895 of 916 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2008
I am really enjoying this book. It has a lot of information on cooking all different food types in the pressure cooker as well as tips to ensure success. (When reading, I recognized some of my previous cooking errors.) There are comprehensive pressure cooking time charts and information for multi-level cooking as well as real variety in the recipes . They predominantly call for fresh and easy-to-find ingredients.
I wanted to address the low-rating reviews that recommended Lorna Sass's books over this one. I own two Lorna Sass books: while they are quality cookbooks and do include more recipes for vegetables and grains, there is information in Miss Vickie's cookbook that does not appear in Lorna Sass's. I do understand that people's needs and preferences are different, but there is much in this book to recommend to all pressure cooker users.
There may be other motives in some reviews in which Miss Vickie's book is not accurately represented. I used to visit a pressure cooking forum on Vegsource (a vegetarian website). One day, Miss Vickie posted in response to a question on that forum and was attacked by other members of the site because she has meat-based recipes on her own website. When I quietly reported this to the moderator, hoping to have the offending post removed, I was banned from the site. Lorna Sass is heavily promoted on this site because she has written a book for vegetarian pressure cooking (although, paradoxically, she authored several other books containing numerous meat recipes). This experience has colored my view of some of the negative postings.
471 of 494 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2008
I want a complete balanced meal when I cook. This means I use the microwave, pressure cooker, stove, and oven all at the same time to cook everything. I don't usually cook one pot meals. Pressure cookers work great for meats and grains. Brown rice is quick and easy. I tend to use a pressure cooker mostly for meats, soups, and stews. The Lorna Sass books are very nice. The Sass Whole Grain book cannot be beat. I have all of the Sass books but I find I tend to use this book a little more often than hers. I am glad that I have all of these cookbooks. I would buy this book first to begin pressure cooking, then get the Sass books. They have things that are not in Miss Vickie's book. Vickie Smith and Lorna J. Sass are the two best authors of pressure cooker cookbooks. If you want vegetarian or vegan pressure cooking, get the Sass books. They are superior for that. For a good all around general purpose pressure cooking cookbook I recommend you get Miss Vickie's Pressure Cooker Recipes. Its the one I reach for first. Its also the one I give as gifts to others.
487 of 519 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2008
I have only tried a handful of these recipes. They turned out pretty great. However, they are all geared towards manual pressure cookers, NOT electric pressure cookers. The author is pretty clear about the fact that all her recipes are intended for manual pressure cookers and she is even a bit condescending towards those that purchase electric ones. I probably would have chosen a different book had I known that, since I own one of each and would like a book that covers both. If you own a manual one, I highly recommend this book though.
156 of 165 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2008
This is the last word for me in pressure cooker cookbooks. It is an encyclopedia of information for the how-to's and do's and don'ts of pressure cooking. Every possible problem or question seems to have been anticipated and answered. Then there are time charts for every kind of food that one would want to cook under pressure. Last but not least, the wonderful recipes literally make your mouth water.
I received my copy today from Amazon.com (good deal, by the way & I got free shipping too), and didn't waste any time trying it out. Our Irish dinner -- a day late, I know -- turned out perfect.
Actually, I bought this book thinking my daughter could benefit from it. Now I see that I'll have to get another one to give to her...I need this one for myself!
Now, sooner or later someone will surely complain "...I couldn't give it 5 stars because there aren't any pictures..." I'm surprised that these same people don't also expect "scratch, sniff & taste" pages. Don't we all know what food looks like? Even someone who has never cooked before knows what a potato, or a carrot, a potroast or a chicken is supposed to look like. Yes, visuals would enhance the appeal of the book, but honestly, the recipes and directions are so well presented that photos are really not necessary.
I'm looking forward to trying many, many of the interesting recipes.
Good job, Miss Vickie!!
