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Breville Smart Oven Air Review

A great option for cooking connoisseurs that want a high-quality and versatile device that can also air fry
Breville Smart Oven Air
Credit: Breville
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $350 List | $399.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Good cooking performance, multitude of cooking functions, may replace your conventional oven
Cons:  Expensive, poor air frying temperature accuracy
Manufacturer:   Breville
By Hayley Thomas, Max Mutter, and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Jun 18, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 13
  • Cooking Performance - 35% 7
  • User Friendliness - 25% 8
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 7
  • Temperature Accuracy - 20% 7

Our Verdict

If your interests in countertop cooking reach beyond just air frying and into baking, dehydrating, and slow cooking, the Breville Smart Oven Air is a worthwhile investment. It combines the abilities of an air fryer with a dehydrator and an incredibly versatile toaster oven, creating the most capable countertop appliance we've ever come across. Plus, you don't have to sacrifice any quality for this jack of all trades, as its air frying performance is right on par with that of the best products we've tested. The only real downside to this air fryer is its price, which can undoubtedly induce a bit of sticker shock. However, if you're currently shopping for an air fryer and are also in the market for a dehydrator and a toaster oven (or wish to consolidate your appliances), combining them all into one super-powerful, space-saving device could be a great decision.

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Price $350 List$120 List
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Pros Good cooking performance, multitude of cooking functions, may replace your conventional ovenFantastic cooking performance, easy to clean, easy to use, great temperature accuracy, multiple cooking functionsGreat cooking performance, user friendly, excellent temperature accuracyGood air frying performance, clear interface, can also pressure cookRelatively easy to use and clean, good air cooking performance, toaster oven functionality, flips up for easy storage
Cons Expensive, poor air frying temperature accuracyOn the expensive sideNot the easiest to cleanExpensive, crisping lid can be hard to cleanExpensive
Bottom Line A great option for cooking connoisseurs that want a high-quality and versatile device that can also air fryExceptional frying performance and an easy to clean design make this one of the best options on the marketThis high performing, four quart model offers the most consistent quality of the bunchA convenient machine that combines pressure cooking and air frying capabilitiesIdeal for those considering adding both a toaster oven and air fryer to their kitchen collection
Rating Categories Breville Smart Oven... Instant Vortex Plus Ninja 1550 Watt Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL Ninja Foodi Digital...
Cooking Performance (35%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
User Friendliness (25%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Ease Of Cleaning (20%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Temperature Accuracy (20%)
7.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Breville Smart Oven... Instant Vortex Plus Ninja 1550 Watt 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
Power Consumption 1800W 1700W 1550W 1760W 1800W

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Smart Oven is incredibly pricey but does provide exceptional...
The Smart Oven is incredibly pricey but does provide exceptional performance.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Cooking Performance


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.

The Smart Oven Air can air fry most foods very well, but falls...
The Smart Oven Air can air fry most foods very well, but falls slightly behind dedicated fryers in things like onion rings.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

While air frying generally isn't a great way to make sweet potato...
While air frying generally isn't a great way to make sweet potato fries, the Smart Oven's offerings weren't quite as good as those from dedicated air fryers.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


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.

The multiple knobs and large display of the Smart Oven make...
The multiple knobs and large display of the Smart Oven make selecting settings quick and easy.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

Labels let you know exactly where to place the cooking rack for each...
Labels let you know exactly where to place the cooking rack for each cooking function.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

The Smart Oven air is easy to clean, unless some of your food drips...
The Smart Oven air is easy to clean, unless some of your food drips down onto its heating elements (which we found to be an infrequent inconvenience).
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Temperature Accuracy


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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