- A multi-cooker with slow cooker setting
- Easy to use
- Quick and efficient
- Superflous settings for some
In our round-up of the best slow cookers for 2021 we have highlighted Sage The Fast Slow Pro as our best premium slow cooker.
If you’re looking to invest in a new slow cooker, the chances are you’re keen to experiment in the kitchen with new dishes and flavours. If so, then spending a little more on an appliance that does more than standard slow cooking makes sense. Enter Sage The Fast Slow Pro. While it may cost more than your average slow cooker, with 11 pressure cooker settings on top of its slow cooking features, its functionality and stylish design more than makes up for its premium price tag.
The Fast Slow Pro is just one of a wide range of small countertop devices available from award-winning kitchen appliance company Sage. Within its large portfolio of attractive designs, you’ll find coffee machines, juicers, bread makers, small ovens and kettles to match the contemporary styling of the The Fast Slow Pro slow cooker. And if you’re keen to buy into the aesthetics of one brand to kit out your kitchen, we think you can’t go wrong with the minimal and modern styling of Sage’s brushed stainless-steel appliances.
While The Fast Slow Pro has an ample 6-litre capacity, its round body measures an average 32cm high, which by multi-cooker standards makes it rather discreet. Included in the box you get a stainless-steel steamer basket and a stainless-steel rack. You also get one of the most comprehensive recipe books we’ve come across in a slow cooker kit with recipes for dishes such as Pork Bolognese with Pancetta & Sage and Vegetable Biryani. The body of the slow cooker has a safety locking lid, which means it won’t function until the lid is locked into place and this triple-safe lid construction is in fact hinged and removable for dishwasher cleaning.
There is also a safety valve and pressure release button on The Fast Slow Pro for when you want to use the pressure-cooking setting safely – although like most multi-cookers designs you will need to make sure you have ample room around the design so it can let off steam without ruining your kitchen units. The design also comes with clever dual-sensors at the top and bottom of the cooker to monitor the ingredients for a more accurate temperature and pressure control.
Performance and best features
It’s easy to find the slow cook setting on The Fast Slow Pro as the LCD control panel lights up when you switch the appliance on. You can then scroll through the settings using one of the three dials. You can then hone in on your cook further and choose the exact dish you’re interested in slow cooking. The Fast Slow Pro will then suggest the ideal time. Choose from nine custom settings such as ‘legumes’, which suggests six hours on a ‘Hi’ setting, or Lamb Shanks for eight hours on a ‘Lo’ setting. There’s also a Pudding setting, which suggests two hours on a Lo setting and Soup, which is four hours on Hi. Meanwhile, a Time dial lets you tailor your dish and ramp the time up and down as you see fit.
We found The Sage Fast Slow Pro very easy to use. While cooking our lamb tagine recipe, we chose the Casserole slow cook setting, which suggested four hours on a Hi temperature. Before we switched to this setting we chose the sauté feature to brown our onions and lamb. This took a couple of minutes to reach the temperature and then in just a few minutes our onions were sautéd and our lamb sealed. Once the four hours were up, the Sage Fast Slow Pro switches to the Keep Warm feature, so our food remained piping hot when we were ready to serve.
While our lamb came our perfectly cooked and the carrots had a lovely crunch, at the end of the four hours we were keen to reduce the liquid in the dish as it was just a tad too thin. Using the Reduce feature we could make sure all the lovely juices from the dish were soaked into the lamb and thickened a little to intensify the flavour. It’s worth remembering that when using the reduce feature you need to make sure there is enough room around the appliance so you can leave the lid up. It only took a few minutes to reduce our tagine sauce and the temperature can be adjusted between lo, medium and hi – a few minutes of bubbling and our lamb tagine dish was the perfect consistency.
When dishing up, bear in mind that the lips of the inside pot can get a little hot, so when removing the pot you will also need oven gloves. As soon as we’d decanted our lamb tagine by transferring it into a serving dish, we placed the Sage Fast Slow Pro inner pot into the sink and give it a wash with warm soapy water – while it is dishwasher safe, hand wash is recommended to protect the ceramic coating. Likewise the lid can also be removed and placed in the dishwasher or hand washed. While we found the lid a little fiddly to take off on first try, we soon got used to the process and it was easy the second time round, and helps keep the lid in tip top condition after every use.
Value for money
It may not be the cheapest slow cooker you can find, but The Sage Fast Slow Pro is one of the most stylish and versatile. With 11 pressure cook settings and slow cook settings from high to low, The Sage Fast Slow Pro has the ability to cook a different dish for you and your family every day of the week.
While its hefty price tag may leave you a little out of pocket, we think the Sage The Fast Slow Pro is worth the spend for its range of functions alone. Its brushed stainless steel design is easy to keep clean and ages well, and its six-litre bowl also provides enough room to feed a family of up to seven.