Friday, August 08, 2014

Hats off to Americraft Cookware for Sourcing in the U.S.A.

While looking for a U.S.-made crock pot for a site visitor, I contacted Americraft Cookware (West Bend, WI) about a slow-cooker base that they manufacture. The product is a base for a 4-quart stock pot that produces a "crock pot like" cooking experience.

I like Americraft because of their quality cookware that is made at their facility in West Bend. The customer service representative acknowledged that some components of the slow-cooker base (including the thermostat component) are imported because they are not available from U.S. sources.

However, she reiterated the company's commitment to U.S. sourcing of production materials, even when these are at higher cost than imported materials. I wanted to share her email here:

Unfortunately there are three items in two of our products that are no longer made in the United States and we are forced to source these items from foreign sources.  These items are certain metal handles, burner rings and a thermostat component for the slow cooker base.  We would be willing to spend more to buy these items from US sources if they were available but they simply do not exist anymore.  Perhaps one day they will return as many other former US dominated industries are.

As for our cookware all of the metal comes from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts at a cost that is 65% higher than the foreign sources we could use but choose not to.  All of our injection molded pieces such as the slow-cooker base and phenolic handles are made in Missouri at a cost that is also 65% higher than what we could get from a foreign source.  Once these parts and materials come into our factory they are formed, buffed, sanded, inspected, assembled, inspected again, tested, packaged, shipped and serviced by hard working, blue collar, lean and Green Americans that cost 90%.  We would challenge any of our competitors using foreign labor to put these numbers in their “Assembled in the USA from foreign components” pipe and smoke it!

When it's all said and done our products average 98% or better US components of which they only need to be 85% to be able to officially say "Made in the USA".  While we loose millions of profits that could be made from foreign sources of labor and parts we loose no sleep at night knowing that we’re doing the right thing.

By the way, I do not know of any traditional ceramic crock pots that are still made in USA.

Stephanie, Webmaster


-j said...

For clay I've had good luck with 'cook on clay' from Washington.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the information. I just wanna add something. I think the real american jeans and real denim were until the late 70ties, then the recipe of the material was completely lost. People who met the jeans after these dates can not imagine how the real jeans looked like. I think since then the new technology came into industry and new owners used more artificial ingredients into it. I remember the jeans had the specific strong smell at the time it might be possible to return the production back in states but no chance to produce the old denim.

Unknown said...

You need to add contact information on your website.

Under the MUSIC category I was going to suggest you add my favorite drum manufacturer
Noble & Cooley Drums (

They're not only American made but they're the oldest American drum manufacturer still in existence. They made snare drums for the Union Army during the civil War. They're also still family owned.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the tip. I have added Noble & Cooley to my music page.

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Jim said...

Great to step up and contact the company! I've found that companies usually LOVE helping people spread the word about their products. And some are not shy discussing supply issues, sourcing USA parts for their products.

I had a similar favorable experience, sourcing a donut pan for my mom. Found one from USA PAN.

Jim said...

Speaking of music, I wrote about the Remo 12″ Djembe. Made in the USA. GREAT customer service - I called for info when writing the piece.

The drum even incorporates another USA product (and the invention of Stephanie Kwolek), Kevlar !

Unknown said...

Just wondering why this company is not listed on your website? ?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing such an entertaining and informative story. I, too, was looking for an American-made crock pot when I came across your article. Wonderful! (However, there are two typos; "loose millions" should be "lose millions," and "loose no sleep," should be "lose no sleep."


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Unknown said...

In music there are people such as myself and many of them who are building guitars, electric and acoustic. They are all over the Internet and some are expensive but I will wager there are some near you that can build an instrument if you could seek them out, they should not be hard to find. I myself have been making copies a popular make and model I refer to as stratocopy guitars. Foreign made by American companies have very good instruments at low cost and are hard to resist. However what I make is still less than the 'made in US' version and much better in quality. The popularity of hand-making though has caused the cost of materials to rise so by the time you read this it may be moot.
People must remember that products made in China are from employees that make about a dollar a day or less and slave labor cannot be ruled out. Walmart is the biggest abuser of the economy and its workers in the US. If minimum wage could be abolished it would be a step in the right direction towards success.

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