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Cooking under Pressure Hardcover – November 15, 1989

4.2 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just when we had come to accept the microwave oven as the ultimate cooking machine, food historian Sass ( Dinner with Tom Jones ) has rediscovered the pressure cooker, recently reincarnated in sleek new forms for the 1990s kitchen, "where cooking under pressure has already become a way of life." Sass has figured out how to prepare pea soup, applesauce and pearl barley in the pressure cooker without the threat of shrapnel in the kitchen. Her recipes are seductive, ranging from the homey and familiar (Brunswick stew, nine minutes) to the slightly more mod erne (turnips with orange-mustard sauce, two minutes). Chapters on beans, rice and risotto, and grains are so enthusiastically instructional that some pressure-cooker converts may unwittingly create 12 dishes (all in less than 60 minutes) in their haste to taste Sass's creations. Vegetables are fully explored in their own chapter, and bread puddings and cheesecakes highlight the desserts section. Sass convincingly presents her case in an introductory "Pressure Cooker Primer," and offers helpful "cooking times at a glance" charts throughout. Initial sauteing times, though, are misleadingly omitted.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

It makes sense that the lowly pressure cooker has been rediscovered, for it is perfect for today's busy cooks. Sass's cookbook, the first one in years on the subject, is a valuable primer to this new/old kitchen tool. She tells how to get the best results from pressure cooking; provides guides to preparing all sorts of vegetables, beans, and grains; and includes a wide variety of recipes. Some are for hearty (but not heavy) soups and stews; others are for more glamorous dishes; all are full of flavor but generally uncomplicated. Strongly recommended. Better Homes & Gardens and Homestyle Book Club alternates.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (November 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688088147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688088149
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Example Ingredients

Example Directions

More About the Author

Lorna Sass is fondly known as "the Queen of Pressure Cooking." She is also a widely published food writer and an award-winning cookbook author. Check out her new blog: www.pressurecookingwithlornasass.wordpress.com

Lorna became interested in pressure cooking during the mid-eighties when most Americans had either never heard of this magical appliance or were afraid of it! Her COOKING UNDER PRESSURE, published in 1989, became a best-seller with over 250,000 copies in print. The 20th-Anniversary revised edition of COOKING UNDER PRESSURE came out on November 3,2009.


During the nineties, Lorna wrote numerous vegan cookbooks, recognizing that a vegan approach to food created a much smaller carbon footprint. This was decades before cookbook authors were writing about the connection between food and sustainability. Her RECIPES FROM AN ECOLOGICAL KITCHEN was published in 1992! Her NEW VEGAN COOKBOOK was nominated for an IACP Award and her latest title in this category is SHORT-CUT VEGAN.

Her fourteenth cookbook, WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY, published in 2006, was awarded the prestigious James Beard Award in the "healthy focus" category. Her latest cookbook, WHOLE GRAINS FOR BUSY PEOPLE, focuses on quick-cooking recipes for cooks on the go.

Lorna has often found herself ahead of her time. While studying for her PhD in medieval literature at Columbia University, she wrote four historical cookbooks that were published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art--decades before anyone was studying food history!

Lorna's food articles have been published in dozens of prominent newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gourmet, and Bon Appetit. In addition to her own blogs, she has blogged for The Huffington Post and Green Fork, and wrote a monthly recipe column for localharvest.org.

She is a member of Slow Food, The Author's Guild, and the Women's Culinary Alliance and an alumna of Les Dames des Escoffier, an organization of the top women in the food industry.

Lorna's current passion is to make healthy food available to all, and she is especially eager to help people grow their own food on rooftops and in community gardens in NYC.

