Color: Stainless Steel|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was always afraid of those archaic stove top pressure cookers - This is not one of those. This multi-cooker has lived up to all the hype! I absolutely love it. I can make a pot roast in about an hour and it is melt in your mouth tender. While the Express Cooker looks a little intimidating, it is actually really easy to use. It combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, yogurt maker, saute/searing, steamer, warmer and sterilizer all in one unit. It has complete custom programming for pressure and non-pressure cooking. I would recommend reading through the instructions just for safety.

The good:
The saute feature is genius. It allows you to sear or semi cook something prior to pressure cooking. I've found that if I don't brown/pre-cook what I'm making, the meat doesn't have much flavor. So if I'm making stew, I use the saute feature to brown the meat in some seasoning and let it cook for 5 or 6 minutes before adding water and turning on the pressure. I've read reviews from people who use it to cook frozen meat - I can't imagine that would be very flavorful.

The pre-programmed buttons are great when you have no idea how long to cook something.

The Bad:
You need to purchase an extra seal because with repeated use, the seal absorbs the smell of the food. So if you plan on using your pot to make sweet and savory (yes this makes an excellent cheese cake) you'll need 2 different seals.

The Ugly
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 23, 2017
I chose the crock pot express over the instant pot for a number of reasons: I trust the crock pot brand, it was cheaper than IP, and I liked the nonstick pot.

Several of my friends have Instant Pots and have raved about them for well over a year. I love to cook and am usually a sucker for the latest gadget but I didn’t want another bulky appliance in the kitchen that would just sit there unused. When crock pot came out with the express cooker for a cheaper price than instant pot, I was intrigued. And then it was an extra % off at target, so I caved.

I’ve had it for 10 days and have already used it numerous. I am seriously amazed by how easy it is to use and how delicious the food turns out. I made meatloaf tonight and it was, without a doubt, the best meatloaf I have made. Plus I cooked the potatoes in the bottom of the pot, with the meatloaf in foil on top, so everything was done at once and only one pot to clean (easily might I add, due to the nonstick pot!). We have made potato soup, kalua pork and cabbage, beef stroganoff, a cheesecake (!!!), rice, meatloaf, and applesauce. All of which have been delicious. I haven’t tried it as a slow cooker yet.

The only drawback has been the lack of a manual setting. I have modified by just cooking on high pressure and turning off the pot at 3 minutes/whatever the recipe says. Not a big deal.

I highly recommend this pressure cooker. There’s no way this will be just another unused appliance in my house. With the recipes on Pinterest and the instant pot community on Facebook, I will have plenty of options for dinner time!
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on November 21, 2017
Possibly the best purchase I have made all year. I did a lot of research between this and the Instant Pot brand. The deal available on this was too good to pass up though. I love that this has a non stick pan to simplify clean-up. The one thing that I was hesitant about was that this did not have a manual setting like the Instant Pot did. The majority of recipes I have found for this call for using the manual setting. I researched on the Crockpot website though and their recommendation was to use the "Beans/Chili" setting in place of manual since it will allow you to select high or low pressure and set a custom time. I have used this for all the manual setting recipes I have made and it has worked flawlessly. I was hesitant to go with any of the off brands that I found for this device, but I felt confident going with the Crockpot brand as they have a long standing history and great reputation in the slow cooking world. I am excited to watch them grow this product line.
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on November 21, 2017
I was contemplating purchasing an Instant Pot for months but something was holding me back. We had an office party and a friend had made carnitas in under two hours using an Express Crock while in the office. My friend browned a whole five-pound pork shoulder and pressure cooked it in no time at all. It was the best carnitas I had had in a long time. It convinced me to purchase an Express Crock immediately and I haven't been disappointed since. It has saved me hours in the kitchen and has saved me quite a bit of money and it's probably saved my family's health. We used to get so much fast food and take out that our health was suffering.

We had to make a change and Express Crock came at the right time. I have been able to make delicious quick and easy meals in the time it takes me to go through a drive thru. I've made numerous meals in my Express Crock and some in under fifteen minutes. That includes the time it took me to prep, brown/saute, and cook the meal. The browning feature is so helpful to make the meal that much more flavorful. With older more traditional slow-cookers I would have to prep my meat and veg on the stove in order to get more flavor...I can now skip that step completely.

