Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart Review
Pros: Good cooking performance
Cons: Subpar interface, some cleaning annoyances
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Unfortunately, in our testing the Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart didn't back up its cooking performance with a user-friendly design, making it essentially an inferior version of the Instant Pot DUO60.
The Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart's performance in all of our tests landed it towards the bottom of our overall scoreboard.
This is where the Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart really lost favor with us, earning one of the lowest scores.
The biggest annoyance we ran into when using the Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart was its lid. The lid itself removes from the pot easily enough, but once it's removed there's nowhere for it to go. Most models, like the Instant Pot, offer some sort of way to store the lid upright without putting it on your counter. Other models, like the Breville Fast Slow Pro, have a hinged lid so you don't have to worry about where to put it when you're serving or stirring. This may not seem like a huge deal, but the Cuisinart constantly left us to holding a lid that was dripping in condensation, wondering what to do with it while we ladled food onto a plate.
We also felt that the Cuisinart's interface was a bit too spartan for what is supposed to be a versatile appliance. It offers only 2 buttons for selecting its cooking mode, setting the temperature, and setting the cooking time. This results in an annoying amount of button pushing to scroll through all the options until you hit what you're looking for. In contrast, most models have a different button for each one of their cooking functions, and then either arrow buttons or dials to adjust temperature and time.
The Cuisinart cooked most things well in our testing but did have some shortcomings when compared to other models.
In our testing, we've generally found the only differentiating factor between the actual cooking performance of pressure cookers is meat preparation. Cooking grains, beans, and even sauteing was very similar across products, but meat did show some differences. These difference are minor but noticeable. The Cuisinart falls on the wrong side of the line when it comes to these minor differences. We still liked all the meat the Cuisinart made, but it wasn't quite as tender as the offerings from the Breville Fast Slow Pro or the Instant Pot models.
Ease of Cleaning
When it came to cleaning the Cuisinart wasn't the most convenient cooker, but it wasn't the least convenient either.
For the most part, the Cuisinart's cleaning process is fairly simple. The lid removes from the pot easily, and the rubber gasket is easy to get to, making cleaning the lid straightforward. However, we did find that the 2-piece design of the lid left some areas that were hard to dry. This wasn't a huge inconvenience, but it did mean we felt the need to let it sit on a drying rack for a while before putting it away, so if you easily get annoyed by cluttered counters this is less than ideal.
We found the Cuisinart's nonstick pot to be fairly adept at keeping any sort of stubborn stains from building up, even when sauteing garlic and onions. Hand cleaning the pot was thus relatively painless. However, we still somewhat prefer the stainless steel pots of the Instant Pot models for two reasons, 1) if you do get something stubborn stuck on them, you can get aggressive with things like steel wool and 2) you can throw them into the dishwasher without a second thought. Both of these things would be inadvisable with a nonstick pot.
The Cuisinart keeps things fairly simple when it comes to cooking presets. Even though it has very few presets available, you can still cook pretty much anything, you might just have to look up the temperature, pressure, and time, and dial those things in manually. Notably, it does have a saute function, which is very important if you're looking to make 1-pot meals.
While the $100 Cuisinart CPC-600 is a step up in quality from our $60 Best Buy pick (the Tayama TMC-60XL), this cooker pales in comparison to the Instant Pot DUO60, which also sells for $100. Therefore we feel the Cuisinart CPC-600 is a poor value overall.
The Cuisinart CPC-600 cooks quite well, but some annoyances with its interface and cleaning make it much less attractive than other models in the same price range.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata