There are tons of countertop ovens on the market these days, but none as versatile as the Breville Smart Oven Air. With thirteen distinct cooking functions, you’d be hard pressed to find a more useful oven on the market. The Smart Oven Air features a 2-speed convection fan and Breville’s Element IQ technology. The Smart Oven Air retails for $409.95.
Breville’s Smart Oven Air is a kitchen appliance unlike any other, in that it has thirteen functions and it can do them all very well. The Smart Oven Air has a brilliant LCD screen that makes it clear what function you’re using and what time and temperature settings you’re choosing. There are three easy-to-use dials: one for the cooking mode, one for the temperature, and one for the time. Once your settings are chosen, you hit the “start/stop” button to get cooking.
Breville uses their Element IQ cooking system in the Smart Oven Air, which uses six independent quartz heating elements to move the power where it’s needed the most. They also have PID temperature control technology, which is a method high-end devices use to ensure the temperature remains stable throughout the length of your cook. The styling of the Smart Oven Air is timeless, with a stainless steel body, large glass window, LCD screen, and stainless steel handle. It’ll be a gorgeous addition to any kitchen.
The Smart Oven Air is a large countertop oven. As Breville states “size matters,” and with one cubic foot of interior space, you’ve got enough room to toast 9 slices of bread, roast a 14-pound turkey, slow cook using a 5-quart dutch oven, and comfortably fit most 9”x13” pans. There are also four rack levels to choose from to keep your food as close or as far from the heat as you’d like. Breville even labels each rack level on the glass to recommend a location for each cooking function.
Here’s a rundown of all thirteen functions:
Toast – You can select the number of slices (up to 9) and the darkness level.
Bagel – This function is meant to crisp the inside of your bagel slice while lighting toasting the outside. You can again choose the number of slices while also selecting your darkness level.
Broil – Broil will direct high heat from the top of the oven down at your food. This function is ideal for browning the tops of your food or for thin slices of meat. You can select temperature and time.
Bake – The bake function is meant to cook food evenly throughout and is ideal for cakes, muffins, brownies, etc. You can select temperature and time. Preheating is required for this mode.
Roast – This function is meant for meat and poultry to obtain a juicy interior and roasted exterior. You select a temperature and time and preheating is required for this mode.
Warm – As the name implies, this mode will maintain hot foods at the recommended temperature. Time and temp is required to start.
Pizza – Pizza mode is meant to melt and brown cheese and toppings while baking and crisping the pizza crust. You’re able to use pizza stones in the oven as well as the included pizza pan. Preheating the oven is required.
Proof – The proof function is designed to precisely hold low temperatures, which allows for the proofing of bread, roll, or pizza dough. You select your preferred temperature, all the way down to 85F and your time.
Airfry – Airfrying combines intense heat and maximized airflow to cook foods crispy and brown without the use of oil. The Smart Oven Air comes with a special airfrying basket to provide great airflow around all sides of your food. You’ll need to preheat your oven before inserting your food.
Reheat – Reheat function is used to gently reheat leftovers without browning or drying out your food. You select a temperature and time, then insert your food.
Cookies – Do you really need more information? This function bakes homemade and commercially prepared cookies. You’ll want the oven to preheat before inserting your cookie dough.
Slow Cook – As the name suggests, we’re looking to cook our food low and slow with this mode. Select a time and temperature, and then allow the oven to preheat.
Dehydrate – The dehydrate function combines low and stable heat with maximized airflow to evenly dry out food without cooking or overheating. Select a temperature between 86F and 176F and adjust the time up to 72 hours and you’re ready to dehydrate.
In addition to the multitude of cooking functions, the Smart Oven Air comes with built-in smart features like phase cook, which allows you to program two back-to-back cooking functions. For instance, you can set your Smart Oven Air to roast your food and then after a set time it’ll switch to warm mode to keep your meal warm until you’re ready to eat. The oven also has a built-in light, which makes it easy to see whether or not your food is done, especially since the light automatically turns on at the end of the cook.
I’ve been incredibly impressed with the Smart Oven Air in my testing. I’ve used it to toast bread and bagels, reheat pizza, air fry French fries, chicken fingers, and chicken cutlets, proof pizza dough, and roast asparagus. My wife has also been using it to make food for the kids during the day. It’s been successful in almost every way, while the oven does take some getting used to. For instance, the oven is larger than most toaster ovens, so you’ll have to preheat the oven while using some cooking functions.
The Smart Oven Air is incredibly easy to use as it provides even heat at accurate temperatures and the super convection fans make sure the heat is evenly distributed throughout the oven. The air frying function is fantastic, although I found that if you’re cooking a lot of food, you will want to buy an additional air fry basket. The fries got nice and crispy as long as they weren’t overcrowded in the basket. We made excellent chicken fingers but needed to do two separate batches since they all wouldn’t fit on a single basket. The chicken cutlets that we air fried were delicious; crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside.
The LCD screen is easy to read and makes the oven really simple to use. The large glass window and built-in light help you see the food you’re cooking. The fact that the oven comes with two standard racks, one air frying basket, one pizza pan, one roasting pan, and a roasting rack makes it really versatile. You can also cook on multiple racks at once similar to a regular oven thanks to the large size, multiple racks, and super convection.
As is the case with many things in life, with the good comes the bad. While the huge interior cooking space allows you to cook many different things with many varied functions, having a huge interior cooking space also requires the oven itself to be very big. The size of the oven is literally the only negative thing I can say about the Smart Oven Air. At 17.2” x 21.4” x 12.8” it’s very large for many kitchens unless you have a ton of spare counter space. Plus, Breville recommends you have at least 4” of clear space on all sides of the unit and 6” above. Luckily we have space perfectly sized to accommodate the Smart Oven Air right in between our refrigerator and our sink, however, the depth of the unit has reduced the open working space we have.
If you do a lot of cooking in your kitchen and you’re looking for a multi-threat countertop appliance, the Breville Smart Oven Air is the way to go. You’ll need to measure your counter space, but if you can spare the room, you’ll add a ton of weapons to your chef’s arsenal. I’m a huge fan of Breville and their engineering is some of the best in the home kitchen game.
You can purchase your Breville Smart Oven Air directly from the manufacturer at Breville.com.
Source: The Breville Smart Oven Air was a manufacturer supplied review sample.
What I Like: Beautiful, timeless stainless steel design; Multi-functional; Large interior cooking area; Easy to use LCD screen; Includes dehydrate and air fry feature
What Needs Improvement: The only downside is the unit’s size, which goes hand-in-hand with the interior cooking area