Reviews You Can Rely On

Breville Smart Oven Air Review

The highest performing, most fully-featured model we've tested, but it comes at a high price
Breville Smart Oven Air
Credit: Breville
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $500 List | $517.68 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent temperature accuracy, great all-around cooking performance, bevy of cooking modes, user-friendly
Cons:  Very expensive, may be too large for smaller kitchens
Manufacturer:   Breville
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Apr 8, 2019
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
89
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 11
  • Baking - 30% 9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 9
  • Temperature Accuracy - 20% 9
  • Frozen Food - 15% 9
  • Toasting - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Breville Smart Oven Air is one of the few toaster ovens that is actually a more versatile and effective tool than most conventional ovens. This is thanks to its exceptional temperature accuracy (it was always within 10˚ of the set temperature in our testing, a feat most conventional ovens can't match) and its slew of cooking modes, ranging from slow cook and air fry to dehydrate and convection. If you're looking for a tool that will let you slow cook, dehydrate, and air fry, and that will replace your conventional over for the vast majority of cooking tasks, this is the machine for you. If you don't think you'll be taking advantage of those features, however, the Smart Oven Air certainly isn't worth its high price tag.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $500 List
$517.68 at Amazon
$230 List
$198.78 at Amazon
$180 List
$179.95 at Amazon
$90 List
$77.04 at Amazon
$170 List
$139.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
89
88
78
60
49
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Excellent temperature accuracy, great all-around cooking performance, bevy of cooking modes, user-friendlyGreat baking performance, great temperature accuracy, can also air fry and dehydrate, flips on its end when not in use to save spaceCompact, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracyMakes great frozen pizza, easy to celan, convection mode, great toastFast and convenient, great toasting quality, great for frozen foods
Cons Very expensive, may be too large for smaller kitchensSomewhat expensiveSmaller capacityMediocre temperature accuracy, only average baking performanceSmaller capacity, odd controls
Bottom Line The highest performing, most fully-featured model we've tested, but it comes at a high priceOne of the best multifunction cooking devices on the marketA perfect oven for those that want high performance but don't have much counter spaceA convenient and reliable budget option with reasonable performance at a great priceA small capacity, amazingly fast oven that can also replace 90% of microwave functions
Rating Categories Breville Smart Oven... Ninja Foodi Digital... Breville Mini Smart... Black+Decker TO3250XSB Panasonic FlashXpress
Baking (30%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Temperature Accuracy (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
2.0
Frozen Food (15%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Toasting (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Breville Smart Oven... Ninja Foodi Digital... Breville Mini Smart... Black+Decker TO3250XSB Panasonic FlashXpress
Outer Dimensions 17.2" x 21.4" x 12.8" 19.7" x 7.6" x 15" 15.5" x 14" x 8.8" 14.5" x 22" x 11.5" 13" x 12" x 10.2"
Maximum Pizza Diameter 13" 13" 11" 13" 9"
Accesories 13" Pizza Pan, Oven Racks x2, 9"x13" Broil Rack, Enamel Roasting Pan, Mesh basket rack Wire rack, air fry basket, sheet pan Baking pan Baking pan, wire rack Baking pan
Power Consumption (W) 1800 1800 1800 1500 1300

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Breville Smart Oven Air is a top-notch performer that combines the functionality of an oven, slow cooker, and dehydrator all in one.

Thanks to field-leading performance in almost all of our tests and a number of extra cooking modes you won't find on most ovens, the Smart Oven Air earned the top overall score in our testing.

Performance Comprison


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

Baking


The Smart Oven Air easily took home the top score in our baking tests. Everything we threw into it came out as close to perfect as one could expect.


Perhaps the most impressive item the Air served up in our testing was its chicken drumsticks. Time after time, it managed to get the outsides delightfully crispy while keeping the meat delectably moist. This is a feat we've found that only the Breville models can really accomplish. All of the other models we've tested make at least some sacrifice in exterior crispiness and/or interior moistness. Cookies came out similarly well balanced, with the outsides presenting a slight crunch and the insides staying nice and chewy.

The Smart Oven Air excelled in every aspect of our baking tests.
The Smart Oven Air excelled in every aspect of our baking tests.
Credit: Steven Tata

We were also impressed with the cake the Air was able to produce in our testing. It achieved an even level of browning that was unparalleled in our tests and kept the cake itself feeling very fluffy and moist.

