Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL Review
Pros: Easy to use, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracy
Compare to Similar Products
Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL
$269.95 at Amazon
$199.99 at Amazon
|$180 List||$70 List|
$77.10 at Amazon
$169.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Easy to use, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracy||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||Makes great frozen pizza, easy to celan, convection mode, great toast||Fast and convenient, great toasting quality, great for frozen foods|
|Cons||Expensive||Somewhat expensive||Smaller capacity||Mediocre temperature accuracy, only average baking performance||Smaller capacity, odd controls|
|Bottom Line||Top-notch cooking performance and incredible temperature accuracy||One of the best multifunction cooking devices on the market||A perfect oven for those that want high performance but don't have much counter space||A convenient and reliable budget option with reasonable performance at a great price||A 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|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Temperature Accuracy (20%)|
|Frozen Food (15%)|
|Specs||Breville Smart Oven...||Ninja Foodi Digital...||Breville Mini Smart...||Black+Decker TO3250XSB||Panasonic FlashXpress|
|Outer Dimensions||11.2" x 18.5" x 16.2"||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||12"||13"||11"||13"||9"|
|Accesories||Baking pan, Broil rack, Pizza pan||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 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.
The Breville scored highly in our baking test as one of the best-performing models in this metric.
It made a near-perfect cake, so good that we just got lost in its field of golden fluffiness. Cakes made in the Breville 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. Still, 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 the bone.
The only oven that outdid the Smart Oven in our tests was the updated Smart Oven Air. For normal cooking tasks, 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.
Ease of Use
The Breville further separated itself from the rest of the field in our ease of use test, once again sharing the top score.
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.
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 screen's backlight 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.
Our temperature accuracy testing yielded wider-ranging scores than any other metric. The Smart Oven once again has one of the highest scores in this area.
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 are the only metric where the Smart Oven did not occupy the top spot. However, our frozen meal test produced a very small range of scores, meaning that there wasn't a huge difference in performance between models, and the Breville scored right in the middle.
It satisfyingly cooked the dough of frozen pizzas, leaving maybe just a tad too much gooeyness at the center. 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 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.
The Smart Oven also comes out on top in our toasting test.
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 were 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.
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 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.
The Breville Smart Oven is the best choice on the market for exacting chefs.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata