Breville BPR600XL Fast-Slow Cooker – Full Review

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If you are looking for an easy way to add more healthful, home-cooked foods to your diet, the Breville BPR600xL fast-slow cooker may be just the right appliance for you. This innovative appliance offers fast pressure cooking with three settings, plus an eight-hour slow cooking setting. You can even sauté and sear foods to lock in flavor. Ideal for meats, vegetables, seafood, and so much more, this versatile hybrid slow cooker / electric pressure cooker offers a pressure steam setting as well as a keep warm setting with a countdown timer.

The Breville BPR600XL offers the best of both worlds, allowing you to stew poultry, veggies, meat and other favorites for up to eight hours in its large-capacity cooking pot. When you’re pressed for time, you can sear, sauté, and tenderize foods – even tough cuts of meat – quickly. Fully programmable, with advanced, user-friendly controls, the unit features an LCD display console that’s easy to read.

 

 

With an attractive brushed stainless steel housing, a safety locking lid mechanism, one-touch pressure release button, and safety valve, the Breville fast-slow cooker boasts durability under pressure yet allows you to quickly and easily bleed off pressure. If you remember the old-fashioned stovetop pressure cookers – and the potential for accidents that came with them – you’ll be glad to discover that this appliance gets top marks for its safety features.

Easier to clean than many other cooking pots, the Breville BPR600XL features a non-stick cooking chamber that washes up in just moments. The unit’s sleek-looking exterior is easy to wipe clean as needed.

These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning and operating the Breville BPR600XL Fast-Slow Cooker.

 

Versatile Countertop Appliance

If you’ve been shopping for small appliances lately, you’ve probably noticed lots of specialty items. Rice cookers, slow cookers, and electric pressure cookers are all wonderfully helpful, saving time and effort in the kitchen. Breville, renowned for their excellent appliances, has managed to create another fantastic countertop appliance in the BPR600XL Fast-Slow Cooker. Just like a food processer with lots of nifty attachments, this cooker is capable of all sorts of things, allowing you to replace your rice cooker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker while adding convenience to your day. Just choose a cooking method, set the timer, and get on with life. You’ll find more information about each setting in the details that follow.

 

Electric Pressure Cooker

Remember old-fashioned stovetop pressure cookers with screw-on lids that might or might not blow off during the cooking process? I recall being chased out of the kitchen as a child, being told that the pressure cooker was dangerous! Like other popular electric pressure cookers, the Breville BPR600XL earns high marks for its safety as well as for its cooking performance. With a lid that slides easily into place and latches automatically, it delivers perfectly cooked food just like grandma’s pressure cooker used to but without the accompanying fear of sudden steam release.

 

Slow Cooker

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You can use the Breville BPR600XL as a slow cooker, layering delicious flavors over up to eight hours of cooking. If you’ve got a busy day ahead and would like to come home to a meal that’s ready to eat, you can use the slow cooker feature to create succulent roasts, delicious stews, and wonderful seafood and vegetarian meals.

 

Sear and Sauté Foods

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With the Breville BPR600XL, you can easily sear, sauté, and brown foods – either before beginning a slow cooking or pressure cooking cycle, or as a quick and convenient cooking method for small amounts of meat, vegetables, or seafood. If making a recipe such as stew or chili that benefits from having meat pre-cooked, you will appreciate this feature. I like being able to follow recipe instructions to the letter without having to dirty a frying pan and make a mess to clean up on the stove!

 

Convenient Upper Steaming Basket and Rack Insert

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The Breville fast-slow cooker comes with a particularly useful accessory, one that I and other reviewers appreciate. You can use the upper steaming basket and rack insert for dry roasting without submerging foods in liquid, and for separating foods you’d rather not mix. This is a fantastic feature; though simple, it allows you to take maximum advantage of the cooker’s ability to deliver healthy foods your family and guests will enjoy.

 

Appealing Size and Attractive Appearance

You can make large meals with the Breville fast-slow cooker, as it features a six-quart cooking chamber. When slow-cooking a soup, stew, or other one-pot favorite, you can easily make enough to feed a crowd. At the same time, this versatile appliance fits easily on the countertop. Its footprint is about the same as a standard slow cooker’s, and it is just 13 inches high. It is sturdily built, but weighs in at an easily manageable 11 pounds.

As for appearance, the Breville BPR600XL features a sleek, stainless steel exterior. Because of its attractive look, you may just decide to leave it on the countertop where you can easily access it on a regular basis. Caring for the exterior is easy – wipe it clean with mild soap and follow up by quickly polishing with a soft cloth.

 

Good Instructions and Recipe Book

Some appliances earn low marks for the instructions (or lack thereof) that come with them, but not the Breville BPR600XL! There is a little bit of a learning curve that comes with this machine, but the enclosed instructions are very well-organized, with charts and timer settings for a variety of foods ranging from simple rice and beans to fancy roasts and other cuts of meat. After trying a few recipes and playing with the various settings, you will have a feel for the way the Breville works, you’ll be ready to try making some of your old favorites with your new appliance.

Do note that the amount of cooking time on pressure cooking settings refers to the amount of time for food to cook after pressure has built up. Some reviewers have complained about this, however it’s a normal part of using a pressure cooker and not a defect. If, for example, you set the timer for 30 minutes of pressure cooking, the entire cycle will take 30 minutes plus the amount of time it takes for pressure to build. This can take an average of 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the amount of food you’re cooking, and at what pressure level (low, medium, or high) you are cooking it.

Once you’ve learned how to use the appliance, you might consider getting a pressure cooker cookbook or hunting for pressure cooker recipes online. Risotto, marvelous bean dishes, succulent ribs started in the pressure cooker and finished on the barbecue, and other culinary delights are easy to make with the right knowledge, simple wholesome ingredients, and a single, useful appliance.

 

Programmable, With a Handy Keep Warm Feature

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One of the most convenient aspects of the Breville BPR600XL is that you can set it and forget it. You can choose between a six and eight hour cooking cycle when slow cooking, and if you’re not quite ready to eat when food is finished, you will appreciate the keep warm mode, which comes on automatically and lasts for 20 minutes, giving everyone time to get to the table. I’d like this machine better if it had a longer slow cooking setting, say 10 or 12 hours, however I have found it’s easy to get around the lack of one by finishing one slow cooking cycle and adding a second, then turning the unit off after cooking food for the desired amount of time.

 

 

FAQs

qm   “How does the sear feature work? I thought you had to stir while searing meats, etc.”

According to Breville, the BPR600XL, the cooker lid should be kept closed for searing, as this helps to retain heat and moisture. You should add food, close the lid, and select the sear feature, wait for food to sear on one side, remove the lid, turn food over, and sear the other side.

qm   “What is the difference between pressure steam and pressure cook?”

To pressure steam items like rice, vegetables, seafood, or meat, you open the pressure stopper and the action of the steam attempting to build pressure inside the appliance cooks your food, keeping it moist without any added fat. With pressure cooking, the pressure stopper is kept closed and food is often immersed in liquid, adding flavor and ensuring even tough cuts of meat emerge with a tender texture.

qm  “Can I use this machine to can foods, i.e. produce from the garden?”

No, the Brevill BPR600XL is not suitable for pressure canning. If you want to make jams, jellies, and other cooked foods and preserve them via canning, you can use the fast-slow cooker to make the initial recipe, pour foods into properly prepared jars, and then can them in a separate pressure canner, which is a much larger unit that is designed to accommodate jars used for food preservation.

qm   “Can you set a timer for the keep warm feature?”

No; the keep warm feature comes on automatically after the cooking cycle is finished, and lasts for 20 minutes.

qm   “Can I cook a whole chicken in this pot?”

Yes, you can easily cook an entire chicken in the fast-slow cooker, along with vegetables, seasonings, and broth for additional flavor. Keep in mind that when cooking a large item such as a whole chicken or a big roast, pressure may take a bit longer to build. If you want to brown the chicken or roast, be sure to use the sear feature before starting the pressure cooking or slow cooking process.

qm   “Is the cooking pot non-stick? And is it BPA and aluminum free?”

Yes, according to Breville, the non-stick cooking pot is BPA and aluminum free.

qm   “If a recipe calls for a shorter cooking time, is it safe to open the lid after the required amount of time has elapsed or do I need to wait for the whole cooking cycle to finish?”

If you need less time than an entire cooking cycle, all you need to do is push the “cancel” button on the front of the appliance. The lid will open easily once the pressure has been released.

qm   “Is it possible to convert recipes for slow cookers for use in the pressure cooker? I’d like to cut back on cooking time for some of my old favorites.”

Yes, you can find a wealth of information on converting recipes online and in some cookbooks. You may have to invest a little research time but you should be able to find what you are looking for.

qm   “Can you pressure fry or deep fry with this machine?”

No, this is not designed for deep frying or pressure frying.

 

Conclusion

The Breville BPR600XL Fast-Slow Cooker is a fantastic little appliance that does everything the manufacturer says it will do, and for those who are willing to attempt at innovation, much more. I give it top marks for its ability to cook a wide variety of foods ranging from basic chicken soup to delicate risotto, with ease. It’s sized right for a small kitchen, RV, or boat galley, and its versatility makes it an excellent addition to the kitchen. While some reviews discuss problems encountered with the BPR600XL, I did not have any difficulty at all with this machine and found the need to adjust to its somewhat limited set of timer functions to be a minor hiccup in the whole cooking process. In all, this is a superbly convenient appliance that is a pleasure to use.

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One Response to “Breville BPR600XL Fast-Slow Cooker – Full Review

  1. By: Vicki Parks
    Date: September 18, 2015 at 4:21 pm
    Overall Rating

    Recently downsized our home, moving into a condo with a smaller kitchen, and downsized the number of small appliances as well. This has been a lifesaver, taking the place of the rice cooker and the crock pot, plus the pressure cooker! It has saved a huge amount of space inside the cupboards. We use it almost every day and everything has come out just beautifully with very little effort. I have no reservations about recommending this machine to anyone!