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Cuisinart Pressure Cooker Electric Model CPC600 Review

How the Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker Performed

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (8 Reviews)

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Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker

Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker

Photo © Cuisinart
After decades of using stovetop pressure cookers, I was curious to see what difference the Cuisinart electric pressure cooker would make. Would it remove some of the worry generally associated with non-electric stovetop pressure cooking. With such an intriguing design and a fingerprint-proof stainless finish, the Cuisinart pressure cooker model CPC-600 just begged to be tested.

Cuisinart Pressure Cooker Product Description

  • The Cuisinart CPC-600 6-Qt (5.7L) Electric Pressure Cooker comes with base, lid, trivet, removable nonstick cooking pot and manual that includes several recipes and guides.
  • It has seven safety devices incorporated into the cooker:
    • Appliance will not start pressurizing until lid is locked and it (lid) cannot be removed until all pressure has been released.
    • Correct pressure level is maintained automatically during the cycle.
    • When pressure inside exceeds the preset temperature, the pressure limit valve will release air automatically.
    • The cover is designed to prevent food from blocking the pressure limit valve.
    • When pressure and temperature are at maximum levels, the cooking pot and lid will adjust to release air pressure.
    • When the temperature reaches preset values or if the pot is empty, power will automatically shut off.
    • The circuit will be opened when the cooker reaches maximum temperature.
  • Digital thermostat and push-button controls.
  • High and low pressure settings plus browning, simmer, sauteé and keep-warm
  • Automatically goes to warm for 12 hours after cooking
  • 99-minute timer with LED countdown display
  • 1000 Watts of power
  • Fingerprint-proof brushed stainless exterior finish
  • Cool-touch handles
  • Nonstick cooking pot that is dishwasher safe
  • Trivet - dishwasher safe
  • Pressure cook foods up to 70% faster than traditional cooking
  • After cooking is done, it will release steam naturally or you can save time by using quick pressure release. You can also use a combination of both methods.
  • Limited 3 year warranty
  • MSRP: $149.00

Getting Started

April 11, 2009
Right out of the box, the Cuisinart CPC-600 is impressive and the finish is definitely fingerprint-proof. In fact, I wish all stainless appliances had this particular brushed finish - just wipe and dry after use - no scrubbing.

Though the manual does have instructions, they seemed confusing at first, but once followed there was no problem. The condensation collector (plastic gadget that attaches to the side of the cooker) could easily have been overlooked in the packaging, so use care when opening the box. The unit will still function without it, but it saves some cleaning later.

I like the digital countdown, ease of use and functions of this cooker. Being able to sauteé, simmer or brown right in the cooking pot is a real time-saver - no other pot to clean. The auto-warm cycle activates when cooking is done and proved very handy while getting the rest of the dinner ready.

The nonstick finish of the cooking pot is very nice and it has measurements inside to make it easier to not overfill the pot. The cooking capacity is more than adequate for a family of four. As with all pressure cookers, you cannot fill it to the brim, but allow room for expansion of certain foods, as well as for heat to pressurize. It has lots of safety devices including those to safeguard opening and closing the cooker.

Cooking Performance

Familiar with the speed of pressure cooking, I wasn't surprised at the cooking times in the manual - they're not exaggerated. I cooked several of my own recipes and a few from the manual. You can use the Quick Release steam feature (turning the pressure limit valve) or allow it to naturally release (takes a few more minutes). I used both methods as well as a combination of the two for some recipes. Make sure to add time for natural pressure release when planning your meal serving time. Even with the extra time needed to release pressure, it is still quicker to pressure cook a meal. Although you can brown meats first, to save time I chose not to for some meals and they turned out just fine, not as brown but flavorful and tender.

Using the recipe for beef stew, I cooked 4 pounds of venison portions and the result was extremely tender and juicy meat in 12 minutes. Chicken and dumplings turned out great in 10 minutes (high), plus sauté time for dumplings.

I cooked a meat pasta sauce, browning meat and sauteèing vegetables first, then high for 20 minutes. The sauce looked like it had simmered for hours. I was so impressed with the time factor that I cooked a second 10-cup batch without browning, cooking all raw ingredients on high for 25 minutes. It gave me a large batch of sauce for the freezer in a short time.

My biggest hang-up was resisting the urge to cook on the high end of the range listed, such as with 6-8 minutes for potatoes, where 8 was too long and 7 would have been enough. I'm very satisfied with how everything cooked in the Cuisinart pressure cooker.

Overall Impression

What I like the best about this Cuisinart electric model are the safety features and less worry overall. Fill it, set it and get the rest of the meal ready while it cooks. I like being able to walk away from it, something you can't do when cooking on the range. I love the ease of use, functions and even the size of this pressure cooker. I especially like being able to simmer, sauté, brown and cook all in the same pot. As far as performance, it cooked well and within the times noted in recipes. Even clean-up was easier than expected as lid parts removed easily and reassembled just as quickly. The nonstick cooking pot cleans like a breeze.

I enjoyed cooking with this appliance and having every meal, even those expected to be tough, turn out tasty and tender. It has all the safety features I'd want in a pressure cooker plus it performs extremely well. The fingerprint-proof finish is indeed a real bonus.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Premature shutdown solution, Member rComsa

apparently the unit shuts down prematurelly because there is NOT ENOUGH LIQUID but also beacause the meat is on the bottom and is stuck on the bottom - add liquid and use the grid to keep meat off the bottom. The problem is logical but Cuisineart does nothing to explain it: the unit monitors the temperature of the bottom and when it detects a high temperature without pressure that means the meat is burning on the bottom of the pot and not enough steam is generating - the unit turns itself to keep warm.

12 out of 12 people found this helpful.

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