Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

I’m in love with my slow cooker. Perhaps I should be in therapy, but I find it amazing that you throw a bunch of stuff into the slow cooker, set the correct cooking time or degree, and then, voila!. Dinner is ready hours later.

If I had to only keep on kitchen appliance, it would be my slow cooker. To me, this is the busy woman’s best friend. I’m frankly amazed at how many women I run into who never take their slow cookers out of the cabinet.

My favorite cookbook for slow cooker recipes is Better Homes and Gardens “Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes.” It’s been around for several years, but is still in print and available on

The recipes are unusual and nearly every one has been a winner with my brood (husband and four kids). This book is organized by category and even has two bonus chapters on five ingredient entrees and one-dish dinners. The instructions are clear and concise, nutrition information is given and the number of servings is accurate.

Here’s my take on each chapter, with my favorite recipes.

Appetizers/Beverages: A wide range of dips and spreads, plus some unusual and flavorful beverages. The Asiago Cheese Dip really stands out, and is great for parties (has a great “Wow” factor). I also serve the Mulled Cranberry Cider at an annual winter party that is fantastic.

Soups/Stews: A good variety of both, with different meats used. Lamb & Barley Vegetable Soup and Argentina-Style Stew are standouts in this section.

Side Dishes: From Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips to Cranberry-Orange Sauced Beets, this section helps me get my kids to ask for seconds on veggies.

Beef, Pork & Lamb: This is the meatiest section (no pun intended!) and has saved dinner at my house more times than I can recall. Curried Pot Roast, Country-Style Pork Ribs and Barley Lamb Shanks are some of my family’s favorites.

Poultry: How many ways can you cook chicken in a slow cooker? More than 20 make their appearance in this book, including the tasty Chicken With Artichokes and Olives. Tune in Friday when I give an easy slow cooker chicken recipe.

Meatless Main Dishes: I’ve been trying to serve one vegetarian meal per week and this section has definitely come in handy. Pasta With Eggplant Sauce is the only way one of my kids will eat eggplant.

Five Ingredients: I must confess that this is my least-favorite chapter, mostly because in order to only have five ingredients, a few of them are packaged, processed foods like soups or flavor mixes, which I prefer not to use. But I do love the Pork Roast With Apricot Glaze recipe.

One-Dish Dinners: The recipes in this section are not necessarily slow cooker ones, but some are quite delicious. The Sicilian-Style Meat Roll and the Mu Shu-Style Beef & Cabbage Wraps are both popular at our table.

Desserts: These recipes all sound delicious, but I haven’t actually made one because I’m usually using my slow cooker for the main meal instead. But since I’ve purchased a second slow cooker at a yard sale, I’m planning on trying out the Berry Compote or the Pear-Caramel Pudding Cake soon.

I hear that America’s Test Kitchen has a slow cooker cookbook out that I hope to acquire soon. But until then, I’m very happy with the Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes.


  1. I wish I'd use my slow cooker more, but I never remember to put it in on time. And my slow cooker cooks way hot, It's always done before it's supposed to be, haven't quite figured out exactly how much faster so I can time it better.

  2. This looks great, Sarah! I use my slow cooker a lot, especially in the winter. :-)

  3. I think perhaps you might need a new slow cooker, Melissa. Try Freecycle in your area--I'm forever seeing ones posted. Hope you figure out how to fix it so you can enjoy it's time-saving and delicious recipes:).

  4. Sarah - I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! :) Thanks again for sending it to me!

  5. This book sounds nice. I currently only own, "Fix it and forget it" and love it, but this one sounds cool too! Are there any pictures in the book?