breville-Optimized.jpgThere is a sense of accomplishment I feel when I am extremely organized and think to put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning so dinner is ready when we get home at the end of a long day. So when I was asked to try out the Breville Fast Slow Cooker I couldn’t wait. Any busy family will love this appliance since it can make a whole meal in one pot with easy clean up.

I’ve also been dying to try out a pressure cooker before jumping in and buying one, so this was the perfect opportunity. This appliance has so many uses it can replace many of the appliances or pans you use at home. It can sear/saute, pressure cook, be a slow cooker and a rice cooker.  It can also cook meals and desserts. What more could you ask for in a small appliance?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appearance

Once taken out of the box I was pretty impressed by the stainless steel, sleek design of the appliance. The base looks like any regular slow cooker, but the lid tells you it’s not with the extra buttons and valves. It looks pretty heavy duty and I was thinking it was going to be quite heavy to lift, but it is in fact, quite light. It fit easily on my countertop without taking up too much space and can be tucked away in the corner if you will be using it regularly. The screen is easy to read with function specific buttons for each setting, such as, saute/sear, pressure cook, slow cook, warm and steam.

Specificationssettings breville-Optimized.jpg

The Breville fast slow cooker is round in shape and similar in size to most slow cookers on the market. Because the lid is also the lid for the pressure cooker function it has a sturdy handle on top for lifting off, and it has arrows to align for locking in place with a simple turn. The handle is very sturdy which makes locking it in place a breeze.

Everything is clearly marked on the safety locking lid for the pressure cooking function as well, such as, the steam release button and the pressure valve. You can also choose your pressure cooker heat settings here, from low to high heat depending on what you are cooking.

The cooker also comes with all the accessories you will need for all the cooking methods. A steaming basket for veggies, a grill rack for meats, a measuring cup for rice and a spoon and ladle for serving. The 6 quart removable non stick cooking bowl is quite deep and big enough to cook a meal for a large family.

IMG_2825-Optimized.JPGTesting it out

 

Since chicken is often on the menu in my house I decided to try out one of our favourite curry chicken recipes first. I was also excited to try out the pressure cooking function since I already use a slow cooker on a regular basis and know how amazing they are for quick and easy family meals.

The instruction booklet for intial set-up was easy to follow along to and within minutes I was preparing my meal. I loved that I could start my rice at the same time as the curry chicken dish so they were both done at the same time.

With all the functions this machine offers you can actually saute your veggies for a few minutes, then sear your meats before adding the liquids, locking on the lid and starting your pressure cooker.

Once on the pressure cooker setting the meal was done in 8 short minutes. Usually this dish I cook in the oven but it was equally delicious from the pressure cooker and took a quarter of the time. We’re always looking for a few extra minutes in our day and this machine will definitely give you that.

If you want to be able to enjoy your meal right after cooking, you just press the steam release button to allow all the steam used for cooking to escape. I was actually quite amazed at the amount of steam being released and the force when it is first released, so remember to keep your arms and hands away from the release so you don’t get a burn. if your meal is ready before the family, that’s ok too, because the cooker also has a warming function.

I was so curious to see what a dessert would turn out like, so I tested a rice pudding. Rice pudding seemed to be the go to pressure cooker dessert, and since we all love it I gave it a go. Let me tell you this rice pudding was so amazing my 9 year old wants me to buy a pressure cooker just to make rice pudding.

Since I love my rice cooker I thought I would see if the Breville Fast Slow Cooker was equally as great and it didn’t disappoint. Actually it works just as well as the current one I have which I have been using for years.

Clean up

Clean up was a breeze with this one. I prefer not to put any pots or pans in my dishwasher, so while the inner cooking bowl is dishwasher safe I just washed it by hand. A little dishsoap on a cloth was all it took to wash away any remaining curry sauce. I love that the basket is quite deep as well so the sauce didn’t splash all over the inside of the lid. I could be wrong, but my thought is also that the steam has something to do with not allowing the sauce to stick.

These are two of the recipes I tried out and both tasted great.

Curry ChickenIMG_2831-Optimized.JPG

This curry chicken recipe is a family favourite of ours so of course I had to test it out in the pressure cooker.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts
1/2 diced red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic puree
1 can coconut milk
pineapple tidbits
2 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Turn the crocpot on the saute/sear setting for 5 minutes.
Allow to warm for a minute then saute garlic and red pepper for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken and saute/sear for remainder of time.
Add the coconut milk, your preferance of pineapple amount and a drizzle of the pineapple juice, curry, cumin, salt and pepper.
Lock the lid in place, set on the pressure cooking setting and set the timer for 8 minutes.
Serve over basmati rice and enjoy

 

Rice PuddingIMG_2876-Optimized.JPG

My kids and I love rice pudding and it seemed to be the go to dessert to make in a pressure cooker. We tried it out and loved it.

Ingredients:

1 C long grain rice( I used basmati)
1/2 C cane sugar
1 C water
2 C milk
1 egg
1/4 C cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

 

Directions

Turn the fast slow cooker on saute/sear setting for 3 minutes and allow butter to melt. Once melted stir in rice to coat grains. 

Stir in the water, milk, sugar and salt
Lock on lid and set cooker to pressure cooker setting and set timer for 8 minutes on high pressure setting. 

When 8 minutes are up, release the steam with the release button.
In a small bowl whisk egg, cream, vanilla and cinnamon.
Spoon a small amount of the hot rice mixture into the egg mixture and stir

Repeat this step a few times abefore slowly adding the egg mixture to the rice in the cooking bowl.

Turn on the saute/sear setting for 5 minutes and stir frequently, there will be a lot of bubbling and the mixture will thicken.
You will notice if it sits for any time after it is cooked it thickens significantly. Just add a little milk until you get the desired consistency you prefer.

Evaluation

The Breville Fast Slow Cooker really is fantastic. It has so many functions that I would definitely buy one for my own kitchen. I have a rice cooker and a slow cooker already, but if I had this I wouldn’t need either of them. I think my son has the right idea, I would also buy it just to cook the rice pudding alone.

With all the appliances and gadgets available for the kitchen, being able to have one with many options means you don’t have to cram your cupboards full of unnecessary appliances.