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Slow Cooker Revolution, Volume 2: The Easy Prep Edition

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The revolution continues with 200 all-new recipes that take the slow cooker into new territory with appetizers, roasts, pastas, casseroles, and desserts. For a fast path to slow cooking, we streamlined our recipes by using easy-or no-prep ingredients that all hit the slow cooker in 15 minutes or less.


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The revolution continues with 200 all-new recipes that take the slow cooker into new territory with appetizers, roasts, pastas, casseroles, and desserts. For a fast path to slow cooking, we streamlined our recipes by using easy-or no-prep ingredients that all hit the slow cooker in 15 minutes or less.

30 review for Slow Cooker Revolution, Volume 2: The Easy Prep Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    The America's Test Kitchen team has done it again! A second useful (and useable) slow cooker recipe book! The volume has several uses. For one, it provides helpful tips for slow cooking (as did the first volume). For instance, cook aromatics and vegetables elsewhere and put them in the slow cooker near the end so that there taste doesn't disappear. Add tomato paste and soy sauce for flavor. And--don't skimp on aromatics. Another hint on page 96 is how to cook chicken in a slow cooker. Two, there The America's Test Kitchen team has done it again! A second useful (and useable) slow cooker recipe book! The volume has several uses. For one, it provides helpful tips for slow cooking (as did the first volume). For instance, cook aromatics and vegetables elsewhere and put them in the slow cooker near the end so that there taste doesn't disappear. Add tomato paste and soy sauce for flavor. And--don't skimp on aromatics. Another hint on page 96 is how to cook chicken in a slow cooker. Two, there are useful ratings of products, such as broth or stock. Rachael Ray's beef stock and Swanson's chicken and vegetable broth are the picks. Good pasta? Mueller's penne. Three, of course, the recipes. Like chicken wings? Try the slow cooker Asian wing recipe. It gets a little heat from Sriracha sauce. The chicken ends up being quite tender and the sauce, as described in this recipe, surely sounds tasty. New England clam chowder can be made in a slow cooker, too. Potatoes, condense cream of celery soup, clam juice, water, bacon, thyme, and minced clams (with some salt and pepper). It takes about 4-5 hours on low heat. I like barbecued ribs. The recipe here is for paprika, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, St. Louis style spareribs, and barbecue sauce. One of my favorite dishes to make at home is Atlanta brisket. Coca cola is a key ingredient here. I'll be interested in comparing this slow cooker recipe with my version, which features 4 hours in the oven. All in all, a nice complement to the first volume. With the little tidbits strewn throughout (as noted in items one and two above), this is an attractive volume for my cooking library.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christiana

    SCR2, in my opinion, took the problems of the first volume and improved it. People were unhappy with the amount of pre prep and advanced stove top cooking that needed to happen. The second volume cuts down on prep. Yes, there are still recipes where a microwave is needed to bloom flavors and whatnot, but it's ATK: they're here to give you the best experience, not the easiest experience you've ever had. I can't rely on this cookbook exclusively for dinner since most recipes can't cook for 7-8 hou SCR2, in my opinion, took the problems of the first volume and improved it. People were unhappy with the amount of pre prep and advanced stove top cooking that needed to happen. The second volume cuts down on prep. Yes, there are still recipes where a microwave is needed to bloom flavors and whatnot, but it's ATK: they're here to give you the best experience, not the easiest experience you've ever had. I can't rely on this cookbook exclusively for dinner since most recipes can't cook for 7-8 hours, but for perfectly poached salmon (which I made and had the best experience I've EVER had cooking salmon), I'll plan my week accordingly. Also, the cooking for two section? Genius. This is not the last thing I'm making from this book!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debbie S.

    This is a pretty interesting approach to using the slow cooker. In the past, I've had a few successes in the crock pot, but I've had a lot more failures. For the most part, it's only a certain kind of dish that really turns out well. Chicken breasts? Never, in my opinion. This book has quite a few recipes that I wouldn't normally think to do in the crock pot, and they don't take all day. The Honey Lime Glazed Chicken Wings, for example. They take 3-4 hours in the crock pot and are finished in the This is a pretty interesting approach to using the slow cooker. In the past, I've had a few successes in the crock pot, but I've had a lot more failures. For the most part, it's only a certain kind of dish that really turns out well. Chicken breasts? Never, in my opinion. This book has quite a few recipes that I wouldn't normally think to do in the crock pot, and they don't take all day. The Honey Lime Glazed Chicken Wings, for example. They take 3-4 hours in the crock pot and are finished in the oven. They are superb, and you don't get a soggy texture that screams crock pot. There are quite a few dessert recipes. The creme brulee was perfect. The brownies were pretty good. I did one dinner that I normally do in the oven..the Italian Meatloaf, and it was yummy. So, I'm having fun with this book, and we've liked the things I've tried. I've found that while I haven't done anything that's throw it in the pot and leave it all day, I have been able to do some dishes in there that I can't normally do due to lack of time. A 3-4 hour dish I don't have to look at until the last 15 mins. is a lot easier for me than a one hour dish I have to be actively involved with.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susi Farmer

    I found the recipes in this cookbook were quite simple to make, but was very disappointed in the ultimate taste of the food. The mac 'n cheese was good right out of the crockpot, but quickly turned mushy. The pesto meatballs were too heavy on the sauce, only had 8 meatballs in a 1lb. of pasta and were lacking in taste. I did enjoy the tortellini soup that I made, but question the benefit of cooking a soup over 4 hours vs. preparing it in 20 minutes, especially as the recipe required the addition I found the recipes in this cookbook were quite simple to make, but was very disappointed in the ultimate taste of the food. The mac 'n cheese was good right out of the crockpot, but quickly turned mushy. The pesto meatballs were too heavy on the sauce, only had 8 meatballs in a 1lb. of pasta and were lacking in taste. I did enjoy the tortellini soup that I made, but question the benefit of cooking a soup over 4 hours vs. preparing it in 20 minutes, especially as the recipe required the addition of ingredients towards the end. This cookbook is geared towards the stay-at-home mom who is around after lunch to prepare the dinner. Most recipes cooked in a 4-6 hour window.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Merrill

    I'm really excited about this book. One of the draws of a slow cooker are the easy recipes that don't have to be made during the hour that precedes dinnertime (aka the witching hour for little kids). ATK's first Slow Cooker Revolution book delivered delicious slow cooker food, but often with a lot of preparation that was just moved to another part of the day. I'm in a time of my life right now with a husband in grad school and a little kid where sometimes I just want a recipe that's REALLY easy. I'm really excited about this book. One of the draws of a slow cooker are the easy recipes that don't have to be made during the hour that precedes dinnertime (aka the witching hour for little kids). ATK's first Slow Cooker Revolution book delivered delicious slow cooker food, but often with a lot of preparation that was just moved to another part of the day. I'm in a time of my life right now with a husband in grad school and a little kid where sometimes I just want a recipe that's REALLY easy...but I've set a high standard and don't often like to settle for non-ATK-type recipes... sometimes those easy slow cooker recipes turn out too dry or too salty or too one-note. Until now I felt like I had to choose between ATK delicious recipes with quite a bit of prep, and "other" easy lackluster disappointing recipes that wouldn't take much work. BUT NOW I DON'T HAVE TO CHOOSE! YAY! I've read carefully through this book a few times now studying the recipes, and I'm really excited to cook more of them. They look a lot more like the "easy" slow cooker recipes you come to expect from non-ATK sources, but you know they'll deliver ATK-like flavor and results. I'm really excited about some of the tips and techniques in this book (e.g., how to lock in the wheat proteins in pasta before you throw them in the slow cooker so they don't get all bulgy and gross while they cook for a long time). This cookbook is also exploring some new uses of the slow cooker like to gently cook pork tenderloins or desserts. This is going to be great! Some people complain in their reviews about there being so many recipes that don't take all day to cook. In other words, many of the recipes have cook times of 2-3 hours, or 4-5 hours instead of like 7-9 hours. It's true that you couldn't cook these recipes and turn them on in the morning before you leave to work for 8 hours and have them be done and lovely when you get home from work, but I also am glad that someone is saying DON'T COOK CHICKEN BREASTS IN THE SLOW COOKER FOR 8 HOURS! THEY WILL BE SO DRY YOU COULD FLOSS YOUR TEETH WITH THEM! :) I checked this book out from the library and promptly made room on my bookshelf for one and bought it off of amazon. I'm using and studying the library copy, excitedly waiting for my own to arrive.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I've seen a lot of reviews for this book that say ATK doesn't have a clue what families want out of a slow cooker cookbook. I don't think that's true. I think there's a very specific family configuration that only wants the type of recipe that's 9-10 hour, dump ingredients in half-awake before your morning coffee, come home to completed meal. But other families can use the slow cooker in a lot of ways. Like my family: my husband works full time, and depending on the day, I might have half a dozen I've seen a lot of reviews for this book that say ATK doesn't have a clue what families want out of a slow cooker cookbook. I don't think that's true. I think there's a very specific family configuration that only wants the type of recipe that's 9-10 hour, dump ingredients in half-awake before your morning coffee, come home to completed meal. But other families can use the slow cooker in a lot of ways. Like my family: my husband works full time, and depending on the day, I might have half a dozen appointments to do throughout the day with little islands of time throughout. The 9-10 hour meals approach is nice some days, but other days I need to start dinner at lunch. Others, we're on the go from the time we get up until about 3pm, and I want to start dinner and then have it be hands-off for awhile so I can actually play with my kids. I find that having a variety of approaches is really good for us. That said, I think that the book would be a lot more useful if it had an index by cooking time. That way if I needed a meal I could prep 9-10 hours ahead, I could find all of those and choose easily, as I could if I needed to throw something together at 2 in the afternoon. I give this four stars, because all of the meals we've prepared out of it have indeed been easy prep, and they've always been good. (This comes with the caveat that my family cannot eat most dairy, so we haven't eaten some of the recipes others have complained about, such as the mac n cheese.) The lack of a time index is part of the one-star ding. The other is that I own the other two books in the series (Slow Cooker Revolution, and Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution), and I find that the 'Healthy' title is by far more innovative in terms of freshness and variety in the meals. I simply reach for this one less often.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Schultz

