Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL Review

Toaster ovens are convenient by default since a significant part of their design is to make preparing cooked food as simple as possible. However, Breville has decided to take things even further by introducing the Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL; a large yet practical countertop oven that comes loaded with a variety of premium features. The price tag on the Breville Smart Oven is pretty hefty, meaning that you should not consider it as a secondary appliance. However, if you are looking for a toaster oven to replace your traditional gas oven with then the Breville Smart Oven is a superb choice.

There are a lot of things about this well-designed oven that one can fall in love with, its stainless steel body gives it a pristine and modern look that allows the oven to fit into any type of kitchen theme and its spacious interior and variety of functions enable users to use the oven in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that this oven is pretty big (18.5 inches by 12.5 inches), meaning that you should only keep it on your list if you have space and plan on making good use of the oven’s full potential.

Design And Features

The durable, stainless steel body of the Breville Smart Oven provides the appliance with a fantastic exterior design, on the inside, the oven’s roomy baking area makes handling baking large pizzas, whole chickens and other large dishes quite manageable. It even comes with a pizza pan, baking tray and a broil rack, all of which let users prepare food in more ways, and you can also buy more accessories from Breville’s website for use with the oven. One thing about the Breville Smart Oven that makes it so practical is the fact that even though it is a pretty big countertop oven, its exterior is relatively compact.

On the front of the oven, you find it’s simple to use controls that are made up of three knobs, four buttons, and a display panel. The knobs let users switch between the oven’s different presets, set temperatures and the time. The four buttons allow users start/stop the oven, switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius degree readings on the panel, turn on /off the convection function of the oven and prepare the oven to handle frozen food. All of the oven’s controls are incredibly intuitive, making interacting with the oven a breeze, and the LCD display provides all the information that you need, this also allows users to make adjustments and tweaks to the standard presets easily and once an adjustment has been made, the oven will save it for use next time.

While the controls are simple and practical, their simplicity seems to restrict the smartness of this smart oven, other than the preset memory feature and the oven’s ability to adjust its heating depending on what preset is being used, there are not many options that a user has that make the oven feel “smart”. Another potential downer is the fact that the appliance’s name might be a little misleading; according to modern standards, a smart appliance is one that can be interacted with wirelessly through your phone, while this is not a significant issue, it should be noted that you will not be able to monitor and cook your food while sitting on your couch.

There are a lot of tiny details in this appliance that make it really satisfying to use, such as the rack height markers made on the oven’s front. Depending on what you are going to cook, you need to place your rack at a certain height to ensure proper cooking, the markers on the transparent door of the oven tell users exactly where to put the rack before each baking session. Another minute yet much appreciated detail is a magnet situated on the door that partially pulls out the middle tray every time you pull the door open.

An exterior crumb tray makes cleaning the oven a breeze, and since the crumb tray gets pretty hot, it can also be used as a plate warmer, the attention to detail in this oven is one of the many reasons why it can be recommended with confidence.

The Breville Smart Oven’s heating system packs quite a punch with a temperature range of 120 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and for broiling it can get as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The oven has a max cooking time of two hours and also comes with a convection function that turns on automatically for baking, roasting, cookies, reheating, and pizza making presets. Convection technology makes use of a fan to regulate even airflow of heated air throughout the oven, this provides even heating and much more efficient cooking results.

When compared with other toaster ovens that fall in the same performance range, the Breville Smart Oven shines in many ways, its massive body makes it suitable for cooking food items as large as a six pound chicken and the great controls that it has to offer make it a superb choice for anyone who is going to be using a toaster oven for the first time.

Performance Tests

When placed in a head on head competition with other toaster ovens of a similar caliber, the Breville Smart Oven does an excellent job at holding its own, in terms of toast, this smart oven can hold up to 9 slices of bread at a time. Its toast preset makes the entire process of producing scrumptious toast really easy, all you have to do is input the number of toasts that you are going to be toasting and then select the level of darkness you want. Even at the highest darkness setting, not even the slightest amount of bread becomes charred or burnt.

Toaster ovens are not the best at baking desserts. However cookies are simple enough, and therefore you can produce a decent batch with the right settings. The Breville Smart Oven’s cookie preset does a pretty great job at producing a satisfactory batch of cookies, one thing to note is that while the cookies taste good, they can be a bit on the soft side. However, this can be dealt with by tweaking the cookie preset settings.

The Smart Oven seems to utterly fail when it comes to producing a properly baked pizza, this is mostly due to the pizza preset being a bit choppy. Cooking a frozen thin crust pizza using the oven’s preset settings results in a burnt and dry mess, the oven’s time estimation based on the size of the pizza tends to go overboard at times as well. Preset results for deep pan pizzas are also far from satisfying, the crust becomes tough at the bottom and the oven ends up browning the cheese too much.

Switching to manual settings does improve the oven’s pizza baking ability, whether it is a deep pan or a thin crust pizza, you should stick to following instructions dictated by the recipe that you are following rather than relying on the oven’s pizza preset. Basically, the Breville Smart Oven is not the best pizza making countertop oven, even with manual settings the end result is not anything spectacular.

The Smart Oven seems to draw a short straw when it comes to baking. However, it makes up for its lack of baking ability by providing incredibly satisfactory roasting results. Breville has described this oven’s ability to produce succulently roasted meat, and they were not over exaggerating. The Smart Oven’s roasting preset sets the roasting time based on the amount of meat (per pound) that you are going to roast. 1.5 pounds of chicken can be roasted for 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, this oven is more than capable of producing extraordinarily juicy and flavourful chicken with the perfect amount of browning and incredibly crispy skin.

While the oven does a fantastic job at roasting chicken, it seems to disappoint when it comes to broiling, for which you have to set the rack as close to the heating system as possible to get a proper charred look. The Smart Oven is one of the few ovens out there that is capable of actually mimicking the chariness that you would expect to see on traditionally broiled or grilled meat. Looks wise, the Breville Smart Oven handles broiling quite nicely, but it fails horribly in terms of taste.

Since the broiling tray gets set really close to the heating system, it makes regulating temperature incredibly tricky (especially if you are cooking smaller portions such as burger patties), resulting in meat being overcooked. Regardless of whether you stick to the preset or make your own tweaks and lower the broiling tray, this oven fails to produce broiled food that is worth eating.

Keeping The Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL Maintained

Thanks to a well-thought-out design, this oven is pretty easy to keep clean, and in good shape, its removable crumb tray makes things really easy and the baking trays that come with it clean easily with a bit of detergent and a sponge scrub. The insides of the oven are also relatively easy to wipe.

The oven also comes with a limited warranty of a year, you can find support on Breville’s website and also look for broken parts and accessories at various outlets. If you keep the oven maintained and use it carefully, then you probably will not have to deal with breakdowns and malfunctions since the oven’s build quality is pretty robust.

Conclusion

The Breville Smart Oven’s price makes it a luxury toaster oven that some might find a bit expensive, however, its superb build quality, fully fleshed out features, amazing functions, and the amount of attention to detail on this appliance make up for it being pricey. If you are shopping for an oven that can perform a diverse set of tasks without much trouble and can potentially replace your traditional oven, then the Breville Smart Oven is one of the best options out there. It has more than enough power and room to take on large dishes, and thanks to its smart features, the oven will take care of all the fine tunings by itself.

The Breville Smart Oven is wonderful. However, it does leave a bit to be desired; its smart features do not really feel that smart (especially when it comes to pizza baking) and can be a bit hard to notice at first. Another problem with the oven is its poor performance when it comes to broiling, but other than that, it is a great all-in-one countertop oven that can revolutionize any kitchen.

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