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Slow Cooker Revolution: One Test Kitchen, 30 Slow Cookers, 200 Amazing Recipes

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The 200 recipes in this family friendly collection deliver a revolution in slow cooking. Who says you can't have convenience and big, bold flavors And with America's Test Kitchen, the recipes are guaranteed to work.


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The 200 recipes in this family friendly collection deliver a revolution in slow cooking. Who says you can't have convenience and big, bold flavors And with America's Test Kitchen, the recipes are guaranteed to work.

30 review for Slow Cooker Revolution: One Test Kitchen, 30 Slow Cookers, 200 Amazing Recipes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol Smith

    SHORT STORY: lots of praise and one huge drawback. I purchased this book in January 2011 for two main reasons: 1) we use our slow cooker regularly (weekly), and 2) we subscribe to Cooks Illustrated magazine and web site and have come to trust and rely on them. Over the past two years, I’ve slow cooked my way through 21 of the 200 recipes, or 10% of the book. The recipes have been almost entirely knockouts, as one would expect from the folks at CI. These are not 30-second “dump in a cup of ketchup SHORT STORY: lots of praise and one huge drawback. I purchased this book in January 2011 for two main reasons: 1) we use our slow cooker regularly (weekly), and 2) we subscribe to Cooks Illustrated magazine and web site and have come to trust and rely on them. Over the past two years, I’ve slow cooked my way through 21 of the 200 recipes, or 10% of the book. The recipes have been almost entirely knockouts, as one would expect from the folks at CI. These are not 30-second “dump in a cup of ketchup and a can of cream of mushroom soup”-type recipes. If you’re looking for fast food solutions, look elsewhere. Or better yet, don’t bother at all. It’s recipes like that that have given the slow cooker a bad reputation. But if you appreciate good food and want to put your appliance thorough the paces to see what it can really do with good ingredients and a modest amount of time invested up front, this is the book for you (along with Slow Cooker Ready & Waiting by Rick Rodgers, which I highly recommend). The big problem is the quality of the book itself. It feels luxurious; thick, heavy, waxy pages with built in bookmarks on both end leaves. But don’t do what I did and accidentally spill ¼ cup of coffee on the book (it was early and I was in a weekday rush; hadn’t yet gotten my proper caffeine fix). Backsplash is a normal hazard for cookbooks. I didn’t drop the book in the tub, folks – just got it modestly wet. The text washed instantly and almost entirely away from the exposed page. The text is not imbued in the pages, just coated lightly onto the surface. The waxy coating immediately failed and the pages that got wet quickly turned into gooey, gluey pulp. Poor quality paper. I expect better from the people who expect so much themselves from equipment, ingredients, and recipes. I like this book so much that I’m tempted to get a new copy, but I’m also stubborn enough not to. Perhaps a CI staff member will read this and take pity on me... Super brief notes on each recipe I’ve made follow below. -------------------------------------------------------- Soups: 1. Beef and Barley Soup – the best! Double the barley. 2. Creamy Tomato Soup – excellent and easy. Double it. 3. Black Bean Soup – excellent. Even better after 1-2 days. 4. Ultimate Lentil Soup – just okay. Wouldn’t make again. 5. Split Pea Soup – perfect. Cut carrots smaller than called for. Stews: 6. Chicken Gumbo – tasty. It’s all about the roux. 7. Chicken Stew with Sausage and White Beans – “Good”. Not particularly memorable. 8. Fancy Pork Stew with Fennel and Prunes – Superb. More meat and fennel next time. 9. Mexican-Style Pork and Hominy Stew – Okay. I’ve made better pozoles. 10. Brazilian Black Bean and Pork Stew – Fantastic! Smoky. Even better the next day. Braises: 11. Balsamic-Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard – Excellent. Use more chard. Splash a bit of balsamic when serving, as the balsamic loses some brightness when cooked. 12. Kimchi-Braised Chicken Thighs – “pretty darn good!”. No need to defat. 13. Swiss Steaks with Onions and Mushrooms – Meh. Watery, bland sauce. Meat not very tender. 14. Pork Loin with Cranberries and Orange – super easy. Good sauce, but pork is ultimately just a boring meat. Chilis: 15. Moroccan Beef Chili with Chickpeas and Raisins – really flavorful, but no tooth to it. Next time, use ½ ground meat, ½ stew meat. Double it. 16. New Mexican Red Pork Chili – soooo good! A keeper. Barbecue Favorites 17. Easy Barbecued Ribs- a keeper! Don’t short change the broiling time at end. 18. Fiery Hot Wings – keeper! Loved the chili spiciness underlying the hot sauce. Falls off the bone. Enchiladas, Tacos, and More 19. Smoky Shredded Chipotle Beef Filling – excellent. Added a bit of tapioca to thicken. Add more sauce than called for to shredded meat at end. Casseroles 20. Sausage Lasagna – a winner! Classic. On the Side 21. Boston Baked Beans – very nice! Use less water next time. Easy! Note: I have not yet cooked from these sections: • Pasta Sauces • Meatballs, Meatloves, and More • Eggs and Brunch • Desserts • Basics

  2. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    I hesitate to recommend this automatically to anybody else because it depends on how you view slow cooking. If you're looking for a "throw everything in the pot and forget about it for the next 6 hours" then this is not the book for you. But if you want consistently better tasting slow cooker meals that require a little more preparation on your part, then this is the slow cooker book to check out. I have a few slow cooker staples that I trust, but over the past few years, any time I would try somet I hesitate to recommend this automatically to anybody else because it depends on how you view slow cooking. If you're looking for a "throw everything in the pot and forget about it for the next 6 hours" then this is not the book for you. But if you want consistently better tasting slow cooker meals that require a little more preparation on your part, then this is the slow cooker book to check out. I have a few slow cooker staples that I trust, but over the past few years, any time I would try something new, all of the meals ended up tasting the same, which is weird when beef stew tastes exactly like spaghetti sauce or chicken cacciatore. What I really like about this book is that there is always an explanation for the extra preparation requirements. Usually it has something to do with taste, but it could also be that textures of certain foods are lost when everything is thrown in at once, or some other valid reason (they've done all the testing for you and sometimes describe the process). The extra preparation is worth it and I'd rather create a product that my husband and I won't be throwing away in three weeks because it sat untouched in the fridge after serving it the first time. I ended up purchasing this book for my ipad and it works really well for cooking. I don't have to worry about staining any pages or trying to prop open the book. As far as the recipes go, I've tried many of the soups and stews with great success (OMG the loaded baked potato soup), but haven't gathered the courage to try any casseroles yet. I will say that they don't shy from the spicy, so if you don't like spice, maybe omit the chilies in adobo sauce that are in many of the recipes. I may have spent about 30 extra minutes (mostly vegetable dicing and dishes) preparing the beef stew for the crock pot yesterday, but this tired lady will be thankful tonight when I get home from work and a delicious dinner is already prepared for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I love to watch America's Test Kitchen on my local PBS station. I have had many light bulb moments on how to fix many of my kitchen disasters by watching the program. When I saw that America's Test Kitchen had published a Slow Cooker cookbook, I knew I wanted to check it out. I love using my slow cooker but sometimes the end result doesn't turn out all that great. I do use the slow cooker every week regardless as it a huge time saver in a busy household like ours. When I first received my cookboo I love to watch America's Test Kitchen on my local PBS station. I have had many light bulb moments on how to fix many of my kitchen disasters by watching the program. When I saw that America's Test Kitchen had published a Slow Cooker cookbook, I knew I wanted to check it out. I love using my slow cooker but sometimes the end result doesn't turn out all that great. I do use the slow cooker every week regardless as it a huge time saver in a busy household like ours. When I first received my cookbook I noticed that these were not the type of slow cooker recipes you can just dump in the slow cooker, plug in, hit the switch and be done. I must admit that I was disappointed. I am all about quick and easy when it comes to cooking. I decided to read on in the cookbook. Each recipe includes explanations on why they took the extra steps such as browning meats or veggies before adding them to the slow cooker. There is a paragraph before each recipe on Why This Recipe Works. For the first time in my slow cooker life I knew why some of my recipes did not turn out so well. The first recipe I tried was Southern-Style Chicken and Dirty Rice. Rice and pasta in the slow cooker have been huge disasters for me in the past. I was skeptical at best. I read the explanation on using instant rice versus long grain rice in the slow cooker and moved forward making the recipe. I followed the recipe and found it really wasn't all that difficult. Sauces in the slow cooker have always turned out too watery for me but this recipe had me start the sauce in the skillet before hand along with the browning of the sausage and vegetables and it turned out perfect! I did double the recipe for my family of 5 large eaters. I was very happy with end result! The extra steps made all the difference in the world! So much so that I would highly recommend this cookbook to those who really dislike slow cooker food. Yes, the recipes are a bit more work than your average dump and cook recipes. The helpful tips and explanations will help make your slow cooker cooking experience so much better in the long run. I can't wait to try more of the recipes in the cookbook.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathi

    I am always impressed by the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks, but this one has completely transformed my cooking. Like all ATK cookbooks, they have helpful techniques that you can apply to other dishes - like having your aromatics "bloom" in the microwave before going into the slow cooker to produce more flavorful food. I have not had a bad dish out of this book. Last night, we made the Butternut Squash Chowder, and it was everything it should be. I have had so many disappointing butternut squa I am always impressed by the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks, but this one has completely transformed my cooking. Like all ATK cookbooks, they have helpful techniques that you can apply to other dishes - like having your aromatics "bloom" in the microwave before going into the slow cooker to produce more flavorful food. I have not had a bad dish out of this book. Last night, we made the Butternut Squash Chowder, and it was everything it should be. I have had so many disappointing butternut squash soups where the other ingredients did not enhance the flavor of the squash. This soup was amazing: hearty, slightly sweet, earthy, and rich. Other great dishes: Moroccan Chicken Stew Beef Burgundy Southwestern-Style Pot Roast Beginner's Pulled Pork Old Fashioned Tamale Pie Scalloped Potatoes

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    The recipes look fantastic. They are well-researched and I believe that many batches were made before recipes were finalized. However, I don't think I'll make a single recipe. I use my slow cooker as a way to quickly and easily get food on the table when we get home from school and work. It would take me longer to prep these meals than it would to just come home and make dinner. This isn't a "quick" or "easy" or "simple" cookbook and it isn't designed for families that are out of the house for 8- The recipes look fantastic. They are well-researched and I believe that many batches were made before recipes were finalized. However, I don't think I'll make a single recipe. I use my slow cooker as a way to quickly and easily get food on the table when we get home from school and work. It would take me longer to prep these meals than it would to just come home and make dinner. This isn't a "quick" or "easy" or "simple" cookbook and it isn't designed for families that are out of the house for 8-10 houses each day. Too many complicated meals with cook times shorter than my work day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Florence Millo

    I really like this slow cooker cookbook. The recipes that I have tried are not the kind where you put two chicken breasts, a can of green beans, and a can of mushroom soup in and set the timer on low for eight hours. But the results are certainly worth the extra effort. I typically check out cookbooks from the library to see if they are worth the purchase price and this one is one that I will be buying.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This is a great slow cooker cookbook. I wonder if it is not politically correct to call it crock pot anymore? Anyway, if I were still working and/or there were more people living here than just my husband and I, I would try many of these recipes. I may give it as a Christmas gift to my daughter.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    yone who has watched Christopher Kimball's TV show knows how quirky and interesting is the Test Kitchen approach. This volume takes on slow cookers. Many slow cooker recipes turn out to produce a bland end product, devoid of distinct taste. This volume takes a different approach--including preparation of certain key ingredients, such as aromatics (for instance, onions and garlic). Examples? Use of a microwave. Also, cut of meat makes a big difference and the use of foil can keep vegetables from yone who has watched Christopher Kimball's TV show knows how quirky and interesting is the Test Kitchen approach. This volume takes on slow cookers. Many slow cooker recipes turn out to produce a bland end product, devoid of distinct taste. This volume takes a different approach--including preparation of certain key ingredients, such as aromatics (for instance, onions and garlic). Examples? Use of a microwave. Also, cut of meat makes a big difference and the use of foil can keep vegetables from turning "to much," etc. At the outset, the drew at the test kitchen note a series of keys to a successful slow cooker recipe: use the microwave, use an oven as needed, cook on low when possible, use a foil packet, don't skimp on aromatics, use the right thickener, etc. Throughout the book, there are many tips provided (e.g., page 116 and how to get the most out of herbs). That said, what are some examples of recipes appearing in this cookbook? The book has numerous sections, from soups to braises to barbecue favorites to casseroles to eggs and brunch to desserts, with many other sections in between. My family enjoys beef barley soup--and the test kitchen includes what appears to be a fine recipe for concocting this dish. Other dishes that caught my fancy: black bean soup, chicken gumbo, beef burgundy (one of my "go to" dishes when hosting a dinner party), chicken provencal, three alarm beef chili, North Carolina pulled pork (I have done decent--but not great--bar-b-que in the past in my slow cooker), bolognese sauce, Santa Fe meatloaf, chili mac. . . . And on the recipes go. This looks like another nice contribution by America's Test Kitchen.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I love the show America's Test Kitchen (Cook's Country), so when I found out they had a Slow Cooker cookbook, I jumped at the chance to look at it. One of the reasons I love the show is that they're so thorough with everything, be it recipes, taste tests or equipment comparison. This cookbook is no different. At the beginning is a guide to the best slow cooker on the market and keys to slow cooker success. Then come the recipes, which include soups, stews, braises, chilis, barbecued meats and mo I love the show America's Test Kitchen (Cook's Country), so when I found out they had a Slow Cooker cookbook, I jumped at the chance to look at it. One of the reasons I love the show is that they're so thorough with everything, be it recipes, taste tests or equipment comparison. This cookbook is no different. At the beginning is a guide to the best slow cooker on the market and keys to slow cooker success. Then come the recipes, which include soups, stews, braises, chilis, barbecued meats and more, pasta sauces, meatballs and meatloaves, Mexican fare, casseroles, side dishes, brunch, dessert and basics such as gravy and applesauce. As I become older, I realize how much easier it is to cook with a slow cooker, not to mention relatively cheap. I'm also trying to get more excited about chicken recipes, so this cookbook was great for that. I was particularly interested in trying their Thai-Style Chicken Soup, Beef Pho, Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings, Moroccan Chicken Stew, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, and Turkey Breast with Gravy. Highly recommended, 4 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This is an excellent cookbook for those new to the slow cooker. I've never really done much slow cooker cooking before because in the past I felt like everything that came out of the slow cooker tasted like mush. Terrible consistency and bland flavor. This cookbook offers some good tricks to help solve those problems. The emphasis on cooking some ingredients in advance (like onions and spices and sometimes browning meat) really helps raise the level of flavor. Also important is the attention to This is an excellent cookbook for those new to the slow cooker. I've never really done much slow cooker cooking before because in the past I felt like everything that came out of the slow cooker tasted like mush. Terrible consistency and bland flavor. This cookbook offers some good tricks to help solve those problems. The emphasis on cooking some ingredients in advance (like onions and spices and sometimes browning meat) really helps raise the level of flavor. Also important is the attention to spices and fresh herbs. So far I've made chicken and dumplings, Moroccan chicken stew, New Mexican red pork chili, and Moroccan beef chili with chickpeas and raisins. I've also made two of the accompanying sides: "sweet and cakey" cornbread and scallion-cheddar muffins. Both were good versions of recipes I'd made before. It's been fun to try new meals and new takes on old favorites. I am looking forward to trying some of the vegetarian meals next and will update my review when I get there.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cafelilybookreviews

