Well, the discussion of which came first the chicken or the egg is still in a debate. But with this debate- the slow cooker came first. Think of it this way, all crockpots are slow cookers, but not all slow cookers are crockpots. Clear as mud, huh?!?! Ok, try this-Polaroid is a picture, but not all pictures are Polaroid’s. The term crockpot is just a name of a brand.
In 1936 Irving Naxon created a device consisting of a case and heating element that allowed his mother from Lithuania to heat a bean based stew slowly. In 1940 Naxon filed for a patton for the device which he called the “Naxon Beanery”. In the 1970’s Rivel purchased his design and created the “Crock Pot”. (Where all mothers rejoiced as they could put a dish on early in the morning, go to work and it would be ready by dinner time.) In 1974 the first stone inserts were created by Rivel to make the look of the crockpots we recognize today.
This is how I distinguish them, anything with more than three heat settings are slow cookers. If it has the three settings (warm, low, high) it’s a crockpot.
The picture above are my slow cookers from West Bend. These are from the 1970’s and I will admit, I absolutely love them. You can find these classics at any thrift store for under $7.00. I use one of these classic beauties weekly and they are still holding up after all these years just fine. I have used both slow cookers and crockpots and I prefer slow cookers as you have more control over the temperature settings. Personally, for me the low setting on the crockpot is not exactly low and after being left on all day- my food tends to be overcooked. (Once again, this is just my opinion.) If you would like to read more about crockpots and slow cookers, here is a great article that I found online from the kitchn.
I have the slow cooker on, who’s coming over for dinner?