I’m a real traditionalist when it comes to cooking. In fact, sometimes I’ll pull out my slow cooker and simmer brisket or meatballs for hours instead of using a pressure cooker. I just like the idea of something cooking in its own juices over several hours without any interference. And when it comes to pressure cookers, I’ve always held the belief that a stove top model is the authentic way to go. Would something electric really be that much better? So I admit that going into this product review, I had my doubts (or at least biases).
Now I feel like a bit of a dummy for not having tried electric pressure cookers sooner. It’s like the first time I used a pressure cooker to prepare pot roast instead of slow cooking, my first thought was “why haven’t I done this before?” The process is much easier and this Cuisinart model gives you so much more choice in how you want to cook. Each feature works perfectly to add its own layer of nuance or subtlety to your favorite recipes. It’s something you simply can’t do with a traditional pressure cooker that basically consists of a base, a lid, and a couple of steam valves.
On the outside, the Cuisinart CPC-600 looks more like a Rice cooker than anything else. You’ll see buttons on the front and a digital disc blade in the center.
Different settings allow you to prepare and simmer your food before using pressure. For example, you can brown your food first which helps to seal in the juiciness while infusing flavor.
Like other pressure cookers on the market, once the lid is sealed you can’t open it until pressure is released. I’ve always been a bit worried that somehow an electric cooker would be more of a risk safety wise, but now I realize that was just me being paranoid.
Only one recipe would be appropriate for my test run of this model, my classic Lamb Shanks. When they’re done right, the meat is fall off the bone tender and melts in your mouth. I’ve prepared it using several methods including traditional slow cooking and using a regular pressure cooker. So this would be the ultimate test, and I kind of already knew it would come out great.
The main difference I noticed was the overall convenience, even with simple additions and features. The timer for example made it so I didn’t have to constantly look at the clock over my oven. And something about the various settings, the exact timer, and the pushbutton controls took a lot of the guesswork out of the process. I didn’t have to estimate anything or wonder if my measurements were going to work. Everything was clearly laid out and once my ingredients were in, all I had to do was turn on the power. I found myself relaxing a lot more because usually, I’m hovering around my pressure cooker making sure that everything is okay.
And when it came down to the final results, all I can say was my Lamb Shanks were scrumptious. I was also left with a gorgeous gravy that I drizzled on my side dish of basmati rice.
I’m never going to abandon one type of cooking completely. I’ll still occasionally returned to my slow cooker even though I know I can do it faster with other methods. And I’ll still probably use my stovetop pressure cooker from time to time just for old times sake. But I can safely say that for the majority of the time, I’ll be using this electric pressure cooker for my favorite recipes. The time it saves and the convenience and offers is just ridiculous, and at around $100, it proves to be an exceedingly affordable choice that you will no doubt love.