The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro 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 oven 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 isn't a kitchen appliance worth its high price tag.Editor's Note: We updated this oven review on January 28, 2022, with new sections about our chosen ovens.
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro Review
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
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Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro
$319.95 at Amazon
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$159.95 at Amazon
|Check Price at Amazon||$170 List|
$157.68 at Amazon
|Pros||Excellent temperature accuracy, great all-around cooking performance, bevy of cooking modes, user-friendly||Great baking performance, great temperature accuracy, can also air fry and dehydrate, flips on its end when not in use to save space||Compact, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracy||Inexpensive, easy to clean, small footprint, consistent performance||Fast and convenient, great toasting quality, great for frozen foods|
|Cons||Very expensive, may be too large for smaller kitchens||Somewhat expensive||Smaller capacity||Small size limits portions, cooks on the cool side||Smaller capacity, odd controls|
|Bottom Line||The highest performing, most fully-featured model we've tested, but it comes at a high price||One of the best multi-function cooking devices on the market||A perfect oven for those that want high performance but don't have much counter space||Compact, consistent, and budget-friendly are the defining characteristics of this easy-to-use oven||A small capacity, amazingly fast oven that can replace 90% of microwave functions|
|Rating Categories||Breville Smart Air...||Ninja Foodi Digital...||Breville Mini Smart...||Hamilton Beach Easy...||Panasonic FlashXpress|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Temperature Accuracy (20%)|
|Frozen Food (15%)|
|Specs||Breville Smart Air...||Ninja Foodi Digital...||Breville Mini Smart...||Hamilton Beach Easy...||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"||11.9" x 16.1" x 9"||13" x 12" x 10.2"|
|Maximum Pizza Diameter||13"||13"||11"||9"||9"|
|Accessories||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||Bake pan, oven rack, slide-out crumb tray||Baking pan|
|Power Consumption (W)||1800||1800||1800||1200||1300|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro 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 andseveral extra cooking modes you won't find on most toaster ovens, the Smart Oven Air earned the top overall score in our testing.
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. 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.
We were also impressed with the cake the Air could 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. The air fry function made sweet potato fries that were almost as good as their oil-laden counterparts.
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 itself by creating seamless user experiences for all of its kitchen 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.
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.
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 performance 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˚.
As with 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.
Frozen pizza is challenging 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.
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 the 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.
Bagels likewise come out near perfect. If you use the toast mode, the bagels brown very evenly all around. The cut sides come out perfectly toasted in bagel mode, while the backsides get warm but remain fluffy and doughy.
Should You Buy the Breville Smart Oven Air?
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. 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.
What Other Toaster Oven Should You Consider?
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 Breville Smart Oven. If you think you want the added features but the price is too steep for your budget, we like the Ninja Foodi Digital Oven which is significantly less expensive but has similar features and test performance results.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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