This device is best suited for someone who strictly wants to make simple pressure cooker meals and doesn’t want any frills or extra features and accessories. It doesn’t feature any food preset buttons, which is odd when most other devices at least include rice, meat and soup buttons. While it offers five cooking settings, a couple of the options are repeats. For instance, this device lists browning and sauté as separate settings. Most other machines list them interchangeably. In all honesty, this cooker can't compete with any of the best Instant Pots (opens in new tab) right now.
In our testing, this unit was able to make rice and pot roast easily enough. However, it was more difficult to use than others since you have to use the menu button to filter through cooking options instead of simply pushing a button for the cooking method you want. Unlike most pressure cookers, it doesn’t offer steam, slow cook or boil settings, which limits what you can do with it. Since there are no plus or minus buttons, setting the timer takes more work as you have to press the button repeatedly to find the number you want. We also found that we were looking at the instruction manual a lot in order to understand how to use it. This device had the fastest overall rice cooking time, taking only 18 minutes and 49 seconds to warm up, cook and depressurize.
The pressure cooker automatically shifts to keep warm when it is done cooking and can maintain this setting for up to 12 hours, which is longer than average and keeps your food from getting cold. The only downside is that the device doesn’t have a timer to let you know how long the food has been on the keep warm setting. This feature would have been especially nice if the machine included a delay start option, but it does not. You can only choose between low or high pressure levels, which is limited compared to other devices. If you’d like a pressure cooker that offers more cooking options, you might be interested in the Breville Fast Slow Pro. Cuisinart only offers a 6-quart model so you will not be able to purchase larger or smaller sizes.
The only accessory is a trivet, or meat rack, that you can place inside the pot when cooking. Most other pressure cookers include a recipe book, ladle or spoon, and a measuring cup. If you already have these items or plan to look recipes up on the internet, then you won’t miss them. However, if you need these accessories you’ll have to run out and purchase them separately.
The trivet and inner cooking pot are both dishwasher-safe to help cut down cleaning time. The inner pot has a non-stick coating that makes cleanup go much faster. The manufacturer states that the inner bowl is machine washable but you should wash it by hand to protect the inner coating.
Cuisinart backs this pressure cooker with the best warranty we’ve seen, which guarantees coverage for three years. When the average coverage is only one year, this definitely stands out. As with most other pressure cookers, this one features a lid close detection system, which allows it to pressure cook only when the lid is correctly in place. Additionally, the lid seals during the cooking process and doesn’t unlock until all pressure has been released. This protects you from potential pressure dangers.