    Love the idea of a slow cooker but have no idea what to put it in? Check out Slow Cooker Revolution from America’s Test Kitchen! With 200 recipes, color photos and detailed recipes, you’ll be whipping up tasty new dishes in no time. In an effort to help busy families get back around the table for mealtimes, America’s Test Kitchen spent almost a year testing over 1,000 recipes to create a cookbook that “revolutionizes” the way we think about our slowcooker. No longer just for soups, stews, or nach Love the idea of a slow cooker but have no idea what to put it in? Check out Slow Cooker Revolution from America’s Test Kitchen! With 200 recipes, color photos and detailed recipes, you’ll be whipping up tasty new dishes in no time. In an effort to help busy families get back around the table for mealtimes, America’s Test Kitchen spent almost a year testing over 1,000 recipes to create a cookbook that “revolutionizes” the way we think about our slowcooker. No longer just for soups, stews, or nacho cheese dip, this cookbook will show you how to make delicious, satisfying meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From comfort foods to fancy gourmet dishes, it’s all included in this book. Read my FULL REVIEW here: Cafe Lily's Review

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    they really get out of hand at the test kitchen. some things, like mashed potatoes, are easier and faster on the stove. unless you live in a hotel room and are racking up your slowcookers in preparation for thanksgiving, you're going to get more use out of this book as a guide for flavor development. there are ATK's usual fantastic tips and investigations into spices, cooking methods, available ingredients, and ways to easily execute complex dishes from exotic cuisines as standards in your own k they really get out of hand at the test kitchen. some things, like mashed potatoes, are easier and faster on the stove. unless you live in a hotel room and are racking up your slowcookers in preparation for thanksgiving, you're going to get more use out of this book as a guide for flavor development. there are ATK's usual fantastic tips and investigations into spices, cooking methods, available ingredients, and ways to easily execute complex dishes from exotic cuisines as standards in your own kitchen. many of these recipes you will pull out again and again, many you will never use except as a starting point for a dish cooked on the stove or roasted in the oven. the chili section is a masterpiece.

