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Review of Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker

© 2013 ePressureCooker.com

Before I begin my review, I wanted to mention and respond to America’s Test Kitchen review of this electric pressure cooker that was published in Pressure Cooker Perfection. I was very pleased to see that this model was one of only two electric pressure cookers that were recommended (along with the Emeril by T-Fal Electric Pressure Cooker). I was also very pleased to see that ATK’s testing showed this machine reached 241° Fahrenheit — just a bit below the 250° F (15 PSI) that conventional stovetop pressure cookers are supposed to reach. (Please note, of the eight stovetop pressure cookers ATK tested, only ONE reached 250 degrees, so the actual temperature difference may be even less). But there were several observations made in the section on electric pressure cookers in general or regarding this model specifically that I feel deserve further comment.

America’s Test Kitchen on Electric Pressure Cookers. America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) first observed that the “food cooks in a liner pot with a nonstick coating, which is far less durable than stainless steel stovetop pots.” The same can be said for non-stick pots and pans, but because of their advantages, many people prefer to use them. I’ve had my pressure cooker inserts for several years now, and used them far more heavily than the average person ever will, and I can actually document the extent of wear that several years’ hard use will have on the pressure cooker pot (the following is the liner that’s in the worst condition). The bottom of the pressure cooker pot has the most wear and tear: the nonstick coating has worn off where it comes in contact with the heating element (most likely through contact friction), but this is on the outside of the pot, and doesn’t come into contact with the food. There were a couple of tiny scratches on the lip of the pressure cooker pot, probably from locking and unlocking the lid hundreds of times, but the food isn’t really in contact with this portion of the pot and the scratching is extremely minor. But if you’re concerned about it, there’s at least one Electric Pressure Cooker with a Stainless Steel Cooking Pot. ATK also said that the nonstick cooking inserts were light, slippery and unanchored, so they tended to spin around when they stirred food, and that because they have no handles, its “awkward” when pouring off hot liquids. I’ve never had the pot spin when stirring. Not once. The pot is light, but that’s a benefit when you have to remove a heavy pot full of stock or soup from the machine to the sink. And even without handles, I’ve never had a problem removing the inner pot from the machine (even with potholders or while wearing thick oven mitts).

They also observed that the heating units in the electrical models are weaker than those on the stove. There are only a few instances when this power difference would matter: when the machine is heating up to pressure (it might take slightly longer to do so), or when operating the electric pressure cooker with the lid off, e.g., when browning meat or reducing a sauce. Like conventional pressure cookers, once an electric pressure cooker reaches the desired pressure, the heat is reduced substantially in order to maintain that pressure, and all that extra power isn’t needed. ATK also noted their preference for “low, wide cookers” (because it is easier to brown meat) whereas electric pressure cookers have narrower bottoms and taller sides. It’s a little more awkward than using a skillet, but a good pair of long tongs will resolve most of that awkwardness. Most pressure cookers are designed this way for the same reason a paiolo is: the smaller the surface area in contact with the heat source, the smaller area where food could scorch or stick. When under pressure, the food in the cooker is not undergoing a vigorous boil, constantly being churned around the pot, but instead remains remarkably still as the pressure presses down on the cooking liquid, increasing surface tension, and holding the food in place. So its actually beneficial to have a tall, thin shape with as little of the food in direct contact with the heat source as possible.

America’s Test Kitchen on the Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker. This machine was only one of two electric pressure cookers recommended by America’s Test Kitchen. According to their measurements, it had the thickest bottom (which not only helps prevent scorching but would help retain heat), it achieved the second highest temperature (241° F), had the second best evaporation rate (the more water and volatiles kept in the pot, the better the flavor), and got top marks for “cooking”. They also observed that “[sometimes] when we started with less than 2 cups of liquid, the pot switched to “keep warm” mode. I’m unsure whether this was a complaint or an observation, but this is deliberate, this is a safety feature, not a flaw. All pressure cookers rely on heated water to create and maintain pressure inside the pot: if there is insufficient water from the start, or if cooking foods like rice and beans (as ATK did in some of their tests) which absorb a lot of water, and inadequate liquid is left to create steam, the pressure cooker cannot maintain pressure, and won’t operate properly. You should never operate a pressure cooker with too little water — you can actually damage the cooker. So it’s a good thing that this unit switches to “keep warm” if it can’t maintain pressure. If the machine does this, all you have to do is release the pressure, add more water, lock the lid, and you should be able to bring the unit back up to pressure fairly quickly.

Seven Built In Safety Features. The Cuisinart CPC-600 manual identifies seven (7) built in safety features. First, the machine locks the lid shut when it is under pressure. So if one of your kids tries to open it when you’re not looking, or knocks the machine on its side, nothing bad is going to happen, the lid won’t budge. Second is a pressure control device, which measures the temperature/pressure and automatically adjusts it. Third is a pressure limit valve, which will release air (and thereby reduce pressure) if the internal pressure starts to exceed the programmed setting. Fourth is the anti block cover, which I’ve yet to see on any other pressure cooker, but which I have found quite useful. The cover not only holds the gasket in place, but serves as sort of a “false bottom” for the pressure cooker lid, helping keep food from clogging the pressure valve. Fifth is the pressure relief device, which will move the pot downward, breaking the seal between the pot and the gasket, if the maximum allowable pressure is exceeded. There’s also a thermostat which will shut the unit off if it is operating with no food inside (which could damage the machine). Lastly, there is a thermal fuse, which will open the power circuit if the machine exceeds maximum temperature.

Floating (Non-Venting) Pressure Valve. The Cuisinart pressure cooker has a floating pressure valve (also known as a spring valve), rather than a weighted valve (often called a jiggle top valve). Many people are afraid of pressure cookers because they hiss and spit. As far as hissing and spitting (and noise in general) go, the worst offenders are pressure cookers with jiggle top valves, which deliberately do that to let the user know when they have reached or exceeded pressure. That’s not necessary with electric pressure cookers, which monitor and adjust temperature/pressure automatically. The spring valve releases much less steam, and far more gently, than jiggle top models. As a result, this pressure cooker is also a lot quieter than many stovetop models. (The closest you get to hissing and spitting is when you use “quick release”, which is actually quite tame. If you’d like to see and hear actual examples of what this is like, see the Cuisinart CPC-600 Review and Demonstration Video (both natural pressure release and then quick pressure release at the 07:20 mark) and the Cuisinart Pressure Cooker Demonstration Video (quick release at the 3:51 mark).)

Additionally, because the machine isn’t releasing large amounts of steam, it isn’t adding lots of heat to your kitchen the way an oven or a stovetop pot would. I have vivid childhood memories of how miserably hot and steamy my poor mother’s kitchen was every summer when she boiled hot dogs or had a big pot of boiling water to make fresh corn on the cob. With my Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob Recipe, you only use a cup of water, and most of the hot steam is used to cook the corn, not heat up your kitchen. Equally importantly, for many applications, including making homemade stock (as discussed in Cooking Issues’ Stock Making Trials), non-venting pressure cookers like this one produce chicken stock with superior aroma and taste. America’s Test Kitchen also alluded to this when they noted that “[pressure] cookers with lower evaporation rates rated higher”. The more of the contents that are kept in the pot during the pressure cooking process, the better the end result will be.

Three Year Limited Warranty. One of the biggest clues to the potential longevity of a product is how long a warranty the manufacturer offers. The Cuisinart CPC-600 comes with a three year limited warranty. I’m still in the process of checking warranties on other electric pressure cookers, but so far, I haven’t seen another electric pressure cooker offer a 3 year warranty (the longest I’ve seen so far is one year). If you’d like to read the details of the warranty, the CPC-600 manual is available online: Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker Instruction Manual (see pages 8 – 9).

Cuisinart Pressure Cooker Demonstration Video

Performance. I owned this pressure cooker for over a year, making dozens of recipes designed for conventional (15 PSI) pressure cookers, before I realized it wasn’t a 15 PSI pressure cooker. All of the recipes came out just fine, perfectly cooked, and if America’s Test Kitchen’s temperature measurements are correct — that this pressure cooker reached 241° F whereas the majority of stovetop pressure cookers they tested didn’t actually reach 250° F — then the temperature difference is minimal, and the effect on cooking time should also be negligible. That’s certainly been my experience, although it may be more pronounced at high altitude (I’m at around 1,000 feet above sea level). I called Cuisinart and asked them for the specifics on the various settings: “high pressure” corresponds to approximately 10 pounds per square inch (PSI) (although the 241° ATK measured suggests it goes higher than that) and the “low pressure” setting corresponds to 6 PSI. The “warm” setting corresponds to 143 – 176° F, “simmer” to 176 – 230° F, “sauté” to 257 – 311° F and “browning” to 394 – 428° F.

Durability. Electric pressure cookers in general get a bad rap for a supposed lack of durability compared to conventional, stovetop models. Even if that is true, the convenience and freedom to program an electric pressure cooker and leave the room to do other things while your meal cooks itself more than outweighs it. Both my Cuisinart pressure cookers are several years old, they’ve made hundreds of dishes each (I sometimes use them multiple times per day, sometimes multiple times per meal), and they’re still going strong. In that same amount of time, I’ve had to replace my nonstick skillets at least once, if not twice. And parts can wear out or break on stovetop pressure cookers, too. If you check out the video I’ve embedded below, the gentleman who is doing the demonstration mentions that his Cuisinart CPC-600, which has also been used hundreds of times, is four years old, its been banged around, its been dented, its even been dropped, and its still working.

Cuisinart CPC-600 Review and Demonstration

Ease of Cleaning. An otherwise excellent kitchen appliance won’t get used if it’s a nuisance to clean. Fortunately, the Cuisinart CPC-600 is actually quite easy to clean (and you don’t have to just take my word for it, it was chosen the winner in Good Housekeeping’s Pressure Cooker Reviews in the “Easy to Clean” category). The cooking pot insert is nonstick and is dishwasher safe. The outside of the machine and the lid are stainless steel and plastic and easily clean up with a damp sponge and a little dishwashing liquid. There is a “channel” around the lip of the pressure cooker for any excess moisture to be drained into a condensation collector which can be cleaned using your finger and a paper towel or a clean toothbrush. As noted above, there is an anti-block cover in the top of the lid which helps protect the pressure valve from being clogged with food, and which can be easily removed, disassembled, washed, and replaced back in the lid. I really can’t think of any way they could make this machine easier to clean and maintain.

What’s the Difference Between the Cuisinart CPC-600 and the EPC-1200? I was curious, so I called the manufacturer and asked. Essentially, nothing. There may be some minor cosmetic differences, but apparently the Cuisinart model number EPC-1200 is used to designate pressure cookers that are sold through Costco.

So Is There Anything You Don’t Like About The Cuisinart Pressure Cooker? Sure. There’s always room for improvement. I wish this pressure cooker could pressure fry, as in Kentucky Fried Chicken, but it can’t. But then, neither can any other home pressure cooker, so I can’t fault them for that. (There are discussion boards where posters will tell you that you can pressure fry using a particular brand or model of pressure cooker, but every time I see such a claim, I check the owner’s manual, and it says not to use the cooker for pressure frying. That means the manufacturers have determined there is a risk if you do so (injury or property damage could result) so they specifically instruct you not to do this. To pressure fry, you’d need a Pressure Fryer). I also wish the digital timer mechanism worked when the machine wasn’t under pressure, as in, if you wanted to reduce a sauce for 20 minutes and then have the machine turn itself off automatically, you could program it to do that. Unfortunately, the timer mechanism only works under pressure, so if you want to do that, you have to set your own kitchen timer and turn it off manually. I also wish you could program the pressure cooker to either switch to “keep warm” or to turn off completely. And the user’s manual could use a little proofreading, because there’s an inconsistency in the instructions regarding cooking beans: the instruction portion of the booklet says not to fill the pressure cooker more than half (1/2) full when cooking legumes, beans and grains; the recipe portion of the booklet says one third (1/3) full. (You can easily cook a pound of beans – 2 cups – at a time, I’d say the one half instructions are correct, and the latter is an error.) But these are all very minor complaints.

Summary. I love the Cuisinart CPC-600 electric pressure cooker. I bought mine because my sister liked hers so much, and was always talking about it. I loved mine so much, and raved about it so much, my father bought one, too (and I bought a second one for myself). I’ve had them both several years, and I love them even more now than I did at the beginning, and that’s saying a lot. It could hardly be easier to operate, it eliminates most of the potential for human error, and I don’t see how it could be easier to clean. It doesn’t hiss and sputter or vent lots of steam like jiggle top pressure cookers, its really very quiet, and it generates a lot less heat and smell in the kitchen than conventional cooking methods (a real benefit during hot summers when you have to cook). You can get great food, with less work on your part, for less money, in far less time than it would otherwise take. I’m constantly coming up with new ways to use it. And best of all, unlike stovetop pressure cookers, you can program the machine, and you won’t have to remain in the kitchen and continuously monitor it. The Cuisinart pressure cooker automatically comes up to pressure, adjusts the temperature to maintain that pressure, and then changes to the “keep warm” setting once it has pressure cooked for the number of minutes you programmed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below. I love to help people, so I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have. If you’d like to purchase one of these electric pressure cookers as a Christmas gift, recommend you buy early: I made the mistake of waiting too long the year I bought my first machine, and Amazon and some of my other preferred vendors had sold out, and I ended up having to wait until the New Year to get one. If you’d like to do some comparison shopping, see if you can get free shipping, or find an online retailer who has them in stock, I’ve included links to this model on Amazon (hover over the “shop now” button to see the price on Amazon) and a number of other online vendors below:

You can see the Amazon price by hovering over the “shop now” button in the bottom right corner of the picture. Mobile users: the preview function may or may not work for you, and unfortunately, I have no way to control if it does or doesn’t. Sorry.

Price Comparison for Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker

58 Responses to Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker Review

  • Carl McAlister says:

    When pressure cooker is set for low pressure and the proper pressure is reached the red valve comes up and the cooker starts cooking cycle. At approximately 3 to 4 minutes into cook cycle the pressure release valve starts releasing steam until no water is left in cooker. I know that the valve is set in correct position as it allows cooker to build pressure. Why is this happening? Never had this problem in the past.

    • Hi Carl. I assume you have a Cuisinart CPC-600? Is the problem only happening on the low pressure setting, and not on high pressure? How much water are you putting in the unit?

      Actually, the red floating pressure valve rises and “seals” several minutes before it actually reaches the designated pressure (in this case, low pressure being 6 PSI), and it sounds like it is actually failing at the point where pressure is supposedly reached (or shortly thereafter). How old is your unit? Have you changed the gasket lately? Have you checked for damage inside the lid, damage to the gasket, anything clogging the pressure release valve (the black knob you turn back and forth to manually force pressure release)? Have you checked the floating valve to see if the spring inside it is somehow damaged?

      I’d suspect that the unit is somehow overpressurizing, and that’s why shortly after it really reaches pressure it starts venting steam, but I would think that would happen at both pressure settings, not just the lower one. Have you called Cuisinart? What did they say? It could be either a sensor or an electronics problem if there’s no obvious damage you can find.

  • Donna says:

    I just purchased the CPC-600. Not impressed with the instruction booklet. It tells you how long it takes to cook something, but doesn’t tell you how much liquid you are supposed to use to make this happen. Also, liquid and steam in coming out of the Pressure Limit Valve. Is this suppose to happen?

