Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ Rice Cooker – Full Review
Do you love the idea of having healthy, homemade dinners every evening, but dislike the bothersome cleaning process and potential for disaster associated with traditional stovetop pressure cookers? If so, you are quite likely to enjoy this electric pressure cooker from Cuisinart. Offering 6-quart capacity, it makes fantastic one-pot meals, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, and a wide variety of other foods ranging from roasted chicken to fantastic pepper steak. You can even use it to make mouthwatering desserts.
A great choice for small kitchens with limited cooking space, this innovative electric pressure cooker has several different settings, an automatic timer, and push-button controls for easier use. A removable, nonstick cooking chamber adds convenience, and because it and the supportive trivet that comes along with it are dishwasher safe, cleanup is quick and easy.
Just the right size for a small family, this pressure cooker is great for busy households. Simply add the ingredients for your recipe, choose the setting, and walk away. The unit offers an impressive automatic “keep warm” feature. Once it’s finished with the cooking cycle, it shifts to warm, holding and keeping cooked foods warm for up to twelve hours.
I’ve noticed that some other reviewers complain that the recipe book that comes with the Cuisinart electric pressure cooker is too small. Luckily, there are loads of pressure cooker recipes available for free online, plus tips for changing the amount of liquid in existing recipes to ensure they turn out well when made with a pressure cooker.
These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning and operating the Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ 6-quart electric pressure cooker.
Can Be Used In Place of a Variety of Other Kitchen Appliances
Many kitchen appliances do just one thing, and do that thing very well. The Cuisinart electric pressure cooker can be used to replace your slow cooker and your rice cooker. It can even help you reduce the number of meals you make on top of your kitchen range.
The Cuisinart 6-quart electric pressure cooker takes up just a little over one square foot of countertop space and is just over 13 inches tall. If you have a limited amount of storage space, enjoy life on an RV or onboard a yacht, or live in a house or apartment with a tiny kitchen, you will probably appreciate this electric pressure cooker and find yourself using it to make meals almost every day.
One downside: If you’re hoping to feed a crowd, you’ll need a larger pressure cooker. This one does makes enough for a family of 4 or 5 people, depending on the recipe. On the other hand, it’s fantastic for a busy couple or single person who wants to make enough food so that there are healthy leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
This appliance features a handsome stainless steel jacket and an attractive black control panel. It looks nice enough to leave on the countertop all the time, if you like.
Removable Inner Cooking Pot ensures Easy Cleanup
If you’ve ever used an old-style stovetop pressure cooker, you know that these pots weigh a ton, plus cleaning up can be burdensome. Cuisinart did a great job designing the electric pressure cooker’s inner workings, fitting it with a non-stick inner cooking pot that is removable for quick, easy cleanup. The upper lid can be removed for cleanup too.
The inner cooking pot and the supportive trivet are dishwasher safe, further reducing the amount of effort you have to expend on cleanup. The lid must be wiped clean or washed by hand.
In the event something drips onto the outside of the electric pressure cooker, you can simply wipe it clean with a soft cloth or a paper towel. The stainless steel can be polished with a little glass cleaner if you like.
Quick Cooking Process and Delicious Food
The cooking process is quick, simple, and pretty much foolproof, and the results are fantastic. Pressure cookers, including this one, reduce the amount of cooking time by about 70 percent when compared side by side with traditional stovetop cooking methods.
New to the concept of pressure cooking? Here’s how it works and why the flavors you get are so delicious: The pressure cooker traps steam inside, building pressure and creating high temperatures. This cooking method calls for less water than others, as only a little steam is reduced into the outside environment during the cooking process. Flavor, vitamins, minerals, and moisture are locked into the food, making for healthier foods that are naturally delicious.
Safer than Stovetop Pressure Cookers
Many people, myself included, have avoided stovetop pressure cookers in the past. Despite the benefits they offer, they’re prone to building up excess pressure and blowing up in the kitchen, causing damage, leading to painful injuries, and ruining meals in the process. My mother used a traditional pressure cooker for years without incident, but she was able to prevent accidents only by closely monitoring the pressure gauge on top of the cooker! She basically had to stand over the stove the whole time the thing was going.
The Cuisinart electric pressure cooker has built-in safety features. It will not build up pressure until the cooker is fully locked. It will not open until the pressure has been released, so the potential for a devastating accident is small.