  13. 4 out of 5

    MaryAnn

    I love America's Test Kitchen because I know that 95% of the time, the time, money and effort I put into preparing a recipe will result in a delicious meal worthy of repeating. This is not true of all cookbooks. However, my main complaint about America's Test Kitchen is that their recipes tend to be very labor intensive - even the slow cooker recipes in their other cookbooks. Not so with this cookbook! All of the recipes I tried were pretty simple to put together. Here's what I've tried so far. R I love America's Test Kitchen because I know that 95% of the time, the time, money and effort I put into preparing a recipe will result in a delicious meal worthy of repeating. This is not true of all cookbooks. However, my main complaint about America's Test Kitchen is that their recipes tend to be very labor intensive - even the slow cooker recipes in their other cookbooks. Not so with this cookbook! All of the recipes I tried were pretty simple to put together. Here's what I've tried so far. Recipe ratings: Brown rice - five stars Strawbery jam - three stars Chicken mole - three stars Banana nut oatmeal - three stars Pesto meatballs - four and a half stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I feel the need to start with a disclaimer, in that I absolutely adore my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I love the show, I love most of their books, but this one fell far short of the mark for me. I have this idea of slow cooking that does not involve much prepwork, and the majority of these recipes seemed to require some sort of cooking/braising/microwaving before actually putting the ingredients in the slow cooker. Hence, two stars for you ATK. Don't worry, I'll always love you. It's I feel the need to start with a disclaimer, in that I absolutely adore my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I love the show, I love most of their books, but this one fell far short of the mark for me. I have this idea of slow cooking that does not involve much prepwork, and the majority of these recipes seemed to require some sort of cooking/braising/microwaving before actually putting the ingredients in the slow cooker. Hence, two stars for you ATK. Don't worry, I'll always love you. It's not you, it's me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Loved this book, love America's Test Kitchen. My only problem with this book is that I don't believe you should have to brown or saute or cook in any way something that you're going to throw in a slowcooker~that's the whole point! That said, the recipes I might make are: Homey Chicken Stew, Red Lentil Stew, New Mexican Red Pork Chili, Classic Turkey Chili, White Chicken Chili, Vegetarian Black Bean Chili, North Carolina Pulled Pork, & Sticky Wings. But I can't promise I will do any cooking b Loved this book, love America's Test Kitchen. My only problem with this book is that I don't believe you should have to brown or saute or cook in any way something that you're going to throw in a slowcooker~that's the whole point! That said, the recipes I might make are: Homey Chicken Stew, Red Lentil Stew, New Mexican Red Pork Chili, Classic Turkey Chili, White Chicken Chili, Vegetarian Black Bean Chili, North Carolina Pulled Pork, & Sticky Wings. But I can't promise I will do any cooking beforehand!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    But this book just for the Nutella Bread Pudding recipe alone! Of all of the slow-cooker recipes books I've tried, this one is the best and is my go-to recipe book for my slow-cooker. I have not been disappointed with a recipe yet. Seriously, the Nutella Bread Pudding recipe is worth the price of the book alone!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    Good for work-from-home days where I can prep things while I'm fixing lunch and then not have to worry about it the rest of the afternoon, or for weekends when I'm in and out of the house all day.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I'm at ATK devotee. Great recipes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Weird recipes to put in a slow cooker!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jess Gill

    full of a number of good recipies (i'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen) - i didn't want to return this one!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kym

    Tried several recipes, very good. The recipes were tried and perfected before going into the book, and certain ingredients need to go in at different times, or not at all because of what they morph into. Especially like the clean, anti burn method of putting an aluminum foil collar around the inside of the pot. 6 layers thick, 4 inches high all the way around is right were food burns and sticks. We tried about 10 recipes in our library "cook the book" club, and liked everything.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    If you're a fan of America's Test Kitchen (ATK), you won't be disappointed by the dishes in Slow Cooker Revolution. The year they spent researching and testing slow cookers and recipes shows in the quality and attention to detail that shines through in these delicious recipes. If you've never heard of America's Test Kitchen, be prepared to take some extra steps and spend a little more prep time than the usual slow cooker recipes require. These are not throw-it-all-in-and-walk-away slow cooker rec If you're a fan of America's Test Kitchen (ATK), you won't be disappointed by the dishes in Slow Cooker Revolution. The year they spent researching and testing slow cookers and recipes shows in the quality and attention to detail that shines through in these delicious recipes. If you've never heard of America's Test Kitchen, be prepared to take some extra steps and spend a little more prep time than the usual slow cooker recipes require. These are not throw-it-all-in-and-walk-away slow cooker recipes. These recipes contain techniques—like microwaving aromatics before adding them—that, while time consuming, enhance the flavor and texture of the ingredients. These people are serious about the science of cooking and how to make the best-tasting food possible. They are also aware that “anyone using a slow cooker is likely a time-pressed home cook.” To that end, they included many recipes that are marked “Easy Prep”. These easier recipes are marked at the top of the page and can easily be seen and thumbed to along the outside edge. I recommend at least trying some of the other recipes. Unless you're already an ATK fan, you'll never guess what they suggest adding to ground beef to keep it tender and moist. The rich flavors and firm textures are well worth any extra time. The recipes are divided into thirteen sections: Soups; Stews; Braises; Chilis; Barbeque Favorites and More; Pasta Sauces; Meatballs, Meatloaves and More; Enchiladas, Tacos and More; Casseroles; On the Side; Eggs and Brunch; Desserts; and Basics. Each recipe begins with a paragraph on "Why This Recipe Works" and most end with a “Smart Shopping Tip” or other helpful information like suggested side dishes or a kitchen "how to". Full-page “All About…” pages are peppered throughout the book. These informative pages tell you more than you knew existed about a variety of subjects such as “All About Tomato Products in the Slow Cooker.” Unfortunately, these tip pages aren't in the Table of Contents. They have to be discovered by paging through the book. They are in the index but aren't listed as you would expect. For instance, the page titled “All About Beef” is listed in the Index as “Beef: best slow cooker cuts”. These pages contain a wealth of useful information that you might not know you need until you come across them, so you won't be looking them up in the Index anyway. And intuition isn't always helpful. The “All About Herbs” page is in the Braises section, as is the “All About Chicken” page. The book itself is beautiful with full-color photos on slick paper. One reviewer criticized the instability of the ink. She's right. I tested it by wiping a wet tissue across a page number. The ink lifted off completely. So be warned: DO NOT GET THE PAGES WET! The biggest problem I had with the Slow Cooker Revolution was that all the recipes are for large slow cookers (6+ quarts) with no instructions for downsizing them for smaller slow cookers. The first recipe I tried was the Spicy Sausage Ragu with Red Peppers. With pasta, it filled a 7-quart pot. I cook for two. That’s a lot of ragu for two people. On the other hand, it was so full of incredible flavors (who knew microwaving peppers and adding them at the end kept them firm and tasty) we polished it off in three days. Bottom line, if you want easy and average, buy a (Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook). If you want mouth-watering food that’s worth a little fuss, get yourself a copy of Slow Cooker Revolution.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anya Tsinko

    NOTE: If you do not like prep work for slow cooker and want "easy, throw together in a pot and wait" type of recipes, this book is not for you. If you don't mind some extra prep work before putting ingredients into slow cooker, read on! I purchased this book about a month ago and couldn't wait to try it. I own a decent slow cooker and I love the idea of putting my meals together and not having to watch them while they cook, or have them ready by the time I get home from work. Unfortunately A LOT NOTE: If you do not like prep work for slow cooker and want "easy, throw together in a pot and wait" type of recipes, this book is not for you. If you don't mind some extra prep work before putting ingredients into slow cooker, read on! I purchased this book about a month ago and couldn't wait to try it. I own a decent slow cooker and I love the idea of putting my meals together and not having to watch them while they cook, or have them ready by the time I get home from work. Unfortunately A LOT of slow cooker recipes I've tried in the past (recipe books and online) yielded bland results, and a couple times I had to just throw the whole meal away just because it tasted so bad. So I was on a hunt for a good slow cooker recipe book. So far I have tried just a few recipes and I have to say, although I have not tried more recipes then I would have liked,this is THE BEST slow cooking recipe book I've seen so far. As usual the authors go into details regarding why they made certain modifications to the recipes and why traditional recipes would not work as well. I love reading the science behind cooking, but if you are not into that then it is very easy to skip. Almost all of my recipes, except for one, turned out amazingly delicious. I was also able to successfully covert some of the recipes into a regular stove-top recipes. It's a very versatile book and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great slow-cooker recipe book. Here is the list of tried recipes: Soups 1. Farmhouse Chicken and Corn Chowder Soup - amazing!! Boyfriend loved it too and said it was the best cornchowder he's ever had. I made it on stove top. Braises 2. Chicken with White Wine, Tarragon and Cream - not impressed and will not repeat. It is possible it did not turn out because I used milk alternative instead of cream Pasta Sauces 3. Chicken and Musroom Sauce - okay, but not overly memorable 4. Chicken and Broccoli Sauce - really good! I tripled the broccoli just because I wanted more veggies, but it is not necessary if you don't want to. Meatballs, Meatloaves and More 5. Meatballs and Marinara - really good! I made the sauce on stove top. 6. Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers - Amazing! Definitely a keeper. I used cooked brown rice in this recipe. Casseroles 7. Curried Chicken and Rice - good! I didn't put rice and doubled cauliflower. Again this is not necessary, if you want to put rice, I am sure it will be delicious. 8. Lazy Man's Stuffed Cabbage - Amazing! and I don't even like cabbage, so it says a lot. I used cooked brown rice in this recipe. I made this in a casserole dish and baked it in the oven at 350F, covered in tinfoil for 1 hour and uncovered for ~20 minutes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I have "a thing" about slow cookers. I consider slow cookers the Best. Invention. Ever. Or at least one of the best - my immersion blender is pretty awesome too. I was gifted this cookbook after admiring it and several successful dishes later, I want to give the book shout-out of it's own. I've made a half-dozen plus (or more) recipes out of it now and I have no intent of leaving this to languish on the shelf. Clearly written directions, numerous cooking tips, interesting product recommendations, I have "a thing" about slow cookers. I consider slow cookers the Best. Invention. Ever. Or at least one of the best - my immersion blender is pretty awesome too. I was gifted this cookbook after admiring it and several successful dishes later, I want to give the book shout-out of it's own. I've made a half-dozen plus (or more) recipes out of it now and I have no intent of leaving this to languish on the shelf. Clearly written directions, numerous cooking tips, interesting product recommendations, and beautiful photographs make this book a delight to use. The recipes are broken down into the standard categories, soups, chicken, beef, casseroles, but America's Test Kitchen included a chapter on basic shredded meats and some recipes that will incorporate those. For example, how to slow cook a whole chicken, a hunk of beef or a side of pork, and the seasonings, sauces and casseroles that one can use with the shredded meat. I was a bit concerned about the...wordiness and length of some of the recipes, meaning that this could be an overly involved process for what is, in essence, supposed to be a time saver. And yes, there are a couple of more involved recipes, but for the most part the dishes I have made haven't really taken me much more time than the basic chop and plop. My caveat to this is, I don't own a microwave oven, so I'm sauteing more on the stove. Am I convert to this extra step? Not 100%, because I'm not sure the general palette is going to be able to discriminate if something's been pre-cooked or not. My one other tiny complaint (and I do mean tiny), is that most of the recipes are done in about 4-6 hours, so not really convenient for assembling pre-work and coming home to or making the night before. A bit of pre-planning on either a weekend or making the night before is necessary. Otherwise, I have not had a single recipe fail me yet. The directions are clear, the ingredients are obtainable in even my limited grocery stores, and the leftovers are just as good - if not better! - than the dish served that night. If you like using your slow cooker, you like making things from scratch, and harbor a fondness for leftovers, then this is a cookbook for you.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angelica

