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 every day 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 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
Crockpot Express FAQ’s
- Does it have a manual setting? No, 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’ll get this error. Be sure the unit is cooled completely 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.
Tips for best results when using the Crockpot Express
- When pressure cooking, ensure there is a minimum of 8oz 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
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. 🙂 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 will be sharing my results and other great recipes over the next several weeks and months. If you’re on Facebook, join our group Crockpot Express for Beginners for support and recipes!
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!)