Organ storage techniques have been under scrutiny to determine the best preservation method, particularly in donation after cardiac death (DCD) kidneys. Conflicting literature on the benefit of pulsatile perfusion (PP) over cold storage (CS) warrants further investigation. We analyzed the risk of developing delayed graft function (DGF) in recipients of DCD and donation after brain death (DBD) kidneys undergoing PP or CS. We stratified on basis of cold ischemic time (CIT) to determine the interaction of preservation techniques, CIT and DCD kidneys on developing DGF. Of 54 136 recipients, 4923 received DCD kidneys of which 3330 (67%) underwent PP. Of 49 213 DBD recipients, 7531 (15%) underwent PP. DCD had a higher risk of DGF versus DBD (adjusted odds ratio, AOR 3.2; 3.0–3.5). PP kidneys had less DGF (AOR 0.59; 0.56–0.63) compared to CS. Interaction models of method by donor type referenced to PP/DBD revealed CS/DBD kidneys had higher DGF (AOR 1.8; 1.7–1.9), whereas CS/DCD kidneys had the highest risk of DGF (AOR 5.01; 4.43–5.67). Even though suggestive for a benefit of PP on DGF, this retrospective analysis cannot address whether this is an intrinsic effect of PP or is associated with the logistics of PP such as discard of DCD kidneys based on pump parameters.