    Best cookbook on my shelf, by far. Right in line with my limited culinary skills and my desire to make everything - absolutely everything - that I possibly can in the crock pot. I love the variety, and the significant number of recipes that use Indian, Moroccan, Mexican, Spanish and other ethnic cuisines as inspiration. oh, and it turns out that you can even make cake and other desserts in the crockpot! This book is also full of really helpful instructions for the beginning chef. There are tips a Best cookbook on my shelf, by far. Right in line with my limited culinary skills and my desire to make everything - absolutely everything - that I possibly can in the crock pot. I love the variety, and the significant number of recipes that use Indian, Moroccan, Mexican, Spanish and other ethnic cuisines as inspiration. oh, and it turns out that you can even make cake and other desserts in the crockpot! This book is also full of really helpful instructions for the beginning chef. There are tips about how to select/purchase specialty ingredients like capers, Balsamic and apple cider vinegar, dried tomatoes, different spices, etc. There are instructions on how to cut different types of awkwardly shaped produce and tips for keeping said produce fresh for longer. They provide the appropriate cooking times in the slow cooker for different parts of a chicken, whole birds, different cuts of pork, different types of beef, and whole roasts. They have even taste tested and included recommendations for specific brands of certain things like tomato sauces, soy sauces, sausages, vinegars, hot sauces, etc. Given that you can actually find a lot of really good crock pot recipes for free on the internet, all these instructions, tips and recommendations are what actually make this book worth buying and reading through from cover to cover, in my opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    I love using my slow cooker. It's so nice to put together a few simple ingredients in the morning and come home to a yummy, cooked meal in the evening after work. This book offers 200 recipes that require no more than 15 minutes of active prep time before everything goes into the slow cooker. I liked that the recipes are easy prep, especially because I usually don't have lots of time to get things ready in the morning. But I was a little frustrated by the fact that many of the recipes cannot be I love using my slow cooker. It's so nice to put together a few simple ingredients in the morning and come home to a yummy, cooked meal in the evening after work. This book offers 200 recipes that require no more than 15 minutes of active prep time before everything goes into the slow cooker. I liked that the recipes are easy prep, especially because I usually don't have lots of time to get things ready in the morning. But I was a little frustrated by the fact that many of the recipes cannot be left for all-day cooking. If I want to have a shorter cooking time, I will likely just make the meal on the stovetop or oven. Still, even if I don't really follow any of the recipes directly, I did read through the recipes to try to get some inspiration for our menu planning. I always try to shake things up a bit; I don't want to get into a cooking rut. And I really liked the "smart shopping," "quick prep tip," and "on the side" notes at the bottom of most pages. The tips are very informative and helpful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hudder

