11 Things You Didn't Know About Your Slow-Cooker

Hundreds of cookbooks have cropped up for the slow-cooker, and all of them have an angle; some focus on soups, others stews, and some emphasize the slow-cooker's vital role in easy dinners and quick and hassle-free breakfasts — with a slow-cooker, you can start your day with a hearty Mexican-style quiche without even turning on your oven.

Then you can clean out the slow-cooker and load it up with the ingredients for a creamy chicken Alfredo stew for lunch. For dinner, you can put in all of the necessities for slow-cooked pulled pork tacos, or skip ahead to dessert for some turtle monkey bread. The appliance can help you pull off a dinner party or an easy weeknight meal with just a few ingredients and a little time. Heck, it can even treat your guests to tasty appetizers, and help with the drinks, too.

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The slow-cooker has had anything but a slow history. After it first came to market in the '50s as Naxon's Beanery, thousands of slow-cookers were sold to families looking for an easy dinner idea. Its roots are deeply tangled in the religious practice of honoring the Sabbath, and have since evolved technologically, aesthetically, and functionally to help feed America for more than four decades.

These days the slow-cooker is the busy parent's best friend, a must-have appliance for families and single folk alike. The ability to "set it and forget it" means less time scrambling (figuratively and literally) over the stove for dinner and more time with the family and friends. But how much do you really know about this incredible appliance? Click on to learn 11 things you may not know about your slow-cooker.

Lauren Gordon contributed to this story.