Breville Smart Oven Air Review
Pros: Good cooking performance, multitude of cooking functions, may replace your conventional oven
Cons: Expensive, poor air frying temperature accuracy
Compare to Similar Products
Breville Smart Oven Air
$399.95 at Amazon
$119.99 at Amazon
$89.99 at Amazon
$179.99 at Amazon
$199.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Good cooking performance, multitude of cooking functions, may replace your conventional oven||Fantastic cooking performance, easy to clean, easy to use, great temperature accuracy, multiple cooking functions||Great cooking performance, user friendly, excellent temperature accuracy||Good air frying performance, clear interface, can also pressure cook||Relatively easy to use and clean, good air cooking performance, toaster oven functionality, flips up for easy storage|
|Cons||Expensive, poor air frying temperature accuracy||On the expensive side||Not the easiest to clean||Expensive, crisping lid can be hard to clean||Expensive|
|Bottom Line||A great option for cooking connoisseurs that want a high-quality and versatile device that can also air fry||Exceptional frying performance and an easy to clean design make this one of the best options on the market||This high performing, four quart model offers the most consistent quality of the bunch||A convenient machine that combines pressure cooking and air frying capabilities||Ideal for those considering adding both a toaster oven and air fryer to their kitchen collection|
|Rating Categories||Breville Smart Oven...||Instant Vortex Plus||Ninja Air Fryer||Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL||Ninja Foodi Digital...|
|Cooking Performance (35%)|
|User Friendliness (25%)|
|Ease Of Cleaning (20%)|
|Temperature Accuracy (20%)|
|Specs||Breville Smart Oven...||Instant Vortex Plus||Ninja Air Fryer||Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL||Ninja Foodi Digital...|
|Outside Dimensions||21.4" x 17.2" x 12.8"||11.5" x 13.25" x 12.75"||13.6" x 11" x 13.3"||16.1" x 14.57" x 14.29"||19.7" x 7.6" x 15"|
|Capacity||4 qt||6 qt||4 qt||5 qt||4 qt|
|Accessories||Air fry basket, baking tray, oven rack||None||Multi-layer rack for dehydrating||Pressure cooking pot and crisping basket||Wire rack, air fry basket, sheet pan|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While it is not without its flaws, the Smart Oven Air is a worthy adversary. We appreciate the versatility and believe it outweighs its shortcomings in the air frying department. However, when compared to the less versatile, more specialty air fryers, it does not offer the same performance.
The Smart Oven Air absolutely nailed some of the foods we tested. The tater tots came out near perfect, with a nice crispiness on the outside, without compromise to the soft, moist innards. The chicken breast remained juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, which is what we were going for. It also excelled in making doughnuts, with a nice crunch on the outside, giving way to a delightful cakiness.
Where the Smart Oven Air fell slightly behind its single-function counterparts was in onion rings and sweet potato fries. Its onion rings came out crispy but tasting a bit on the dry side, and its sweet potato fries (the bane of many an air fryer) really only had slight hints of crispiness. In both of these cases, the more dedicated but less versatile models performed slightly better.
When you switch from a dedicated air fryer to a more versatile device, you automatically leave behind a few conveniences. Overall though, the Smart Oven handles the air frying process with ease.
Like pretty much all of the Breville products we've tested, the Smart Oven Air's controls are incredibly well-designed and a pleasure to use. Despite offering more features and cooking options than any other appliance we've tested, it manages to make selecting your desired cooking mode, temperature, and time downright intuitive. The oven door also has helpful markers, which show the ideal rack heights for every cooking style; this way, you'll never be left wondering which slot is the best placement for the air frying tray.
Since the Smart Oven Air is an oven, you must slot a special air frying tray into it to air fry foods. This is quite easy and actually provides a greater capacity than most dedicated air fryers. However, you do sacrifice the handle present on most other models, ensuring the need for a potholder to remove the tray or to shake your food around. The Oven Air's opening is large enough that it is still quite easy to do this with one hand, but it certainly is a little less convenient than the experience offered by most of the single-function devices.
Ease of Cleaning
The overall cleaning process is a breeze. The air frying tray does not hold much grease and wipes down without much effort. The Smart Oven Air is also top-rack dishwasher safe and has a profile that fits much more easily into a dishwasher than most air fryers.
If anything drips down onto the heating elements, cleaning becomes more difficult. In that case, you have to wait for the whole thing to cool down, and reach in there with a rag, which can feel a bit cumbersome. However, most air fryer-friendly foods don't have drippy batters, so this isn't an issue we ran into all that often.
We were quite surprised that the Smart Oven Air's air frying function is one of the least temperature-accurate of all the models we tested, as we found its temperature accuracy to be spot-on when we tested its toaster oven attributes. We think this is likely due to the oven's much larger size when compared to a dedicated air fryer, which may allow for more temperature fluctuation when used in a super convection capacity. Overall, we didn't find this lack of accuracy to have much of an effect on the quality of the food produced.
In our tests, the Smart Oven Air often ran as much as 25˚ hot, though it did always correct itself and come back down to the set temperature during the course of cooking.
The Smart Oven Air is a pricey piece of technology. If you're going to regularly take advantage of all its advanced cooking, air frying, and dehydrating functions, however, it is a worthwhile investment. If you have any doubts about how much you'll use its non-air frying functions, it's probably in your best interest to buy a dedicated air fryer, as they are a fraction of the price.
The Smart Oven Air is the very best of the air fryer + dehydrator + toaster oven combos we've tested. Its outstanding combination and performance make it our top recommendation for those seeking a workhorse countertop appliance that can expand their cooking options in many different directions. However, you must be willing to make a bit of an investment to expand your kitchen's cooking capabilities.
— Hayley Thomas, Max Mutter, and Michelle Powell