Any recommended slow cooker cookbooks?


#1

Onions- while in the thick of battle with my pressure cooker, I’ve acquired a slow cooker. Some comment about the dueling nature of slow versus fast cooking is in order here. Maybe a glibber Hungry Onion than myself can provide said comment. I’m looking for a recommendation for a cookbook. I was thinking about buying America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution. I feel like I’d be more likely to need idea help around the healthier items- it’s no stretch to throw in a pork shoulder, nor do I need a recipe to do that. Any other recommendations or thoughts? I know there are a lot of websites out there but frankly I just get lost in the internet and sometimes need more focus.

Oh- I should add this is a bargain basement slow cooker- not programmable so nothing fancy.


#2

Not a cookbook (I think there’s one with the word “gourmet” in the title) but here’s a recipe from Rick Bayless “Mexican Everyday.” No browning the meat ahead of time. It is fantastic. I’d never heard of potatoes in this but they’re super.


#3

Hey!

My slowcooker book of choice is this one:

Good luck!


#4

l love America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution. Many of those recipes have made their way into my regular rotation. Because I have a newer model, it runs hotter. And I don’t go home during the day to start it for something that only has to cook for 4 hours. So I bought a timer that starts in the afternoon. I prep the ingredients the night before and leave them in the insert in my fridge. In the morning, I take the insert out of the fridge, and put it into the slow cooker. I set the timer, and come home to almost ready to eat dinner!


#5

Great- just bought it for one cent (plus 3.99 shipping) on amazon. Can’t go wrong.


#6

This just arrived and I can’t say I’m impressed. Thus far, every single recipe I’ve read over involves dicing ingredients, browing in a separate skillet, and putting all in the slow cooker at once. There’s got to be some variation in order to allow for a night-before prep, or some recipes that suggest adding ingredients part way through. The one-size-fits-all recipe approach does not seem very optimized or something one really needs a book for… will be looking in to America’s Test Kitchen publications next.


#7

The prep work is to make sure the flavours develop. I don’t find it prohibitive and I usually do all my prep the night before, put everything in the slow cooker and put it in the fridge for the next monday. Sorry it didn’t wasn’t a fit for you!


#8

The thing that I have realized with the slow cooker is just that…to have the best flavors you need to precook some of the ingredients, add some foods later in the cooking process, and then stain/cook down at the end. Most foods are not at their “best” when you just dump and cook. Once I realized that, I was a lot happier with what I did with my slow cooker.


#9

Exactly. I immediately understood the reason for browning the meats before putting them in the slow cooker (you can’t have the maillard effect while stewing in sauce) and I was pretty happy to have a cookbook by a guy actually trying to maximise flavour with the slow cooker method. Besides, most things I do from that book turns out very well.

It has been my experience that either a cookbook “works” for you or doesn’t work. I have a shortlist for most templates… I like chef John from Foodwishes because I’m very visual and has recipes that works, I know Julia child recipes usually helps me knock dishes out of the park, I go to Marcella Hazan for italian, Michael Ruhlman if I need to came back to the basics (I love his approach of “ratios”. It makes a lot of sense for me), Manjula’s kitchen for indian and to “the perfect scoop” from David Lebovitz for ice cream. Alternatively, I haven’t had a ton of success with “modern” french chefs (I’m thinking here of Troisgros brothers and Robuchon specifically) because I get the sense their approach has been influenced by having an army of commis so there is a lot of busy work and they can be very finicky with ingredients. I have more success with more classical chefs (Carème, Escoffier, Fernand Point, La Mère Brazier) because they present the essence of french cooking without trying too hard (in my opinion). I find that Julia Child makes a very good transition between the classical french spirit and the everyday kitchen without dumbing that too hard. I’m still on the fence with the Jamie Oliver empire but I usually have good results with Gordon Ramsay’s recipes. The Joe Beef and Pied de cochon cookbooks can be very involved but usually yield good results. I hate Rose Levy Beranbaum’s narrative style and method for pastry, pies and cake but had great success with Momofuku milk bar.

Not everybody has the same experience with cookbooks. I have a friend who contacted me for tips during the holidays because she had a real hard time executing a pastry cream in a Chef John recipe (which is usually foolproof for me). I sent her the Julia Child variant and she succeeded in her second attempt. Maybe chef john is not fit for her!

With that being said, the art of the slow cooker is my actual reference for slow cooker. Its not my only reference but its that book lying around on the subject of slow cooker that has recipes that makes it work for me.


#10

No worries! I still appreciate the rec. I completely understand the point about browning, etc. I’ve since checked out two ATK slow cooker books from the library and find them a bit more suited. My complaint with Art of the Slow Cooker is not with the end results; more with the lack of variation in the recipes. The ATK folks have some recipes that have you microwave some of the veg to give it a head start, then add. And some recipes which require adding rice or bulger 20 mins before serving, or finishing a sauce at the end of cooking. It just appears to have a more varied approach, and would allow you to pick which recipe to use based on when you’re around and able to give it more time or babysitting. Incidentally, I did a pot roast from ATK over the weekend and it did not require browning the meat and explained that with a braise, the top will brown at the temp inside the slow cooker. I was skeptical, but we did get some browning after all! I will continue to use art as a basis for ingredients, I just feel the author slacked a little by not providing alternate options for timing or prep.


#11

I second the Bayless recommendation. He doesn’t have a ton of slow cooker recipes, but I pretty much exclusively use his recipes for the slow cooker after enough failed attempts elsewhere.


(Helen Davis) #12

I’m not sure about cookbooks. I think I’m not chef enough to with the advanced level, where you break the rules and make your own taste.
But there are quite a few actually well made recipes on the web. I personally enjoyed the list by edible crafts https://ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com/6-slow-cooker-meat-dishes/2018/03/21/

Solid staff, if you are new to slow cooker!
Hope that helps
good luck!


(DeMarko) #13

Slow Cooker Ready and Waiting by Rick Rodgers might be worth a look. I bought a copy for my SIL a few years ago and remember being impressed by his recipes. I bought one for myself today after reading the reviews again. IMO he is very much overlooked in the industry, but is an excellent writer with recipes that always turn out. His recipes also require some advance preparation, albeit nothing that would be a deal killer.