    Finished this while our electricity was down. Probably not a good idea to read cookbooks by dim overcast light in a cooling building for an appliance that can only survive in a modern world. I read the first edition at the same time. There was a lot of overlap in the books and I'm not sure the world needed an easy prep version. I have a few complaints and caveats for this book but I'll put that into a blog post. If you want some of these recipes, maybe it is a good book to have but I'm not sure h Finished this while our electricity was down. Probably not a good idea to read cookbooks by dim overcast light in a cooling building for an appliance that can only survive in a modern world. I read the first edition at the same time. There was a lot of overlap in the books and I'm not sure the world needed an easy prep version. I have a few complaints and caveats for this book but I'll put that into a blog post. If you want some of these recipes, maybe it is a good book to have but I'm not sure how much of a revolution these recipes are or how necessary this cookbook is when you have others such as Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker out there. If I was to choose one slow cooker cookbook then this ain't it. The benefit of this book is that it is America's Test Kitchen. Just as no one gets fired for hiring Microsoft, there aren't bad recipes from ATK. Doesn't make it the best or most helpful but does make it one of the more reliable series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Look, it's fairly common knowledge that America's Test Kitchen is awesome. They can take any recipe from a humble soft boiled egg to fancy-schmancy dishes and make them easy to understand, recreate at home and turn out great. Every recipe I've tried out of this book tastes great, but I don't think the writers really understand what busy working families want out of a slow cooker recipe. There is quite a bit of "prep" in most of the recipes, which adds far too many minutes to a morning routine, and Look, it's fairly common knowledge that America's Test Kitchen is awesome. They can take any recipe from a humble soft boiled egg to fancy-schmancy dishes and make them easy to understand, recreate at home and turn out great. Every recipe I've tried out of this book tastes great, but I don't think the writers really understand what busy working families want out of a slow cooker recipe. There is quite a bit of "prep" in most of the recipes, which adds far too many minutes to a morning routine, and many of the recipes call for a 5-6 hour cooking time.... well....unless you're super lucky (like me) and can come home on lunch to turn the cooker ... you're out of luck! However, every recipe I've tried has been worth the extra effort...so even if you have to wait until the weekend for a shorter cooking time...by all means go for it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I think I'm not the right audience for this cook book. Although a lot of the dishes looked appealing, many were items that I'd just rather prepare the "old fashioned" way. Maybe they taste excellent, but ribs in a slow cooker just seems wrong, and I don't think there are many good reasons to bake a cake in the slow cooker instead of the oven. Just ... Why? There were also some recipes that required additional steps before adding the ingredients to the slow cooker, which eliminates a lot of the c I think I'm not the right audience for this cook book. Although a lot of the dishes looked appealing, many were items that I'd just rather prepare the "old fashioned" way. Maybe they taste excellent, but ribs in a slow cooker just seems wrong, and I don't think there are many good reasons to bake a cake in the slow cooker instead of the oven. Just ... Why? There were also some recipes that required additional steps before adding the ingredients to the slow cooker, which eliminates a lot of the convenience of the appliance for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    One of the goals of this cookbook was to present slow cooker recipes that require less than 15 minutes to prepare for cooking, and to do this, the authors resort to a lot of shortcuts using prepared foods, store-bought ingredients, jarred sauces, etc., which is great if you are pressed for time, but not so interesting for those who prefer to cook from scratch, even if it requires a little more prep time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cosette

    I'm writing this review so I'll not pick this book up again from the library. Like a moth to a flame, I keep checking this book out expecting redemption - saving me from my dinner making responsibilities - but no! This is not the book I was looking for. These cook times are 2-3 hours, precooking required (who does that? It's a crockpot!) and very specific ingredients that I don't have time to pick up today, thank you very much. NOTE TO SELF: put this one back on the shelf. I'm writing this review so I'll not pick this book up again from the library. Like a moth to a flame, I keep checking this book out expecting redemption - saving me from my dinner making responsibilities - but no! This is not the book I was looking for. These cook times are 2-3 hours, precooking required (who does that? It's a crockpot!) and very specific ingredients that I don't have time to pick up today, thank you very much. NOTE TO SELF: put this one back on the shelf.