Update: Now that I have had this book for a while, and have tried many of the recipes and techniques, I want to say that this book is truly worth the money. Many people focus their pressure cooking attentions primarily on main dishes and especially meats. Miss Vickie's main dish recipes are wonderful. However, in addition to great meals, this book offers adventures in delicious desserts and side dishes as well.
She also has a great website dedicated entirely to pressure cooking, where you can post questions and receive answers. Type "Miss Vickie's Guide to Modern Pressure Cookery" in the search. Check it out.
82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2008
I've been using a stove top pressure cooker for a while, but with inconsistent results. Miss Vickie's book is such an excellent resource. I have a better idea as to why some previous attempts did not work out too well. The reader will gain a sense of confidence and the recipes are varied and numerous. Plan to try the meat sauce for pasta this weekend. I'm not much of a cook, but I do feel that my efforts to prepare better tasting and healthy food -- in less time -- are well invested with the pressure cooker. Miss V, Thank you for such an excellent resource!
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
The information on pressure cookers, how to use them, how not to use them, etc. is second to none, This is the reference book for beginners and those needing a refresher alike. Miss Vickie should have quit while she was ahead.
IMO, the recipes aren't bad, but many of them are just not that good. There are far too many recipes that use "shortcuts" like canned cream of (insert flavor here) soup, dried soup mix, prepackaged stuffing mix, etc. Miss Vickie must like mushy vegetables, too, because many of the recipes involving vegetables call for frozen ones, which will turn to mush when pressure cooked as long as she directs. Even the recipes using fresh veg are cooked way too long. The recipes I have tried are just too ordinary to get a "WOW!" out of me.
Over all, 5 stars for the reference section and 3 stars for the food.
129 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2010
This book has lots of recipes, and the various techniques (such as pot in pot) are useful. However, the recipes are not for me. They are very "semi-homemade"--full of processed ingredients. Not for people who prefer to cook from scratch from real ingredients. For example, here's a recipe for a pork roast: pork, can of golden cream of mushroom soup, can of root beer, packet of dried onion soup mix. I would never use any of those ingredients, so that recipe could just as well have been a blank page. Probably about every fourth or fifth recipe is like that. Had I know this, I definitely would have chosen a different book. For now, I am just using the few recipes that came in my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which I trust.
All that said, the techniques are a valuable resource, so if you either like "semi-homemade" or don't mind flipping past many of the recipes, the book is useful. I love using my pressure cooker in the simplest of ways (poached chicken breasts in half a cup of water are done in 4 minutes) but looking at this book has inspired me to try cooking new things in different ways
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
If you use a pressure cooker, this is a must have. My days are busy! Beef stew? 7 minutes. Swiss steak? 10 minutes. Great recipes, well organized and totally loaded with ideas that won't risk your life and limb. I'm tired of the, "my grammy's pressure cooker exploded and we were scraping food off the walls for a week" story. Today's cookers are safe (when used correctly), huge time savers and create fabulous meals especially from tougher cuts of meat. My favorite is pot roast using a chuck roast, onions, carrots, celery and Johnny's Seasoning salt. Fall apart tender, melt in your mouth delicious. Plus, faster cook time = "green" cooking.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2008
I have read through the book and found many recipes which I think I would like to make. I find that the recipes are very much to my taste with ordinary ingredients for the most part. I just made the Cube Steaks and Gravy with Carrots and Potatoes, a one-pot meal. It was wonderful! The potatoes were cooked on top of the steaks in a steamer tray. I was delighted to find that the potatoes were ready to be mashed when the steaks were done. It was a very "down home" meal. There are lots of suggestions in the book for making food in the pressure cooker taste good without the blandness of some pressure cooker recipes. I can tell that I will be making good use of this book.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2008
I've been using a pressure cooker for years. This is the largest and most comprehensive cook book for my cooker that I have ever seen. I can't imagine needing anything more. This book is 470 pages of great information and wonderful recipes - something for everyone. I am so pleased I ordered this!