Idiot’s Guides Pressure Cooking – Book Review

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Pressure Cooking Idiot's Guides Book Review

Title: Idiot’s Guides Pressure Cooking
Author: Tom Hirschfeld
Published By: Alpha Books, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61564-888-7


Idiot’s Guides Pressure Cooking

As Easy As It Gets! Now in Full Color!

One of the books included in DK’s Idiot’s Guides Boutique this year is Pressure Cooking Pressure Cooking is 224-pages in length and includes more than 120-different recipes, with step-by-step, full color instructions and photographs. You will also find tips to help you convert your own favorite recipes to pressure cooking recipes.

Pressure Cooking includes instructions for using both electric and stovetop pressure cookers. You also receive handy charts with cooking times for common ingredients you use in pressure cookers.

As a complete ‘newby’ to pressure cooking – I recently purchased one and am actually nervous to use it – this book is fantastic. It walks you through the basics – to explain how the pressure cooker actually works and then it gives you a breakdown of the different types of release methods, understanding PSI (pounds per square inch of pressure) and adjusting your cooking time for different altitudes.

You are also introduced to the basics for pressure cooking vegetables and meat; how to stock your kitchen for pressure cooking and how to convert your conventional recipes for use in your pressure cooker.

A suggestion for planning your weeknight meals to make use of leftovers you may have, is also included. One example is to cook chicken in your pressure cooker – 3-pound chicken will cook in 20 minutes or less – then throughout the week you can use the leftovers to make other meals like chicken and dumplings, chicken salad and chicken tacos.

The Recipes section includes:

  • Basics – stocks, pasta sauce, eggs, rice, beans
  • Breakfasts
  • Appetizers
  • Salads
  • Soups, Stews and Chilies
  • Vegetables
  • Meaty Main Dishes
  • Rice, Grains and Breads
  • Desserts

The Appendix begins on page 218 and includes very helpful tables for use as a quick reference. Tables included are:

  • Meat
  • Potatoes
  • Dried Beans
  • Grains and Seeds

DK Canada Books has kindly granted me permission to share the following excerpt from Idiot’s Guides Pressure Cooking.

Excerpted from Idiot’s Guides Pressure Cooking – copyright 2016 Alpha Books.

Idiot's Guides Pressure Cooking - Barbeque Braised Short Ribs
Idiot’s Guide to Pressure Cooking – Barbecue Braised Short Ribs


Barbecue Braised Short Ribs


These short ribs are a perfect match for your pressure cooker. They come out juicy, tender, and succulent in under an hour.




 3 lb. (1.5kg) beef short ribs

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 TB. vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)

1 cup water

½ cup barbecue sauce



  1. Season beef short ribs on all sides with 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, and set aside until salt is absorbed.
  2. In a 6-quart (5.5l) pressure cooker set to medium-high (traditional)/high (electric) heat, heat vegetable oil. When hot and nearly smoking, add ribs, leaving space between them so they brown nicely and don’t steam. (You might need to do this in batches.) Transfer browned ribs to a baking sheet, and set aside.
  3. Add yellow onion to the cooker, and cook for about 3 minutes or until it begins to wilt.
  4. Season onion with remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and add ribs and water.
  5. Lock on the lid, and bring pressure to level 2 (traditional)/high (electric). Reduce heat to low, and cook at 2/high for 40 minutes. Remove from (traditional)/turn off (electric) heat, perform a quick release, and remove the lid.
  6. Gently transfer ribs to a large plate, and drain off all but 3 tablespoons liquid from onions.
  7. Add barbecue sauce to onions, and stir. Return ribs to the pressure cooker, turn ribs to coat in sauce, and heat for about 5 minutes. Serve hot.



Calories: 470
Carbohydrates: 4g
Sugars: 1g
Dietary fiber: 0g
Protein: 48g
Fat: 28g
Cholesterol: 150mg
Sodium: 1,030mg


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All images are used with permission from DK Canada Books.

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  1. I SO want a pressure cooker–and now I want this book, too! Added to my wishlist!

  2. I do oenjoy when a sample recipe from the cookbook is given. My mother in law was a master of the pressure cooker.

  3. I think it’s great that they have give a run down on how the cooker works, and PSI as most books just expect you to know it.
    I have never even thought about how it would vary at different altitude so that’s another great bonus!!

  4. I love pressure cookers! But I forget that they are more than for canning alone! Thanks for the review and the recipe! And thanks for being you!