If you don’t have your nonna cooking for you, good news is here. Slow cooking, which first appeared kitchens in the 1950s, has been redesigned for a new generation of chefs. The updated crock pot, or “Oliver” as it’s been named, uses a new setup that releases ingredients slowly and churns out better results than the brown mush we’ve all come to expect from the gadgets.
In the 1950s, slow cooking was paired up with women’s liberation as more and more housewives and young ladies began to enter the workforce. The idea was that women could cook everything in one pot, leave for work while the meal was slow cooking, and at the end of the day come home to a dish ready to serve. A few decades later in the 1970s, crock pots were re-branded under the guise of energy efficiency, but they still looked and worked the same. Although the marketing may have changed, not much else did until now.
Designed by Matter, a San Francisco consultancy, the modernized product is a sleek kitchen gadget and also an app. According to FastCo, Khalid Aboujassoum, came up with the idea and presented it on Stars of Science (Qatar’s version of Shark Tank). As with most prototypes, it was in the early stages, but set in motion fundamental ideas that would help modernize slow cooking. It turns out all slow cooking needed was someone to figure out that we needed a device with multiple chambers that release ingredients according to how long they needed to cook. A cool app guides the entire process effortlessly.
The app offers a recipe database with cuisines from around the world, so meal options are another exciting update. Once you search through the app and pick a meal, Oliver lets you know what ingredients you need and how to prepare them before plopping them into one of the six canisters. Let a few hours pass, and voila! You’ll have a slow cooked meal completely different than what your mom use to make. If you’re skeptical, just remember it only took a hangover to come up with Egg Benedict in 1894.
- BioLight’s PizzaDome brings wood-fired pizza to your campground
- INTERVIEW: The Museum of Food and Drink’s Peter Kim talks Food and Preservation
- New York’s dirty little secret: The apartment kitchen