What makes the Breville Mini Smart Oven so smart? More specifically, what makes any apparent ‘smart’ oven smarter than a regular toaster oven? That’s more or less the question I set out to answer with my Breville Mini hands-on review.
As you probably know by now, toaster oven technology has come a long way over the past few decades. Where most basic ovens (in the conventional sense) take up too much space in a smaller kitchen, an efficient toaster oven can be much more practical.
But what tends to be fairly similar between most toaster ovens is their fairly limited accuracy and consistency. Most toaster ovens get the job done to an extent but feature the same inherent design flaw - a temperature that is very difficult to control.
Not this neat little Breville product, which according to the manufacturer, has been designed to rectify this issue once and for all. Boasting four quartz elements, a whole bunch of preset cooking settings, and cutting-edge functional intelligence, it’s on a mission to give all other ovens within its class a run for their money.
The question being - what does the Breville bring to the table that other models don’t? Is it simply the best toaster oven in its class, or does it take cooking, baking, and meal preparation beyond the confines of your traditional mini toaster oven?
A Toaster Oven That's A Cut Above Other Toaster Ovens?
Getting down to business, the Breville Mini Smart Oven packs an impressive 1,800 W of power - see also low wattage toaster ovens - to make light work of even the most demanding recipes. It comes with a total of eight different preset cooking settings - toast, bagel, pizza, reheat, cookies, roast, broil, and bake. There’s a simple yet effective LCD display on the exterior, and this cute little oven is designed to take up as little counter space as possible.
One neat feature I particularly liked was the way in which the color of the LCD display changes depending on what the oven is doing at the time. Adjusting the temperature inside using the digital controls is easy, while its various smart features can also be activated at the touch of a button.
Inside, the combination of Element IQ technology and a series of quartz elements adds up to more efficient and accurate heating than most other ovens in its class. This ensures the Breville Mini Smart Oven roasts, bakes, and toasts evenly, avoiding the common problem of troublesome hotspots (see also Breville BOV900BSS combo).
‘A Bit More’ from the Breville Mini Smart Oven
There are two features in specific I can honestly see every user becoming totally reliant on with this oven. The first of which is the “A Bit More” button underneath the display, which does exactly as it indicates. Press this button if you need to cook whatever it is you are cooking for a little bit longer, without having to reset the cooking time or make any other adjustments.
In addition, there’s a button that features a “Snowflake” symbol, which can be used to tell the oven that whatever you plan on cooking is frozen. At which point, the oven’s smart technology kicks in to adjust the temperature and the cooking cycle to deliver perfect results with frozen foods.
From seriously great frozen pizza to frozen chicken drumsticks and so much more, no defrosting is necessary with the Breville Mini Smart Oven.
At this point, it’s worth highlighting the decent amount of space this thing provides you within size. As mentioned, it’s a tiny countertop oven designed to occupy as little counter space as possible. But it’s still a versatile countertop oven that can easily handle an 11-inch pizza, a generous batch of English muffins, or a decent-sized serving of delicious cookies.
Set the wire rack to its lowest height, and you can even fit a modest-sized chicken inside, while the removable crumb tray makes it easy to keep clean and hygienic.
Breville Mini Smart Oven: Main Features
The Breville Mini Smart Oven comes with a long list of claims to fame from the manufacturer, which suggests a fairly steep learning curve. In reality, it’s one of the easiest ovens to get to grips with you’ll ever add to your kitchen.
Here’s the basic rundown of the most important features you’ll come to count on in no time:
•Element IQ technology
•Four quartz elements for fantastically even cooking
•1800 Watts of cooking power
•Color changing LCD display for precise temperature control
•Makes perfect pizza and other dishes from frozen
•Stainless steel exterior that stays cool while in use
•Multiple preset functions for one-touch cooking, baking, and reheating
•Makes it effortless to reheat leftovers quickly and evenly
•Surprisingly easy to use for such a smart appliance
Coupled with an affordable price, it’s easy to see why the Breville Mini Smart Oven consistently ranked within the top five ovens within its category on Amazon. It’s been a top seller since it was first debuted by Breville and continues to fly off the shelves today.
Of course, it might not be quite big enough to replace a traditional oven in a busy family kitchen. But when it comes to throwing together tuna melts or a great frozen pizza in record time, this thing takes some beating.
What’s Great About the Breville BOV450XL Smart Oven?
The Breville Mini Smart Oven was built with speed, simplicity, and convenience in mind. Priorities for pretty much everyone these days.
In specific, these are the main points of appeal that make this mini smart oven an absolute must:
- Firstly, the Breville toaster oven impresses with its seriously slick outer appearance, making it a standout addition to any kitchen. Its sophisticated design surpasses most ovens in the same price range, as expected from Breville. Additionally, the interior light is a delightful bonus, adding convenience to the cooking experience. What sets this toaster oven apart is its front-removable crumb tray, eliminating the need to open a bottom trap door or struggle with reaching the back of the unit when cleaning and replacing the tray, a significant improvement over my old oven.
- With its sophisticated heating elements, this oven can quickly reach the necessary temperatures for baking, broiling, or roasting any kind of food. It surpasses traditional ovens by eliminating the need for preheating, saving you valuable time and energy. Personally, I have used the toast, bagel, pizza, and bake programs, all of which perform exceptionally well. Unlike most baking programs, this oven requires you to manually set the time and temperature. It efficiently cooks everything to perfection, heats up faster, and avoids unnecessarily warming the entire kitchen. The only drawback is that Breville does not offer heavy-duty stainless pans specifically designed for this oven.
- For once, the incorporation of multiple smart functions and culinary presets in the Breville Mini Smart Oven doesn't add to its complexity. This oven allows you to effortlessly make delicious bagels in just a matter of minutes, thanks to its convenient bagel mode. Furthermore, the ten cooking functions of this oven appear to work seamlessly, with the toasting and bagel modes standing out as particularly excellent options.
- The 'A Bit More' feature of this intelligent oven is simply fantastic, making it a must-have appliance for any kitchen. Additionally, the inclusion of the "Snowflake" symbol specifically designed for cooking frozen food is an absolute game-changer. Gone are the days of messing around with temperature adjustments and timing alterations; this oven takes care of everything on your behalf. For my first test, I decided to cook a 12" frozen pizza, and it came out perfect. Now, I'm eagerly anticipating the opportunity to try a freshly made pizza. The only minor flaw I noticed was a slight unevenness in doneness at the front of the oven. However, considering the overall performance, it's a small trade-off for the convenience and exceptional cooking results this oven offers.
- Simple yet essential, the removable crumb tray works wonders in keeping the inside of the oven clean and hygienic. With no unpleasant build-ups and no smoky kitchens while the elements are at work, this feature proves to be a true asset. Although cleaning is relatively easy, there is room for improvement. The crumb/drip tray conveniently slides out from the front, but there is a bar running across that tends to collect crumbs, which could be addressed for even more effective cleaning.
- Of course, there’s also the peace of mind that comes with picking up a mini oven from as reputable toaster oven brand as Breville. You know it’s of a decent quality standard, and every sale is covered by an extensive warranty, adding up to total peace of mind.
What’s Not So Great About the Breville BOV450XL?
In all fairness, you’d have to dig pretty deep to find any major flaw with this particular oven. Though if nitpicking is your thing, you could probably say the following are areas for potential improvement:
•It’s a shame the interior doesn't feature a fan to ensure even more even cooking and better temperature distribution. Though you’ll almost never find a convection fan in a toaster oven like this - particularly at this kind of price point.
•I have a couple of reviews where buyers have said the alarm that goes off when the cooking cycle is complete is too loud. For me personally, there’s no such thing - the whole point of an alarm is to ensure you hear it!
•Lastly, it would also be great if the wire rack was designed to slide out of the cooker, rather than simply being adjusted. It’s not the end of the world, but it would boost its versatility even more and make it easier to clean.
The Breville BOV450XL: In a Nutshell
As mentioned back at the beginning, I set out on my Breville Toaster Oven review to find out what exactly makes it so smart. Rather than complicating things unnecessarily, the smart settings and features of this fantastic oven are designed to make life so much easier.
Whether looking to toast bread for breakfast, crisp up a pizza to perfection or cook a modest-sized family meal from scratch, this thing really does make the whole thing a piece of cake. It hasn't got the size or capacity to replace your main oven, but as an additional convenience device in its own right, this Smart Oven represents outstanding value for money.
Nonetheless, let's see what types of toaster ovens bring to the table:
Large Toaster Ovens
Apart from the fact that they can handle large sized meals, there aren't many more benefits to large toaster ovens. On the other hand, despite being on the small side , Breville Mini Smart oven's functionality is impressive.
4 Slice Toaster Ovens
The 4-slice toaster oven gives you a perfect oven for tight living spaces, with room in it for four slices of bread or two pizza pies. Breville Mini Smart Oven is probably too complex if that's only what you need an oven for.
Toaster Ovens with 500 Degrees Fahrenheit
Average toaster ovens have 450 degree Fahrenheit. However, toaster ovens with 500 degrees have double the wattage - around 1800 watt, just like our Breville toaster oven here. Most toaster ovens' temperature is quite hard to control though, while Breville Mini Smart Oven solves that problem once and for all.
Toaster Ovens for Camping
Smallest of the bunch are the toaster ovens for camping, and If you are moving or need to transport the oven, the weight won't be an issue. There's no way of actually comparing them to Breville's Mini Smart oven, as it is not meant for outdoor use.
All in all, the Breville Mini Smart oven exceeds expectations with its versatile capabilities. While it comes with various sturdy pans, I prefer using my own bakeware. The Bake feature with Convection works flawlessly for most recipes, though sandwich bread had some issues. The internal lamp and easy cleaning are convenient features. This compact oven is ideal for individuals or couples and could replace larger ovens. The built-in light is a nice touch, and it makes toast as well as a dedicated toaster. The manufacturing quality is excellent, and the user manual is helpful. Overall, I'm thrilled with this attractive and efficient toaster oven.