    I think I've tried enough of the recipes now to have a good feel for this book. First of all, it's a quality book from America's Test Kitchen. In addition to recipes are tips for making prep easier (sometimes cross referenced in other recipes), suggestions for what to serve along with them, and beautiful pictures of the prepared food. I knew before borrowing the book that this was not a dump-everything-into-the-crockpot-and-set-a-timer cookbook. I'm a big fan of theirs and used to spending time pr I think I've tried enough of the recipes now to have a good feel for this book. First of all, it's a quality book from America's Test Kitchen. In addition to recipes are tips for making prep easier (sometimes cross referenced in other recipes), suggestions for what to serve along with them, and beautiful pictures of the prepared food. I knew before borrowing the book that this was not a dump-everything-into-the-crockpot-and-set-a-timer cookbook. I'm a big fan of theirs and used to spending time preparing food before actually cooking it. My hope was that if anyone could help me get more use out of my Crockpot, it would be them. Unfortunately, I haven't found many compelling recipes where I would pick the slow cooker over a quicker braise, roast, or boil. What I liked: • Taco fillings (especially the shredded chicken) and the recipes for how to use them. • Strawberry preserves, though most likely I'll do small batches on the stovetop instead. • Applesauce, though I'd rather have it done in 20 minutes on the stovetop and use my food mill to avoid peeling all those apples and to get a more even texture than a potato masher. What was okay, but I won't make again: • Huli Huli Chicken — do yourself a favor and make it on the grill instead. The meat was flavorful but dry, and the skin never crisped up. • Tomato Mac & Cheese — I have still not found a from-scratch recipe that I prefer to Velveeta shells, but this was an interesting twist. Unfortunately it made way too much, especially considering that no one else cared for it. I really want to try their short rib recipes, but I'm having a heck of a time finding the cut of beef they want, which really surprises me. I will be making the roasted chicken broth recipe tomorrow, though I'd rather use saved backbones and necks instead of buying wings expressly for making broth. We'll see how it goes; maybe it'll be my back-up recipe for when I run out of stock and don't have enough frozen extras to make another batch.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cagne

