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You put your crock pot in my deep fryer


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#1 Fat Guy

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:54 PM

I noticed today that Target sells a device, made by Nesco, that functions as both a pressure cooker and a slow cooker (aka crock pot). It also works as a steamer.

Browsing the Nesco website, I also noticed a product that combines the functions of a deep fryer and a fondue pot. Seriously.

I started to wonder, though, is there really any major technology difference between the pressure cooker/slow cooker/steamer and the deep fryer/fondue pot?

I then learned from a friend that he once had a combination deep fryer/slow cooker. So that's one from column A and one from column B. And I was able to find a combination deep fryer/slow cooker/steamer with but a moment's Googling.

It seems there are a lot of small appliances that are essentially a pot with heating elements. So really, shouldn't it be possible to create a single appliance that is at least the following:

-pressure cooker
-slow cooker (crock pot)
-steamer
-deep fryer
-fondue pot
-rice cooker
-pasta pot
-mini roaster

Is the reason nobody makes such an appliance simply that it's more profitable to sell several appliances than it is to sell one? What's going on here? I can't imagine there's a significant engineering challenge here. Right? Right?

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#2 divalasvegas

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 02:08 AM

After you locate (or maybe invent :wink:) this modern wonder, you could "knock out" several more appliances in your kitchen when you buy The George Foreman 8-in-1. As the description says it "bakes, roasts, broils, grills, toasts, and serves as griddle, bun warmer, and rotisserie."

Actually creating your pressure cooker/slow cooker/steamer/deep fryer/fondue maker/rice cooker/pasta pot/mini-roaster contraption sounds like a job for Alton Brown to me. :smile:
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#3 Fat Guy

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 06:26 AM

Right, it seems that if we think about appliances in terms of their shapes, the feature sets can flow from there. The convergence I was talking about above is basically anything that looks like a pot. Because really, why can't they just do that? I mean, if you take an electronically controlled rice cooker, you already have a computer taking care of the heating elements in something that looks like a pot. So all you have to do is program that computer, make sure the heating elements have enough power to do what needs to be done, and in the case of pressure cooking you need to do something with the lid. It shouldn't be a big deal. The only thing that would require a real technology upgrade, I think, would be a recirculating feature in order to do sous vide cooking in the thing.

The George Foreman device demonstrates that it should be possible to replicate all the functions of all the different chamber-type contraptions. Here you might need more systems in the chamber -- it's more complex than the converged pot idea. But all the pieces of the puzzle are out there, waiting to be put together. Microwave/convection is already here. So you've got to figure if you build on that platform you get to toaster oven, and if you add a motor you get rotisserie, and if you add the right programming you can do things like let dough rise and make yogurt in there, and with a reservoir you could have a steam oven too.

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#4 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 06:28 AM

I thought this toaster/eggpoacher was adorable, so I bought it for a friend for a Christmas present last year.

I don't think he's even taken it out of the box it came in, honestly. :biggrin:

#5 rooftop1000

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 08:52 AM

I used to use this bad boy in a "professional setting" I used it to deep fry, make soups ,boil eggs, and pasta really nice cheap product

http://www.shopzilla...1626577#details

how about adding BBQ to the list of thing to make in a pot?
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#6 Fat Guy

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 09:26 AM

Further evidence that convergence would be easy, here's a rice cooker that's also a crock pot:

http://www.krupsusa....H212/FDH212.htm

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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#7 Teppy

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 09:51 AM

You mention sous-vide by just adding a circulator. Actually, immersion circulators seem to work differently from things with a normal thermostat. As they get close to the desired temperature, they pulse the heating element on and off, and sort of learn what ratio of on/off is needed to maintain temperature in the pot you're using.

Is anyone doing a low-cost (say, $200-$300) immersion circulator yet? I'm sure sous-vide setups will be as common as microwaves in 10 years. It just makes perfect meat cooking embarrasingly easy.

#8 Fat Guy

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 10:09 AM

I believe fuzzy logic rice cookers do pretty much the same thing, minus the circulation.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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#9 snowangel

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 10:55 AM

One of the things I've noticed about these multi-purpose "slow cookers/deep fryers" is that none of them seem to have the number of watts necessary for a deep fryer to have any sort of recovery time. So, why are all home (countertop) deep fryers so wimpy?