    • Yeah, like the instruction manuals for many other devices, including pressure cookers, it could be written better, or at least organized better. They sometimes reference the amount of water to be used in the text above the tables, but you’ll quickly learn that its pretty simple to figure out how much water to use. Unless you are cooking something that absorbs water (rice, dry pasta, grains, dry beans, etc.) you could get away with as little as 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of liquid if the item you’re cooking will only be under pressure 10 minutes or less, 1 cup if you’re going up to 20 minutes under pressure, and if you’re going over 20 minutes under pressure, its probably meat, in which case it will release a lot of liquid during cooking, and you could probably use a cup of water there too. 2 cups if you really feel nervous about it, but I try to keep the water to a liquid so you don’t have to reduce so much when making sauces. For rice, you’d use about the same amount of water that you would if you cooked it conventionally. I believe the manual says 1 3/4 cups of water per cup of rice, I use 2, but with the pressure cooker, up to a certain point, the rice will keep absorbing as much water as is in the pot, so you can adjust it to your own personal liking.

      Now for the pressure limit valve. It shouldn’t be coming out of the pressure limit valve when the unit is pressuring up, if something is coming out during pressurization, then the valve probably isn’t in the proper position or its been knocked at an angle. Once the unit reaches pressure (the floating valve – that little red dot that pops up to the surface – should be flush with the handle, and then the unit will actually reach pressure several minutes later) there may be a slight amount of steam release as the unit adjusts the pressure level (the machine will go above the designated pressure and then settle back down) but water shouldn’t be coming out. If you allow the machine to depressurize naturally, there will be some steam gradually released as the unit depressurizes; if you do “quick release”, depending on the volume of food and water in the unit, there could be some water coming out right when you flip the valve, and there will be more steam than if you allowed “natural” release because you’re hastening the process quite a bit. Does what you’re experiencing sound like something beyond what I’ve just described?

  • Ken & Leslie says:

    We have owned our Cuisinart pressure cooker which we purchased at Costco several months. Our nutritionist suggested cooking with this for health benefits over conventional cooking. The recipes are great tasting, healthy, and quick to make. My wife and I have both lost over 25 lbs by cooking healthier foods. Thanks to Dr. Matali Kapola at vitality nutrition in novi michigan for her professional nutritional help and coaching along with our Cuisinart!

    • That’s wonderful! Congratulations!

      I find that pressure cookers are not only great for the more obvious ways of reducing calories and fat, (1) eating stews and soups and braised dishes instead of sauteed food; (2) eating more grains and beans which would otherwise take longer to cook, but also its really, really good at rendering the fat out of meat. As long as you either use a fat separator or refrigerate broth, sauces, etc. overnight before eating them, you can remove a lot of that rendered fat out of your dishes.

  • Sharon says:

    ❓ Even with 3 cups of water, my pressure cooker is still defaulting to the warm function. Why does it keep on doing this?

    • I need to clarify here, because the answer depends on the details. I’m assuming you have a Cuisinart pressure cooker, is that correct? I’m assuming you’ve checked to make sure your pressure release valve isn’t blocked, that its in the right position, that your rubber gasket is in good condition and isn’t leaking, that your condensation collector isn’t full of water, etc. There’s also one little known problem which has to do with your lid, you need to make sure that the little metal pin on the inside of the lid – the one you grasp in order to remove the “false bottom” from the lid, the metal piece that holds the gasket in place – is not placed near the bottom of the pressure limit valve or the red float valve. If it is close, just rotate the false bottom/inner lid until that little knob is on the other side of the lid. (If you haven’t checked all those things, you need to do that.)

      Now, if you’ve checked all those things and everything else is fine (3 cups is more than enough water), and the machine sort of works, that is, when you program it, it starts to heat up, it goes almost to the point where it reaches pressure, and then it fails, it just goes to “keep warm” immediately, that’s probably either a control panel issue or a sign that something has broken.

      In that case, you should call cuisinart customer support, and see if they have any additional suggestions, and if not, arrange to return the machine for a replacement. The Cuisinart has a three year guarantee: you’ll need to prove when you bought it, easy enough to print out a receipt if you bought it online. Most likely they will send you a new machine, rather than repair it.

  • Tom Levine says:

    Great article! Well written, and I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said. I have had my Cuisinart pressure cooker for over 4 years, and have used it 5-7 times a week consistently. When I saw the ATK youtube review, I was floored that they dissed electric pressure cookers when compared to stove-top versions, and for all the reasons you stated, they couldn’t be more wrong. Electrics are convenient, easy, and for at least this home chef, way better than a stove-top. But to each his own.

    For the record, I did replace the pot once, because the bottom was scratched, but let it be known, that the bottom was scratched from my using a stainless steel hand-blender in the pot while making soup. The replacement pot was a neglible price, btw, maybe around $15 total, so not really a big deal.

    Quick question for you: I’ve noticed that, hundreds and hundreds of uses later, the red floating pressure valve takes longer to pop. When the unit was new, a little bit of steam would come out, and then the valve would seal. Now, the steam seems to go on and on, and sometimes, I have to manually jiggle the top, to get the red valve to pop. I notice that the valve, uses a small silicone seal on the lid, and like the silicone gasket around the rim of the lid, it is discolored. I’m wondering if these parts wear out over time and need replacement. Do you know if the silicone seal (around the valve), can be replaced, or would I need to simply buy a new lid.

    Heck, even if the silicone does wear out over time, I’ve gotten over 4 years of use out of my Cuisinart. It is truly my workhorse in the kitchen.

    Your thoughts would be most greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for your enthusiastic review.

    Sincerely, Tom

    • Hi Tom, thanks for the kind words, glad you enjoyed the review. Always glad to hear from another heavy electric pressure cooker user. As for the ATK reviews, there seems to be a serious prejudice against electric pressure cookers amongst many “serious” cooking enthusiasts, as well as some pressure cooking cookbook authors, and that’s actually one of the reasons why I created this site. To some people, its because the electric units don’t quite reach 15 PSI, even though the difference in temperature reached and cooking length is really quite negligible when you consider the pressure spike at the beginning, before the unit settles into its actual pressure setting. Some of that attitude is because as electric appliances, they probably aren’t going to last as long as a stovetop pressure cooker, but the same could be said for a stand mixer, and I don’t see serious cooks giving those up (and frankly, if it means I don’t have to stand in the kitchen and babysit the machine, I’m more than willing to pay for repairs or replace the machine every couple of years. The freedom to be able to leave and do other things is more than worth it.) Some of that is just plain prejudice against the automation of the process, which is ridiculous, because very few of those people looking down on electric pressure cookers would say, consider whipped cream to be illegitimate unless it was hand whisked, or look down their noses at a cook who uses a convection oven with a timer, yet for some bizarre reason, electric pressure cookers are dissed.

      As for the non-stick pot, yeah, they’re going to have to be replaced periodically, although probably more from user error (in my case, the family dumping silverware in the pot repeatedly and scratching it, despite being told not to). But then the pots have lasted longer than my non-stick skillets, and as you say, at $20 each, far less expensive than skillets can be.

      About your question about the red float valve: I don’t know. It could be the gasket around the bottom, it could be wear and tear of the mechanism inside the plastic, where we can’t see. Does this happen every time? If its just some of the time, it may be the issue the gentleman in the YouTube view I posted on the page identified, and once I saw that, I realized it had happened to me as well. Before locking the lid in place, you need to make sure that that little knob on the “sealing ring support cover” – what I call the false bottom – the knob that you grasp to remove the cover, isn’t near/in contact with either the pressure valve or the red float valve. It can actually prevent the unit from coming up to pressure properly. If knocking or shaking the unit resolves the problem, then it may be that you are knocking that knob out of contact with one of those valves, thereby allowing the unit to come up to pressure. I would recommend first checking this before each use, you can just manually rotate the knob to the other side of the lid to make sure its well out of the way.

      If that doesn’t resolve the problem, then its probably some form of wear and tear and I’d recommend replacing the lid. I really doubt Cuisinart would sell just the little gasket, they’d be afraid it wouldn’t be replaced properly, or that there was a different problem in the internal part of the mechanism that we can’t see. (Of course, you could always call Cuisinart and see if they have any other ideas how to resolve the problem before replacing the lid.) If the problem isn’t the knob on the sealing ring supporting cover, and is in fact an issue with the float valve, then I’d be worried that eventually jiggling isn’t going to fix the problem, and it’ll fail at the worst possible moment, like when you have a brisket you need to serve in an hour and you don’t have a working pressure cooker anymore.

      A replacement lid is $35 on the Cuisinart website (plus shipping), but for a slightly higher base price on Amazon, you can get free shipping plus you can purchase a 2 year third party warranty (through Square Trade) on the lid for a couple of bucks: Cuisinart CPC-600 Lid. It might be worth the couple of extra bucks for the warranty, given that you are a heavy user. ;D

      Feel free to ask any further questions you have, and I’d be really interested to know if checking the supporting cover knob resolves the problem, or if you end up replacing the lid.

    • JW says:

      My Cuisinart CPC-600 worked great for the first 4 uses, then it wouldn’t seal anymore. I tried making sure it was clean and seated well, and that the ring was good. As far as I can tell, the electronics responsible for detecting the seal are not functioning correctly. I only paid $45 for it, so I guess you get what you pay for. 😉 Back to the old reliable crock pot. 🙂

      • If you paid $45 for it, I take it you purchased a refurbished unit, then? If so, they have a 90 day warranty, and you should be able to get a new unit from Cuisinart. And regardless, it might be worth a call to Cuisinart to see if they can think of something you didn’t know to check, for example, to make sure the pressure regulator isn’t stuck or blocked, etc.

  • Paul Tooley says:

    I have had unfortunate experiences with TWO of these units now, over a 3 year period in which neither of them has worked right.. Failing to build proper pressure and defaulting to the KEEP WARM mode too early, and other issues. Often the liquid has boiled out. Not even kidney beans work, as of today. I think they are simply defective in design. I had them send me a replacement for one unit, but it started doing the same thing after a few uses. I think they rely on people not using these units much the first few months, and when problems arise they have you send it back AT YOUR EXPENSE..only to receive another broken one. Called Cuisinart today to ask for a refund on the latest failed unit, and they said again to send it back at my expense plus a $10 charge.. no refund. And no changes or improvements have been made to the CPC-600 over the 3 years, they told me. But they said I should take it back to Bed, Bath and Beyond where I bought it and ask about a refund.. how’s that for customer service??

  • ePressureCooker
    ePressureCooker says:

    Paul, I’m very sorry to hear about the problems you have had with your Cuisinart pressure cooker. Its not been my experience, on the whole. My sister has had her machine for years, and it never broke (although she did not use hers nearly as much as mine get used). As for my machines, I did buy one refurbished unit that experienced largely the same problem you describe, fortunately within the warranty period, and Cuisinart replaced it with a brand new machine – not another refurbished unit. But by buying a refurbished unit, I knew I was taking a risk, fortunately it worked out for me, but this is why I don’t recommend that others buy refurbished units — the warranty period is much shorter (3 months versus 3 years). Subsequent to the above review, I did have a unit that I had purchased new fail as well, but that was more than a year later and it didn’t surprise me, since I use my electric pressure cookers extraordinarily heavily, sometimes 5 – 6 times per day. Cuisinart replaced it, no problem.

    I don’t know what to say about the refund issue, other than take them up on their suggestion, and return it to Bed Bath and Beyond for a refund. Let BBB give you your money back. Cuisinart’s policy is replacements, not refunds. If enough people return the machines, then Bed Bath & Beyond will stop stocking them.

    But would you mind if I gave you some advice for your next machine, whatever brand you buy? I always recommend that anyone who buys an electric pressure cooker also purchase a third party warranty, for example, I found several third party appliance / kitchen appliance insurance services on Amazon alone. Smart Guard has a 3 year protection plan, and there are others (see Appliance Protection Plans, including the plan I’ve purchased with my pressure smoker and my most recent pressure cooker, the SquareTrade 4 Year Appliance Protection Plan).

    I don’t know the terms for the other third party insurers, but with SquareTrade, if my machine fails within the manufacturer warranty, I should go through the manufacturer for a replacement. If the manufacturer warranty is up, or the manufacturer fails to, or refuses to, replace the unit, then I’ve got years of extended warranty where Square Trade will cover the unit. Anyway, its something I’d recommend you consider for whatever brand you buy next.

  • Myrna says:

    My Electric Cuisinart Pressure cooker is SICK! I need your help please. The appliance does not receive electricity at all – I have plugged it in different outlets to no avail. it has been working beautifully for 4 years (No more warranty) till yesterday when I noticed the machine went blank. Any help it will be appreciated. Thank you.


  • ePressureCooker
    ePressureCooker says:

    Oh Myrna, I’m so sorry to hear that! So its been working perfectly up until yesterday and now, it won’t power up at all, as in, no red light when you plug it in? Think back over the past few months: have there been any times where the machine did not come up to pressure and you thought maybe you didn’t set it up properly, so you redid everything and then it worked? Have there been any power surges lately while the machine was plugged in? Did you accidentally get any water on the bottom of the inner pot and put it in the machine? (Water on the bottom of the nonstick cooking insert could damage the cooking element underneath.) I’m assuming there’s no visible damage to the power cord when you inspect it, is there?

    I’m guessing one of two things has happened: either the electrical cord has failed or the electrical control panel has failed. If there were a couple of times over the past couple of months when the machine failed to come up to pressure and then you adjusted things and it worked, that would suggest to me an electrical panel failure (that’s what happened to the refurbished unit that I bought). My only thought is, aside from calling Cuisinart at (800) 726-0190 and seeing if they have any suggestions to try, would be purchase another electrical cord from Cuisinart and see if that resolves the problem.

    I called my father who is more technically oriented than I am, and he said if you know anyone with a Volt Meter they would be able to test the cord for you, or if you have a local appliance repair shop, perhaps they could test if for you for a nominal fee.

    If its not the power cord, I’m guessing that repair would not be the economical option, that it would be better to replace the unit, which gives you a 3 year warranty, and if you want you can purchase a 4 year 3rd party warranty for a nominal additional amount (which would get you an additional year of warranty).

  • Myrna says:

    Thank you for your response. Is not the cord. We opened the unit and it seems that the problem is on the “circuit” box, don’t know if that can be fixed.
    Everything looks clean…Too clean. 🙁

  • I’m sorry to hear that, a bad cord would have been the most economical fix. If everything in the circuit box looks clean, that may be a good sign, in an odd way – I once had a power surge take out one of my electrical appliances, and you could see the physical damage from it inside the machine.

    It may be more economical to replace the unit entirely rather than repair it. Remember, the new Cuisinart pressure cookers (not the refurbished ones) come with a three year warranty, and you can purchase an extended warranty for a nominal amount. Whereas you’re already out of warranty on the current machine – if something else goes wrong, you’ll have to pay again. I’d be interested to hear what Cuisinart says they’ll charge for repairing it.

    • Myrna says:

      I must write a big Thank you for the responses received to my dilemma in August. I am happy to tell you, that as I commented to the Store Williams Sonoma (as I was buying a wedding gift) of my Electric Pressure Cooker going completely DEAD -the store Manager replaced it! She told me, that a good costumer should not be stressed to have an appliance going bad. I explained that I understood that the guarantee was for an stipulated time and accepted. She insisted that I should bring back the “appliance” and would replace it without questions. It had been 5 years that I had it. This Thank you goes to Williams Sonoma for replacing it. So, my advice; buy your appliance from a reputable Store. I’m glad I did.
      Have a Blessed day Cooking!

      • ePressureCooker
        ePressureCooker says:

        Oh Myrna! I’m so happy to hear that! And BRAVO to Williams Sonoma for doing that – now THAT is good customer service. I bet you’re so glad and relieved to have your “baby” back, so to speak. Though you may want to contact a third party insurer like Squaretrade and purchase an extended warranty — unless you have a “receipt” (some form of proof of purchase) I don’t know whether Cuisinart will honor their warranty on the pressure cooker. Or maybe just call Cuisinart first and ask them what to do – maybe you can “register” the new machine with them.

      • Myrna says:

        Thank you! that is good advice. I will call Cuisinart now, and register the appliance. I never thought of that! I do have a receipt, of course it does says $0 –Hum mm I will call! thanks again.

    • Cindy McIntire says:

      My cpc-600 is my second epc. (Loved the first one but the non-stick coating took a beating.) Tried white rice the first time the other evening.. perfection!

      Tonight, I’m preparing pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches. Had to stop/restart it twice as it would not reach pressure. Took the lid spart & verified set up was good.. no problems. The red pressure button lept hissing and pressure wasn’t reached on both occasions. Finally, I just added more liquid, and went back to square one. Might shorten the cooking time a little, as the first two failed attempts to reach pressure amounted to 40 minutes of cooking time! Eager to also try shredding/pulling the pork with my KA stand mixer tonight! My problem is likely a stuck red valve and/or loss of water from the steam blowing out the pressire valve. Not long now, about 20 minutes left!

      Oh! For those who replace their epc’s with identical models… save the components! You might find you need one of the parts from the old one and I noted some of the parts avail are pretty pricey.. the lid and removable liner are especially high! Over $50 for the non-stock pot, now!

      • Cindy, you’re right, if the unit didn’t come up to pressure once or twice, it could easily have lost too much water while the pressure release valve was still open. Good idea to add more water in that case. I did think of one weird quirk that isn’t in the operating manual that can cause the unit not to come up to pressure that you might want to check from now on. I found out purely by accident when it happened to me, and I did some research on it and found out what the problem was. When you have the gasket in place in the bottom of the lid, there’s a little metal “knob” you’ll see sticking out of the “sealing ring assembly” (the false bottom that holds the gasket in place). Make sure and rotate that little knob so it is not underneath the pressure valve or the float valve. Apparently the little knob if its in the right place can physically block one or the other from moving, and thus prevent the machine from coming up to pressure. So always make sure the knob is well away from that side of the lid.

        Now, in case that’s not the problem, and this happens again, where your CPC600 won’t come up to pressure some of the time, then before its out of warranty, be sure to contact Cuisinart and tell them you think its failing. There’s a 3 year warranty, so you’ve probably got time, but make sure you have your receipt and know the purchase date so you know when the clock on the warranty runs out, just in case. And if there’s any chance its indeed failing (most likely a loose wire or an electrical panel problem) put in a claim before the warranty runs out. I bought a reconditioned machine that was failing from the start, but it started out being every once in a while, and become progressively worse, until it stopped working altogether. Fortunately, that was before the 90 way warranty on reconditioned machines ran out, so I actually got a new machine out of it.

        And your advice about keeping the spare parts from the old machine is an excellent one. I’ve done this myself. And you’re right about the spare parts getting more expensive these days. In fact, rather than spend that much for a new non-stick pot, at today’s prices, I would probably just buy a new one, or even a Refurbished Cuisinart Pressure Cooker (the prices fluctuate for them, sometimes they are better than others). If it breaks before the 90 day warranty, you get a new machine. If it breaks afterward and you’ve purchased a third party warranty, you get reimbursed. If it breaks out of warranty, most likely the only part that will be non-operational is the base, you still have the lid, the non-stick pot, the gasket, the pressure release valve, the accessories, etc. all of which will probably be useful and operational.

      • Cindy says:

        The third try was perfect! I had read about the position of the lid’s false botom and it was put in place each time – far away from the pressure regulators on the main lid. I’m pretty sure the red pressure sensor was sticking, causing the hissy-fit! The pulled pork turned out great!

        I made beef stew a couple of days ago and each time I replaced the lid, I depressed the underside of the red valve to test it and pressure was reached quickly. I used the browning method for the beef first (no flour) and added 2 c of hot water, seasonings and cooked 8 mins on high. Then I added carrots & potatoes for another 5, then pan-sauted onions & celery for 5 more. Yes, a lot of starting/stopping but I was mostly testing the unit for attaining pressure. Not one problem, and it turned out perfectly! Next time.. chicken!

      • Glad to hear it Cindy. If you think it was the pressure regulator sticking, then I’d recommend getting some small coffee machine cleaning brushes or Set of Mini Pipe Cleaning Brushes. I bought a set and use them every several uses to clean out the hole for the pressure release valve, around the pressure sensor, etc. Maybe a little very detailed cleaning will clean out whatever is causing the sticking.

  • R K says:

    I’m looking for an electric pressure cooker that allows me to put pint and quart canning jars. Will this model allow for that? ❓

  • ePressureCooker
    ePressureCooker says:

    Hi, RK. For food safety purposes, canning recipes for low acid foods such as meat, poultry and most vegetables are designed for pressure cookers that operate at 15 PSI (pounds per square inch), which roughly corresponds to 250° F at sea level. See this USDA Guide to Home Canning which puts the required temperature range at 240 – 250° F. Unfortunately, none of the electric pressure cookers on the market would reach 250 degrees. Assuming that the America’s Test Kitchen testing was accurate, and the Cuisinart pressure cooker reached 241° F at sea level, it would only reach the minimum temperature level required under ideal conditions, and at sea level. And even then, we have no idea if that temperature was sustained, or peaked and fell slightly. So I wouldn’t recommend using any electric pressure cooker for that purpose – its too risky in my opinion. (Plus they’re simply too small.)

    If you would consider a stovetop pressure canner, my sister does a lot of pressure canning and owns an All American Pressure Canner – she loves hers and says they’re the best built brand on the market. Off the top of my head, I’m not sure which size she owns, but even the smallest size (the 10 1/2 quart model) is significantly larger than a 6 quart electric pressure cooker and would hold a decent number of canning jars (the manufacturer’s instructions say it will hold either 7 pint jars or 4 quart jars).

  • Jenelle Wiley says:

    Can this pressure cooker be used for canning? I’ve never had a pressure cooker before and my mom was afraid of them. This past year we moved to where we could have a big garden….. I wanted to can the harvest but found out most veggies (other than tomatoes) need to be processed in a pressure cooker….. I have seen pressure cooker designated for canning…. I like one I could use for canning and other things. And I like the idea of it being electric.

  • ePressureCooker
    ePressureCooker says:

    Hi Jenelle, congratulations on the big vegetable garden – I’m officially jealous.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend ANY electric pressure cooker for canning. First, they’re too small, especially if you have a big garden full of vegetables. They simply wouldn’t hold enough jars to make it worth your while. More importantly, it could be unsafe. As you mentioned, most fruits and vegetables, as well as meats, are considered low acid foods and as such require pressure canning. Pressure canning recipes are designed for pressure cookers that reach 15 pounds per square inch, or 250° F. The USDA Home Canning Guide says the temperature range for pressure canning should be 240 – 250° F. Unfortunately, no electric pressure cooker that I’m aware of actually reaches 15 PSI (250° F) and this particular model AT BEST, under ideal conditions (sea level, in other words) would barely reach the minimum temperature requirement. That’s at best, and if there’s even the possibility that it would fail to do so, the food would be dangerous to eat.

    If you would consider a stovetop pressure canner, my sister (the family pressure canning expert) has an All American Pressure Canner – she says they’re the best made pressure canners out there. You can actually use pressure canners to pressure cook, you’d just probably want to put another pot – such as a ramekin or a glass casserole dish (covered with aluminum foil) on a trivet inside the pressure canner and put the food in there, rather than directly in the pressure canner.