    I looked into this book with the goal of understanding whether or not I need a slow cooker. The introduction was good enough in being upfront about how it might be as useful/limited as a microwave, and how some degree of preparation would still be needed to avoid bland results. I've been interested in a slow cooker as a way to put less work in some big batch weekly low fat/low carb recipes I make and freeze (mexican shredded chicken, cauliflower soup). These recipes also involve a lot of steam, I looked into this book with the goal of understanding whether or not I need a slow cooker. The introduction was good enough in being upfront about how it might be as useful/limited as a microwave, and how some degree of preparation would still be needed to avoid bland results. I've been interested in a slow cooker as a way to put less work in some big batch weekly low fat/low carb recipes I make and freeze (mexican shredded chicken, cauliflower soup). These recipes also involve a lot of steam, and in winter getting rid of it comes with a cost in terms of wasted heating. I hope the self contained slow cooker will help me with that. I was pleasantly surprised to find some similar recipes in the book that will help with the transition. I got to say, the lack of pictures for the single recipes is a letdown. Some pictures are included to explain certain procedures, but I would have appreciated seeing what a recipe looks like as I go through the book to pick some to try out. Given how they stress having tried the recipes on an entire wall of slow cookers, it's weird they didn't take a picture of one dish. Another thing I think is missing is some advice about doubling recipes, or an idea of how to handle trying a recipe in the bigger models. With some trial and error one can adapt but some guidance would have been useful.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I suppose I was misinformed. I was under the impression that this cookbook was full of recipes designed to bring back the days of throw-a-bunch-of-stuff-in-your-crockpot-and-dinner-is-done-at-the-end-of-the-day instead of worrying about a bunch of pre- and post-prep steps. Obviously, this was not the case. There are definitely wonderful tips and techniques in here to achieve culinary masterpieces via your crockpot, plus product suggestions. I can't even say that there is anything overly difficult I suppose I was misinformed. I was under the impression that this cookbook was full of recipes designed to bring back the days of throw-a-bunch-of-stuff-in-your-crockpot-and-dinner-is-done-at-the-end-of-the-day instead of worrying about a bunch of pre- and post-prep steps. Obviously, this was not the case. There are definitely wonderful tips and techniques in here to achieve culinary masterpieces via your crockpot, plus product suggestions. I can't even say that there is anything overly difficult to achieve in here. I did find, however, that there were plenty of ingedients that I don't normally keep on hand. Also, almost every chicken recipe calls for thighs, which I never buy (either bone-in or boneless). Not that I wouldn't try preparing this type of chicken, it's just completely out of my comfort zone. Another consideration is the cooking times. Since I am currently a stay-at-home mom, timing meals is not a difficulty for me. If, however, you are not home during the day, the majority of these recipes would not be ideal unless you have a delay-start timer on your slow cooker (I'm pretty sure these exist...). Overall, this book seems fabulous. I look forward to trying some of these recipes!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Way back in the day when I got married, I was given a Crock Pot as a wedding gift and I returned it. My mother - bless her heart - destroyed any chance of any crock pot being used in my home. My mother is the anti-christ of crock-pots everywhere. So when I got a new job that required me to work 10 hour days and I had no desire to eat fast food on those nights - I bought a 'slow cooker' and had a mini giggle. I can't decide if 'slow cooker' is better than 'crock pot' as far as names go, but anywa Way back in the day when I got married, I was given a Crock Pot as a wedding gift and I returned it. My mother - bless her heart - destroyed any chance of any crock pot being used in my home. My mother is the anti-christ of crock-pots everywhere. So when I got a new job that required me to work 10 hour days and I had no desire to eat fast food on those nights - I bought a 'slow cooker' and had a mini giggle. I can't decide if 'slow cooker' is better than 'crock pot' as far as names go, but anyway. I had always thought 'oh crock pot - throw the food in, turn it on, and leave it - bam dinner is ready 6 to 8 hours later', and that can be true, but not so much with this cookbook. There's lots of prep work prior to the tossing it in, turning it on and leaving… and so far? I am thrilled. I've made: Old Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings - cheated and made Bisquick biscuits Super Veggie Beef Stew Curried Chicken Breasts - needed a little more sauce and I think I will add some green beans to it as well as maybe a little chopped red pepper and jalapeño Texas Chili - a lot of work for okay results Beginner's Pulled Pork - nom. Southern-Style Chicken & Dirty Rice Everything has turned out well - and even my husband is happy with the results!

  29. 4 out of 5

    S

    I am usually quite impressed with the work and research that America's Test Kitchen puts into their recipes, and the efforts in this book seem to reflect that diligence. But I am not sure that I want to put in the same amount of effort to prepare these recipes. When I think of slow cookers, I expect them to reduce my time/work in the kitchen. This collection of recipes, however, often seems to require double duty: lots of cooking on the stovetop with an additional time in the slow cooker. I kept I am usually quite impressed with the work and research that America's Test Kitchen puts into their recipes, and the efforts in this book seem to reflect that diligence. But I am not sure that I want to put in the same amount of effort to prepare these recipes. When I think of slow cookers, I expect them to reduce my time/work in the kitchen. This collection of recipes, however, often seems to require double duty: lots of cooking on the stovetop with an additional time in the slow cooker. I kept wondering why not just cook everything in a Dutch oven for a couple of hours instead of the slow cooker. I guess I could do the stovetop steps in the morning, and then the slow cooker will have the food ready for me at the end of the day. The truth is, however, that like many people I just don't have time in the morning (as well as having limited time in the evening). In any case, out of the 200 recipes, I picked only four to try. Many times I just didn't feel the extra work was worth the effort to convert a recipe to one for a slow cooker.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kewannah "Health Kick Chick"

    I love ATK. Their recipes are amazing and spelled out for you in a way that you can understand how the recipes are tested and why certain ingredients/processes produced better results than others. I also love slow cooking and thought if anyone would put out a stellar cookbook on how to get maximum flavor and texture out of slow cooked foods, it'd be them. The book is beautifully laid out with tips, product reviews, logical explanations and gorgeous photography. The disappointing thing however, is I love ATK. Their recipes are amazing and spelled out for you in a way that you can understand how the recipes are tested and why certain ingredients/processes produced better results than others. I also love slow cooking and thought if anyone would put out a stellar cookbook on how to get maximum flavor and texture out of slow cooked foods, it'd be them. The book is beautifully laid out with tips, product reviews, logical explanations and gorgeous photography. The disappointing thing however, is that an overwhelming majority of their recipes start with bacon. I'm sure this isn't a problem for most but reading that 'bacon fat gives the dish the best possible flavor' and not having a vegetarian alternative makes me think that this will not be a book in rotation in my kitchen. It won't stop me, however, from trying a few porcine-free recipes and tweaking them to my satisfaction. Thank goodness it's on loan from the library.

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