Quite frankly, I'm just as happy using my LC dutch oven for most of these tasks -- slow cooking, deep frying, etc.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#10 ray goud

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:27 PM

Beside the technical issues, all of which could be addressed and resolved, the main problem to me would be:
What do you do when you want to have running AT THE SAME TIME a crock pot, a deep fryer, a pressure cooker, etc., for that holiday party or whatever? You then would need to have several of that multi-purpose appliance.
And, when that one appliance goes on the fritz, you can do NOTHING, because that's all you thought you'd need, so you bought nothing else.
So, what's the point, other than reducing used-up counter space, and cabinet volume?
Ray

#11 Fat Guy

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:35 PM

Yes, I'd probably want three of them.

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#12 maggiethecat

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:18 PM

I felt a kind of deja vue all over again when I read this topic and I finally figured out why. Hey Presto! Boy, that was a long time ago, and I still love this thing. It's our deep- fryer-for- two, and is no way underpowered for a tempura meal for a laid back couple. I have to confess I don't use its slow-cooker feature much, because I own a crock pot. But it still comes in handy as an extra utility pot for parties.

It certainly takes up counterspace, but so does everything else. It's well: it's just fun.

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#13 Sam Salmon

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 08:46 PM

I remember reading years ago about an attempt to adapt rice cookers for baking and market them in Japan.

Japanese apartments/kitchens being on the small side it was though this idea was a winner.

The appliance worked as planned but in focus groups Japanese women wouldn't touch the idea-something to do with rice being cooked only in a dedicated appliance/cross contamination fears. :unsure:

#14 Cadbury

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 09:07 PM

-pressure cooker
-slow cooker (crock pot)
-steamer
-deep fryer
-fondue pot
-rice cooker
-pasta pot
-mini roaster

View Post


In the late 70's my mum had an appliance which was all of the above except the pressure cooker. It had a crockpot insert, fryer basket, steamer insert etc. with a temperature control knob similar to an electric frying pan.
It was only decommissioned a few years ago.

#15 andiesenji

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:22 AM

Ahem!

This is yet another example of: "What's Old is New Again!"

The first of these appliances appeared in the late 1930s.

Scroll down to the Third Item on this page

I have two of these, one in copper finish, the other in chrome. One made in 1951, the other in 1954 and they both still work.

Combination appliances began way back before the 1920s - popular with people who lived in rented rooms with no kitchens. Some were quite complex, incorporating a coffee perculator, fry pan/egg poacher, baking pan and toaster in a single appliance.
Hotpoint sold one in 1918 that is seen in several scenes in at least three of Harold Lloyd's silent films with the cord plugged into the dangling bare-bulb light fixture.

Universal Appliance (Landers, Frary and Clark of New Britain, Conn.) made several "Portable Table Ranges" a round 1920 model states it broils, frys, toasts, bakes or roasts. Later they produced a "stacked" - "Multi Breakfast Cooker.
In 1938 Universal's Electric Oven Roaster, with multiple internal containers, stated it could roast, bake and stew, cooking an entire meal in one appliance. It sold for 26.70 which was a lot of money in 1938.


Note the Perc-O-Toaster Toaster Gallery

Edited by andiesenji, 20 March 2007 - 02:49 PM.

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#16 Toliver

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:15 PM

It took me a while to find this discussion so I could post another multi-use cooker-thingy I saw on cable TV:
The Hamilton Beach Multi-Cooker
It fries, it steams and it boils. Of course, not all at once. :wink:
As Steven (Fat Guy) first posted in this discussion, it's basically a pot with a heating element. It's also as ugly as sin.
I'm trying to think of a reason why this appliance is any better than using a sturdy stock pot on the stove to do your frying/steaming/boiling.

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#17 eskay

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:38 PM

I would so buy a combination crock pot/deep fryer/rice cooker/pressure cooker (those are really the only functions I care about really...) That is, as long as all the functions worked relatively well :raz:
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#18 Kouign Aman

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 06:24 AM

It took me a while to find this discussion so I could post another multi-use cooker-thingy I saw on cable TV:
The Hamilton Beach Multi-Cooker
It fries, it steams and it boils. Of course, not all at once.  :wink:
As Steven (Fat Guy) first posted in this discussion, it's basically a pot with a heating element. It's also as ugly as sin.
I'm trying to think of a reason why this appliance is any better than using a sturdy stock pot on the stove to do your frying/steaming/boiling.

View Post


Because you live in a place that doesnt have a stove. :wink:
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#19 JimH

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 09:45 AM

In the late 70's my mum had an appliance which was all of the above except the pressure cooker.  It had a crockpot insert, fryer basket, steamer insert etc. with a temperature control knob similar to an electric frying pan.
It was only decommissioned a few years ago.

View Post


I think I have one just like it. It has a glass top, a crock insert, fry basket and the inside of the base had a non-stick coating. I'd use it for frying but the non-stick coating is coming off.