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434 of 464 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good recipes overall but not for electric pressure cookers, September 30, 2008
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This review is from: Miss Vickie's Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes (Paperback)
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.
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Tracked by 10 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 62 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 1, 2008 5:05:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2008 6:02:48 PM PDT
Snow White says:
It is not exactly fair to give the book only 3 stars based on it not being written for use with electric pressure cookers. Electric pressure cookers are in a class of their own. While they are probably good appliances, with many excellent features, they are so different from manual pressure cookers that including instruction for them with each recipe would have added many extra pages to a book that was already almost 'too thick'. The most notable difference is the lower psi (pounds per square inch) pressure of the electric cookers. This alone, makes it necessary to adjust all cooking times, since the standard psi for which pressure cooker cookbooks is written is 15psi.
Perhaps it would be better to criticize the electric pressure cookers for not meeting the cookware standard, than to give negative feedback to the cookbook because it was written to be used with pressure cookers that do meet the cookware standard. To say that Miss Vickie seemed 'condescending' toward owners of electric pressure cookers is, I suppose, a judgement call. I did not get that feeling at all. Instead, she seemed to me, to be understanding of the situation, but unable to do much because of the space limitations of the book.
This is as, Adriana, has said, a very good book for use with manual pressure cookers. It does have many, many wonderful recipes. However, please understand that whether your pressure cooker is manual or electric, if it does not operate at 15 psi, you will have to adjust the cooking times. This is a fault of the appliance, not the book.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 9:39:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2009 9:42:58 PM PDT
Asteroid says:
I almost purchased a Fagor electric pressure cooker. I did not grow up in a home that used a pressure cooker, and originally I wanted a 6 qt slow cooker. Somehow, the links brought me to pressure cooking. I spent two nights reading review after review to educate myself and learned that stove-top models are more versatile AND reach the desired 15 PSI. I learned that the electric pressure cookers do not reach 15 PSI. Perhaps you did not realize that the "common" (temperature?) setting is 15 PSI. When I learned this, I decided against an electric pressure cooker. I have just received this cookbook and have thoroughly read the beginning, 106 pages dedicated to educating the novice. I did not feel Miss Vickie was condescending towards the owners of electric models. She was only stating that 15 PSI is the standard and anything else will have to be adjusted. It is a shame that other manufacturers whose products cook at less that this don't just come out and announce it in their descriptions (that their products cook below the standard 15 PSI so that recipes will need to be adjusted) and then newbies could be better informed. I ended up with a 10 qt. Fagor stainless steel model with only one setting, the 15 PSI. Although I am brand-new at this, I do not yet feel like I've missed out by not having a low (8 or 9 PSI) setting on mine. I am glad I spent the time researching the differences between electric and stovetop models. Make your life whichever reaches 15 PSI, then the cookbooks should work for you. I'm waiting to open the lid so that I can taste a very simple recipe, "Easiest Ever Braised Pork Loin Roast" on page 273. It smells delicious. I started cooking at about 5:30 and wanted to serve dinner at about 6:30. I'm only 5 minutes late because Miss Vickie recommends the best way to release the lid according to what's cooking. NO WAY would it be ready in the oven (25 minute cook time in the pressure cooker). The recipes in this cookbook sound delicious. I have an Indonesian background and love spices and flavor. Her recipes do not sound bland. I would recommend this cookbook if only for the wealth of information in the first 106 pages.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2009 7:37:43 PM PDT
Snow White says:
Asteroid, welcome to the delightful world of pressure cooking. I hope your pork roast was a success. Along with other smaller pressure cookers, I also have a 10 qt Fagor. One thing I have noticed with the larger cooker is that because of its size, it takes longer to bring up to pressure, and then for the natural pressure release to complete. But that is to be expected because of the size. I know how hard it is to wait when the food smells so good, and you want to get right to it. But as Alton Brown would say "Your patience will be rewarded". From reading Ms.Smith's book, you know that during this wait time the food continues to cook, and with meat espeically, valuable juices are retained in the fibers of the flesh. Vickie Smith also has a website <>, dedicated entirely to pressure cooking. Everyone is invited to visit the forums, to ask questions, post recipes and share their pressure cooking experiences.

