German immigrant John Ringen started a tinshop in the 1850s in St. Louis, Missouri. He was very successful and partnered with fellow immigrant George Kahle in 1870. They sold stoves for cooking called "quick meals". In 1881, Kahle convinced his brothers-in-law Louis and Charles Stockstrom to set up their own stovemaking company, and the four relatives created two companies called the "Ringen Stove Company" and the "Quick Meal Stove Company".
These companies were very successful, and they eventually merged with eight other stove companies and formed the American Stove Company. Some of the American Stove Company's innovations were the first device to control oven temperature in 1914, and the introduction of the Magic Chef name in 1929. This brand name was so successful that the American Stove Company renamed itself to Magic Chef, Inc. in 1951.
Magic Chef merged with Food Giant Markets of California in 1957, and was sold to Dixie products in 1958. Maytag purchased the company in 1986 and was itself acquired by Whirlpool in 2006. Today a wide range of products such as microwave ovens, refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, and small kitchen appliances are marketed under the Magic Chef brand.