In the annals of history, I don’t think there will ever be a kitchen invention that will be more revered than the crock pot. It’s cheap, its easy to use, and you don’t have to think. You just throw some shit in there, put on the lid, and select one of two settings: ‘low’ or ‘high.’ For a complete lazy asshole like me, there is no better use of time and effort than the crockpot. I look like I worked hard on dinner, when in reality I read 250 pages of Calvin and Hobbes while drinking Session.
It uses less energy than a lightbulb (it’s scary to think that an incandescent bulb could potentially cook your food) and it makes your house smell like a french…um…cook…house. Seriously. There is nothing better than coming home from a long day in the salt mines and smelling braised beef stew coming from every nook and cranny. Is there anything the crock pot can’t do?
Well, there are a couple things I would like to see in a crock pot. I’m sure they make one with the features I am about to list, but it’s hard for me to justify a whole new purchase when I already have a perfectly functional crock pot, but this is my blog post, so I’ll say whatever the hell I want, and you have to accept it. Or I guess you could just stop reading, but where’s the fun in that?
So, anyway. Things I would love to see in a crock pot:
– A physical switch. Mine has buttons that you press to start the crock pot, but that sucks for one reason: sometimes I want to have the crock pot start cooking when I’m not there. Meg and I are usually gone for a minimum of 11 hours during the day. Most crock pot recipes max out around 8 hours. What normally happens is that when your time is up (ours lets you pick either 2 or 4 hours on high, or 6 or 8 hours on low), the crock pot switches to ‘keep warm.’ Sometimes this is fine if the recipe calls for 8 hours. Three extra hours of warming isn’t going to fuck up a stew. But if the directions call for 4 hours on high, an additional 7 hours or warming is going to eff that food up. If I had a physical switch, I could attach a timer to the crock pot and it would just turn on at the appropriate time. Kinda like an automatic light timer, but for delicious food instead of burglar prevention.
-I’m going to take the previous point a step further: I want to have a bunch of programmable settings on my crock pot. That would solve the problem listed above (I could just delay the start time by a few hours), and it would allow for more complex recipes involving switching temperatures. I’ve seen several recipes from my favorite crockpot cookbook (Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook) that call for 2 hours on high followed by 5 hours on low, or something to that effect. It would be rad to have our crockpot just do that automatically, so I can be even lazier than I am now!
-An oval-shaped crock pot. We have a round one, and it’s great, but I would love to be able to put a whole chicken in there without trying to somehow cram it in at an angle and hope for the best.
-Cast iron. Ours is ceramic, but I have become a convert to cooking in cast iron a few years ago. There is nothing better than a nice seasoned cast iron skillet, and the iron is good for you! Plus, that would allow us to put the cast iron part in the oven if it asks for that, or I could even braise meat on the stove without having to dirty more than one thing! Laziness powers activate! Form of: one less dish to wash!
-The last thing I would like is probably not even a real thing, but it’d be rad nonetheless: A crock pot that can refrigerate food until it starts cooking it. I get a little nervous about leaving raw meat out for like five hours, just sitting at room temperature. Like the Pillsbury Doughboy says: Nothing Says Lovin’ Like Trichinosis.
Something tells me that this awesome robot space crockpot from the future would probably cost five hundo and would no longer be the low-power wonder it is now, but I would still use the dog piss out of it.
As long as someone gave it to me for a gift. There’s no way I’m spending that much money on something that doesn’t start with X and end with Box.