In the Kitchen...Stovetop Pressure Cooker Cookbooks

The Official Presto Pressure Cooker Cookbook is a 208 page hard-cover book that contains chapters on the basics of pressure cooking and 10 chapters with recipes ranging from appetizers, soups and stocks, meat, poultry and seafood, vegetables and side dishes and a chapter each on steamed breads and  desserts.  The last chapter has whole meal menus that take you through the steps of preparing at least 3 menu items in your pressure cooker.
All the traditional recipes your mom or grandma and their friends prepared in their pressure cookers are in this book…along with lots of new ideas.  I haven’t tried steamed bread in my cooker yet, but it’s on my list to try, along with rice pudding…the recipe my sister-in-law Bonnie says was the only rice pudding recipe her mother used.
There are full-page photos of groups of the dishes that make you want to get started right away. 
I use a pressure cooker to speed up long cooking recipes like bean soup and pot roast and give less tender cuts of meat fall-apart goodness.  This book has plenty of recipes that work.  It is probably the only pressure cooker cookbook I would need, beyond the small one that comes with your cooker.  I think many of these recipes could be readily converted to use in an electric pressure cooker like Myrna's instant pot.

Miss Vickie's Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes published in 2008 is just that…big.  It’s a large paperback that has 470 pages packed with information and recipes from the popular pressure-cooker web site,  Please note that this is a book for stove-top models, not electric pressure cookers or instant-pots.
It has a whole chapter of time charts for cooking almost anything in your pressure cooker,  and the first 108 pages cover everything you ever wanted to know about pressure cookers, including safety, techniques, common mistakes, troubleshooting, tips and tricks, accessory items …these chapters are the best part of the book, in my opinion.  There’s something to learn for even experienced cooks.
If I have any complaint about this book, it is a lack of photographs, and I am concerned about the cook times for some recipes being too long.  Younger cooks who are looking for gourmet recipes will be disappointed with pressure cooker recipes…the best results I think, are with the traditional recipes.   I have a number of recipes marked to try, but many of them are too fussy and complicated for my needs.  For instance, if I am going to make chicken with Alfredo sauce, it’s so quick to prepare I would never use my pressure cooker! 
If I hadn’t purchased this used, I would probably be disappointed, and I find I use my Official Presto Pressure Cooking Cookbook much more.  That’s the book I would start with for stove-top pressure cookers.


  1. I appreciate all the informatioin . . . and motivation! I'm especially interested in hearing about making rice pudding in the pressure cooker.

    1. Here's the worked well! I used Medium rice for a little more starchiness.
      From Presto:
      Creamiest Rice Pudding

      2 cups hot milk
      1 cup whipping cream or half-and-half
      6 tablespoons margarine, melted
      3/4 cup long grain rice
      2/3 cup granulated sugar
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
      2 cups water
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      Light brown sugar
      Mix milk, cream, margarine, rice, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon rind in metal bowl that fits loosely in a 4- or 6-quart Presto® pressure cooker. Cover bowl firmly with aluminum foil. Place 2 cups water, cooking rack or steamer basket, and bowl in cooker. Close cover securely. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe. COOK 20 MINUTES, at 15 pounds pressure. Let pressure drop of its own accord. Open pressure cooker and let rice steam, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir to mix. Spoon into bowls; sprinkle lightly with brown sugar.


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