Posted on Jul 16, 2010 5:31:22 PM PDT
August West says:
Yes, it's true - the book does not address a subject it is explicitly NOT written about. Is it really fair to dock two stars for that? I don't think so. In fact I think it's as absurd as it is unfair, but that's just my opinion.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 1:29:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010 1:31:40 PM PDT
L. Tincher says:
I have just bought an electric pressure cooker and love it. It may not reach the 15psi my regular one does, but for those of us with glass/electric stove tops, it sure does make a difference. Always having to adjust times, always worrieng if it's going to come out right. No more, I'm giving my old one away. I haven't checked the psi on my new appliance, but I know it was the easiest thing to use. Push one button and wait. Ten munites latter, perfect Chicken Piccata, mind you, I used frozen chicken.
I'll try to find the book in the library and use some of the recipes, if I like them, I'll buy it.

Posted on Nov 3, 2010 2:06:59 AM PDT
tiasmom0707 says:
It is not true that all electric pressure cookers do not reach 15psi. The 6 qt. American Harvest Nesco does indeed reach 15psi. I had researched before purchasing for this reason and also called the company.

As long as your electric pressure cooker reaches the required 15psi on the high side, you should be able to prepare any recipe in an electric pc that you would in a stovetop model. Nesco PC6-25P 6-Percent Electric Programmable Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel It reaches 5 psi on the low side for puddings, custards, veggies, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2010 7:41:07 PM PST
Tom says:
Why is 15psi considered as the "standard"? Who defined this standard? I have an multi-function pressure cooker (with rice cooker and slow cooker functions too). It probably doesn't reach 15 psi, but I just played with and tuned the timing to my own preferences based on the suggested cooking times per 15 psi cookers. This may be off the topic of the thread, but I don't understand why people may sound religious about this 15 psi "standard".

A couple more minutes of adjusted cooking time in my view with the electric pressure cookers is worth it, given all the programming convenience (delay timer for example) and its very quiet and steamless cooking process...

Bottomline, Miss Vickie's books wrote a great book. I just adjust the time based on whatever timing she suggested in the book. The results are great!

Posted on Dec 3, 2010 6:51:27 PM PST
Telemachus says:
Thank you for your review. I just received an electric pressure cooker for Chanukah and came to Amazon to buy some recipe books. Nowhere in this book's description does it mention that it is meant for manual, not electric cookers. I would have spent money and been very disappointed. So, thank you.

I must say that I am becoming quite amused by the er, um, "vigor" with which any negative review of several of the books I've been looking at is met by the pressure-cooker "elite." Really, it is okay that some people do not like a book, and the info shared in this review IS helpful, since Amazon, and I guess the publisher, neglected to mention that it isn't meant for electric pressure cookers which are becoming more popular.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2010 10:42:05 AM PST
ANS says:
Thanks A. Stagg for your review/comment. I was feeling a bit "persecuted" for posting a not-so-glowing review on this book by what you described as the "pressure cooker elite". I didn't know I was stepping into such a touchy subject!

I still think the recipes are great, and the chapters on the history of the pressure cooker, benefits of modern pressure cookers, tips and tricks, techniques, etc. are also super informative. There are little pieces entitled "For Owners of Electronic Pressure Cookers" in a few places of the book - that should tell you that the book's focus is geared towards non-electric pressure cookers. The one I am thinking of says that as long as the electric pressure cooker you own meets the standard 15psi rule (you have to search in your owner's manual), it can use many (read: not all) of the recipes as stovetop models. However, it also says that recipes that use the interrupted cooking method may not be practical for use in some electric pressure cookers b/c of the limited choices of their pressure release methods. Again, the recipes are good but my whole point is that I think the book title/description is misleading, and it should have been more forthcoming about the fact that it was written for manual pressure cookers (even if you can use the recipes in your electric one, by adjusting them). When I buy a recipe book I don't want to have to figure out how to make each recipe work for me. And if that is the case, I want to know that before I buy the book.

Thought I would elaborate a bit more on my point of view. Thanks for your input.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2010 8:09:24 PM PST
I received an electric pressure cooker for Christmas and would like to get a cookbook to help with some recipes since I have not used a pressure cooker before. I thought about purchasing this book but it sounds like it may not be very helpful since my pressure cooker is not manual.

Can you suggest a good beginners cookbook for an electric pressure cooker?
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