    Since you’ve never used a pressure cooker before, and you’d prefer electric, there is another way you can go and still preserve your garden vegetables and fruit. Go ahead and buy an electric pressure cooker, its easier to use than a stovetop model, and its a good way for newbies to get used to pressure cooking. Its also a great way to make vegetable soups, stews with vegetables, steam vegetables, blanch vegetables, etc. You may end up using more of your produce for immediate needs than you realize. My chili recipe uses up 6 pounds of fresh tomatoes, for example (plus red bell pepper, onion, celery and carrot).

    But my sister also preserves her garden produce not only by canning, but with a Excalibur Dehydrator (that’s the model she owns, she loves that as well). She dehydrates lots of fruits and vegetables, peppers, chile peppers, tomatoes, corn kernels, beans, strawberries, apple slices, etc. You can also make fruit leather (roll-ups) in the dehydrator. Most fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, dehydrating not only removes most of the water, but it concentrates the flavor and the dehydrated vegetables and fruits take up a lot less storage room than canning jars do. You can either rehydrate them when you want to use them, or use them directly in soups, stews, stir fry, etc. in their dehydrated and more flavorful form. Just an idea, if you want to get used to a regular electric pressure cooker before diving in to using a stovetop canner.

  • Amber says:

    I bought a refurbished Cuisinart cpc600 several years ago and have been using it on average a few times per month ever since with good results ever since. However, I’ve noticed that lately the unit has started making quiet clicking noises when I’m cooking something that requires a longer time, like un-soaked beans. This worries me as I always have in the back of my mind the fear of the thing exploding. Could the noises just be signs that the unit is getting older and the heating mechanisms gradually wearing out, or is it a sign that I should stop using it? Also, the non-stick pot has gotten scratched and I’d like to know where I can get a replacement. Do I have to use a replacement Cuisinart brand, or are there different manufacturers that would also fit into my model? Thanks!

  • ePressureCooker
    ePressureCooker says:

    Hi Amber. First off, the Cuisinart has multiple safety mechanisms that should prevent it from exploding, so I wouldn’t worry about that if I were you. I’ve been trying to think if I’ve ever heard any clicking noises from any of my machines (I have several) and I think I may have, but I don’t have any specific recollection. You might want to call Cuisinart at (800) 726-0190 to see if they think the noises might be an indication of anything problematic with the machine.

    As for replacing the pot, you definitely want to use an inner pot that specifically says it fits in the Cuisinart. I’ve seen comments on Amazon that people were subbing in a pot from another brand, but that’s a bad idea. Not only does it void your warranty (if you have one) but the seller of the inner pot in question specifically says you shouldn’t use it with the Cuisinart machine and that it doesn’t fit. (Now that could be potentially very dangerous.)

    You can purchase another pot directly through Cuisinart or I searched on the part number and came up with this listing on Amazon that says it fits the Cuisinart – if you don’t have Amazon Prime, throw in a paperback cookbook or a jar of turkey base and you’ll have enough for free shipping. Though if I were you, I’d talk to Cuisinart first about the clicking noise – if you have to replace your machine, the price of a Refurbished Cuisinart CPC-600 isn’t that much more than Cuisinart’s website is charging for just the pot.

  • Myrna says:

    Hello Amber. The last comment should reassure you that it would not explode, it may ran out of water and burn all the electrical wires but that is all! 😀 One thing you may want to do is: (if passed warrantee) open the bottom plate and check if there are “dried beans jumping up and down” shake them out w/out touching any wires and maybe that will be the “popping” sounds you hear. When my machine went dead…I did opened, tried to see if there was any life in it but to my chagrin! It was not. Hopefully that is the problem. I cook beans a lot! and happened to me when accidentally pour the beans without the inner pot. I spoke to Cuisinart several times and the only reassuring message for me was that I needed to buy a new one. They were very nice though! Exceptionally attentive. However…they could not help me.

  • ePressureCooker
    ePressureCooker says:

    Actually, if the unit ran out of water, it would terminate cooking under pressure and switch to “Keep Warm” so the unit wouldn’t be damaged – that’s one of its safety features.

    As for Myrna getting beans caught under the inner pot, caught somewhere between the heating unit and the bottom panel, there’s a solution to that as well. Years ago, when I bought my first Cuisinart, I had only had it a few weeks and I was rushing to make lunch for guests. The lip of the pressure cooker makes it look like the inner pot is inside, at least until you get used to what its supposed to look like, and I didn’t realize I hadn’t put the inner pot in yet, and accidentally dumped a large quantity of homemade chicken stock directly onto the heating element. Called Cuisinart, and they told me it was too dangerous to try to use, that there was an electrocution danger. The CSR I spoke to told me she probably gets a half dozen calls a week from people who made the same mistake. I saved the inner part, lid and accessories, threw the machine out, and bought a replacement.

    But ever since then, I keep the inner pot outside the machine, fill it with water, broth, and all my ingredients, and THEN put it inside the machine. Its much safer that way. I run far less risk of accidentally spilling water on the electrical panel or getting anything between the inner pot and the machine.

  • Pea Green says:

    I simply LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Cuisinart! Nobody is allowed to touch it – it is my baby. It has never missed a beat in over two years, everything it does is scrumptious and it never ceases to amaze me with it’s versatility and the speed – wow. I did whole beets the other day . . . omg – 15 minutes! Took them out, skins just slid off, sliced them, dressed them with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and honey dressing . . . nearly died of pleasure. Mmmm mmmm. Also, it does Boston Baked Beans to die for. *bliss*

  • Carol says:

    I wanted to comment about the All American Pressure Canner. I have one and would not recommend it to anyone who can’t lift.
    Even when it is empty, I am unable to lift it. They are very heavy and we own the smallest. I would suggest the Mirro. They are less expensive and light. I am so sorry I bought this heavy unit.

    I found this site because my husband poured the 1/2 cup of water into the main Cuisinart Pressure Cooker. He was tired. What a
    mistake. I told him to blow dry the area, but he didn’t. He turned on the machine and only 1 light came on. We turned it off and
    are waiting to see tomorrow what happens once it dried. This is so disheartening !!
    The Cuisinart is not very old – maybe 3 or so months. We didn’t even think of registering the machine.
    I feel this is our mistake. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks Carol

    • ePressureCooker
      ePressureCooker says:

      Carol: that’s a good point about the weight that I hadn’t considered. Lifting heavy objects isn’t a problem for me most of the time, but it could well be an issue for others, especially since the glass jars and food add even more weight. You might want to consider selling the All American pressure canner on eBay: I’m sure someone would be happy to purchase it from you, if you can’t use it.

      As for your Cuisinart pressure cooker, I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear about that accident. If it makes you feel any better, I actually did the same thing with my first machine a few weeks after I bought it. I dumped 4 cups of homemade chicken stock right into the bottom, thinking I had put the insert inside already. I called Cuisinart to see what they advised, and the operator who answered the call told me she had probably gotten five or seven such calls from folks who had done the same thing that week alone. So your husband isn’t alone, unfortunately.

      Equally unfortunately, you’re right: this isn’t the kind of problem covered by the warranty. Cuisinart told me that I should throw the bottom out, that it was extremely dangerous to try to operate it, it was a fire and/or electrocution danger. Simply not worth it. Keep the pot, the lid, the accessories, and just throw out the bottom. If you paid for the machine with your credit card, you might want to call them and see if there’s some sort of loss/damage/accident protection that might cover it. If not, consider selling that pressure canner you can’t use on eBay and using that to pay for a new pressure cooker. If you monitor the prices each day on Amazon, there’s usually one day in the run up to Christmas where Amazon drops the price on them to around $70 – and it only lasts for one day. I don’t know if that has already happened this season, and obviously I can’t guarantee it will happen again this year, but it would be worth checking on a daily basis to see if they have a one day price promotion:

      Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ Pressure Cooker

  • Liz Montville says:

    My CPC-600 worked like a charm for 2 years and now it heats but turns off when it reaches some unknown point. No matter what I do, it won’t continue to heat enough to build pressure. I’ve tried everything including a new gasket, checking and cleaning out vents, etc. Can the thermostat go bad in this model? If so, can it be replaced? Thanks.

    • Hi Liz, sorry to hear about your machine. I feel your pain. If you’ve replaced the gasket, cleaned out the vents, etc. then most likely its an electrical panel issue. The good news is, since your machine is less than three years old, as long as you have a receipt (you can print out the invoice from Amazon’s records, for example) its still under its manufacturer warranty. Call Cuisinart at (800) 726-0190 to see if they can think of anything you haven’t already tried, but if not, they’ll give you a return number. Get a receipt for your shipping cost, add it to the return box, and they’ll reimburse you for shipping, too. (At least they do here in California, your state warranty laws may vary.) Be sure and ask them exactly what to include in the box, if I recall correctly, they don’t want some of the accessories, the inner pot, etc., you should keep those. Technically, they could repair your machine, but in my experience, they’ll just send you a brand new one, so you’ll have extras of anything they don’t want you to send back to them.

  • John Ryba says:

    For all the folks having problems with the unit coming up to pressure. There is a small silicone rubber sealing washer that is approximately 3/8 inch in diameter with a 1/8 hole in it that EASILY comes off of the pressure sealing mechanism. This sealing washer missing will result in the unit not sealing and continually venting and NEVER coming up to pressure! This explains why they work a few times, and then nothing, as the small washer goes missing when routinely cleaned. Also there is NOTHING mentioned about this critical seal in the instructions or online. This silicone rubber washer could very easily end up in the food product.
    I expect this is the reason why they are mum about it. I will be contacting UL and a Few other sources to resolve this safety issue.
    I expect more than a few people have ingested the washer.

  • deuce marie says:

    I am making the Veal Stifado recipe from the Cusinart book. I tried last night and gave up trying to get it to pressure. Today I cooked rice in the machine. Then put the stew in the washed and cooled liner and it still won’t come up to pressure. I added more water and it still won’t work. Please send me a few suggestions. Thanks

    • Hi Marie, sorry to hear you’re having problems. So is the machine coming up to pressure some of the time and not others? If that’s the case, my guess is the machine is having control panel problems, and eventually will stop working altogether. Otherwise, have you already checked to make sure that the gasket (the rubbery circle inside the lid) is clean and in good condition? Is the red float valve in the top of the lid rising to the top of the plastic window so that the machine can come up to pressure? Have you checked to make sure that the channel around the top of the lid is clean and unobstructed? Have you removed the false bottom that protects the various valves to make sure no food has gotten up there and clogged one of the valves? (You should also remove the pressure release valve and try to clean out the “pipe” from the top of the lid.) Do you see any missing parts, that you know of? And have you called Cuisinart support at (800) 726-0190 to see if they have any additional suggestions as to what you should check?

      New machines come with a 3 year warranty, is your machine less than 3 years old? If so and you have some way of proving the date of purchase, such as printing a receipt from Amazon, in the worst case, you should be able to submit a ticket, return the machine and receive a replacement.

  • Julianna Middleton says:

    I just purchased this Cuisinart cpc-600 just today. After I took back the Power Cooker Pressure Cooker XL that is so heavily advertised on television. I will say the ease of use in the Cuisinart is tremendous. A huge difference compared to the Power Cooker. I’m an old school pressure cooker I had used for years. Everything from the 6 quart size to the super large pressure canner and I was a die hard Mirro user simply because they were heavy bottomed and did a super job without fail and easily replaceable rubber rings and jugglers at our local farm store.

    I couldn’t wait to use this new fangled ELECTRIC pressure cooker a first for me with it being electric. My first recipe (the day I purchased it) was barbecue beef short ribs. It was a tried and true recipe I have used for so many years in my Mirro stove top pressure cookers. I was amazed at how easy it was to program just a couple pushes of the button and I was on my way. It came up to temp within a very short period of time. Although I did notice steam coming from the red pressure pin , but as with my stovetop Mirros I just gave it a gentle tap on top and it popped up and sealed. I had the same issues with the stove top units . So it’s not just this unit that did it. It’s not a defect just has a lot to do with the water/food ratio and if given long enough a few extra minutes I’m guessing it would probably seal itself. It’s not an issue to me.

    I will say this in just my past experience with the wrong purchase of the Power Cooker Pressure Cooker xl that I immediately took back to the store, with that unit there were so many buttons and none of them had the time anything would cook. The buttons just said… Meat or chicken and etc. but you had no idea how long anything was going to cook for. The Cuisinart hands down is super simple and I’m happy with it. For a modern day pressure cooker it should fulfill anyone’s needs as well as the very beginner. Most importantly take the time to make sure your lid is on correctly and follow the instructions. Any of the pressure cooker recipes you may have used in the past with a previous stove top model can be used here with the Cuisinart. There are also many recipes online. One of the reasons I decided to try the electric Cuisinart is also because I have a smooth top range/oven and I didn’t want to take a chance on cracking the cook top. Good luck all and I rate this a 10 out of 10 in my book

    • Hi Julianna, I’ve never tried a Power Cooker, but I also have an Epson pressure smoker and an Instant Pot, and I agree with you, the Cuisinart is the easiest to program of the three. (The pressure smoker being a close second, and the InstantPot being just like the PowerCooker you mentioned, having way too many buttons it really doesn’t need and that just clutter up the control panel. I never use most of them, and just ignore them.)

      I think you’re really going to appreciate having an electric machine – it is so very handy to be able to program the machine and then let it do its thing while you go do something else. Its wonderful to be able to leave the room secure in the knowledge that the machine will take care of adjusting the pressure and turning off for you. And you may love it even more during Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meal prep, when stove burner and oven space is at a premium: you clear up a burner on your stove for other things, and your machine can make your potatoes or first course soup while you pay attention to other dishes. (Plus I use my pressure cookers as “chafing dishes” to keep the soup warm while the meal is in progress.)

  • Abhi says:

    Before buying an electric pressure cookers, be sure you’ll have enough power for it! Few boats have sufficient solar or wind power, or want to run a generator long enough to produce the power needed. But if you are at a dock with shore power, this could be an option.

  • Don Edwards says:

    Want a PC mainly for making stocks. Yours and other reviews had me leaning towards the Cuisinart, but then found many adverse comments on the web that it frequently goes into warm mode (as it should if too little liquid) but so many reports, none mentioning liquid volume, led me to wonder if this is a frequent fault. Maybe you are lucky with your particular unit?
    Regards, Don.

    • Hi Don! Apologies for the delay in responding, I had injured my back and hadn’t felt up to working on the site. Without having seen the details, I’m going to speculate that the reports you’ve seen re the Cuisinart going into warm mode instead of pressuring up are happening for a couple of reasons. Yes, its true that any electric pressure cooker will fail (deliberately so) if there is insufficient water to create steam which in turn creates the pressure, but that’s unlikely if you have enough liquid to make stocks. This could also be caused by other problems, such as if the gasket ring has been damaged, or the rim of the machine hasn’t been cleaned out and food’s been dropped in it – either of those problems would prevent the machine from creating a proper seal. In some cases, that might happen because the pressure release vent has been clogged. Or it can happen if there has been some sort of an electrical problem with the unit (e.g. if the control panel or heating unit has failed). Once in a while it will fail to do so because of human error, such as not locking the lid properly or forgetting to turn the pressure limit valve to the correct position (I must admit to having made these errors myself once in a while).

