Breville the Fast Slow Cooker BPR200
If you’re short on time, pressure cookers and slow cookers are handy time-saving appliances. With a slow cooker you can prepare your meal in the morning and have it ready when you get home at night, whereas a pressure cooker uses a small amount of liquid with a sealed lid that retains steam and builds pressure to cook your meal faster than most other methods.
CHOICE tested the Breville Fast Slow Cooker and found, with this appliance, you can have the best of both worlds. Not only does this one appliance double up as a slow cooker and pressure cooker, you can also use it to sauté and sear and as a steamer as well. It comes with a stainless steel steaming basket and trivet plus a rice measuring cup, serving spoon and heat resistant spatula and its six litre capacity can serve a large family.
Our home economist, Fiona Mair, tested each function and was impressed by its performance. She cooked lamb shanks and chili beef in the slow cooker and the pressure cooker as well as rice in the pressure cooker and steamed corn cobs. The lamb shanks were excellent in both modes – the meat was perfectly tender and although the sauce was slightly watery it was full of flavour. The chili beef was also excellent in the pressure cooker but in the slow cooker the meat and beans were a little undercooked. The instructions stated to cook the rice in the pressure cooker for only four minutes but Fiona found that after this time the rice was still slightly undercooked. Steaming the corn cob took longer than most other cooking methods but it produced an excellent result.
The Fast Slow Cooker is easy to use – it has touch controls and a clear digital display. It’s easy to assemble and the safety lid is easy to lock into place and unlock, however it’s a large appliance which might be difficult to store. Cleaning is fairly easy, the non-stick bowl is dishwasher safe (hand washing is recommended); however the stainless steel exterior would require extra attention and cleaning around the lid can be fiddly.
Take care, especially when using the pressure cooking function. Once cooking is complete you’ll need to press the steam release button which will release steam until the pressure indicator rod drops before you can open the lid. Use a towel when doing this as you can burn your hand if it comes in contact with the steam. Also take care when remove the cooking bowl – it has no handles so might be difficult to remove when hot.
This appliance is ideal if you’re pressed for time, not to mention it’s very reasonably priced for an appliance that offers four functions in one. You can adjust your favourite recipes to suit either style of cooking, and while it may take some trial and error and getting used to at the start the comprehensive instructions provided with the unit offer a guide for converting conventional cooking times.