I’ve always enjoyed cooking and was more than happy to take on that role in our family. It’s a chore I genuinely enjoy and my husband gets a home cooked meal most nights – everyone’s a winner!
Then we got pregnant with our second daughter and I quickly realised that cooking a meal every day with a toddler and a newborn wasn’t going to be so easy.
My husband’s horror that I might not be able to cook for him as much, quickly turned to relief when I came up with the solution of buying a multi cooker. Honestly, he’s always thinking about his stomach that man!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.u201d
Crock Pot Review
Crock-Pot Multi Cooker First Thoughts
When I first opened the Crock Pot, it was pretty much what I expected and really doesn’t have all that much that sets it apart from any other multi cooker.
I was pleasantly surprised at the build quality considering we only paid $140ish (I have since found it for cheaper than that online – doh!). The machine is sturdy and the lid was actually much better quality that other multi cookers I’ve used. The control panel is big and easy to read and the buttons are a good size too.
There was also a pretty informative manual in the box as well as a small recipe booklet, which I have referred to countless times to make sure I’m using the best setting. Finally, there was a metal stand to create an extra “level” within the cooker and a plastic serving spoon, both pretty standard.
Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker Features
Meat/Stew – I used this setting for the Irish stew pictured below and it worked perfectly. The lamb fell off the bone and only took about 20 minutes.
Beans/Chilli – Made a beautiful bolognese sauce on this setting and although it probably wasn’t much faster than cooking on the hob I was able to cook for longer so got a much more intense flavour.
Slow Cook – Works just as as well as any slow cooker I’ve owned!
Dessert – I made the cheesecake from the recipe booklet which was delicious. My only pointer would be make sure to give the bowl and lid a VERY thorough clean before. When I opened the lid after cooking I could definitely smell the chicken curry from the day before.
Pressure Cook – Excellent at creating melt in your mouth meat dishes BUT it can take some getting used to. It was much more powerful than previous pressure cookers I’ve used. When I made a beef stew the potatoes totally disintegrated, even though I only had them in for 5 minutes! After some trial and error I’ve managed to master this setting now though.
Brown/Saute – Works great but does take a few minutes to get up to temperature.
There are still some functions I haven’t used but I’ll update the article as I get round to them.
Crock-Pot CPE200 In Use
Here’s a quick look at me actually using the crock pot multi cooker to make an Irish stew and then the lemon cheesecake.
First, I browned the lamb chops and fried the onion using the “brown/saute” function for about 5 minutes. It was quick and easy and did a pretty good job but I think it could be a little hotter if I’m honest.
I usually saute the meat whilst I prep the veg but because I was trying to be a bit fancy and look good in photos I pre-chopped my veggies this time! Usually I can just leave the meat to fry whilst do the veg and it’s done in time.
Next I added all the other ingredients (except potatoes) and used the meat/stew function for 15 minutes. Then finally, I add the potatoes and cook for a further 4 minutes – don’t be fooled that really is all it needs!!
That’s melt in your mouth lamb stew in just 24 minutes! Something I used to cook in the oven for about 4 hours.
I was nervous about the cheesecake but it couldn’t have been easier! Mix all the ingredients, add them to the cake tin and then it goes on the wire rack with a little water underneath. Easy and I’d definitely make it again!