Once again the holidays have come and gone, leaving in their wake a wave of happy memories, fun, a lot of leftovers and of course, a new toy or two! I was given many thoughtful gifts by my family and one of my favorites came from my wife Lori. What a fun surprise to unwrap the Fast Slow GO, a multicooker pot by Breville, on Christmas morning!

Many years ago before there was such a thing as an instant pot, I used to use a regular old stovetop pressure cooker. I learned how they worked from my grandma who used them frequently. I enjoyed the wild sound of the steam bursting out as the regulator on top of the pot rocked wildly back and forth. Of course there was also the thought of the slight element of risk in the old style stovetop cookers that the lid would blow right off under the pressure, but that only happened on TV shows or in movies right? Luckily it never happened to me!

Several years later the first of the electric pressure cookers started to come out and while I was reluctant to give up my old stovetop model, my wife (we weren’t yet married) decided she wanted to get one. We started using it, time passed, and one day I realized that my old stovetop pot had not been used since. I guess I had retired it in a rather unceremonious way!

Two years ago that first electric pressure cooker broke and had not been replaced. Recently I started talking about possibly getting a new one and that’s when the idea for Lori’s Christmas gift to me was born.

The newest models have really come a long way from the original one we had for so long. Along with the manual set options, this one also features a dozen preset cooking options including soup, sous vide, rice, risotto and yogurt to name a few. I also like that it has a sauté function for browning meat or softening vegetables before using one of the other modes. Lori debated if this would be a good gift, or another one of those things that sits and collects dust. After the first week she knew it was a good idea – I used it nine times!

My first experiment was a soup featuring the rest of the meatballs we enjoyed on Christmas Eve. I also made two other soups that week – split pea, which was a great way to use the rest of our Christmas ham and finally a simple chicken soup. The soup mode took about 25 to 30 minutes which included the 15 minute cooking cycle and approximately 10 to 15 minutes for the pot to come to full pressure.

Next, I tried the rice function twice. Once to make steamed rice (Jasmine) as a side for dinner and the other to make a simple main dish we often enjoy for dinner of ground beef (or turkey) and rice (this time I used Basmati) and Parmesan cheese. The sauté function was perfect for browning the beef before cooking it along with the rice.

I also tried recipes for macaroni and cheese and chocolate cake. Finally, I gave breakfast a test drive with steel cut oats and hard boiled eggs – at last I was able to try my fellow blogger’s method for making those eggs! If you are interested in trying it out, Karen did a great job of outlining the process in her post Easy Peel Eggs.

Overall I have found the pot to be very easy to use and often a time saver. The soup and rice functions were simple to work with and have produced great results. Some things do have a bit of a learning curve however. For example, my experiment with steel cuts oats needs a bit of tweaking to get the amount of water right. I used too much, so they came out a bit too wet. It was easily remedied by using the sauté mode to finish them off, but with the correct amount of water, that step would not be needed.

I also need to work a bit more with the chocolate cake recipe and cook time. The flavor of the cake was good – very rich and deep, much like a brownie. Unfortunately, the cake was a bit heavy and surprisingly a little dry considering it had been cooked in a steam filled environment! I don’t mind the occasional mishap though – that’s how we learn.

I hope that your holiday season brought you lots of joy and a fun gift or two! I am looking forward to a new year of blogging and sharing our cooking adventures. I have a feeling that a few of them will include creating a new recipe or two in my new pot! Until next time, I hope you all have a great weekend.

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