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If you’re new to pressure cooking or just bought a Crockpot Express Multi-Cooker, download this handy Crockpot Express Cooking Guide for at-a-glance cooking times and pressure settings! It will make using your new appliance so much easier.
This year for Christmas I got a Crockpot Express Crock Multi-Cooker (otherwise known as a Crockpot Express or CPE for short.) I am so excited to enter the world of pressure cooking!
Pressure cooking has been around for ages, but these new appliances are making it safer and easier for everyday cooking. They have the added benefit of being a slow cooker and saute pan as well!
Just like any new appliance, though, there’s a bit of a learning curve, so I created a printable Crockpot Express Cooking Guide to save me from having to dig out the manual every time I use it.
The biggest difference between the Instant Pot and the Crockpot Express is the settings. The functions are the same, but how you access them is a bit different.
On the original version of the CPE, there is no “manual” button to select the pressure. Instead, you choose one of the preset buttons for the pressure you want, and then you can adjust the time as needed.
Because of that, it’s handy to know what options are available for every preset button on the Crockpot Express. This printable shows the default setting for pressure and time, with the available time adjustments.
To download this Crockpot Express Cooking Guide as a full-sized printable PDF (without the watermark) simply click here—-> Crockpot Express Cheat Sheet
Tips for best results when using the Crockpot Express
- When pressure cooking, ensure there is a minimum of 8 oz of liquid in the Cooking Pot.
- Never fill the cooking pot past the MAX line.
- Do not leave it plugged in when not in use.
- Make sure the CPE is kept away from cabinets and walls when in use.
- Do not use on the inner pot on the stove top, in the microwave, or in oven.
- Use the provided steaming rack or other non-stick safe inserts (like these silicone accessories)
- When removing the lid, use a pot holder to grasp the handle and lift away from your body to allow steam to escape.
- Always place a trivet or pot holder under the pot if it is removed from the heating base
Crockpot Express FAQs
- Does it have a manual setting? That depends on which model you own. The original models did not, but UK models and newer ones do now. But if you choose a preset button, you can then adjust the pressure and time for your particular recipe. The Beans/Chili button is a good one because you can choose low or high it goes from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
- What does the Keep Warm setting do? When cooking time is completed, the Multi-Cooker automatically switches to the KEEP WARM function to prevent overcooking and to keep your cooked food warm.
- What is Natural Pressure Release? Otherwise known as NPR, it simply means after the cooking cycle is complete, let the CPE naturally release pressure through the bobber valve. The unit will gradually cool down on its own. Wait at least 10 minutes after cooking has completed, and then, using a kitchen utensil, flick the tab on the steam release valve to the “Release” position. The pressure has been released when steam is no longer escaping from the valve and the lid opens freely with minimal force. Only then is it safe to remove the lid and serve food.
- What is Quick Pressure Release? Sometimes called Quick Release or QR, using a kitchen utensil, flick the tab on the steam release valve to the “Release” setting immediately after the cooking cycle finishes. Steam will release rapidly from the steam release valve. Never use this method when cooking liquid ingredients such as casseroles, stocks and soups. Never use this method when cooking rice, as rice tends to be very delicate.
The pressure has been released when steam is no longer escaping from the valve and the lid opens freely with minimal force.
- What does the E6 error mean? This seems to be the most common error code that occurs, and it’s related to how hot the unit is. Often, if you use the brown/saute function first and then switch to pressure cooking, you might get this error. Be sure the unit is cooled completely, there’s no food stuck on the bottom, and there is enough water (at least 8 ounces) in the pot to avoid this error code. If using a pressure cooking function, ensure that the steam release valve is in the “Seal” (closed) position. If you DO get the E6 error, try pulling out the inner pot for a few minutes to let it and the unit cool a bit, then unplug the unit and plug it back in to reset. If you are getting this error code consistently, it may be a manufacturing problem, and you need to contact Crockpot Customer Service to have it replaced. They have been very helpful with trouble shooting and sending replacement parts!
If you’re like me, the best way to get to know any new appliance or tool is to just play around with it. Try making easy side dishes or small meals that you can master before making the entire family wait around on you for dinner. 🙂
Try these easy “starter” recipes in the Crockpot Express!
- Crockpot Express “Hard Boiled” Eggs
- Crockpot Express Apple Oatmeal
- Fiesta Chicken Soup (slow cooker and pressure cooker instructions!)
My first attempt was macaroni and cheese, then hard boiled eggs. The pasta seems like more work than it’s worth, but the eggs were a definite winner!
I’m working on adjusting several of our favorite recipes for the pressure cooker and those are all posted in my Crockpot Express Recipes collection.
If you’re on Facebook, join our group Crockpot Express Community for support and recipes!
If you’re still in the market for a pressure cooker and haven’t decided between the Crockpot Express or the Instant Pot, here’s a very simple “at a glance” comparison chart.
- Crockpot Express Apricot Chicken - May 15, 2023
- Sweet and Spicy Carrots - May 4, 2023
- Biscoff Cake Recipe - May 2, 2023
Brenda Mundy says
I was lucky enough to win an Express Crock XL in a competition, and must admit feel a bit intimidated by it at the moment. I know that as I practice it will become easier. My query is in the user guide it says (p2) Do not operate the unit when placed directly onto a bench (counter) top. Place a heat proof mat or chopping board underneath to protect the surface. How hot does this appliance get on the outside. I have very limited space to place it and am a bit worried that I may damage the wall which is about 12 inches away from the edge of the crock pot. Thank you for the video it was great to watch.
Nicole Burkholder says
Honestly, I think they are just trying to cover themselves from any possible sort of legal ramifications. The outside of the pot doesn’t get hot at all-it’s slightly warm to the touch, even when you can feel a roiling boil inside. I’ve used mine directly on top of the counter for years now with no issues. Congratulations on your win! That’s a fun way to get into pressure cooking 🙂
Vicki Fitzgibbon says
Hi there from Australia
Great advise and receipes thankyou
I’ve just bought the Crockpot express xl and am now wondering about reducing maybe halving most of the receipes that I’ve seen.
Do you think this will effect the cooking time?
Have you had any experience cooking smaller quantities in your machine?
Nicole Burkholder says
It depends on what it is that you’re cooking. If it’s a smaller cut of meat (1 pound roast instead of a 3 pound, for example) then yes, you would decrease the cook time. However, if it’s just a pasta dish, or fewer chicken breasts, for example, you don’t need to adjust the cook time. Just make sure that if you are halving a recipe, you still have enough thin liquids. You need 1 cup of liquid in general, although some things like chicken that release a lot of juice when cooking can be paired with as little as 1/2 cup of liquid. Hope that makes sense! 🙂
Thank You for this site! I bought my Crockpot Express Mini-Multi Cooker before Christmas and have used it less than four time; finding it to be a little intimidating. It’s like I am the Elephant and it’s The Mouse; I am scared of “The Mouse”! Silly, I know, but with your help, I will show The Mouse who’s The Boss!
Nicole Burkholder says
I felt the same way when I first started out, and there was nothing really helpful online about the Crockpot Express. I’m glad you’re finding this useful! Welcome to the club 🙂