Extra Cooking Modes


The biggest selling point for getting the Smart Oven Air over any of Breville's other ovens is the extra cooking modes it offers, namely slow cook, dehydrate, and air fry. In general, we found these extra features to work quite well. The slow cook function was able to make a pot roast just as well as a dedicated slow cooker (provided you use a covered baking dish), the dehydrate function made dried mangoes that tasted nearly identical to those made in a standalone slow cooker, and the air fry function made sweet potato fries that were almost as good as their oil-laden counterparts.

We thoroughly enjoyed foods made with the air frying function.
We thoroughly enjoyed foods made with the air frying function.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Bottom line, if you were already considering buying a slow cooker or dehydrator, or like the idea of getting the crispiness of frying without the oil, these extra features are likely worth the Smart Oven Air's additional cost.

Ease of Use


Breville has made a name for themselves by creating seamless user experiences for all of their products, and the Smart Oven Air is no exception, as it picked up one of the best scores in this metric.


Perhaps the nicest part of the Air's user experience is its control panel. The large LCD screen clearly indicates the temperature of the oven, which cooking mode you're in, and how much time is left on the timer. The panel also has three different dials, each dedicated to one of those three settings. This makes navigating the Air various cooking modes and their associated temperatures and cooking times incredibly easy. It may seem odd to gush this much about a control panel, but after you've used a few toaster ovens with tiny screens and arcane buttons, this kind of experience is truly a breath of fresh air.

The control panel makes it easy to adjust the oven's many settings.
The control panel makes it easy to adjust the oven's many settings.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

On top of a great control panel, the Air has a few other user-friendly touches. The most salient is a set of magnets on the inside of the door that pulls the top rack out a few inches when you open the door. This makes getting a potholder around a hot dish on the top rack a much easier and simpler task. There is also a very deep and easily removable crumb tray, which makes disposing of all the crumbs that flake off of your food fast work.

Helpful markings let you know the ideal rack placement for every...
Helpful markings let you know the ideal rack placement for every setting.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Temperature Accuracy


Like all of the other Breville ovens we tested, the Air's temperature accuracy is top-notch.


In our testing, which involved using two calibrated thermometers, the Air never wandered more than 10˚ from the set temperature, and more often than not, sat within a tight 3˚ window. This is a performance that was only matched by the other Breville models we tested. This oven is more than up to the task of baking even incredibly temperature-sensitive dishes. Impressively, it also consistently got up to temperature within seven minutes of turning it on, even when we set it to 450˚.

Frozen Foods


As with all of our other tests, the Air was a field leader in our frozen food testing.


We never thought we would call a frozen tater tot delectable, but the Air's near-perfect tots provided us with a nearly transcendent experience. Somehow they instantly brought back all of the anticipation and excitement that came with childhood times standing in the cafeteria line on tater tot day while also providing a delightful level of crunchiness, giving way to an exquisite fluffiness that was never present on those styrofoam lunch trays.

The Smart Oven Air made our absolute favorite tater tots.
The Smart Oven Air made our absolute favorite tater tots.
Credit: Steven Tata

Frozen pizza is an incredibly difficult thing to cook evenly, but in our testing, the Air was consistently able to get frozen pies about as close to perfect as possible. This performance is even better than that of the original Smart Oven.

Toasting Performance


Despite being such a high-performing machine, the Air does not turn its nose up at the more pedestrian task of making toast. It turned in one of the best performances in this metric.


Toast made in the center of the Air comes out about as close to perfect as one could expect. Both sides come out with very similar levels of browning and only minor marks from the cooking rack. When toast is made on the extreme edges of the oven, there are noticeable cold spots, but not to the degree we've seen in many other ovens.

Toast comes out very even, but there are some cold spots on the...
Toast comes out very even, but there are some cold spots on the edges of the oven.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Bagels likewise come out near perfect. If you use the toast mode, the bagels brown very evenly all around. In bagel mode, the cut sides come out perfectly toasted while the backsides get warm but remain fluffy and doughy.

Value


The Breville Smart Oven Air is one of the most expensive toaster ovens out there. If you want a high-performing model and think you'll utilize the special slow cooking, dehydrating, and air frying functions, we think this extra cost is worth it. If you won't use those extra functions and just want a high-performing model with great temperature accuracy, you might as well save some money and get the original Smart Oven.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The Breville Smart Oven Air is a fantastic countertop oven that can also function as a dehydrator, slow cooker, and air fryer, but you do have to pay extra for all that performance and versatility.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More