Breville Smart Oven Air review

Although I didn’t grow up with parents who spent much time in the kitchen, I’ve grown to love cooking (baking, especially) in my adult years. As soon as the Breville Smart Oven Air came out, it went on my Covet List and I knew I had to review this little piece of kitchen magic.

THE GOOD

The Breville Smart Oven Air is so frickin’ beautiful. You know, as beautiful as appliances can be. So beautiful, in fact, that I relegated my microwave to another part of my kitchen so I could put the Breville oven it its place — front and centre for all to see. The handles just happen to match those of my fridge, stove and dishwasher, which was a coincidental bonus.

Breville Smart Oven Air reviews.

The Breville Smart Oven Air at work in my kitchen.

There are so many settings on the Breville Smart Oven Air that there’s no way I could get to ALL of them before writing this review. And I’m unlikely to use all of them ever because there are some things I just don’t cook. Here are all of the available pre-programmed settings:

  1. Toast
  2. Bagel
  3. Broil
  4. Bake
  5. Roast
  6. Warm
  7. Pizza
  8. Proof
  9. Airfry
  10. Reheat
  11. Cookies
  12. Slow Cook
  13. Dehydrate

Because it can toast, air fry, slow cook and dehydrate, getting a Breville Smart Oven Air means less clutter on your countertop or in your pantry. You won’t need to go in search of the air fryer you used perhaps once a month or your dehydrator you used once a year. We completely ditched our toaster when our Smart Air Oven came home, freeing up a lot of real estate on our counter.

For such a compact countertop oven (truly — it’s about the same size as a standard microwave), it sure can cook a good amount of food. From a 14-pound bird or 12 cupcakes to nine slices of toast or a 9″ x 13″ lasagna, there’s no reason why this appliance can’t replace your oven for most of your everyday cooking. It has for us.

And that’s because it takes less time to heat up, cooks everything so evenly and uses far less energy — which, in the end, will obviously cost us less money, too.

The Element IQ quartz heating elements power up like a dream and send heat both above and below the food. I’ve cooked pizza, lasagna, sweet potato fries, toast, bagels, Morning Rounds and banana muffins so far and there have been no uneven spots like you can often get in your large oven, with one corner “done” more than the others.

Pizza in the Breville Smart Oven Air.

Pita pizza done in 10 minutes thanks to the Breville Smart Oven Air’s fast preheating system and smaller space in which to cook.

So that means I’ve used the bake, broil, air fry, toast, bagel and pizza options to date. Oh, and I’ve used the warming option, too, to keep waffles warm as they came out of our waffle iron. I was going to try to dehydrate some apple slices before writing the Breville Smart Air Oven review, but — alas — I had no idea that dehydrating takes a full day or two. I’ll get to that eventually but I’d rather be home the entire time an oven is left on in my home and right now we’re too busy to stay home for two days!

Baking things like muffins has been a breeze. The preheating time is dramatically shorter than my regular oven and my famed black bean brownies (which are probably more like muffins, but whatever) still come out like a charm — and the Breville shaves two minutes off the total cooking time.

Baking in the Breville Smart Oven Air.

I was probably most skeptical of the air fry option, and that’s because the shape of the Smart Oven Air in no way resembles the top air fryer on the market (you know the one…) and — for whatever reason — I thought that spaceship-y look had something to do with how the air is circulated around the foot inside. Clearly, not so. Because I made the yummiest sweet potato fries in my perfectly rectangular Breville oven.

Air fried sweet potato fries.

Air-fried sweet potato fries are EVERYTHING.

One of my favourite things about using this oven is that you don’t feel energy-wasteful making personal-sized meals. I would have never made myself a single-serve lasagna before owning the Smart Oven Air, because the guilt of heating up an entire oven for a dish with a four-inch circumference would have gnawed at me too hard. But in my compact countertop oven? No question. I make a one-woman-lasagna at least once a week now.

Not only does the Breville Smart Oven Air feature a convection option, but it also has SUPER convection. This is how it creates a bigger volume of air to do things like air frying and dehydrating.

Once it’s all set up, it’s very intuitive. Even my nine year old quickly figured out how to make his morning toast in the Breville Smart Oven Air. Need a few more slices of toast? A little less heat? More time for your pizza? No problem…these are also easy to adjust with a turn of a knob. It’s really the simplest thing ever.

Even though the Breville Smart Oven Air costs about $600, I refuse to put that in the gaffes. Yes, that’s a lot of dough. But we need to consider that it’s going to replace your toaster (mine was $50), your air fryer (about $200), your food dehydrator (around $100 for a good one) and potentially your slow cooker (ours was about $60; but note that I haven’t tested this personally yet so am not sure if it will mean I ditch ours). Right there, you’re at $410 in appliances, so we’re talking about another $190. And that’s without taking into consideration the reduced energy bills from doing a lot of day-to-day cooking in a much smaller oven. This is why, for me, the price absolutely cannot go in the gaffes.

