Breville Fast Slow Pro Review
Pros: User friendly, automatic steam release, great meat
Cons: Very expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Providing everything you could want from a pressure cooker and then some, the Breville Fast Slow Pro is the best countertop cooker we've found. Though it is clearly superior to other cookers, it asks about double the price for maybe 10% better performance, so it is only a worthwhile purchase if you're willing to pay a hefty premium to get slightly more tender meats.
With field leading performances in almost all of our testing metrics, the Breville Fast Slow Pro made it through the gauntlet with the best overall score.
Breville clearly knows how to design an intuitive interface, and the fact that navigating through the Fast Slow Pro's seemingly endless number of settings feels easy and streamlined is a testament to that fact. This earned it a score of 9 out of 10 in this metric.
The Fast Slow Pro uses 3 separate knobs to select its settings, the first to select one of the cooking presets, the second to adjust temperature, and the third to adjust the time. Then you can just press start and you're off and running. The large LCD also makes it abundantly clear which settings you've selected. We found this much easier than other machines that make you use arrow buttons to scroll through every option before locking in the one you want. The lid also opens on a hinge, so you don't have to hold it or lay it on the counter while serving and stirring. The lid is on the right side of the machine, so it does kind of get in the way for right-handed users. Models like the Instant Pot DUO60 solve this problem with a lid that can store on either side of the machine. It's a minor annoyance, but one that we did notice.
The crème de la crème of the Fast Slow Pro's user experience is its pressure release button. This lets you press a button on the front of the machine, a good 10 inches away from the pressure valve, to release all the pent-up steam. We found this far preferable to all of the other models, which require you to flip the valve yourself with your hand right next to the resulting tower of steam. While we never felt unsafe doing this (you'd have to really try actually get your hand in the way of the steam) the button felt much more convenient and a bit less stressful.
While the Fast Slow Pro was definitely our favorite model to use, other much cheaper models came very close. Namely the Instant Pot DUO60's interface felt just as intuitive and actually has a better lid storing system. However, it doesn't have automated pressure release, so we still have to give a slight edge to the Fast Slow Pro.
Here again the Fast Slow Pro was on top, earning the best score of 9 out of 10.
Where the Fast Slow Pro really set itself apart was in meat preparation. It tended to lock in just a bit more moisture and tenderness than other models, especially when it came to making ribs. It also was the most effective model we found for searing meat. However, even this machine can't duplicate the searing power of a good flame, so if you want a really good sear we would suggest doing so on the stovetop, and then using the pressure cooker to lock in all that juicy flavor. The Fast Slow Pro also made the best rice in our testing, again keeping things a bit more moist and tender. However, the gap in rice quality between the Fast Slow Pro and the rest was smaller than that in meat quality.
The Fast Slow Pro also offers more pressure settings than any other model. Most let you set the pressure to low, normal, or high, while this machine offers 10 distinct settings. We didn't find this to really make a difference in terms of cooking quality, but if you like to really tinker with your recipes, it is a nice added feature.
Here again, the Fast Slow Pro is offering a small but noticeable improvement over the competition for a much bigger price tag. The other models we tested were still able to make great meat and good rice, so you'll have to consider if those small improvements are worth the extra cost.
Ease of Cleaning
This was the one metric where the Fast Slow Pro didn't come out on top, instead earning a middle-of-the-road 6 out of 10.
We did have some complaints with the Fast Slow Pro when it came to the messes it could make, but they were relatively minor. First off, its lid tends to spill out a lot of condensation when you open it. Most of this makes its way back into the pot, but some did tend to get on the side of the machine and the counter. This wasn't a huge annoyance, but many other models (like the Instant Pot) have condensation cups that pretty much eliminate the issue. You also must unscrew the lid to remove and clean it, which can make the stray condensation issue a bit worse. Again, not a huge deal, but most models just have their lids lift right off, which felt a bit more convenient.
The Fast Slow Pro's nonstick pot generally shed food well enough that hand cleaning it was fairly painless. However, we didn't like the fact that we couldn't use things like steel wool if we managed to burn some onions onto it. Also, we didn't feel comfortable putting the pot in the dishwasher, so hand cleaning was the only option. The manual is a bit confusing, as in the same breath it says the pot is dishwasher safe, but that you shouldn't put it in the dishwasher. Bottom line, if you want something you can toss in the dishwasher without trepidation, the stainless pot of the Instant Pot is a better choice.
The Fast Slow Pro has more cooking presets than any of the models we tested. In fact, it leaves most of them completely in the dust, with only the Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 landing in the same neighborhood.
On top of the general meat and grain functions, the Fast Slow Pro adds saute, sear, yogurt, and sterilize functions. It also offers 10 different pressure settings, much more than any other cooker.
A Full List of the Breville Fast Slow Pro's Cooking Functions
Vegetables, Rice, Risotto, Soup, Stock, Beans, Poultry, Meat, Bone-In Meat, Chili/Stew, Dessert, Custom, Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Steam, Sear, Saute, Reduce
The Breville Fast Slow Pro's only real competition in the pressure cooker market is the Instant Pot DUO60. Depending on your food preferences, the Breville is 5-10% better than the Instant Pot, but costs more than twice as much. That extra cost is really only worth it if you're picky about your meat or brown rice, or if you really don't want to put your hand next to the steam vent when releasing the pressure. If you don't fall into one of those categories, however, the Instant Pot is a much better value.
Offering field leading performance at a correspondingly hefty price, the Breville Fast Slow Pro is the best choice for those that don't mind paying a premium for quality.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata