Among the culinary literate, the idea of a crockpot is old. Its timeless functionality a must for chefs everywhere, crockpots are used to conjure up a medley of fine cuisine with a minimal of effort. From pot roasts to chicken, from chili to cobbler, the crockpot is both versatile and easy to operate.

That is why many people who cannot cook find comfort and solace from the crockpot. Crockpots are available from retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Target for reasonable prices. Some are even programmable, so that when the cooking cycle is complete, it cuts itself off, therefore preventing the contents from burning.

Herman Derrick is one of the latest Knoxville-area converts to the crockpot style of cooking. Derrick is famous with his friends and family for eating corndogs or Burger King for each and every meal. “French toast sticks are the best. You’d be surprised how a little salt can really make a corndog taste great,” he explained.

Now, his appetite is being satisfied a completely different way. “I am cooking a roast today,” he said. “My wife is at home having to smell it cook. I told her she can’t taste it until I get home because the instructions said not to lift the lid or it might interrupt the process.”

Doctors agree that a homecooked meal is far more healthy to a family than fast food. “Corndogs are especially bad for you,” explained Dr. Helmut Cole, “and they are full of chemicals. Crockpots can cook food free of grease and BHT.”

As for Derrick’s children, they are elated. “I can’t believe daddy is cooking now,” exclaimed little Susie. “I was getting tired of corndogs, we had those 5 times last week. My friends might come back over now!”