Most of us have heard of a crock pot but you may not realise that it is the brand name of a range of slow cookers. This year they have released a new electric pressure cooker, the Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker CSC051.
Do you want to be able to make a meal quickly, cook a chicken in 30 minutes or make your favourite slow cooker recipes? Well you can in this multi-cooker pressure cooker.
If you don’t mind giving up some worktop space for an appliance that you will probably use on regular basis then check this CSC051 out.
Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker CSC051 Review
The reason most people look for an electric pressure cooker is because it can cook faster than using a traditional method of using a saucepan on the cooker top or a casserole dish in the oven. The reason that the Crock-Pot Express can cook 70% faster is due to the increase in pressure inside the cooker moving the boiling point of water higher and allowing the food to cook quicker. It has 1000w power behind it similar the same as the Instant Pot Duo.
Now with a quicker pressure cooker you get better energy efficiency so it’s a bit cheaper to use. You can cook a chicken in around 30 minutes, colour it up by searing it first in the same pot. Keeping all the nutrients and goodness in there.
I’m always surprised at how quiet electric pressure cookers are these days, not like when I was a kid, the one my mother used was scary, it hissed as you walked past so I usually ran.
Removable Inner Pot
The inner pot easily lifts out of the outer body and is made from metal with a non stick coating. Generally people feel that a non stick coating is going to scratch off and make it unusable but I have a non stick type and it’s going strong after a couple of years. I use the included spoon or utensils that don’t scratch and haven’t been disappointed. The bowl has measurements on the side to make it easy to judge the right amount of liquid to put in it, you need less when pressure cooking.
The capacity of this cooker is 5.6 litres which is fairly standard sized. The Instant Pot is 5.5 litres and the Pressure King Pro is 5 so the Crock-Pot is comparable with them. This is a good size for families but don’t discount it for couples as you can make double the quantity and freeze the portions for another day.
As in most pans you wouldn’t fill them to the top and this is no different. In a pressure cooker you usually fill to about 2 thirds full. You need to have space above the food for the steam to build up it and allow it to get up to pressure.
You can fit a chicken in this cooking container, not the biggest sized ones but small to medium and it would also make a family sized quantity of stew.
If you haven’t used a pressure cooker before or an electric version you might be a little nervous about it. Most electric pressure cookers have safety features to shut it off if it triggers any sensors. First of all you have to have the lid fastened securely before it will be able to build up to pressure and you have to close the valve on the lid. You then can’t open the lid until all the steam has been released which is done by moving the valve to the open position and the steam releases. If you don’t put sufficient water in the pot or forget to add it the heat sensors will know it’s not working as it should and it will turn off automatically. You will need to add more water before you try again. The sensors will also not let it build up more pressure than selected and there are safety valves to release it safely. All of these are standard in most electric pressure cookers to allow you to cook safely.
This Crock-Pot pressure cooker has 4 ways to cook which could make your slow cooker and your steamer a bit redundant. It can cook for a family but it isn’t as big as a Crock-Pot oval slow cooker, it’s also not as big as a multi level steamer so maybe redundant isn’t the right word for these appliances but they may stay in the back of the cupboard.
If you are going to pressure cook you do have the option to choose 2 different pressures for different foods, high or low. You might use the lower setting for fish or some vegetables and the higher setting for the rest. You also get a high or low setting on the slow cooker function similar to standard slow cookers.
If you’re not a beginner and have your own recipes or cooking times then you can set up the times you want using the manual function, you can also select high or lower pressure. After the cooking is done you have a keep warm function that will kick in, so if you’re not quite ready to eat immediately you won’t have cold food.
There aren’t any special functions on this pressure cooker that you can’t get on most others but there are definitely enough options to cover most of the cooking styles you probably want to do.
If you were hoping to be able to deep fry then you might check out the Pressure King Pro 6 litre option.
You don’t have to be an expert to use the Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker as it includes 8 one-touch options so that you just need to add the ingredients, put on the lid, turn the pressure valve to pressure if required then select your programme and start to get going. Make soup, stew, meat or poultry and the preset times will come up. Some pressure cookers offer more preset food options like the Sage Fast Slow Cooker Pro but more doesn’t mean you’ll use them all.
Check out this video to see how easy it can be for you to use the Crock-Pot Express to make chilli.
The control panel is quite large on the front of the appliance with a blue led display to give you a countdown timer on how much time is left to cook. The buttons are well marked with the cooking option to choose and there are +/- buttons to adjust the time if you need to. There is a small blue light above your selection so you can be sure you’ve chosen the right buttons. It’s very quick to set the cooking away even if you use the manual selection.
The inner bowl can be removed for serving and cleaning. It can be put in the dishwasher but it is quite tall and easy enough to wash out in the sink, just don’t scrub it too hard or you might remove the coating. You can remove the seal from the lid and wash that and the lid can be rinsed out and dried before replacing the seal. The condensation collector which should be attached on the back of the pressure cooker can be taken off and emptied. Once unplugged and cooled down the base unit can be wiped down with a damp cloth.
This is quite a large piece of equipment as it stands 30.8cm high, 34 cm wide 34.4 deep, it’s basically circular in shape. You might have to consider a smaller size unit like the Cosori 2L if you have a small kitchen with little storage or if there are less of you to feed.
You get a couple of accessories with this pressure cooker, a steaming rack, a plastic spoon and a recipe book. The steaming rack is the kind that sits in the base of the inner pot but doesn’t sit very high. You could probably invest in a steaming tray to sit on there which would hold vegetables a bit easier. There are some pressure cookers where the steam tray sits at the top half of the bowl which lets you cook something in the bottom and you can add your vegetables at the same time on the tray at the top, the Tower T16005 does that. The recipe book is small but it might give you an idea of what Crock-Pot Express is capable of.
|Faster cooking||It’s quite large in size for the countertop|
|Good range of functions||Minimum accessories supplied or available to buy|
|Well laid out control panel|
|Easy to clean non-stick inner pot|
This Crock-Pot Express is highly rated on Amazon.co.uk but it is a fairly new edition to the range of electric pressure cookers. It is quite easy to use and most buyers were happy with the results which is pretty important. Some found the HEAt that comes on the screen when it is building up to pressure a bit confusing as most pressure cookers just have blinking cursors or flash the time until it starts to count down and the way it is spelled made them think it was an error. Other than that it cooked to an expected standard and gave a good performance.
In the UK the price range of electric pressure cookers can range from around £50 to over £100 depending on the make and size of the product. This Crock-Pot is less than £100 and is around £25 cheaper than an Instant Pot. It’s higher priced than the average but still affordable for what it offers. There aren’t many accessories with it so you might want to buy a higher legged steam rack or a divided vegetable tray, but they’re not necessary, only nice to have.
I think the price is acceptable for the make and the quality but if you feel it’s a bit on the high side you might consider the Pressure King Pro 5 litre.
I like the Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker CSC051, I think you would be happy and satisfied if you purchased this item. It can pressure cook, slow cook and steam and it does them well which are the main cooking capabilities required in a pressure multi-cooker.
The Instant Pot is the most popular electric pressure cooker in the UK at the moment and this will definitely give it a run for it’s money as it offers all of the same functions. If you need something with more built in pre-set options and don’t mind paying more money then you could try the Sage. If you’re looking for a basic type and you’re not bothered with a slow cooker check out the Tower T16005.
This is a very useful piece of kitchen equipment for anyone who is busy and wants to knock up an easy meal in 30 minutes or so, or even using the delay timer to have food ready for when you need it. If you have a large family and feel it’s not big enough there are 8 litre pressure cookers on the market but this should work well for the averaged sized family.