The Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker requires less monitoring than stovetop models -- perfect for multitasking cooks. Plus, it has functions for browning, sautéing, simmering or warming. As with any electric appliance, however, there are reports of faulty units. And it has the same downsides as other electric pressure cookers: It lacks power, has longer cooking times and its capacity is small for its bulk.
Produces a quality meal. Professional testers give the Cuisinart CPC-600 good marks for its ability to prepare good-tasting foods. It browns well, according to Good Housekeeping, and earns a high score for food quality from another professional reviewer. Owners, for the most part, love this unit, but some say the electricity is faulty and Cuisinart is unresponsive.
More user-friendly design than most stovetop models. Thanks to its electronic settings, the Cuisinart CPC-600 is easier to use than many stovetop units. It has two pressure settings and an automatic pressure release. However, the CPC-600 does have several flaws. Cook's Illustrated found that the nonstick insert spins inside the base when stirring foods, and the unit turns off automatically when "enough" water isn't used (as is the case when cooking large cuts of meat). Experts praise its cooking performance but warn that the lid can be tricky to lock in place.
Bulky size, small capacity. The Cuisinart CPC-600 looks a good deal like a countertop slow cooker. It has a stainless-steel finish, but more black finish than other top-reviewed countertop models. Like other electric pressure cookers, the Cuisinart CPC-600 is very bulky for its small 6-quart capacity. Reviewers note that the dishwasher-safe cooking pot is easy to clean, but all the crevices in the lid and exterior housing are not. Cook's Illustrated says that nonstick inserts aren't as durable but doesn't fault the CPC-600 specifically.
No safety concerns reported. The Cuisinart CPC-600 features several safety features, including a pressure-regulator valve and steam release valve. In most of the reviews we found, safety concerns weren't mentioned (which may, or may not, be a positive sign).
1. Good Housekeeping Institute
Review Credibility: Excellent The Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluates both electric and stovetop pressure cookers to find the best models. Among the electric models tested, the Imusa 5-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker is the favorite multi-function model, while the Cuisinart CPC-600 is named the easiest to clean. The editors also say the CPC-600 browns well and cooked a tasty stew in as little as 58 minutes. (Stovetop models tested cooked the stew in 30 to 45 minutes.)
Review: Electric Pressure Cooker Reviews, Editors of Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Jan. 4, 2013
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine compare the Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker and three other electric models to their favorite stovetop model. Testers say the electric models had some downsides compared to stovetop models, but that some owners might prefer them for the ability to set it and forget it. Testers say the CPC-600 didn't cook quite as well as the top-reviewed model, but the food was still pretty good. They also say the nonstick liner spins in the base when food is stirred, and that the model turned itself off when enough water wasn't used (this occurred when cooking large cuts, which don't require as much liquid).
Review: Electric Pressure Cookers, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, January 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good The Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker receives more than 530 reviews at Amazon.com. Reviews here seem divided between those who love this cooker and say it works beautifully and those who say its wiring is faulty or the pressure valve doesn't work properly. Some say the instruction manual is not as helpful as it could be, and Cuisinart's customer service was no help at all.
Review: Cuisinart CPC-600 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013
4. Choice magazine
Review Credibility: Good Australia's Choice magazine editors test eight different pressure cookers judging cooking performance based on the ability to turn lamb shanks and dried soup mix into a meal.
Review: Pressure Cooker Reviews, Editors of Choice magazine, March 19, 2009
Review Credibility: Good The Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker receives a near-perfect 5-star rating from about 35 owners at Macys.com. They say it makes "absolutely perfect rice in under 10 minutes" and it's "a breeze to operate."
Review: Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel, Contributors to Macys.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker receives a high score of 4.5 out of 5 stars from about 25 owners here. Owners like its ability to brown, cook and keep food warm in a single pot.
Review: 6-qt. Pressure Cooker by Cuisinart, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of February 2013