While the slow cooker is a great way to prepare winter stews, soups, and chilis, it is just as useful when it comes to summer cooking. In the test kitchen, we use the slow cooker to “barbecue” everything from brisket to pulled pork. You can enjoy summer classics like ribs without having to tend the grill all day. And because the slow cooker doesn’t heat up your kitchen, it’s the best way to prepare summer sides like baked beans and creamed corn.
To make this book, our Books Team cooked their way through 1,500 recipes and $20,000 in groceries. Here a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of Slow Cooker Revolution.
Want more behind-the-scenes stories from our Books Team? Read more “Behind the Book” posts here.
Building the "Slow Cooker Wall"
While testing recipes for Slow Cooker Revolution, the cooks quickly learned that plugging 30 slow cookers into the kitchen would short everything out.
As a result, the Books team designed a custom "Slow Cooker Wall," specifically built for plugging in multiple slow cookers.
The Testing Process
Slow cooker recipes take anywhere from 6-10 hours to make, which slows down the testing process dramatically. But, assures test cook Jennifer Lalime, the testing process was the same as for any other book (it just took a lot longer).
Tasting the Finished Dishes
Every morning, the test cooks rushed to get ingredients into the slow cookers so that they would be able to taste the recipes at the end of the day. While waiting for the food to cook, the team would prep for the next day's tests.
As the food came out of the slow cookers in the late afternoon, the Books team would end up tasting anywhere between 10 to 15 recipes all at once.
The major portion of recipe testing for Slow Cooker Revolution took place from March to October, which meant that they were often eating hearty, winter recipes on hot summer days.