The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL Review

Top notch cooking performance and incredible temperature accuracy
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $250 List | $250 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to use, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracy
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Breville
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Apr 8, 2019
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Baking - 30% 9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 9
  • Temperature Accuracy - 20% 9
  • Frozen Food - 15% 7
  • Toasting - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Breville Smart Oven led the pack in virtually every one of our testing metrics, leaving all of its competitors in the dust. During our testing it made the best toast, most delectable cookies, and some of the tastiest bagels we've ever had the privilege of eating. We found it to have astounding temperature accuracy, making it a great choice for discerning bakers, and its controls made it far and away our favorite model to use. It is a bit on the expensive side, but if you don't mind paying for quality, the Smart Oven certainly will not disappoint. If you want to add some versatility to your oven in the forms of slow cooking, dehydrating, and air frying, the the Breville Smart Oven Air is essentially the same oven but larger and with a slew of extra cooking features, but it does cost quite a bit more.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award  
Price $250 List
$249.99 at Amazon
$500 List
$479.99 at Amazon
$450 List
$299.95 at Amazon
$180 List
$179.00 at Amazon
$259 List
$204.06 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Easy to use, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracyExcellent temperature accuracy, great all-around cooking performance, bevy of cooking modes, user-friendlyGreat temperature accuracy, good all around performanceCompact, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracyDual cook mode adds versatiliy for complex dishes, included pizza stone
Cons ExpensiveVery expensive, may be too large for smaller kitchensExpensiveSmaller capacityPricey, slightly lower performance than other models in price range
Bottom Line Top notch cooking performance and incredible temperature accuracyThe highest performing, most fully-featured model on the market, but it comes at a high priceGreat baking and temperature accuracy, but slightly lower toasting quality than competing modelsA perfect oven for those that want high performance but don't have much counter spaceA great all around performer that was held back due to poor temperature accuracy
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories Breville Smart... Breville Smart... 12" Convection... Breville Mini... Chef's Convection...
Baking (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Ease Of Use (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Temperature Accuracy (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
4
Frozen Food (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
5
Toasting (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Breville Smart... Breville Smart... 12" Convection... Breville Mini... Chef's Convection...
Outer Dimensions 11.2" x 18.5" x 16.2" 17.2" x 21.4" x 12.8" 16.1" x 18" x 12.1" 15.5" x 14" x 8.8" 17" x 12" x 20"
Maximum Pizza Diameter 12" 13" 12" 11" 13"
Accesories Baking pan, Broil rack, Pizza pan 13" Pizza Pan, Oven Racks x2, 9"x13" Broil Rack, Enamel Roasting Pan, Mesh basket rack Baking pan, Broil rack Baking pan Extra oven rack, Baking pan, Broil rack, Pizza stone
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year Limited 2 Year Limited 1 Year Full 1 Year Limited 3 Year Limited
Power Consumption (W) 1800 1800 1800 1800 1875

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL one of the best countertops ovens we've tested. It is a perfect choice for the vast majority of cooking tasks, but does lack some of the features of the newer Breville Smart Oven Air.

Performance Comparison


The Breville Smart Oven consistently perfeormed at or near the front of the pack in all of our tests, earning it a coveted Editors' Choice Award.

Baking


In our testing the Breville turned anything with flour and sugar into sweet goodness.
In our testing the Breville turned anything with flour and sugar into sweet goodness.

The Breville scored a 9 out of 10 on our baking test, making one of the highest scoring models in this test. It also put it well ahead of the worst performing model, which scored a 4.


It made a near perfect cake, so good that we just got lost in its field of golden fluffiness. Cakes made in the BOV800XL retained more moisture and were more evenly cooked than those made in all of the other models. When making cookies we found the Breville tended to just crisp the outsides and leave the insides fairly gooey. Now we know the crunchy vs. chewy cookie debate is incredibly contentious and has the potential to turn friends into enemies, but most of our testers felt this result was better than any of the other ovens. It also made the most delectable drumsticks in our test, with nice crunchy skin and juicy meat falling off of the bone.

The only oven that outdid the Smart Oven in our tests was the updated Smart Oven Air. For normal cooking task this newer oven is right on par with the original Smart Oven, but the added slow cooking, dehydrating, and air frying capabilities make it a slightly more versatile machine.

The Breville's drumstickes were out testers' favorite.
The Breville's drumstickes were out testers' favorite.

Ease of Use


The Breville further separated itself from the rest of the field in our ease of use test, sharing the top score of 9 out of 10 in a metric that had scores as low as 2.


It has one of the sturdiest crumb trays we've encountered that easily removes and is deep enough to keep crumbs and food bits in place on the way to the trash can. The door features small magnets that automatically pull the rack out a few inches as you open the door. This is particularly handy for removing toast and bagels as you don't need to reach your hand into the hot oven to get them out. This feature only functions when the rack is in the center position, but that is probably the only situation in which this would be useful. Items made with the rack in the top position would most likely be broiled in a baking sheet or pan, and items made with the rack in the bottom position would most likely be pies or something else that requires browning on the bottom. Both of these situations would require oven mitts to remove the food, so the rack sliding out a bit wouldn't really provide any additional benefit. As with all Breville appliances the power cord has a built-in finger loop, making it very easy to unplug.

