quart Sauce pot (P-84-B) or my newer 5 quart Casserole (A-5-B).  (though in later years, the P-34-B was enlarged to a 5 quart size)

It originally came, and was intended for use, with a P-10-B skillet in either Cornflower or Black Trefoil.  With a temperature range from 200-425, however, it makes an excellent Slow-Cooker as well as an extra saute pan.  Thus, my kitchen is alleviated of yet another uni-tasking appliance.  

On top of it's multitasking capabilities, it's chock full of awesome retro-coolness.  I'm just sayin'.  Oh, and like the later '74 "Crock-Pots" my "crock" is removable AND easy to clean.  ;-)

I will eventually be making Carnitas in it, but my brother just left me with a gallon Zip-loc bag full of his infamous smoked pulled pork that was left over from our 4th of July Hootenanny, so I think it will actually be a couple weeks before I am up for Carnitas.   Sorry bout that.  

I know, I'm a tease.   LOL

Where is your Corningware??


  1. My Corningware gets used every day! I have moved many times and had to lighten my load and, unfortunately, thought it would be easy to find replacements. I now have only the broil and bake sheet and a few of the small 1 cup 2 cup leftover storage containers. Shopping at thrift shops is on my list. Thank you. I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. I wish I could find the 1961 Corningware Electromatic Hot Plate (P-12-ES) !!!

    1. They have them on eBay -- Corningware Electromatic Hot Plate (P-12-ES).

    2. Oops, I mean Corning Ware. (When it is one word it's from since they sold out to World Kitchen.)

    3. I plan to get one. I hate crock pots. I already have the corning ware, and the percolator is wonderful. An electric skillet, and a crock pot. Made in America. It will last until I'm gone and still get good money on Ebay.

  3. I collect the Spice of Life pattern. It was my mom's pattern. I have a roasting pan that has been in continuing use since 1974. Still is presentable. I had a huge collection found at thrift stores. Now it is barely at the antique stores. Nothing cooks like corningware. My baked goods are always perfect and in the dishwasher they go. Plus, it is so pretty. Nothing says made in America like Corningware.


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