Offers Several Useful Settings
One of the nicest things about the Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ is that it offers a number of useful settings. Besides low pressure and high pressure, it has the following:
- Browning: This setting allows you to use the cooker without the lid to brown foods in a little olive oil, butter, or other fat. This seals the food’s outer surface, ensuring that it has a moist, tender interior, a flavorful exterior, and a pleasing texture, not to mention a wonderful finished appearance.
- Sautéing: The sauté setting is also used without the lid. It allows you to soften vegetables without browning them, and it is suitable for cooking rice and other grains before adding other recipe items.
- Simmering: If you want to cook or reduce liquids at a fairly low setting, you can use the simmering setting to do so. This feature can be used before or after the pressure cooking cycle.
- Keep Warm: The automatic keep warm feature turns on after the unit beeps to indicate that the cooking process has been completed. You can use it to keep cooked food warm for up to 12 hours.
Easy to Use
The Cuisinart electric pressure cooker is very easy to use. Just select a recipe and add the ingredients as directed. Next, turn the unit on and press the Menu button to choose the desired cooking function. After you’ve browned, simmered, or sautéed ingredients (if needed) select either the high or low pressure setting, then select the number of minutes needed to complete the pressure cooking process. The time increases in one-minute increments up to forty minutes, and in five-minute increments up to 99 minutes. Once you’ve made the time selection, press the start / cancel button.
Some reviewers have complained that the pressure doesn’t build immediately. This is not a defect, it’s part of the pressure cooking process. The cooker has to heat up, during which time the red float will start to rise, showing you that the pressure is building. If it doesn’t look like it’s going up, you may need to tap on the housing as it can sometimes get stuck.
The timer starts counting down after the pressure cooking process begins, not before. It can take several minutes for pressure to finish building after the float rises, so save yourself worry by patiently becoming accustomed to the way the unit works. Once you’re used to it, you’ll feel OK about setting it up and walking away so it can do its thing. The old adage, “A watched pot never boils” definitely applies here!
“Can you use this as a deep fryer?”
No. There are a couple of competing electric pressure cookers that have deep fry settings, but they cost about three times what this one does. Don’t attempt to deep fry anything in this machine as it is dangerous to do so.
“Can you cook frozen items in this pressure cooker?”
Yes, but realize that the process will take longer to complete. If you use cold liquid and frozen meat, it will take about 45 minutes for the pressure to build enough so the cook time can start.
“Does the Cuisinart electric pressure cooker also function as a pressure canner?”
I’ve heard about users canning small amounts of food (i.e. 3 pints of food at a time) however canning is not one of the functions Cuisinart recommends.
“Does this pressure cooker have a delay start function?”
No, however it will keep food warm for up to 12 hours, so you can make things way ahead of time.
“Does the pressure release automatically, or do you have to do it manually?”
This machine works both ways. Some recipes call for quick release of pressure, which is done manually, while others call for a slow release of pressure, which the cooker does automatically.
“Does this pressure cooker have a “slow cooker” function?”
No, but you can use the low pressure setting to extend cooking time, then allow the unit to keep your food warm for up to 12 hours. I have set mine up in the morning, gone to work all day, and come home to a cooked meal, just like with a standard slow cooker.
“Can I make a roast or do a whole chicken in this pot?”
Yes, although you may have to cut larger items up so they fit. Chicken turns out fantastic, falling off the bone, and roast is moist and juicy. I always add some potatoes, carrots, and celery so we have a whole meal in one pot.
“Does this make enough for a family of five including a father, a mother, and three kids age 4 – 9?”
Yes. The six-quart capacity allows you to cook a gallon of stew, soup, etc. at a time. Keep in mind the extra two quarts are meant for the built up steam.
“Can I do recipes with ingredients like dry beans or lentils?”
Yes! This pressure cooker does a fantastic job with legumes. Just be sure to follow instructions re: the amount of water / liquid to add to your recipe. If you are making bean soup or chili, it will turn out watery if you add too much. If this happens, use the simmer function to reduce it to the consistency you prefer.
The Cuisinart 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker is a convenient kitchen appliance. It’s user-friendly, makes plenty of delicious food, and offers the versatility to allow you to create all kinds of fantastic foods, ranging from roasts to cheesecakes. While there is definitely a little learning curve for people who have never used a pressure cooker before, the process isn’t at all difficult and the added functions give this particular unit added appeal. To top things off, it’s safer than a traditional stovetop pressure cooker, and the 12-hour warming function lets you make recipes way ahead of time so they’re ready to eat when you and your family or friends are ready to sit down to dinner.
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