For further information, visit www.lornasass.com.
BLOGS: www.pressurecookingwithlornasass.wordpress.com www.lornasassatlarge.wordpress.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought my first pressure cooker in the seventies in college. For years, I used it mainly to cook beans, due to its speed. I bought this book when it was first issued and have referred to it countless times, since.
Pressure cookers today are indeed different than the earlier models (including my old Mirro). With my old cooker, even though I never had an accident, I had to stay close at hand to monitor the pressure regular rattling, etc. Pressure cooking with a modern cooker is so much easier! My latest purchase, earlier this year, was an electric, programmable cooker from Salton that's as easy to use as my rice cooker or Crock Pot.
It's true that some of the recipes in this book use ingredients that are not freely available in non-urban areas of the country. No problem: just adapt to what you want to cook! I read a review by a prior person who lamented that they must be a 'meat and potatoes' person. Fine: do your meat and potatoes here! I find that baked potatoes are much more delicious done in the cooker than in the microwave. The time required is rather a split between nuking and conventional baking. Pressure cooking can do wonders on tough meat the same way that a Crock Pot can. Just be sure and brown your meat first!
However, I still use my cooker more for beans than anything. Sass gives a full and careful explanation of bean and legume cooking here, as safety must be considered.
Since this book came out several other cookbooks have been released on pressure cooking. I've bought some, and the best alternative to this book is the one published by Presto, the maker of the original pressure cooker. It's an excellent reference also, and also recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
get this book. I had heard that pressure cookers were the microwave ovens of the 50's. Then after several people blew them up by overloading them they lost favor. I borrowed one from a friend and bought this book. After making chilli in 20 minutes, and lentil soup in 10. I was a convert.
I now own 2 cookers, one really large one (16qt)for making spagetti sauce and stew, and one medium large one (8qt) for soups.
The one thing the book doesn't really cover, is that once the top is on, there is no stiring, (duh!) So if you leave it on high heat, it can burn the thick sauce recipes. So I always heat the mixture until just to simmering, lock the lid on and then cut the heat to medium. It takes a minute or two longer for the pressure to come up but I rarely burn soup any more.
Also, if you haven't bought a pot, get a big one, when you fill a pressure cooker, you only fill it 1/2 way. So a 8qt pot, is really good for 4qts of soup. If you have time shop estate sales. That's where I got mine. The pots last a long time, and many who cooked in the 50's will have one that is just fine. (You can get new seals from the presto company.)
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Format: Hardcover
Pressure cooking is, unfortunately, very misunderstood. This book should go a long way towards changing that. It presents an excellent range of recipes, well organized and written, and every one of which we've tried has been fabulous. Because of the speed and flavor, we've been pressure cooker fans for three years, and this book opened our eyes to new possibilities. Ms. Sass's taste in spiciness tends to be a little milder than ours, but once you see where she's coming from, it's very easy to adjust. We'll try the vegetarian version of the book, too
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot praise this book too highly. As a long-time cook,but novice pressure cook, I found Ms. Sass's recipes simple to follow, and always as promised. Delicious doesn't begin to describe her Mushroom Barley Soup, which she correctly bills as the same comfort food that is served at Ratner's Restaurant. I grew up in NYC, and ate often at that landmark, and my family has patiently tolerated my frequent references to how scrumprious that particular soup was--well--I just produced it, courtesy of Lorna Sass, in my own pressure cooker (Kuhn-Rikon, also divine to use). The risotto with leeks, mushrooms and olives is also noteworthy, but I am confident that all these recipes are. This book, as well as The Pressured Cook, also by Sass, are all anyone needs to produce exceptionally satisfying dishes made with wholesome ingredients, and ready quickly. The portions are generous, and the introductions to each recipe are accurate, informative and inspiring. If more stars were available, I would award them.
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Format: Hardcover
As a newcomer to pressure cooking, i need'ed some where to start, and someone to give me the basic's of pressure cooking. I went to my local book store, and the sales person suggested this book over a dozen others on the subject. It is not only a easy read, but is is full of more information then you will ever need. The recipes are great and written so that anyone can start cooking right away, and turn out a great meal in minutes. This will always be number one on my cook book list Thank you for helping me on my way to better and healthier cooking.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book in 1997 to learn about pressure cooking. Now I use it to adapt my Latina recipes to fast pressure cooking. I've made Ropa Vieja (Flank Steak) (25 minutes under pressure), Black Bean Soup (35 minutes under pressure), Coconut Bread Pudding (15 minutes under pressure), and Flan (an amazing 15 minutes under pressure).
Though these recipes are not in Ms. Sass' book, you can easily adapt your favorite recipes by following her guidelines and expertise.
A must-have book for all busy cooks.
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