THE GAFFE

The instructions are not clear about how to insert the crumb tray when you first pull your new Breville Smart Oven Air out of the box. It simply instructs you to “insert the crumb tray.” It does NOT go in the main oven. Instead, you have to close the door and slide it in underneath the door here:

How to install the Breville Smart Oven Air crum tray

Similarly, I didn’t realize until I watched a YouTube video that the trays go in — what seems like — upside down. This is not a must and they do go in easily both ways, but is especially important if little fingers are pulling out toast or you’re trying to remove a hot pizza tray. Both are much, much trickier if you have these trays in the wrong way up. Be sure to put it in like this:

How to put trays into the Breville Smart Oven Air.

The glass gets very hot when the oven is in use. I wish there was a double layer of glass or something to prevent this because it doesn’t help me helicopter parent any less.

Like all warming temps, in the Breville or your regular oven, if you’re warming something that was once on the crispy side (like sweet potato fries or waffles, in my case), you need to know that it will not maintain the crispiness. Moving ahead, we’re just going to eat our waffles as they come out of the waffle iron. The sweet potato fries were still really good after being kept on warm, but not as spectacular as the time we ate them straight out of the oven. So keep this in mind. One thing I may try next time for foods like these is to keep it on air fry but turn the temperature down.

THE GEARS

4.5/5 (this is probably more like a 4.75/5 but I don’t have that rating in my rating guide)

Check out these related posts:

Comments

  1. Darlene Demell says

    I love all the settings on this oven. This is definitely on my wish list this year. It would be so much nicer to not use the conventional oven.

  2. Kristy R says

    It sounds like a very versatile gadget. I like that it can do so many things. We have a dehydrator, but don’t use it much because it’s so big! It doesn’t fit on any of our counters. I’d love to have one appliance that can do so many things!

  3. Kristi F says

    I would love to try the Air Fry feature on this. I love making french fries and would like to do it with less oil, but still have the crispiness!

  4. Debbie White Beattie says

    Like you, this oven is on my covet list and I’ve entered every contest and giveaway I could find to try to get one but unfortunately I still don’t have one, so for now I’ll have to just read your review and keep entering and dream.about it.

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen says

    I love this little miracle maker. It’s marvellous for making single-serve meals. I rarely eat a good baked potato these days because it seems so wasteful to put on the the big oven just for 1 potato, so they go in the microwave but they’re just not as good.

  6. says

    this is amazing, I think I must ask for this, I love it and for baking oh how amazing would it be to help but also in the summer oh I hate to use the oven this would work can even take outside if need to

  7. Nicole Caecoh guay says

    I am the most excited about the Breville. It could simplify dinner time fore me and give me more time for other things.

  8. Angie Andrews says

    I love how many different things can be done with this appliance, and not having to turn the big oven on for some of the smaller things I cook would be amazing

  9. says

    Love that the Breville Smart Oven Air can do so many things in such a small appliance. A well known brand name so is does its job well. So nice not to have to always use a big oven for a small meal.

  10. Rosanne Robinson says

    This Breville Smart Oven Air is a MUST HAVE for every kitchen! It’s compact, versatile, & saves on energy, in other words…….it’s PERFECTION!

  11. says

    I have been eyeing this baby since I first read about it . My micro would be history which it very nearly is all by itself. I love Breville appliances so much. My Breville On the Go is incredible as I just know this Smart Oven is. It would be as well used if not more so.

  12. says

    I have wanted one of these for ages! I really appreciate the “gaffe” comments. May sound odd, but it makes the rest of your comments more …. believable? sincere? Anyway, I liked what you had to say.

  13. Brad Kinchen says

    I have been contemplating an Actifry but after reading this I may have to rethink things, my toaster is on it’s last legs.

  14. Carole D. says

    I just have a regular conviction oven and use it all the time, It just the two of us and I use it to grill my chicken breast, salmon ect..This would be amazing. I’m like you and don’t use prepare food but it’s good to cook fresh food.

  15. Elizabeth Vlug says

    Thank you for your indepth review. It is a shame that the glass gets hots, although I have no little fingers to worry about. I love that is can replace a few other appliances too. (like the bulky air fryer) Might just get added to my Christmas list. I wonder if they ever go on sale?

  16. Stephanie LaPlante says

    Oh my goodness, this is literally a little box of miracles. Love that I can make any food I want, including CRISPY chicken wings!

  17. krisha4444 says

    so really what doesnt this thing do! amazing. I could really use one of these in my kitchen. would make life so much easier

  18. Holly D says

    I am really impressed with everything it can do! Who needs an oven when you have this baby sitting on your counter top! Love that it can air fry!

  19. NormaJane (NJ) says

    “is so frickin’ beautiful” Ha! I agree. The dehydrator & air fry is so impressive. This would be the only appliance you need beside your coffee maker in your kitchen :) Love it!

  20. tiffany @ myDIRT says

    I’ve wanted a count top oven for so long. I think my kids would LOVE this for all their baking and pizzas! Lust worthy for sure. Dear Santa, I’ve been good, I swear!

  21. Jennifer Shragge says

    We have been hmmming and haaaaing about getting something like this for a while now. This is super helpful!

  22. Travelbuds says

    I love the whole idea of having a smaller oven to use and save on power usage. I hate having to use my big oven to bake a couple of potatoes for example. I would love to give the airfry option a good test.

  23. says

    I have had my eye on this one for a bit now, but money is a big factor right now so all I can do is dream, seems like a great appliance to have in the kitchen though!

Every comment counts -- what's yours?