The Breville has the sturdiest and easiest to remove crumb tray of all the models we tested.
The Breville has the sturdiest and easiest to remove crumb tray of all the models we tested.

Where the Breville really shines is in the design of its controls. It utilizes a large backlit LCD display that clearly shows which settings are selected and how much cooking time is remaining. The backlight of the screen also changes from blue to orange when cooking commences, giving you a clear idea of whether the oven is cooking or not. Three dedicated knobs are used to select the cooking mode, temperature and time. The LCD menu seamlessly changes as different options are selected. For example, if you select the toast function instead of then selecting the temperature and time, the menu changes to allow you to select the shade of the toast and the number of slices you are making. Its included functions are bake, toast, bagels, pizza, cookies, roast, broil, preheat, and warm. Three dedicated buttons allow you to start or cancel a cooking cycle, turn the convection fan on and off, and add a defrost cycle to any cooking function. All those functions make using the Breville sound complicated, but once you get your hands on it you realize it's a breeze. No other model we tested felt so user-friendly.

The Breville's controls were the favorite amongst our testers.
The Breville's controls were the favorite amongst our testers.

Temperature Accuracy


Our temperature accuracy testing yielded wider ranging scores than any other metric. The lowest score was a 2 out of 10 and the highest score, shared between the Smart Oven, the newer Smart Oven Air, and the KitchenAid, was a 9 out of 10.


When set to 400˚ and 450˚ in our testing the Breville had settled into the set temperature by the 15-minute mark and never wandered by more than 5˚ all the way through to the 30-minute mark. When set to 350˚ it was slightly cool at the 15-minute mark, with our thermometers reading 330˚, but it quickly corrected and was at exactly 350˚ at the 30-minute mark. This is particularly impressive considering that there were models off by as much as 55˚ at the 30-minute mark. This superb temperature accuracy was likely a large contributing factor to the Breville performing so well in our baking test.

Frozen Foods


Frozen foods is the only metric where the Smart Oven did not occupy the top spot, losing out to the somewhat more specialized Panasonic FlashXpress. However, our frozen meal test produced a very small range of scores, spanning only from 5 to 8. This means there wasn't a huge difference in performance between models, and the Breville scored right in the middle with a 7.


It satisfyingly cooked the dough of frozen pizzas, leaving maybe just a tad too much gooeyness at the center. It actually cooked the dough better than the top scoring Panasonic. The FlashXpress beat the Breville, however, in evenness of cooking. While the Panasonic was near perfect in term of evenness, the Breville often browned cheese and crisped pepperoni noticeably more towards the edges of the pizza than in the center. That isn't to say the Breville made bad pizza, it was still appetizing and adequately satisfied our noontime hunger pangs. Frozen pizza is just one of the few places where the Breville has some notable room for improvement.

The Breville made decent pizza during our frozen meal preparation test  the only metric where it wasn't the top performer.
The Breville made decent pizza during our frozen meal preparation test, the only metric where it wasn't the top performer.

The Smart Oven was also able to cook some pretty delectable frozen tater tots. They were nice and crunchy on the outside and cooked just enough that the insides remained soft and fluffy but weren't too soggy. Again, the Breville's tater tots were just slightly below the level of those from the Panasonic, but still more than satisfying.

Toasting Performance


The Smart Oven also come out on top in our toasting test, scoring an 8. It shared this top slot with the Panasonic FlashXpress. It also well outperformed the worst scoring model, which received a 4.


This high score was largely due to its mastery of bagel toasting. We really can't say enough good things about the bagels produced by this oven in our testing. Their faces where an almost perfectly uniform shade of brown and their backsides were pleasantly warm but untoasted. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better bagel. In fact, it would probably require a pilgrimage to New York City and spending at least $5 in a fancy cafe, plus tax and tip.

The Breville makes top notch bagels.
The Breville makes top notch bagels.

The Smart Oven handles toasting bread better than most of the models we tested as well. It did have some clear cold spots adjacent to the oven walls, but its toasting sweet spot is big enough to accommodate at least four slices of bread. We would recommend placing your bread as close to the center of the rack as possible when making toast in the Breville. Toast made in the sweet spot comes out very even on the top side, and crispy on the underside with the dark and light strips common amongst toast made in a toaster oven. The Panasonic FlashXpress is the only model we felt made better toast than the Breville, and it was just ever so slightly better. We would be surprised if anyone was unhappy with the Breville's toast.

The Breville mades better toast than all of the other models we tested  and has a reasonably sized toasting sweet spot.
The Breville mades better toast than all of the other models we tested, and has a reasonably sized toasting sweet spot.

Value


The Smart Oven is one of the more expensive models we tested. However, it also offers top-notch performance and is well worth the price for those trying to perfect tricky dishes or finicky baked goods.

Conclusion


The Breville Smart Oven is the best choice on the market for exacting chefs.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata