Breville Fast Slow Pro Pressure Cooker Review

Breville Fast Slow Pro Pressure Cooker ReviewThis pressure cooker releases pressure by itself and lets you select the cooking time, pressure, opening method and whether you want to keep-warm right at the start of the cooking process. So you just need to show up to open and serve dinner – no more fiddling or tiddling with valves. The Fast Slow Pro is a leap forward from their previous model (the Fast Slow Cooker) but it’s not without its kinks.

While most electric pressure cookers only have a sensor in the base to measure pressure, this one also has a temperature sensor in the lid.  Together, these sensors give the cook a complete picture of what is going on inside and adds extra safety as well.

Let’s get to it…

Pressure Cooker Review: Breville Fast Slow Pro™ BPR700BSS

Features: (5 out of 5 stars)

The Fast Slow Pro offers:

  • Breville Fast Slow Pro profile7 in 1 Multi-cooker – Pressure cooker, Slow cooker, Steamer, with ability to Saute’, Sear, Reduce and keep-warm.
  • 8 pressure settings – pressure settings range from 1.5psi to 12 psi
  • Ceramic-lined Inner Pot –  PTFE and PFOA free ceramic coating with textured base
  • 2 sensors  – one at the top to measure the air/steam temperature and one at the base monitor the ingredients for more accurate pressure and temperature control
  • Hands-free steam release-  the cooker has three ways to release pressure by itself: Auto Quick (Normal pressure release); Auto Pulse (Slow Normal pressure release) and Natural.
  • Adjustable Modes – some cooking functions can be adjusted including two Slow Cook settings HI (203°F or 95°C),  LO (194°F or 90°C); three Saute settings HI (334°F or 168°C), MED (302°F or 150°C), LO (266°F or 130°C); three reduce settings HI (266°F or 130°C), MED (239°F or 115°C), LO (221°F or 105°C)
  • Hinged Lid – lid remains attached but can be un-mounted for cleaning
  • 21 Pre-set Cooking Programs – 11 Pressure Cooking pre-set programs with recommended pressure, cooking time opening method at the touch of a button (Vegetables, Rice, Risotto, Soup, Stock, Beans, Poultry, Meat Bone-in-meat, Chili & Stew and Dessert) + 1 Custom program where the cook can set the time, pressure and opening method; 8 Slow Cooking programs with recommended times and temperatures (Soup, Stock, Beans, Poultry, Meat, Bone-in-meat, Chili & Stew and Dessert) + 1 Custom program where the cook can set the time and temperature. 
  • Altitude Adjustment – adjusts the settings (cooking time) based on the altitude of your current location. Altitude can be adjusted from 250m to 1,999m (820ft to 6558ft). The pressure cooker should not be used at altitudes above 2,000m (6561ft).
  • Color changing LCD Screen  –  Large visual cues to let you know what the cooker is doing.  The display panel is BLUE when the cooker is on and being programmed; and, ORANGE  when a cooking program has been engaged or releasing steam

Safety: (4.9 out of 5 stars)

This pressure cooker is impressively safe.  Since it has two sensors (one in the lid and one in the base) it monitors and adjusts quickly to over-pressure or overheating.  If something should go wrong there are two more back-up systems to ensure that pressure is released safely: the secondary safety valve, and the collapsing gasket. But I did run across a couple of issues, which I detail at the end of this section.

Here ‘s an overview of the safety features:

  1. Primary Safety Release Valve – The valve in the lid will release pressure if the internal pressure exceeds 15.95psi or 110kpa
  2. Secondary Safety Valve – Should the primary pressure regulating valve fail, the excess pressure pushes through the nub on the lid when the internal pressure exceeds 17.4psi or 120kpa.
  3. Valve cover – Small basket that prevents food from blocking the main pressure valve.
  4. Locking Lid – Mechanical lock that prevents the lid from being opened when the contents are under pressure – even without electricity.
  5. Lid Position Sensor- monitors whether the lidis in an unsafe zone for pressure cooking.
  6. Collapsing Gasket – Silicone gasket engineered to safely relieve pressure below a critical level and to act as a failsafe if all other apertures are blocked, without causing damage to the unit or the surroundings.
  7. Steam Temperature Sensor – monitors the temperature at the top of the enclosure to allow precise and accurate control of the pressure within the vessel temperature and ensures that it remains in a safe range.
  8. Vessel Temperature Sensor – monitors the rate of heating at the bottom of the vessel to optimize efficiency
  9. Thermal Fuses – protects the electronics from over-heating above a critical safety limit

Breville Fast Slow Pro Safety Systems

Hinged lid could scald right-handers

The placement of the lid can be inconvenient before pressure cooking and troublesome after pressure cooking.  Right-handed cooks may unwittingly bump their hand on the inside of the very hot lid when serving food (read more about this in the Performance section under “The hinged lid”).

No lid detection during Slow Cooking

Although the Slow Cooking instructions indicate to “Close the lid but do not lock it” if you accidentally do lock it the “lid detection” sensor doesn’t realize that the lid is in the wrong position.

Performance: (4.5 of 5 stars)

Breville Fast Slow Pro Lid

I really love the automatic pressure release feature that this cooker offers.  You can fully program it at the beginning of cooking (pressure, time, opening method and keep-warm) and there’s no need to attend to the cooker until the food is really ready without having to fiddle with the valve.   Unless.. you’re planning to slow cook-  then you must fiddle.

The ceramic insert – with little grooves to increase the surface area-  works beautifully in “Sear” and “Saute'” modes.  Ceramic coating is my next most favorite everyday cooking surface – after stainless steel, of course.

Knowing what’s going on inside the cooker during the cooking process is handy.  But, the minimum liquid requirement isn’t obvious – Breville defines it in their own “special” way which is pretty darn confusing – even to a professional!

The automated cooking programs I tested (“Risotto”, “Soup”) worked flawlessly; but, getting to the “Custom” mode, the program I use most often, is not easy.

Most frustrating are two obvious  design flaws in the placement of the buttons and hinged lid. One less obvious flaw changes the functionality of a button during use (see Pressure Release).   Let’s get into the details…

Color-changing display
Breville wanted to make it clear when the pressure cooker is operating  so the display can be one of three colors: “Off” to indicate nothing’s going on, “Blue” to indicate the cooker is on and ready for you to choose a program and “Orange” to indicate that one of the programs are engaged and/or the cooker is either building pressure, cooking or losing pressure.

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The buttons.. don’t push the BIG one!

buttons
Close-up of Fast Slow Pro control panel.

The front of the Breville Fast Slow Pro is spare with just a few “twist and push” buttons.  Most of the functionality is chosen from the screen and you navigate twisting these buttons and then pushing to select something. BUT the organization and location of the three major buttons is awkward.  The first large button on the left is one of the least significant on the control panel.  And, of course, all of the  important functions are located in the smaller, second button on the right.  Instinct always has me reaching for the big button – even after a month of using this pressure cooker – and when nothing happens I finally reach for the second, smaller, correct button.

I really don’t know what happened here – this is not typical of Breville products.  I’ve used their smart oven to do broiling for my in-store U.S. pressure cooker demos and the most important button on that appliance is first.

The hinged lid –  I loved it, then I hated it

Hinged Lid

One of the unique features of this pressure cooker is the hinged lid.  When I first got the pressure cooker I thought it was a great idea because I’m always trying to figure out where to put down a hot, drippy pressure cooker lid.  It hinges to the right, so I thought, great!  But actually no… not great!  The problem with the lid hinging to the right happens before and after pressure cooking.  When I’m sauteing or browning ingredients my hand is always bumping into the lid.  Then, when serving a soup or stew, for example, I’m holding the ladle or spoon the right hand and it’s very awkward to serve when you’re constantly bumping onto the hot lid.

Now,  between the lid and the buttons feeling like they’re on the wrong side (for a right-handed person), I’m starting to wonder if someone made a mirror image of the pressure cooker Breville intended to make.


The mystery of the minimum liquid requirement

Breville Fast Slow Pro Minimum Liquid RequirementAnother thing that isn’t very clear to me about this pressure cooker is it’s minimum liquid requirement. Both the manual and Breville say that the cooker must contain “minimum 1 quart combined food and liquid”.  This is just not the standard way most pressure cookers address their minimum requirements. That’s because it could mean 1 pound of beans with a tablespoon of water or it could mean a quart of water with one bean – one of these is not going to work.  I pressed Breville several times for clarification on this and eventually got this answer…

If there is NOTHING in the bowl besides the water, e.g. if you wanted to pressurize the unit to test out the steam release features, then you should use 1 quart of water.

If there is food in the bowl or on the steamer rack then 1 cup is sufficient, assuming the quantity of food is enough to meet the 1 quart minimum. Recipes in the included recipe book that utilize the steamer rack call for 1 cup of water. If you had a very small amount of food, e.g. a single beet, then I’d recommend 2 cups.

I was still confused, so this cooker gets another ding for further confusing the cook about exactly how much of what should be used where.

I just started using the “generic” electric pressure cooker minimum requirement of 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) and it worked. Mystery solved!

OK, let’s get to the programs..

Steam

This is a non-pressure program designed for steaming foods.

Saute’, Sear & Reduce

All three of these programs should be used with the lid open. The pressure cooker heats-up quickly and evenly to saute in just 4 minutes and lets you choose three temperatures. What is really nice is that if you want to turn down the temperature, it’s as simple as twisting  knob- just as you might when using a cooktop.

A couple of the temperatures in these three functions use the same temperature (Saute LO and Reduce HI), so I wish that all of these options could be in one function and have more options twisting the knob to adjust temperature in finer detail.

The base of the inner-pot is waffled giving more surface area for a nice sear.  I know some readers get concerned when they see indentations or ridges in the base of a cooker – don’t worry, it cleans-up well.

The ceramic coating really shows off its cooking properties here. Using “Sear” the Fast Slow Pro browns meat beautifully – unlike any non-stick insert I’ve ever seen!

Breville Fast Slow Pro insert detail
Breville Fast Slow Pro insert detail

Vegetables, Rice, Risotto, Soup Stock, Beans, Poultry, Meat, Bone-in Meat, Chili & Stew, Dessert

This cooker has 11 preset pressure cooking programs to cover the most common dishes.  Each of these programs has a pre-set time, pressure and release method.  For example, the “Vegetables” is set to cook at 7.5psi for 5 minutes and open with the Auto Pulse while “Meat” is set to cook at 12psi (the max) for 40 minutes and open the cooker with Natural release – which is right in line with my recommendation for meat opening methods.  But these programs are not set in stone.  Once you have chosen the cook can still twist the Temp (Pressure) and Time knobs to quickly make adjustments to either of those settings.

I was a little weary about some of the recommendations, but after writing to Breville’s U.S. Test Kitchen manager, who personally tested and adjusted all of the programs and pressures for U.S. cooks (and ingredients)  I dove in and tried my perfect pressure cooker risotto using their program. The risotto was flawless.

On another night I just dumped random vegetables, a few potatoes and some stock and ran the “Soup” program – that went very well, too.

I wasn’t able to test all of the programs, but if someone who is reading this has, please share your experience in the comments.

Custom

Breville Fast Slow Pro Custom Program
You have to scroll past all of the other programs to set a “Custom” program.

Truth be told, I almost never use the manufacturer’s recommended programs.  I usually already know the time, pressure and release I want to use with a recipe so the Custom program gets the most use with this pressure cooker too.  Unfortunately, I have to do lots of scrolling (twisting) past all of the other programs to get to it.  BUT, the really nice thing about creating a custom program is that next time you turn on the pressure cooker, the Fast Slow Pro remembers it. So, when you finally get there you don’t have to start from zero and can choose to pressure cook anywhere from 1.5-12psi for 1 minute to 2 hours, using selecting any opening method.  Half a ding – the memory is convenient but this program is unnecessarily complicated to reach.

Although it’s laudable that the “pressure cook” menu lands first on “Vegetables” in my experience that is not the most oftenly pressure cooked food.

Releasing Pressure 
The most endearing part of this pressure cooker is that it releases pressure all by itself.  It can do this in three ways, which are programmable at the beginning of the cooking time.

I made a little video to show you how it releases pressure in case you are as intrigued as I was when I first heard about this function.

If you need to get the cooker open quickly all you need to do is press-and-hold the “Release” button in the front for about three seconds and that will activate the valve for three minutes.  If all the steam is not out, you’ll need to press-and-hold, again, to complete the venting process (or you can just set twist the valve on the lid open using your hand).

If you change your mind about the opening method while the cooker is running- during cooking  the button changes functionality from “choosing” a pressure release to “doing” a pressure release.  I originally thought that I couldn’t change the opening method while the cooker was running  until Breville explained how to do it: Push the “Release” button once (it will release a puff of steam) and watch for the text “Steam Release” on the screen to start blinking.  At this point, move the selector (the SMALL knob) to choose another opening method, and then push it to set.

Right before it releases pressure the cooker does a few chiming beeps and a spurt of steam from the valve to warn the cook and then it goes about releasing pressure according to the chosen program. The pressure is released in three ways:

  •  Auto-Quick release (equivalent to Normal) is straightforward, the valve goes up and pressure is released . This takes about 3 minutes.
  • Auto Pulse (equivalent to Slow Normal) releases pressure in short bursts with vary in their distance according to the pressure left in the cooker (more on this below) . This release takes about 8-10 minutes.
  • Natural release is a joy compared to all other pressure cookers (electric or otherwise) in that when all of the pressure has been let out of the cooker, the Fast Slow Pro will do a friendly chime to let you know it’s ready. Nice! Natural release takes around 15-20 minutes to complete.

During the entire pressure-release process the LCD display will illustrate the remaining pressure inside the cooker, so you can follow the progress visually.

Let me describe the Auto-pulse release in detail because Breville optimized it to release the most steam without frothing the  liquid inside the pot.  I used it to release pressure of a notoriously frothy split pea soup without incident!  What is fascinating about this release is that releases happen more frequently as the pressure lowers.  The pulses start 18 seconds apart to release steam at full pressure, then when the contents are down to 5psi the releases accelerate to once every 10 seconds and, finally, when the pressure is down to 2.2 psi steam is released every 8 seconds.

I was a disappointed that the 10-min Natural release was not included. It’s a pressure release method that has been around for at least 20 years (via Lorna Sass and Jill Nussinow)  and is particularly fantastic for completing rice and grain cooking. Half a ding to Breville for not researching commonly used opening methods more carefully for this key feature.

Electric Pressure Cooker Review: Breville Fast Slow ProKeep-Warm

This pressure cooker gives you the ability to enable or disable this feature at any time during the cooking process at the push of a button.  This feature has its own button and it’s useful if you’re not going to be ready when the pressure cooker is finished.  It’s also handy to disable during programming, if you’re generally forgetful (like me). With other electrics I serve dinner and sit down to eat it with the family and only much later do I realize that keep-warm was going the whole time drying out leftovers.

Slow Cook

The Fast Slow Pro lets you slow cook at low and high heat.  I noticed  that some reviews online to see what they said about this function.  One said that you could not slow cook without the lid – I did not find this to be true.  All of the slow cooking programs will run with the lid open or closed (you can also place your own 8″ glass lid or ceramic plate if you prefer).

But the drawback, especially to those not familiar with pressure cooking, is that if you’re going to use the cooker’s built-in lid the valve has to be opened manually  “to the open position, facing away from the lid knob.”  There are no actual indicators, arrows or icons on the lid to show the cook what the “open” position is.

Breville has not implemented the automatic valve control in the Slow Cooking mode.  Instead, they ask the cook to manually open the valve. In my opinion, this is an unnecessary step given that this cooker already has the ability to already open it by itself.. it should.

Ding.

Fast Slow Pro Slow Cook Mode
How to position the valve for Slow Cooking mode – there are no indicators on the lid to let the cook know how to position this valve.

Clean-up: (4.75 out of 5 stars)

Almost everything can go in the dishwasher so that’s easy clean-up.  But the body of the cooker is frustratingly fingerprint and streak-prone.

  • Inner pot is dishwasher safe – though they say hand-washing will prolong the ceramic coating’s life
  • Lid is removable  and dishwasher safe (top rack)
  • Gasket is removable and dishwasher safe (top rack)
  • Condensation cup is dishwasher safe (top rack), logo may come off
  • Wide moat around inner-pot is easy to access and clean
  • Hand wash pressure release valve, valve cover,  sealing-nut that secure the lid onto the cooker

The outside body of the pressure cooker is Breville’s standard brushed stainless steel and, unfortunately, it shows every fingerprint, smudge and spill.  Trying to wipe it with a microfiber cloth and some warm water and light detergent was fruitless.  I asked Breville how to make the pressure cooker body look nice again and they recommended I clean the outside with stainless steel polish.

Isn’t the whole point of a pressure cooker to save you time? Now I have to polish this thing, too?!?

Other electrics have identical brushed stainless steel covers that are finger-print resistant.  I really feel Breville should have chosen a higher quality cover for a pressure cooker that is 95% stainless steel.

Accessories:

Breville Fast Slow Pro Accessories

High-quality stainless steel steamer basket and, wire rack and recipe booklet. I don’t usually get excited about accessories the come with a pressure cooker – but the steamer basket for this pressure cooker is pretty darn awesome.  It feels sturdy and solid and it does its job very well.  I wish they sold it separately so that I could get all of my readers (with any pressure cooker) to buy it!  The rack is your standard stainless steel wire and although it feels flimsy and precious it has survived being tossed around in my “accessories cupboard” unscathed. It neatly stores into the steamer basket, too, so it doesn’t take too much room.

The recipe booklet is BEAUTIFUL and includes 30 recipes – 25 have instructions for either slow or pressure cooking, 14 are pressure cooker only and 1 is only for the slow cooker.

Other Details:

  • 1100W Heating Element
  • Available Sizes:6L (6.34qt)
  • Floating valve with (70-80kpa) 10.1-11.6 PSI working pressure
  • Maximum Cooking Temperature measured at high pressure: 115.8°C (240°F)
  • 1100 Watt
  • Cord Length: 27.5″ (70cm)
  • Internal Dimensions: opening of liner 8.5″ (21.5cm),  internal base of liner 7.5″ (19cm); Height of liner 6.5″ (16.4cm) ; Exterior Dimensions: 15.3″ (39cm) wide (includes handles) and 9.8″ (25cm high); Weight: 16.1 lbs , liner 22oz (622g).
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Designed in Australia, Made in China
  • Breville Fast Slow Pro Instruction Manual
  • Manufacturer Website: Breville
  • Recipes and articles on this website featuring the  Breville pressure cooker

Conclusion and Score:

Breville Fast Slow Pro HIP SCORE: 4.78The Breville Fast Slow Pro is a another step forward in  automated cooking.  The automation is impressive but it’s not used consistently  through all of the features.

This is a visually striking cooker that  you won’t have to hide in the kitchen but that beauty is fleeting  and high-maintenance.

I love that the automatic release, but what impressed me the most is that the few automated programs I tried (with their pre-selected time, pressure and opening) worked while the other programs use the proper release for the type of food being cooked.  For example, they use “Natural Release” for meat which I felt, until now, that I was the only one recommending this.

My enthusiasm was dampened by the awkward location of the lid and buttons. There is no “electric pressure cooker usability standard” but I think that some of these issues could have been sussed out by the manufacturer with more thorough testing.

The Fast Slow Pro is a valid kitchen helper that makes the pressure cooking and releasing process entirely hands-free.

NOTE: This review was fact-checked by Breville USA’s Test Kitchen Manager and Australian engineering team prior to publication.

To Purchase:

U.S.A.:
 or order or pre-order breville's fast slow pro from Sur la table

Canada:
Not yet available

Europe:

Have you used this pressure cooker?

Add to this review by leaving your comments, below!
In the interest of full disclosure, we would like to note that: The pressure cooker was sent to Hip Pressure Cooking by the manufacturer at no cost.  Our relationship with the manufacturer, or lack thereof, does not affect the outcome of the review.

 

208 Comments

  1. This Breville model looks exactly like the new All Clad Electric pressure cooker, which is manufactured by Intertek. Do you know if this is the case?

    1. There are certainly similarities, but they are not the same even allowing for badge engineering.
      I would say All Clad had a close look at the Breville, then copied it quite closely. Changing enough to avoid patent infringements. It is even possible it is made under license to Breville.
      The lid certainly looks identical apart from a differently shaped knob.

      Some differences:
      The look and feel of the control panel is different
      The Breville has three steam release modes… Natural, Quick (Laura calls this Normal), Pulsed (what Laura would Slow Normal) and an override. The All Clad just has two (Natural and Quick) and an override. Though they call it three.
      The Breville does not have reheat. This is a little hard to tell as Breville uses different programs in different markets.
      The Breville has a sub menu for pressure cooking with a number of presets. The All Clad does not have these.

  2. I adore this product – my hob has become redundant since purchasing it! Excellent review and learned a couple of good tips. However as for the lid being in the way, really it is not a great effort to turn the unit anti clockwise a little and this becomes a non issue.

    1. Thanks for your common-sense tip, Jo!

      Ciao,

      L

  3. In the Breville Fast Slow manual, it says not to use the unit above an altitude of 6500 feet. Anyone know why this is. I am at 8000 feet and pressure cookers are thought of as a great way of cooking at this altitude. This unit is I think unique in that it has an altitude adjustment. But I would think that the adjustment just compensates the time and temperature settings in the automated cooking cycles.

    1. David, they have a limit because of the way the cooker is programmed. Basically the cooker’s logic turns off the ocoker if it does not reach a certain temperature within a certain amount of time.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. So would it be fair to say unit would be fine a pressure cooker but that the preprogrammed auto features would likely not come out well at my altitude of 8000 feet. And I would be on my own to figure out times and temperatures for pressure cooking for example beans or risotto.

        Thanks
        David

        1. David, you’ll have to pose this question directly to Breville.

          The answer to your question really depends on how they programmed their cooker to react if it doesn’t reach the expected temperature within the expected time. From experience with other cookers, I can tell you that there is a very high probability that the cooker will time out and the cooking timer will never start counting down. Making the pressure cooker – even using manual or custom mode – useless.

          In the end, only Breville can answer whether their pressure cooker will work at all in your specific situation. I cannot guarantee that it will.

          Please come back to share with us what Breville tells you and, if you decide to go for it, whether it worked for you.

          Ciao,

          L

  4. The link above to purchase tge Breville for $ 220.68 sends you to a price of $ 248 and change. What is going wrong?

    Norm

    1. Norman, when you first left your comment I saw that earlier too. I think it was a sync error from amazon. It looks like the price has been updated now. Keep an eye on it as amazon likes to tinker with the prices of things!

      Ciao,

      L

  5. This to me, once a professional cook, is not intuitive; e.g., to Reduce the excess liquid after braising is no where explained how to keep it from “Close Lid” signal. So, how to reduce liquid? The top is awkward; the plug is not easy to find; the results are good but there are a lot easier ways to steam things. I’d love to return it.

  6. As a left handed person, it now seems others may know how we feel every day trying to navigate with various appliances, writing in a note book, trying to use scissors and so on in a very right handed world. Maybe this is the machine for me :)

  7. As an owner of the Breville Fast Pro, this was a really interesting read. In particular, your finding that the custom setting can be dialed to any time from 1 min to 2 hours. On my machine, I can only go as low as 5 minutes on any setting, including the custom setting. This is really frustrating as many items will be over cooked by 5 minutes.

    The only way I can reduce the time is by catching the program once it reaches pressure and actually starts its cooking countdown, and then dial it down, but that’s not set and forget!

    1. Precisely. I cannot fathom why Breville set this minimum limit. The “set-and-forget” is what is supposed to separate their product from other cheaper electric competitors, but as soon as you have to “hang around” waiting on the initial pressure-build (a delay which is *always* ignored in their marketing and the sycophantic web reviews), then the “set-and-forget” feature of the steam release becomes significantly less advantageous.

    2. Lucy, unfortunately the 5-min minimum only applies to the Aussie model. Since you can, select a lower pressure for your delicate foods. ; )

      Ciao,

      L

  8. I’d like to ask everyone what their thoughts are on the customised pressure of some of the stock settings. For example – the “Soup” setting is 60kpa.
    From what I have read, there are very few scenarios with pressure cookers where it is of any advantage to reduce the max pressure, other than fish etc.
    So with something like soup, why reduce the pressure from the max possible of 80kpa, and have it cooking for 30mins instead of a typical time such as 20mins?
    I genuinely would like to know if this has any impact on flavour, as is just there as a cover-all safety thing to prevent certain “foamy” soups from over-bubbling on steam release (which in my experience has never been an issue with this unit).
    Do Heston Blumenthal and the rest of the Breville/Sage food-flavour scientists know something the rest of the pressure-cooking community don’t? Or are they just trying to pretend there is some advantage to the Fast Slow Pro’s ability to have granular control over the full range of pressures?

    1. Steven,

      I have read nearly every paper published in Food Science on pressure cookery (for my own information and the series of articles I did about pressure cooker nutrition). Most of the experiments detailed look for vitamins, minerals tenderness, etc. are either done in a stove top pressure cooker that reaches 15psi or an autoclave (a laboratory oven-like pressure cooker) also at 15psi (or more). I can’t speak to the testing Heston and the Breville crew have done in their own kitchens – it would be neat to hear about them.

      HOWEVER, as I mentioned earlier, just because there is no current use for the detailed pressure selection it doesn’t mean that someone won’t come up with one. When I first came on the scene no one knew what to do with “low pressure” and it was generally believed that you couldn’t get good fish, eggs or pasta from the pressure cooker. Today, “low pressure” has become a must-have feature!

      I really like the automatic release – this is the part of pressure cooking that frightens most cooks so, in my mind, that feature offers value.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Hey Laura,

        Good to hear your informed take on it. I don’t mean to slate the Fast Slow Pro – quite the opposite, it’s transformed my cooking. I love the automated steam release. I feel it lets me walk away and concentrate on other things.

        This morning I thought I’d experiment with it’s ‘unique’ Auto-Pulse steam release feature with something simple – I popped in 2 chicken breasts onto the trivet, together with a handful of thyme and a cup of boiling water. 80kpa / 5 mins / Auto-Pulse release (amounting to about 18 mins overall) – and on my return from my shower, the chicken breasts were precisely cooked to my preferred 165oC. Was pretty happy with that.

        Cheers,
        Steven

        1. That’d be 165oF… :)

  9. I have noticed it takes forever to preheat in the pressure cooking mode. Anybody else experiencing this?
    Also, lately, it starts cooking and then says lid not sealed properly. Troubleshooting said to thoroughly clean the seal and lid but it’s no better. After reading your review I wonder if maybe I just needed more liquid??
    Thanks for this review and comment chain. Very helpful to me

    Zach

    1. I have noticed no difference in the time it takes to bring the Breville, Instant Pot, or the Cuisinart electric cookers to pressure.

  10. Hi Zach,

    I’ve noticed the same thing – unfortunately takes a long time pre-heating, always seemingly more than the other users report from their own electric pressure cooker brands. Maybe just false reporting on their part though, since the Breville/Sage has comparable/higher wattage. I try to speed up by putting the pot instantly on to Sear, while I prepare the ingredients, which at least gets the cooking bowl and unit warmed up. Then whenever I add liquids, e.g. water, I make sure to pre-boil. I’m not sure what else there is to do.

    Re: the “lid not sealed properly” error – I got this a lot in the early days, and it turned out to be due to the grey rubber gasket ring falling out of place when I closed the lid (this rubber seems to expand slightly when warm, meaning can easier fall out if the steel ring which is mean to hold it in place. I am now always conscious, when closing the lid, to hold the rubber gasket ring in place as long as I can with by fingers. This is pretty much removed the issue for me.

    Hope that helps some.

    Steve

  11. I’ve just done a test, comparing my two PCs, my Breville fast slow pro, and a stovetop Fagor Duo. I put 4 cups plain tap water in each, and heated both to maximum pressure. The Breville took about 13 minutes, while the Fagor took about 6 minutes, so considerably faster, considering the Fagor operates at 15psi, and the Breville at 12psi. I guess it’s a bit of a trade off against the convenience of just being able to walk away and leave it to do its stuff!
    I also have the occasional issue with the rubber seal, but not any error message, but rather that I can’t even lock the lid by turning it, as the seal is not seated correctly. Only a minor annoyance at times.

  12. The Breville is on par with Instant Pot in the length of time it takes to reach pressure – I’ve also measured anywhere from 11 to 13 to even 15 minutes. It all depends on how full the pressure cooker is, the temperature of the ingredients and cooking liquid.

    The biggest issue for me, is having to make sure that the little notch for the safety plug lines up on the lid. I don’t have to do it with the other electrics so it’s really a pain to remember (usually after the cooker has been taking too long to reach pressure) to check.

    Ciao,

    L

    1. I have noticed no difference in the time it takes to bring the Breville, Instant Pot, or the Cuisinart electric cookers to pressure.

  13. Laura, on my Breville, if the lid is locked as far as it can go, the safety plug lines up automatically. Never had an issue with this!

    1. Although I have not had my Breville for very long I have never had safety plun NOT linenup.

  14. That is the most annoying thing about the pot. It takes forever to get to pressure. Dinner has been later than I planned twice now due to it taking over 15 minutes to preheat. Didn’t seam to matter if I had just dusted in there or not. 15 plus minutes. But the food is so good! Way better than the crock pot.

    1. I adverage 5 to 7 minutes to come to pressure with from 1.5 to 3 cups of liquid.

      Norm

  15. When adding 1 cup of pre-boiled water for cooking chicken breasts, it takes 7 mins – and since this is a recommended minimum volume, is therefore my fastest possible time to fully pressurise. I believe I’ve tried the same thing with cold tap water and it’s taken 18 mins!

    1. Hi Steven,

      Your unit works very differently than mine does.

      Tonight I put 1 cup of rice with 1.5 cups of chicken broth straight from the refrigirator into my Breville and in 6 minutes the unit had reached pressure. 5 minutes later it was cooked. 5 minutes later the pressure was down. 1 minute later it was on the plate.

      Total time from start to eating was 17 minutes using COLD liquid. ???

      Norm

      1. Hi Norm,
        That’s really interesting to know, real data with the same machine. I’m going to have to repeat your test!
        Cheers
        Steven

      2. Can I ask, if your Breville was starting from a proper cold start? That speed is really impressive.

        Steven

        1. Yes, I just plugged it in and cooked the rice as above. I have no idea why the difference in time. I can not recall a single time it has taken more than ten minutes to come to pressure using either room tempature liquids or fresh from the refer. The most liquid I can recall being in the cooker was three and a half cups.

          However to be fair I have not timed it every time it was used.

          I believe you said in an earlier post you indicated that your machine was in some way different than the U.S. units. That seemed strange to me. It is not economical to build different versions of the same product. But maybe this is anouther difference. If so that really makes no since at all.

          Norm

          1. The machine was originally designed in Australia for the Australian market, Then it was ported to the UK where Heston Blumenthal was hired for marketing.

            After that it was redesigned for the North American market.

            To think that “It is not economical to build different versions of the same product” is to be not aware of different standards around the world. Australia uses 240V Europe, 230V (generally comaptible) USA OTOH uses 110Volts. Any electrical (as opposed to electronic) device made for that market will blow up if used in Australia.Any device designed for Australia will at best work very poorly in the USA and will probably not work at all.

            I separate out electronic devices as these days, they mostly use autosensing power supplies that can handle the different voltages. However any device that uses mains voltage directly such as an AC motor or heating element* NEEDS to be completely redesigned or it will not work. The Breville uses am AC heating element.

            Then there are the wall sockets. These are completely different in different countries.. Even light bulb sockets are different. In Australia, we use a bayonet fitting. In the US you use a screw fitting.

            *I am not certain, but I think induction heating systems may be able to be configured in the same way as universal power supplies but at present, these are not generally used in small electrical appliances.

            1. I understand and felt everyone did that there are different electrical requirements. What I do not understand is designing the same product with the same product name and different features. One that has a timer that allows a minimum time different than thosen in anouther market. One with some feature not there in a different market, etc.

              One example seems to be the time the Australian model has a five minute minimum while the United States version does not. Another seems to be it takes the Australian unit longer to come up to pressure.

              This means a different timing unit and a heating element with different power ratings.

              I am sure that an hour is 60 minutes and 100 degrees is the same tempature around the world.

              So why haven a different minimum time and heating tempature depending on the market location?

              Norm

              1. I imagine if based on what Greg is saying, that the US introduction came after the Australian/UK, that they were able to take the opportunity to remove the unnecessary time limitation in the device software from the 5min minimum to 1min.

                What pains me more (if it turns out to be true), is that by simply exchanging a power supply to suit the US market voltage requirements, they may have ended up drastically shortening come-to-pressure times. I only bought my unit recently, and it is frustrating to know my device might be severely hampered by this. By all the reports of cook times that are shared above, we may have been comparing apples with oranges with regards to US/non-US versions.

                1. Hi Steven,

                  You may have hit on somethying, Just to make sure my time estimates were not off I made some very plain fried rice as follows.

                  1 cup white long grain rice
                  1 3/8 cup chicken broth
                  1/8 cup soy sauce

                  All items were placed in the pot. Both the chicken broth and soy sauce, a total of 1.5 cups came directly from the refrigerator to the pot. “Rice” was selected. Five minutes later it was up to pressure, five minutes later the cooking was finished, and about 4 minutes later the intermittent steam release was finished and the pot opened. A total of less than fifteen minutes from refrigerator to plate.

                  1. Norman, I’m a little jealous! That’s really great.

                    If this turns out to be true, it answers the whole pressure-cooker speed evangelism thing from US blogs and forums which I never quite believed in, or perhaps cynically assumed to be connected in some way with marketing. I’m not an electrician but I wonder if this might apply with power supplies in general and apply across the board with other US/non-US brands of electrical pressure-cookers.

                    Thanks for sharing.

                    Cheers
                    Steven

    2. I’m reading these comments and want to say that aside from the author of this article, I find your responses really helpful!!

  16. Is anyone else experiencing a substantially long preheating stage with the steam function? I feel that my unit takes more than 10 mins with using 1 cup of water and by the time the temperature is reached, food is over steamed!

    Thanks,
    Rosa

    1. Rosa, that’s because the Breville needs AT LEAST 1 1/2 cups of water – though they recommend about 3.

      Ciao,

      L

    2. Rosa,

      Read the posts above between Greg, Steven, and me. It appears the “come to pressure time” is also effected by the model which was designed for the country in which you are live.

      Norm

  17. Hi Laura,
    I just used my slow pro for the first time and did a custom setting to hard boil eggs. When I turned it back on (not 30 minutes later) the only screen options I’m getting are saute and reduce. It looks like the screen shorted out, because I can look from an angle to select the options that used to be there. I did a factory reset, but I’m still only seeing the two options. Has anyone else had this issue or am I doing something wrong?

    1. Samantha, unplug and let it cool completely. Then, make sure the plug is inserted well in the body and the outlet and do a water test.

      Ciao,

      L

  18. The Insta Pot claims to be lead free. How do I find out about the lead content in the Breville Electric Pressure Cookers. I have the older model called the Fast Slow Cooker.

    1. It’s called Instant Pot. It is lead-free on the cooking surface, but a blogger found the heating element to contain lead:
      http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2017/01/is-instant-pot-non-toxic-and-lead-free.html

      The Breville Fast Slow Cooker also contains lead – I had asked them previously and they had mentioned it had to do with the electronics (could also be the heating element since it’s similar) and not anything in contact with the food.

      You should also know that Breville has an aluminum nut at that is used to fasten the lid to the pressure cooker on the inner-part of the cooking bowl. Again, this does not come in direct contact with the food but since you asked about the metal content I worth it would be worth a mention.

      Ciao,

      L

  19. Thank you as that is good news for me and Breville. I cook with it a lot so that is comforting to know.

  20. The thing I found shocking about their cookbook is the suggestion to cook dried cannelini beans from dry in a slow cooker. There is no mention in the book of this :

    http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/crockpots-slow-cooking-dried-beans-phytohaemagglutinin/

    and cannelini beans are one of the beans with a high amount. Beans need to be boiled for at least ten minutes before being put in a slow cooker.

    Thanks for the in depth review. It really helped me and my fast slow pro is arriving today after my stovetop gave up the ghost.

    1. Lucy, I have researched uncooked bean toxicity in the past so I’m glad to shed more light on the subject. The only concern with the toxicity of under-cooked beans comes from slow cooking is with red kidney beans. In fact, if you click on the source of that blog post, livestrong.org, you’ll see that the article only refers to red kidney beans. In fact, the FDA has only received poisoning and toxicity reports from soaked undercooked red kidney beans. Also…

      White kidney beans, another variety of Phaseolus vulgaris, contain about one-third the amount of toxin as the red variety; broad beans (Vicia faba) contain 5 to 10% the amount that red kidney beans contain. The syndrome is usually caused by the ingestion of raw, soaked kidney beans, either alone or in salads or casseroles. As few as four or five raw beans can trigger symptoms.

      Several outbreaks have been associated with “slow cookers” or crock pots, or in casseroles which had not reached a high enough internal temperature to destroy the glycoprotein lectin. It has been shown that heating to 80°C may potentiate the toxicity five-fold, so that these beans are more toxic than if eaten raw.

      source: http://fsi.colostate.edu/dry-beans/

      It is only the author of the blog, Choosing Voluntary Simplicity, that makes the leap that there is a danger of this toxin from slow cooking all bean types – and they neither cited any sources, data or qualifications to support this conclusion.

      There is nothing wrong with taking additional precautions when slow cooking all beans, but let’s not spread and share misinformation. : )

      The really shocking thing, for me, is that Breville is one of the few brands that actually works with and has their recipes tested by culinary professionals. I’ve personally spoken with and visited manufacturers who literally just send a pressure cooker home with someone who doesn’t cook from their marketing team or the receptionist for feedback. I mean… seriously.

      Ciao,

      L

  21. I am very new to pressure cooking and need help determining if my Breville Fast Slow Pro is functioning normally. I have contacted Breville customer service but was not satisfied with their response. I purchased my unit over a week ago and have cooked two pots of beans which took longer than I expected. Both times it took 25 minutes to come to pressure (a little longer than I expected but not too bad – though there were several bursts of pressure release in the middle of pressurizing which seems counterproductive), 20 minutes of cooking using their preset Bean function, and 45+ minutes of natural pressure release – this was the most annoying. The Breville support guy essentially said I should avoid natural pressure release unless the recipe requires it – seems he is unfamiliar with the Bean function of their machine which includes natural pressure release. I understand that I can manually release the pressure if desired, but one of the reasons I purchased the Breville was that it seemed more hands-off than other brands. I guess my main question is, does the timing of my machine seem normal or should I bring it back for an exchange? Thank you!

    1. My BFSP does not have the Bean setting so I cannot comment on that. Breville has different preset programs in different markets. Also mine is a 240V version so the heating plate will be different too. Assuming yours is the US 110V version.

      The pulsing during pressure build up is normal, and is actually a good thing. It is AFAIK there to ensure the air is expelled so that the pressure in the pot is all steam, and not a mix of air and steam. which would reduce the effectiveness of cooking at pressure.

      Beans are problematic in any pressure cooker and should use natural release. This is because they foam while cooking. The foam can build up to fill the headspace, and if a forced pressure release is used it can spurt out of the valve and possibly injure anyone in the vicinity. It could also clog the valve leading to problems the next time the PC is used.

      Electrics in general have very slow natural release rates. This is because the external housing works as an insulator, slowing down the cooling. Further, the heating element is enclosed wit the pot, and while it is turned off, it will still retain heat for some time. A stove top PC can be simply moved off the still hot element.

    2. E, if you’re new to pressure cooking I’m going to guess that you’ve filled the cooker with tons of water in which to cook your beans. Am I right?

      Since there is very little evaporation in pressure cooking you don’t need to do a big pot anymore. All this will do is make the cooker take longer to heat-up and cool-down the water (to build and release pressure). Less liquid means this whole process is faster – almost as fast as the hot water test you ran following the pressure cooking school. ; )

      So, for your next big pot of beans:

      – First watch and follow the pressure cooking school (https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-school/) to get a feel for what’s happening, why and how long it should take.
      – Fill the pot with 1.5 times the bean’s volume of water for soaked beans, and 2-3x times the volume for dry. Remember to never go over the 1/2 full mark and always use Natural release (as Greg said).

      And to more directly answer your original question: Yes, if the cooker is very full of water or ingredients it can take a very long time to build and release pressure. For average recipe use an electric the cooker can take about 15-20min to build pressure and 20-30 to release it.

      Ciao,

      L

  22. Hi Laura,

    I didn’t get a notification of your reply and just discovered it after cooking my third batch of beans in my Breville and feeling frustrated. It took as long as the others and, like the others, the beans came out somewhat overcooked (many of them burst), which I suppose I could control by cutting down on the cooking time (I defaulted to 20 minutes). I don’t think I put in that much water. Each time I’ve put 2 quarts of water along with one pound of unsoaked beans, per Rick Bayless in Mexican Everyday. The finished product ends up with about half an inch of liquid covering the cooked beans which seems about right. It still took over 20 minutes to come to pressure and 45 minutes to release pressure naturally. I just don’t know if my machine is defective or what.

    1. E, please watch my pressure cooking school episode on cooking beans. It will show you the difference between pressure cooking soaked and un-soaked (dry) beans. See if your beans look like that, it’s normal for dry beans to look a little “blown-up” and over-cooked if you’re pressure cooking them from dry. Also, you didn’t mention the bean variety but each one has its own pressure cooking time (from soaked or dry). So 20 minutes could be too much for some and too little for others. I have all the correct times listed on my cooking chart. I have tested almost all of these timings myself as my family is a big consumer of legumes.

      I’m glad to hear you didn’t give up – now it’s time to set your expectations for pressure cooked beans and educate you on the differences and cooking times. ; )

      Pressure Cooking School Bean Lesson:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/bean-essentials-pcs/

      Recommended Pressure Cooking Times for Beans:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/#beans

      BTW, 45 minutes of Natural Release time for a half-filled pressure cooker sounds like too long. You’re either living in a very warm climate or maybe it’s not clear what Natural Release is, for you – as soon as the lid is unlocked. ; ) So, check if the lid opens 15 minutes after cooking is up, and every 5 minutes after that. If neither of these applies to you, then it sounds like the lid-locking mechanism is not working properly or smoothly on your cooker’s lid.

      Ciao,

      L

  23. Yes- it was a gift. As a slow cooker (which is all I wanted) it is poor. Can’t quite get the results I want even with this feature – end up having to finish cooking in a pot on the stove.

  24. I have read both reviews and am still torn between the Breville Fast Slow Pro and the Instant Pot Ultra. I actually purchased the Breville at a very good price, so my decision would not include price difference as the end up being the same. Any advice on which way to go (or ditching both and going with a Duo)? Here are some of my concerns:

    1) Stainless steel vs non-stick
    2) Love Breville’s pressure release vs potentially bad design on IP
    3) Not being able to remove the Breville lid
    4) Probably the most important…so many recipes are design for Instant Pot…will they translate to the Breville or will I have lots of trial and error?

    Thanks for any advice you might have!

    1. I forgot to elaborate the I would consider a Duo/Duo Plus so am open to those. While I know I lose some flexibility with manual settings, I’m thinking since I’m in the beginning stages, that would not be a huge deal.

      Thank you again!

      1. Chrissie,

        I have the Instant Smart Pot, Cuisenart, and Breville. My chioce is the Breville. Much easier to use. Automatic pressure release either all at once, pulse, or natural, are either programed into the selection (rice, meat, etc) and/or set as you wish for any preprogramed or manual setting. It also has seven, ( 12, 10.5, 9, 7.5, 6, 4.5, and 3) not two ( 11.5 or 7), pressure settings. Not everything cooks the best at either 11.5 or 7.5 psi. These different settings are programed into the different presets and can be changed if desired and also selected manually for you own recipes. I have never had anytthing stick to the pot and have used it two or three times a week since April of this year. It will not do yogurt, if that is a big consideration.

        1. Norman,
          Interesting to read your comment. I own the Breville/Sage but have never been convinced of the benefit of the seven different pressure settings, but maybe I am missing something. I figured that the majority of dishes should simply be cooked at the highest pressure, and this was just something to separate Breville in the market. Which cases/foods do you find the different pressures invaluable?
          Cheers
          Steven

          1. Steven,

            I agree that most will cook just fine on HIGH or LOW. I have found that poaching eggs and vegetbles like aspasgus and brocoli cook better a notch or two below MED for me it seems. Hard boiling eggs one notch above MED works perfectly also. I have played around with the setting a little with other items as well with some success. I have found that like a stove top, oven, smoker, toaster, etc., there is no “one size fits all” setting. All foods do not cook at the same setting on these, so it seems reasonable to me that all foods would not cook perfectly with just one of the two settings on all other pressure cookers. You would not fry an egg at the same temp you fry a steak or french frys or shrimp, etc.. so w

            One other thought I have. My Mother’s old (1946) stove top pressure cooker had a valve on the lid that you rotated to adjust to a host of different settings. Why only two on the modern electric ones?

            Play with it and see what you think.

            Norm

        2. Thank you Norman! Definitely helpful info!

    2. Hi Chrissie, here are my answers..

      1) The Breville has a ceramic-coated not non-stick coating. It does have some non-stick properties but it is made from melted silica (sand) that naturally adheres to the metal as opposed to a chemically-derived non-stick coating that needs to be glued to the surface of the aluminum (so it will “stick”). BTW, I have a Fagor review coming out in about two weeks where I will go into more detail about ceramic-coated cooking surfaces and why I like them for pressure cookers (wait for that, especially if slow cooking is important to you).

      2) Breville’s automated release is NICE!!! No one in the US market is offering that right now.

      3) The lid of the Breville can be removed – there is a large lug-nut that can be un-screwed and the lid removed for cleaning. Though, you wouldn’t want to do that each time you cook. Somewhere in these comments, it was suggested, to simply turn the cooker if it’s uncomfortable to saute’ and in fact I found that turning it 1/4 turn does the trick for me so I don’t have to keep hitting my right hand on the lid.

      4) There have been pressure cookers and pressure cooker recipes for over 100 years – you won’t run out of ideas (especially if you read this website ; ). You can do anything you do in an Instant Pot in any electric pressure cooker. They operate at the same pressure and have nearly the same functions (or you just manually add the cooking time). The only limits I see are Yogurt or Milk-scalding programs – the Breville does not have those and they cannot be “hacked” in a cooker because they require very low temperatures.

      Even though you don’t have a pressure cooker yet, take a look at the “Getting Acquainted” episode of my pressure cooking school. You’ll get to see all the parts of these electric pressure cookers as well as understand how similar the construction is between brands, too!!

      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/getting-acquainted-pcs/

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Laura,

        Thank you for the detailed reply. I appreciate it and watched the video as well. I think I’m leaning towards the Breville, but will still keep an eye out for your newest review!

        1. I do not think you woukd go wrong with either the IP oe Breville. If you like to make yougurt you need the IP. If tgis is not an issue the Breville has many more features and is turly automatic (set and forget) with the progamable pressure release and seven different pressure settings. As i said above I own both and my choice is Breville. But I am sure others prefer the IP.

          Norm

      2. P.S. The Fagor LUX review will be delayed for a while – sometimes I wish I could tell my readers what goes on behind the scenes. It’s comical.

      3. Laura,

        Thanks so much for this outstanding, detailed review of the Breville. I’m glad to see you recommending a 1/4 turn of the pot to avoid hitting the lid. I must have been doing that automatically, because I have had zero trouble with that. In that main, I have learned a great deal from your review, even though I’ve used my Beville for months. The comments of your followers are also very helpful!

      4. 2. Automatic release. All Clad has this feature if they are still on thr market. The reviews were so bad on this device they may not still be offered.

        1. Norman,

          Does your fast slow pro release steam as it’s reaching pressure? I have been using mine and each time I do it seems to do that. I couldn’t find anywhere that states if it’s “normal”.

          Thank you!

          1. Not Norman, but I can answer this. In the Australian version of the manual on p16, it states “it is normal for the cooker to release small bursts of steam as it stabilizes”
            Hope this helps

            1. Yes! That’s exactly what I was looking for. Maybe I missed it in mine. Thank you!

          2. Yes, it does so in short bursts. Breville says it is to reduce the possibility of foam building up on things like heavy or thick contents like split pea soup, etc.

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