The Crockpot has been synonymous with slow cooking for the longest time (since the 1970s to be precise), so it’s no surprise that it’s since evolved to take part in the popular multicooker market. With big brands such as Instant Pot and Tefal leading the way, the Crockpot Turbo Express electric pressure cooker seems to be an impressive contender.
Not only does it boast its traditional repertoire of slow cook, sauté and steam presets, but also functions as a pressure cooker to handle your meat dishes, rice and much more. In fact, its 14-in-1 features resembles a more expensive multicooker, but at a reasonable price. In addition, it comes with a 5.6 litre capacity, so it’s decent enough to cook hearty meals for a family of six.
See the best multi-cookers
With that all said, I put the Crockpot Turbo Express cooker to the test to find out how well it performs, and if it’s one of the best slow cookers you can buy.
Ideal Home rated: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reasons to buy:
- 14-in-1 functions
- Light and easy to manoeuvre
- Sleek design
- Nice compact size
- Turbo Function reduces cooking time by almost half
- Automatic 24-hr keep warm function
- Very affordable
Reasons to avoid:
- Doesn’t come with a handy recipe book
- No hinged lid
- No steaming basket or measuring cup included
Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker
Unboxing the Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker
The Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker was easy to lift out and carry to the worktop with its sturdy handles. Design-wise, it looks impressive, with a stainless-steel exterior, flat control panel, and LED screen. The interface is simply laid-out with clear, one-touch settings to avoid any confusion. My only reservation was the ‘papery’ feel of the interface which I felt let the sleek design down a little. However, the blue LED display and lit buttons are a nice touch.
With its compact, 5.6-litre capacity, it sits nicely on the worktop, without looking too cumbersome, making it ideal for smaller spaces. The separate lid has a sleek handle across to offer a firm grip when twisting to lock/unlocks, and a simple knob for the pressure release.
The Crockpot Turbo Express comes with a stirring spoon, steaming rack and sous vide rack. Unlike other pressure cookers, this doesn’t come with a steaming basket or measuring cup, in which case, you would need to carefully use the rack for vegetables.
Cooking in the Crockpot Turbo Express
Once the Crockpot Turbo Express is switched on, the cooker will beep and the LED display lights up. The front panel has a range of self-explanatory settings to choose from such as, brown/saute, simmer, slow cook, keep warm, yogurt and sous vide options. While the Pressure functions include manual, steam, meat/poultry, rice/grains, soup/stew, dessert and sterilise. It also has Delay Timer and Keep Warm functions for added convenience.
For beginners, this basic interface makes the cooker incredibly user-friendly – you know exactly what does what without the confusion. The manual tells you the recommended times and temperatures for each setting, which is also helpful. It’s a shame there was no recipe book included. However, I was able to find some suitable Crockpot recipes online to try out.
Cooking in the Crockpot Turbo Express is relatively fuss-free and simple. Once you select the program of your choice, the auto time and temperature will flash up on the display. After pressing Start it will then display Heat, whereby the status bar will begin flashing to indicate it is warming up. When the status light reaches the end, the timer countdown begins. Once the process is finished it will beep again, before automatically set to the Keep Warm function until you’re ready to eat.
Overall, I found this one of the easiest pressure cookers to use in terms of simplicity and functionality. In fact, this would make the ideal, entry-level cooker for beginners or students who merely want to use it for the basic functions.
Slow cooking beef stew
Considering slow cooking is what Crockpot is popular for, I decided to make a hearty beef stew. First, I used the sauté function to brown the beef and onions before adding in the vegetables, seasonings and beef broth. Next, I covered the pot and pressed the Slow Cooker button. It gives you the option of either cooking on a low temperature for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. I decided to set on a high temperature, and the results were just as impressive. Not only was the beef incredibly succulent and tender but tasted delicious and flavoursome. A stew well worth the wait!
Cooking basmati rice in the Crockpot Turbo Express
I decided to cook basmati rice to accompany the beef stew. Cooking rice to perfection can often be hit-and-miss, especially if there’s too much or too little water. So I was a little disappointed that the cooker didn’t come with a handy measuring cup to ensure precise measurements. In any case, I measured out 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water into the Crockpot before pressing the Rice/Grains button. The timer displayed 12 minutes with the High pressure, and then I pressed Start.
Again, the display turned to Heat to start the countdown to pre-warm before cooking the rice. After a beep, I opened the valve to release the steam before unlocking the lid. To my dismay, the rice didn’t have that fluffy yet dry texture that I’d wanted. Instead, it was rather wet and easily got stuck onto the spatula.
Perhaps I’d added a little too much water, however, it still had a pleasant, fragrant taste.
Steaming vegetables in the Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker
I do enjoy steamed vegetables as a side dish and getting the right texture can be challenging in a pressure cooker. This is where the use of a steam basket can help, however, the Crockpot Turbo Express only comes with a steam rack. The idea is to sit the rack at the base of the inner pot, in a little water, and place your veggies on top of the rack. I found this impractical with smaller pieces of broccoli or veg which would only fall through the gaps, but it works better with thicker slices.
Once you press the Steam function, it will set for 5 minutes before you hit Start. The cooker preheats and will start the stream process before it beeps at the finish. I must say that the texture of my streamed vegetables were a little disappointing, as the broccoli had a slightly mushy texture. In addition I would probably recommend using an oven-proof dish to place your veggies in to avoid rogue bits falling through the cracks and into the water.
Cleaning the Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker
The pot is dishwasher safe, while the lid and all of its parts have to be hand washed. Having said that though, it’s recommended that you hand wash the pot to protect its non-stick coating. The pot is easy to handwash quickly, and its small size means it won’t fill up your sink and become awkward to wash properly. In addition, the pot has a non-stick coating, so you won’t have to worry about stuck-on food or greasy residue. The outer pot can easily be wiped down with a soapy cloth to remove any dirt or fingerprints.
Should you buy the Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker?
If you’re after a basic, user-friendly pressure cooker or on a budget, the Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Cooker is a great option. It comes with all the main cooking settings you would need without all the fancy bells and whistles. Its 5.6-litre capacity makes it the ideal size for compact spaces, or to suit small-medium households.
Alongside its powerful cooking performance, the ease of use makes it the ideal entry-level pressure cooker for those with limited cooking needs. The Crockpot Turbo Express creates succulent and tasty meat dishes and the Keep Warm function is a plus. The only downsides are the lack of a steaming basket and measuring cup, which can be handy during steaming things like vegetables. The steaming rack provided seemed impractical for placing smaller veggies on. However, if you can overlook the lack of steaming basket and recipe book, the Crockpot Turbo Express pressure cooker is a worthwhile investment.
About this review, and our reviewer
Cynthia Lawrence is a freelance lifestyle and homes/interiors journalist and writes for various national publications. With an unhealthy obsession for all things homes and gardens, she also has an interior design blog. When she’s not spending time surfing online for decor inspiration to revamp her 1930s home, she is busy reviewing some pretty awesome home appliances.
A regular contributor to Real Homes, she has written for Livingetc., Gardeningetc., Ideal Home, T3.com, Top Ten Reviews and House Beautiful amongst others.