Breville's Fast Slow Cooker Is a Great Pressure Cooker for Beginners

Breville's Fast Slow Cooker Is a Great Pressure Cooker for Beginners

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Ariel Knutson
Jun 4, 2015
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Item: Breville The Fast Slow Cooker
Price: $179.99
Overall Impression: If you're intimidated by using an electric pressure cooker, this is the one for you. The manual and settings make it super easy to understand what you're doing. I also love how the steam release button is away from the valve – it makes it much more safe for a first-time user.

Breville is known for making higher-end appliances, and that includes The Fast Slow Cooker. This machine is a slow cooker and pressure cooker, and as a result, is more expensive than other cookers that just have the pressure cooker function. Is it worth the extra cash? I ran it through three tests to find out.

The Quick Facts

Characteristics and specs:

  • Height: 13.2" x 11.2" x 13"
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • PSI: Low pressure 4.5-5PSI, medium pressure 8.5-9PSI, and high pressure 11.5-12PSI
  • Quart capacity: 6-quart capacity
  • Construction: Stainless steel exterior, nonstick bowl
  • Settings: Pressure cook (high, medium, low), slow cook, sauté/sear, steam, warm
  • Accessories: Lid assembly, power cord, trivet, steaming basket, serving spoon, spatula, cooking bowl, condensation collector, sealing gasket, pressure cooker valve and cooker, measuring cup
  • Warranty: 1 year replacement
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Favorite details: My very favorite thing about this pressure cooker is that the pressure release valve is separate from the pressure release button. While other electric pressure cookers might require a spoon to release the steam, you can cautiously just use your hand to release pressure from your cooker. Amazing!

The manual for this pressure cooker is also great – very detailed with good visual graphics. The control panel is easy to understand, and the cooker comes with a bonus "medium" pressure which I haven't seen before.

Potential problems: There was a faint plastic smell from the pressure release valve while the cooker was in use. This is because the top of the lid is made out of hard plastic, and it should not affect your food. The pressure cooker was also a little loud when on high pressure.

Who would love this? If you're new to pressure cooking, or are just a little intimidated by the whole process, this is the cooker for you. It's easy to use and understand. It comes at a bigger price tag, however.

The Testing

I put the Breville through three different tests, and here's how it did:

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

1. Dried Chickpeas

  • The test: 1 pound of dried, un-soaked chickpeas, minimum amount of liquid required (1 quart of combine liquid and food), 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 yellow onion, 1 clove garlic. Cooked on high pressure for 40 minutes with a natural release.
  • Result: The pressure cooker came to high pressure in about six minutes, and then cooked for 40 minutes. I pressed down the pressure release button to start the process of a natural pressure release. The beans did not split after being cooked, and they had an ideal texture and taste.
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

2. Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • The test: Four eggs with minimum amount of water required (1 quart of combined food and liquid). Cooked on low pressure for six minutes with a quick release.
  • Result: The cooker took 5 minutes to come to pressure. While cooking, the machine was quiet. The eggs were delicious when done, although on the softer side of hard-boiled. They were easy to peel.
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

3. Chicken

  • The test: Sautéed onions and garlic, browned 2 chicken thighs, covered in 2 cups of chicken stock, and cooked for 10 minutes on high pressure with a quick release.
  • Result: The browning function was easy to understand and did a great job with the onions, garlic, and chicken. After adding the minimum amount of liquid required (1 quart combined food and liquid), I set the cooker on high pressure for 10 minutes. The chicken came out super flavorful and moist. I was particularly impressed with the brown color on the chicken.

My Review

Design and Functions

This beautiful cooker is very lightweight considering what it can do. I think it would be ideal for any small kitchen. I loved the easy-to-understand control panel. You just press "function" and then "pressure cooker" and select the amount of time. The type of pressure you want is located on the lid: high, medium, or low.

My favorite feature about this pressure cooker is how the pressure release valve and steam release button aren't the same thing. In other pressure cookers, you have to turn a knob that also releases steam, which seems odd. You're less at a risk to hurt yourself when the two are separate (that being said, you should still be careful — steam hurts).

The manual for this cooker is very clear, and walks you through how to properly use and wash your cooker, as well as what each part does. The illustrations are extra helpful.

I had two concerns with the design and function of this cooker. On high pressure, the cooker made a little noise that was initially a little concerning. The second thing was that the top of the lid was made of plastic, including the pressure release valve, so there was a faint smell of plastic as the steam was being released. This shouldn't have an affect on what you're cooking, however.

Results

The chickpeas were perfectly cooked and very flavorful. The eggs were easy to peel, but on the softer side of hard-boiled. This may be in part due to the fact that the low pressure on this cooker is 4.5-5PSI. If I were to make eggs again, I would use the medium pressure.

I was particularly impressed with how the cooker handled the chicken. The sauté function was good; it quickly softened the onions and browned the chicken. The chicken had a lot of color after being cooked and was very moist.

Cleaning

You can technically clean the nonstick cooking bowl in the dishwasher, but Breville recommends doing it by hand to preserve the nonstick coating. I didn't have any problems washing the bowl, silicone gasket, or condensation collector.

(Image credit: Breville)

Breville The Fast Slow Cooker

  • $179.99

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

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