This review updates knowledge on pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), a sample preparation technique that is increasingly used to extract moderately volatile and non-volatile organic pollutants from solid and semi-solid environmental matrices. In environmental analyses, therefore, it is mainly been used to analyse soils and sewage sludge, though it has also been used, albeit to a lesser extent, to analyse air samples. As interest in analysing contaminants in environmental solid samples has increased in recent years, more extraction methods are being developed. This review is divided into two parts. In the first part we discuss the main parameters affecting extraction, such as solvent, extraction time, temperature, pressure, number of cycles, flush volume and purge time. In the second part we review recent applications of PLE in environmental analysis and discuss the advantages of PLE over other extraction techniques such as ultrasonic solvent extraction and microwave assisted extraction.