Review: Breville Countertop Smart Oven

Countertop convection ovens / toaster ovens are extremely popular for many excellent reasons. They:

  • are portable
  • great for RVs, cabins, traveling, small spaces, special occasions
  • can save a great deal of electricity due to their smaller size and faster cooking
  • provide extra oven space for large cooking / baking jobs (especially for family and holiday meals)
  • can berun on backup power in case of power outages
  • are an excellent vehicle to teach oven cooking to children without the dangers / concerns of the larger ovens

Breville 2 Breville cookies

 

However, not all countertop ovens or toaster ovens can perform the tasks of a real oven and still toast bread. Until now, we had not been able to find one toaster oven, countertop convection oven that was able to toast, cook, bake, roast, broil and reheat perfectly. We’ve tested and used several brands of popular toaster ovens and and also countertop convection ovens, such as the NuWave oven. We’ve had mixed results with them, and each had their limitations. Some just did toast and little else well, some did not toast bread well at all. Some did not have upper and lower heating elements thus requiring to food to be flipped over for complete cooking. Some did better with certain foods such as meats but failed when it came to baking breads or cookies.

With the Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven Convection Toaster Oven, we were able to achieve all the cooking, baking, roasting, broiling and yes, also toasting bread. Because of the “Element IQ”, the pre-set functions and the versatility in personal settings, we have been able to satisfy different preferences of doneness for toast, bagels, pizza, cookies, breads, casseroles, vegetables and more than I can list. The Breville Smart Oven Convection Toaster Oven has allowed me to cook, bake, toast, broil etc. more quickly than with our larger oven and with much less energy expended (mine and the electric!).

 

Description from the Breville USA web site:
The 1800 watt countertop oven that does the thinking for you. Automatically adjusts the independent heating elements ensuring an exact cooking process. 9 menu functions suggest the ideal temperature and time, and the oven remembers them for the next use. Toasts evenly, makes delicious cookies, bakes perfect pizza, and roasts succulent meat. The convection option speeds your cooking time by as much as 30%.

Features:

  •  Distributes 1,800 watts of power among five quartz elements where it’s needed most.
  •  Blue backlit LCD screen.
  •  Intuitive dial controls.
  •  9 customizable presets.
  •  Stores settings in memory.
  •  Smartly designed stainless-steel rack auto-ejects halfway when the oven door is opened.
  •  Sturdy stainless-steel body has a top that doubles as a warming tray.
  •  Retractable crumb tray makes cleanup easy.

 

Breville 1

 

Specifications:
Outer:18 1/2″W x 15 1/2″D x 10 3/4″H
21 lbs.
.8 cu ft
1,800 watts
5 quartz heating elements, 3 upper, 2 lower

 

 

Testing was performed on the Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven.

Pros:

  • 5 quartz heating elements, upper and lower create evenly cooked foods
  • Element IQ works beautifully with the 9 presets, but we vary our settings based on our preferences and we have easily customizable personal settings.
  • Convection functions allows for faster cooking times
  • Preheating oven is much faster than the large oven, reducing power needs
  • With the rack in the center position, when the oven door is opened, the rack comes out halfway to “meet” the operator. This is especially helpful when younger children are using the oven as they do not have to reach inside the oven to retreive the food possibly burning themselves.
  • The top of the oven serves as a warming area for plates or baking sheets
  • Holds up to heavy use; several batches, high temperatures
  • Use instead of a microwave to reheat foods
  • Adds extra oven space for very large oven needs (such as holiday meals).
  • Bakes breads beautifully (whole-grain and non-gluten included)
  • Portable, great for parties, traveling, cooking and baking classes, any place where space is at a minimum.
  • Less expensive than the closest comparable product (Waring Pro $399)
  • The pizza function includes settings for frozen or fresh. Since we make all of our own whole grain pizza crusts and pizzas and sometimes freeze the crusts, these settings work well for either choice.

Cons:

  • We choose to avoid non-stick coatings for food-related or heat-related uses. The Breville Smart Oven interior is lined with a non-stick coating and accessories are non-stick coated. How we dealt with this issue was to not use the non-stick coated utensils (the rack is uncoated steel) and making sure that food does not come in contact with the non-stick coating of the interior. We have not experienced any fumes or any negative issues using the oven, even at 450 degrees. We feel comfortable using the oven with our own uncoated accessories and we consider the features and pros of this oven to outweigh any cons. Each family should make that decision for themselves.
  • Because the Breville Smart Oven is a countertop oven, the capacity is smaller than a standard oven. If you need large amounts of foods cooked, baked, broiled, roasted or reheated at once, obviously this would not be the best choice.


Conclusion:
 In all our testing and multiple times daily usage, the Breville Smart Oven has exceeded our expectations. We love it and recommend it highly.

Breville USA website

Videos and Manual:
Learn about the Smart Oven

Inside the Smart Oven

Out of the Box Smart Oven

Tips and Tricks for the Smart Oven

5 videos for your Smart Oven

Download the Breville  manual

 

Disclaimer: There are NO affiliate links in this review. Vickilynn Haycraft is an independent Product Reviewer. She does not sell products or accept payment for reviews. The products reviewed are either purchased by Vickilynn Haycraft or provided for review and all reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained. This product was purchased at the market price.

© 2014 All Rights Reserved Vickilynn Haycraft and Real Food Living

About Vickilynn Haycraft

A student of health and nutrition for 30 years, Vickilynn Haycraft has over 25 years of actual hands-on experience reviewing and personally using different tools of the homemaking vocation, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition. Vickilynn is a magazine columnist, product reviewer, cookbook author and now radio talk show host, as well as being full-time wife and mom to 5 children. Read Vickilynn's Product Reviews and Family Preparedness Articles at Examiner.com. She blogs at the Real Food Living Blog.