  14. 4 out of 5

    H

    These recipes look tasty and there is quite a variety, but I don't think I'd make them in a slow cooker. There's virtually no time savings - most of the recipes are for 4-5 hours and easy prep is still prep. Maybe if your oven was broken or otherwise occupied on a weekend. To most people working a 9-5 outside the home, the main purpose of a slow cooker is to dump in ingredients, walk away, and come back to something yummy, hours and hours later. These recipes look tasty and there is quite a variety, but I don't think I'd make them in a slow cooker. There's virtually no time savings - most of the recipes are for 4-5 hours and easy prep is still prep. Maybe if your oven was broken or otherwise occupied on a weekend. To most people working a 9-5 outside the home, the main purpose of a slow cooker is to dump in ingredients, walk away, and come back to something yummy, hours and hours later.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mrs.

    Lots of helpful tips and product recommendations, as well as a photo for every dish. The cons are the use of processed foods to save time or to have the recipe work, plus the use of other appliances - broiler, stove top, microwave, etc. I also found that many of the dishes needed a bit more seasoning. Despite this, there are tons of good recipes that you can tweak to suit your tastes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    There are some nicely explained recipes in here-- I am encouraged to get out the slow cooker for more than bean stew and caramelized onions! I'm not sure I will ever be a pasta-in-the-crockpot girl, but there are several soups, stews and meat dishes worth a try. Even cheesecake... There are some nicely explained recipes in here-- I am encouraged to get out the slow cooker for more than bean stew and caramelized onions! I'm not sure I will ever be a pasta-in-the-crockpot girl, but there are several soups, stews and meat dishes worth a try. Even cheesecake...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ellen

    My favorite slow cooker book of all time. I have loved every recipe out of it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    This and it's predecessor are my "go-to" slow cooker books. Wonderful recipes! I especially like reading their explanations of how each recipe was developed, saves me unnecessary trial & error. This and it's predecessor are my "go-to" slow cooker books. Wonderful recipes! I especially like reading their explanations of how each recipe was developed, saves me unnecessary trial & error.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Decent. Does take some shortcuts with some more prepared foods--canned versus dry beans in some recipes, e.g.--but it is the "easy-prep" edition. Decent. Does take some shortcuts with some more prepared foods--canned versus dry beans in some recipes, e.g.--but it is the "easy-prep" edition.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Fabulous slowcooker book. Explains the why, uses real ingredients (not a can of this and can of that), pre-slowcooker prep time is just 5-10 mins, every recipe I've made from it is tasty! Fabulous slowcooker book. Explains the why, uses real ingredients (not a can of this and can of that), pre-slowcooker prep time is just 5-10 mins, every recipe I've made from it is tasty!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beverly Slocum

    Easy Recipes for the Slow Cooker These recipes were easy to prepare and delicious. I like the helpful hints on what products to buy. I highly recommend this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Great book! I cooked several different recipes from this book and they were all delicious. I want to purchase this book for my collection soon!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    If you use your slow cooker a lot, you’ve got to check this out. While the first book gave lengthy explanations about why things worked, this one has it down to one paragraph per recipe. They offer some tips and product recommendations throughout- this is cook’s illustrated- but overall this is a streamlined book. The prep on most of these recipes is 10 minutes or less - you could easily do everything before work and come home to a great meal. Which is why you use your crock pot, right? Some of If you use your slow cooker a lot, you’ve got to check this out. While the first book gave lengthy explanations about why things worked, this one has it down to one paragraph per recipe. They offer some tips and product recommendations throughout- this is cook’s illustrated- but overall this is a streamlined book. The prep on most of these recipes is 10 minutes or less - you could easily do everything before work and come home to a great meal. Which is why you use your crock pot, right? Some of these are recipes you’re likely to have. But they have a pasta pre-cook method that really works and some good casseroles, which are tough in the slow cooker. The sides and non meat mains are strong chapters. They also feature a dinners for two section that’s pretty strong. Not 5 stars because there’s no nutrition info and I’d like more pictures.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amaryca

    Giving 3 stars only because I’ve read their “The Complete Slow Cooker” cookbook. Complete Slow Cooker is better by comparison

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeanine

    Not as good as Slow Cooker Revolution I, but probably still worth a look.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    Good solid recipes that are easy to prepare. It has best product recommendations which can come in handy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather T

  28. 5 out of 5

    Darren Carter

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mskychick

  30. 4 out of 5

    ShaunMS

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