      As for whether I’ve been lucky with my particular machine, I don’t think that’s the case because I own several. Owning and using multiple units of the same pressure cooker would have made any eccentricities or superior results from a lucky unit apparent, and I just haven’t seen it. Performance has pretty much been consistent across the board. I did have one unit that I purchased remanufactured that failed in the first couple of months, it would not come up to pressure, but it was still under warranty, and Cuisinart replaced it with a brand new unit. The replacement unit works fine and consistently with all the others. The new Cuisinart machines come with a three year warranty, and you can also purchase extended warranties from third parties, so you’ve got a pretty good window of time where if the machine fails for a mechanical or electrical reason, Cuisinart will either repair or replace it.

  • Jennifer Newman says:

    Greetings from Australia. I have bought the Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker Plus which is a slow and fast cooker as well as steamer, pressure cooker, searing, etc. I used it once for chicken & vegetable soup and then last night, cooked a Massaman Curry (which is a very strong smelling curry). The gasket (large seal inside the lid) now smells completely of the curry and I can’t get rid of the smell.

    I contacted the supplier who said, “sorry – can’t do anything about it – just make sure to wash it and keep it clean”. Do you have any ideas of how to try and get rid of the smell. If you “google” how to clean pressure cooker seals/gaskets, you get a lot of similar ideas, but not one person says that they have had success with any of them. I absolutely love this machine but would rather the gasket not smell like curry.

    • Hi Jennifer. Since its plastic, the gasket can tend the absorb strong smells – I have a pressure smoker and even though I clean it immediately, it does absorb the smoke smell and it has discolored from the wood smoke. Aside from cleaning it immediately, which it sounds like you’ve already done, I’d just recommend removing it from the machine for a couple of days and let it air out thoroughly to see what that does to diminish the smell. Actually, now that I think about it, before trying the airing, you could try running the machine under pressure with three or four cups of plain water and nothing else for perhaps 30 minutes at high pressure to see if you that won’t get rid of some of the odor. (I personally might also try it with a couple of tablespoons of plain white vinegar in the water as well, though if you’re sensitive to aromas that might be trading one issue for another.)

      If that doesn’t resolve the issue, since gaskets are relatively inexpensive, I’d just recommend buying a second gasket and using it for most dishes, and reserving the Massaman curry one for when you make strong curry. The vast majority of dishes aren’t going to cause strong residual odors like that, especially if you store the machine with the bottom of the lid facing up (not facing down or in the locked position, which will not only wear out the gasket faster, but trap odors inside the machine as well). So you’ll be able to use the regular gasket for most things, and the reserve gasket for high spice, high aroma dishes like the curry.

      • Jennifer Newman says:

        Thanks very much for your help – I will give it a go. I had already ordered another gasket to use for less smelly cooking, but over here, the prices are far dearer – $26, ie 16.35% of the whole pressure cooker price! We don’t have the economies of scale that you guys do!
        By the way, I don’t remember the last time that I felt as happy with such an easy to use product – I wish I had bought one year’s ago – I’ll never use a stove-top model again. 🙂

      • Oh wow, that is a lot more than it is here. I was going to recommend buying in bulk from the US or the UK (I hear Amazon.co.uk often has good shipping deals to Australia) but I just checked the manufacturer’s site, amazon.com and amazon.co.uk and they either don’t ship to Australia or they don’t have the item in stock. If you have friends or family here in the US, have them buy a few from Amazon.com and toss them in their next box to you or a flat rate envelope to Australia would be relatively cheap.

        And yes, you’re right, its so much easier and more convenient to use a digital pressure cooker than a stovetop model. Its so nice to just program it, and then leave the room and go do something else while it takes care of your meal without having to be watched.

  • Macster says:

    I just got the Cuisinart CPC 600.. is it normal for it to hiss or have a tiny leak of pressure from the release valve after it’s pressurized?

    Mine does, it’s not a lot, jut a tiny but hissing noise.. I have tried moving the valve, but it doesn’t make it stop. The reason i ask is because I thought these things were supposed to be completely quiet and completely sealed.

    • Macster, that sounds totally normal to me, I wouldn’t be concerned at all if I were you. That’s actually a safety mechanism: it’d only be a problem if the release vent were blocked and the machine couldn’t release pressure when needed. From what I’ve observed, the machine spikes slightly above the advertised pressure setting, then releases a little bit of pressure to get down to the proper setting. Then there are internal temperature probes (that’s most reliable way to determine pressure) that monitor the temperature, and if it gets a little too high, it’ll release a little pressure to bring it back down to where it should be. So even though it is in fact a sealed system, as it monitors and adjusts the internal temperature (the pressure, in effect) it may either release a little pressure or if the pressure drops, increase the heat applied to increase the pressure, periodically throughout cooking. (You wouldn’t see the latter, only the former.) And even when they do release pressure, its pretty quiet.

      I hope you’ve been enjoying your new electric pressure cooker!

  • Jen says:


    First of all, thank you for sharing such a thorough & informative review! I really appreciate it.

    I’ve had my Cuisinart CPC 600 Series for about 2 months now and (other than having to make a few recipe adjustments to keep it from going to the “safety feature/ Keep Warm” setting when there isn’t enough liquid) I’ve been very happy with it. I use it about 2 times per week, hand wash immediately after using it & keep it unplugged on the kitchen counter.

    Yesterday though, I went to use it, but when I put it on “Browning” (like I’ve been doing since I got it to brown meat/chicken), I noticed that it wasn’t getting warm. I thought it was strange because I’m used to feeling some warmth pretty quickly and it’s one of the things I love about it.

    After lots of testing: cancel, turn off machine, unplug machine, etc. etc. I called Cuisinart Customer Service and they told me the same thing they have told others, send it back & pay $10 or return it to the store where you purchased it.

    After I hung up, I tried one last time and noticed that the only setting that worked was the “High Pressure”. Thankfully, I was able to use it to cook my meal, but would hate to keep it and not be able to use the other features (Browning, Simmer & Saute) which I also love.

    I’m trying to decided what to do (get a replacement unit or buy another brand), but I was hoping you might have some magical solution or at least heard about this strange issue??

  • Steve says:

    I have the Cuisinart CPC-600 PC. I am having issues once I select high pressure and choose a time, the cooker builds up pressure and it seems it never does and the timer clicks off and turns to keep warm. Any suggestions?

    • Jennifer Newman says:

      On the inside of the lid, do you have the little stainless steel post (for lack of a better word) positioned opposite to the valve? I don’t remember why, but it makes an incredible amount of difference. So, grab the inner lining of the lid by the little post and place into the outside lid with positioning of 9.00 and 3.00 on the clock. Good luck.

    • Sorry to hear you’re having problems Steve. I assume this has happened more than once, right? OK, the first thing I would do is on the inside of the pressure cooker lid, on the thin metal piece that holds the gasket in place, there is a little metal knob. Make sure that little metal knob is not immediately below the pressure regulator, because if it is, it could actually prevent the machine from coming up to pressure properly. Always be sure to rotate that knob so its on the other side, away from the pressure release valve. Some of the other things to check are (1) remove your pressure release valve and check and make sure the thin “tube” that leads into the lid is unobstructed; (2) remove the false bottom that holds the gasket in place and you’ll see a round metal piece that protects the bottom of the pressure release valve. Remove that (it should come off fairly easily when you grasp and pull it) and see if any foreign matter has gotten clogged in there); and (3) check your gasket and make sure that its clean, damage free and doesn’t have any nicks or tears. Check the channel at the top of the machine that the lid fits into and make sure its free of bits of food, grease or anything that might prevent a seal from forming. If none of those things work, I’d then call Cuisinart and see if they have any additional suggestions, or to start an RMA so you can get a replacement unit if the machine is still under warranty (it comes with a 3 year warranty).

  • Melody Russell says:

    I’m looking for an electronic PC that I can to my canning with. Will this one heat the jars for canning purposes?

    • Hi Melody. As I explain in more detail here, you cannot safely pressure can at less than 250 degrees (15 PSI). Unfortunately, electric pressure cookers don’t work at 15 PSI, most are around 10 PSI, and most of them are too small to hold many Mason jars anyway. What you want is a stove top pressure canner.

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