I can make one pot meals, rice, lentils, soup, chili, dessert and even yogurt (even though I haven't tried that yet.) Honestly, this is now my favorite kitchen appliance that I have and it clearly replaces a few that I already had. It is also my go to Christmas gift for the season, the price is amazing at just $49.99...I am sending this to pretty much all my family members. I just can't say enough good things about the Express Crock!
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on November 13, 2017
I am cooking again! With a busy family, I need fast! I wish I had this appliance before now! What sold me was the ability to cook with frozen meat. I can start with frozen chicken and not have to thaw! I cannot tell any difference between thawing before or when I started with frozen meat. If you are debating on spending more to get the "Instantpot," never fear. I did a good bit of research and I am very happy with the crock pot brand. I saved money and got more features by buying the Crockpot brand. My Chinese dishes are much better and faster than running for takeout, not to mention healthier and cheaper. My family was amazed at the individual Chocolate Lava cakes I was able to make quickly and easily. My picky 17-year-old son deemed them better than the restaurants and I agree. My husband loves his dinner every night and I don't mind cooking at all because I spend very little time preparing and cleaning up.
If you love boiled eggs then you will be thrilled how wonderfully and quickly they are made and they peel effortlessly. Check out Pinterest and Youtube for recipes and techniques. There is much inspiration there!
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on November 12, 2017
So far this is fantastic. I really tested it out on the first day I got it by making a 5 pound chuck roast in an hour. It was thoroughly cooked, flavorful and falling apart. I also made Halupkis, Pork Chops and today I made a 4 pound rack of baby back ribs that fell apart after 35 minutes. It's easy to use. The directions are simple and I really like the light blue large display. The pot is non-stick. You can saute, steam, slow cook, make potatoes in it. I also made brown rice in 10 minutes that was perfect. My biggest reason for getting this instead of the Instant Pot was price and I am glad I took a chance. I really like this a lot and I hope it lasts. I will do an update in a year. I also posted a photo of the baby back ribs I made.
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on November 28, 2017
This was great the first few uses. After that the bobber valve just seems to hate sealing. It was taking maybe 3-4 attempts of redrying the bobber valve and trying again for the unit to seal and manage to heat up. As that was taking 20 mins, it defeated the purpose of an express cooker. Maybe mine was defective. Returned.
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on January 11, 2018
Original Post (1/11/18):
Argh! First use... tossed in ingredients to make stew, secured the lid, sealed the steam valve, plugged it in, turned it on, selected the stew function and hit start. It started heating then eventually displayed the dreaded E6 error. Manufacturer's solution: turn off and let cool down, add more liquid and try again. If I have to wait, I might as well have used my old slow cooker. Also, I'm making a stew, so it has plenty of liquid. I did try three times to get it to work, but E6, E6, E6. Plan B: put the stew in the slow cooker after all and take the family to the local pizza place. I guess I'll go for the exchange, but I dread that the next one will live just past the warranty period and then flake out with error codes. {sigh}

Update (1/12/18):
The next morning, since I didn't actually put the stew in the slow cooker (yet) I thought I'd give it another try. I realized and now theorize that I had thickened the liquids with cornstarch already and that it really was stew gravy. Since it wasn't liquid enough, it could not boil and build pressure, causing the E6 error, thus this would be my mistake.

I decided to try just water, using the steam mode and adjusting the time to 5 mins. Worked fine.

Next thing I did was put in a couple eggs (on the rack), added one cup of water and steamed for 5 minutes again. I let it sit for 5 mins before releasing the rest of the pressure, and then I put the eggs in an ice bath (as you normally would) for about 5 mins. I cracked open one of the eggs, which peeled wonderfully with the shell practically sliding off in two pieces, and sliced the egg open. Perfectly cooked!

Next, I decided to make a cup and a half of quinoa, and I added some chopped onion and carrots, kale, and 3 cups of beef broth (since I had some left over from the stew I was making last night). I set it in rice mode, and when done I instantly released the pressure (didn't wait for it naturally depressurize). Perfect, perfect quinoa!

I'm going to give this another shot without returning it. I'm eager to try another stew soon and see what happens. Of course, next time I'll wait until it's done before thickening the stew liquid. In the meantime, I'll go ahead and bump my original 1-star rating up to 4-stars.
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Color: Stainless Steel|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I know this is hard to believe, but this is my first slow cooker. When my twins were born over ten years ago a well meaning friend gave us a recipe book for slow cooker dinners thinking one pot dinners would be a god send for first time parents overwhelmed with twin new borns. Well, I never got to use that recipe book at all, we didn't own a slow cooker. When I got the opportunity to try this machine I jumped on it and grabbed the recipe book. I guess I wanted to try a pot roast, it is the most quintessential slow cooker dish, I had never made a pot roast before, in my entire life, not once, in 47 years. So, I went to the recipe book, picked out a pot roast recipe (zesty Italian pot roast with carrots, potatoes, celery, a Roma tomato, Italian herbs, garlic, and tomato soup instead of broth/gravy), and plopped down $20 for a 2.5 pound local grass fed chuck.

Then, it was time to set up the machine and get dinner going. I washed what I needed to wash and got it ready and sat down to read the instructions. Honestly I was a bit frazzled. I didn't like the instruction manual at all, it didn't read smoothly or in a way that was obvious to me. I am not saying this will be everyone's experience, and keep in mind machines like this one are new to me all together, but it just felt a little overwhelming. I also was not a fan of the recipe book. There were not a lot of recipes and there were so many that seemed too silly to use a giant 6 quart machine to make, like oatmeal, I mean, really? Other meals, like the duck, were just meals I was never going to make. There was not a regular old pot roast recipe in there. The corned beef recipe was one of only two recipes in there that showed two different recipes/times one for slow cook and one for pressure cook. In the manual it has a chart with cook times, for meat/stew it lists 15 minutes to 2 hours for cook time with the pressure cooker. Really? That is quite a spread with no direction at all as to where your food should fall. The difference in cook times was 3/16, so I looked the pot roast recipe I had chosen from my other cookbook which gave a cook time spread of 10 to 12 hours in a slow cooker and took 3/16 of the middle which came to 2 hours. So, I had a plan.

I know that meat has more flavor if you sear it first, so I used the brown/sauté function and browned all sides of the roast. Then I briefly browned the potatoes in there too. Then I loaded the thing with all my ingredients and went to start it. So, I guess I assumed there was a pressure cooker function you had to hit, so I kept looking and looking and looking, turns out you have to hit the button for the kind of food you are cooking then hit the pressure cook button to set it to high or low pressure. This having to hit the meat/stew button first was not in the manual, and I thought it was for slow cooking, however, if I had been following a recipe in the included book I found later that it does spell out what button to hit for what food you are cooking. Anyway, I get it now. Again, remember, I am completely new to this genre of cooking. Anyway, the controls on this machine are not at all obvious or intuitive, and they are completely all automatic so the user has no control at all, like temperature. Nor does it tell you anywhere what temperature each setting it for in case someone wanted to try to cook something manually using the preset controls.

Okay, so I got the thing going and stood back and watched. It was loud at first, then presumably once pressure had sufficiently built and the seal and vent sealed up it turned silent. And then it was not just waiting for the two hours cook time, but the 10 minutes after that you have to wait while it naturally lets off pressure and cools slightly before you can open the vent. Boy was opening the vent fun, with a fork I pushed it open and it was like a volcano, really entertaining. Then, there it was, my first ever pot roast, see the photo I posted. The moment of truth came as my husband and I eagerly and warily tried my creation. OH MY GOD was it SOOOOOOO GOOD! Then, I fed it to my twin 10 year olds who had never had pot roast before in their lives either, I swear, they were about to melt when they first tasted the meat. They both asked for seconds on the meat but the four of us polished off the entire roast and there was nothing left for seconds. It was THAT good. My first thought was damn I'm going to have to use that machine again, because the food was that good and I wanted more and I had been that frazzled by my first use that it was a chore to use it again. But then as the evening passed and I thought back on my first time using this machine I realized that was my first time and now I got it and the next time would be a cinch.

A slow cooker is a slow cooker. So, I chose to pressure cook to test out this machine because being a slow cooker that is also a pressure cooker is this machine's big draw. Using the brown/sauté feature was also to test out a feature that a regular slow cooker doesn't have. Both of these aspects make this machine a winner. My husband couldn't understand why I went with 4 stars and not 5 stars. I guess in terms of the finished product, what we ate tonight was 5 star meal, hands down. But the frustration I felt at my first use with the recipe book, the manual, etc. coupled with the huge size making it difficult to store in a small kitchen make this a "like" and not a "love". If the rating were based on the finished product alone, then yes, 5 stars "love". Please keep in mind this 4 star rating comes from a complete newbie to machines like this and may not at all be your experience.
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on January 17, 2018
the very night I received from Amazon attempted to cook chicken breast. After cooking for 10 minutes went to release pressure value and the top blew off send scolding water everywhere and leaving me with second degree burns on my shoulder and neck. After calling Amazon 4 times, twice over seas call center. Finally after reaching someone from the US was guarantied that this was a serious nature and someone would return a call to the next business day, never happened. I was provided a number for Crok Pot which was a total waste of automated reroutes. I have read and reread owners manual, it states will not heat if cover is not on properly installed it too says cover will lock into place and not open if contents are to hot. This is my experience with this product and Amazons follow up.
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