April 21, 2008

Nesco CookRyte Sauce-Pan

Even back in the 1950s, housewives had an abundance of electric kitchen appliances at their disposal. Cooks were looking for shortcuts back then too, and appliances such as these made it easy to prepare large main dishes and all-in-one meals.

This Nesco CookRyte Electric Sauce-Pan Instructions and Recipes for Carefree Cooking (1954, foldout) brochure shows a nice illustration of their unusually-shaped saucepan along with a few recipes.

Nesco was also producing a deep fryer, an electric frying pan and an electric roaster during this same period. Was a stove even necessary with all these handy gadgets?

The brochure tells about several of the sauce-pan's features:

  • Good for stewing, roasting, braising, boiling, baking, browning, warming, steaming and re-heating foods. (See? Who needs a stove?)

  • An 1150-watt unit with a six-foot cord.

  • Silicone surface reduces the risk of sticking or scorching food. Easy cleaning.

  • The One-Dial Temperature Control - allows temperatures settings from 225° to 400° that lights up when correct temperature is reached.

  • Sauce-pan is immersible in water right up to the electric socket in the handle. Cord is detachable.

  • 110-120 Volt AC compatible.

  • Use Indoors or Outdoors
It doesn't say why the shape is square or how that might be advantageous to the cook.

The brochure doesn't specify the size or capacity of the sauce-pan. Looking at the recipes, it appears that it will easily hold a 2 to 2-1/2 pound roast, 2 to 3 pounds of cubed lamb, a pound of beans, and a soup that starts out with a quart of stock.

I found these measurements in an online auction for one of these saucepans and they're a little more specific:

  • Inside cooker is 8 1/2 inches square x 5 3/8 inches high

  • Handle is 9 inches long

  • Overall: 17-inches long with handle x 8 1/2 inches wide x 9 inches high with lid.

  • Weight: Almost 6 pounds

There are instructions and recipes for making Boston Baked Beans, Baked Fish Fillets, Baked Potatoes, Chili con Carne, Pot Roast, a Scallop Casserole, Vegetable Soup and Swiss Steak with Vegetables. You could even make Popcorn with your Nesco CookRyte.

Nancy Nesco is depicted as a cartoon-type character. I've not heard of her before. She's certainly not as famous as Reddy Kilowatt or even Willing Water.

This looks like it would have been a pretty useful appliance to have if you were living in a room without a stove.


At 4:35 AM CDT, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I recently read somewhere that a number of appliances were developed in the 1950s with the dinner party in mind. There was some sort of fascination then with watching the host prepare some of the meal at the table. This looks like a stylized, high-tech appliance that could be brought to the table or used in a buffet.

At 4:13 AM CDT, Blogger Rochelle R. said...

I like the neat little narrow legs on it. It does look like something a student would use in a dorm room.

At 8:31 PM CDT, Blogger Kathy said...

t.w. - I think it would be great for a buffet too.

rochelle - I like the looks of this much better than the electric skillets. It's a bit different!

At 2:22 PM CDT, Blogger Kim D said...

I just became the proud owner of a Nesco CookRyte. As soon as I finished cleaning and polishing it, I hit the web and found this wonderful brochure. I would love to see the recipes as well.

I am a recent transplant to Northeast Wisconsin where the word Nesco is nearly synonymous with "crockpot" and "Nescos" appear on every "pig out" (potluck - buffet) table.

At 6:41 AM CDT, Blogger Kathy said...

Kim - Thanks for stopping by. I'll post some recipes early next week so check back!


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