- Food and Cooking
The Breville Fast-Slow Cooker
Introduction To Fast Slow Cooking
This is my new favorite kitchen gadget (after my Vitamix blender). When we changed over to mainly Vegan eating we found we were eating a lot more beans and pulses. In the Modern World where we are all living hectic and busy lives with tight schedules this is a problem!
We decided that pressure cooking would be a great solution to this issue as the cook times are so much shorter (often 60% or more less). We then realized that we had unused Air Miles as living in Nova Scotia there are very few outlets that actually give them. We checked and found that we had enough points for the Breville Fast-Slow cooker and it seemed like it might answer our problems. Over to Amazon to check the reviews, mainly positive so we applied on-line to get one, just a week later it arrived! Amazing as the site said expect 4 weeks or more.
Canned beans are expensive and also require you to check to see what additives you may be eating.
With beans the cookbooks all tell you to soak them (dried beans and pulses) for 8 to 10 hours before cooking them, and even then they take hours to cook before you can add them to your recipe. Not anymore! How about 30 to 40 minutes start to finish?
What exactly is this machine? It is a stand alone device that can sear, bring to a boil, and then become a pressure cooker (6 quart) with a non stick, dishwasher safe inner bowl, and it can also slow cook like a crock pot. This versatility means you can pressure cook your dry beans in just 30 minutes, or so, rinse them under cold water and sear some onion and garlic in the pot, add back your beans and some diced tomato and then either slow cook while you are out or pressure cook in minutes. The result yummy home made beans.
For the non Vegans the pressure cooker is great for meat as the cooking time is much faster. This saves on electricity and keeps all of the juices in the pot. There is a trivet and a steaming container that come with the cooker so you can cook vegetables faster too.
The slow cooker has 2 settings (6 hour and 8 hour) these are the equivalent to High and Low on other models. You can cancel if your recipe needs a shorter time. That was the only problem I have found so far. The recipes in the book with the cooker are great and I have found it to be a real time saver and really easy to use. Just ensure that you read up on how to set the pressure and release it properly. However I have found this device to be both fast, and the food tastes better. Precise timing is important as food left in to allow the pressure to come down gradually will continue to cook. The pressure allows the steam to become super hot, up to 260F, and it forces this steam into the fibers of the food. so if you tend to leave things over time this item is not for you. You would likely have a soggy mess of overcooked food. Many pressure cooker cook books will tell you if the pressure is to be released fast or brought down naturally, for the reason stated, so be sure to follow instructions accurately.
We have now tried it for spaghetti bolognese and it turned out great (much richer than pan cooked).
Great Cookbooks For Ideas On What It Can Cook For You
These are some of the great cook books available from Amazon.
This is a great resource from one of the earliest converts to healthy eating and cooking under pressure!
Using A Pressure Cooker To cook Fast
The Breville does the whole meal as you can sauté in it pressure cook and then slow cook Crock pot style. Since this can be done in the same pot you lose none of the juices and the taste is fantastic. The liner pot is non stick and a cinch to clean, just fill it with warm soapy water and leave it for 15 mins or so then drain and rinse wipe dry with a paper towel, I use the half sheet type. All done.
Another great resource for those wanting to try pressure cooking.
Another Best Selling Pressure Cooker Recipe Book
The three books shown here will provide plenty of ideas as to what you can cook in this amazing device, which really saves time on cooking beans etc.
One of the best selling books on pressure cooking.