The phrase "toaster oven" has a range of meanings. It can signify a simple appliance capable of basic tasks, a moderately capable machine that makes dinner prep easier or — in this case — a kitchen superstar whose talents might just put your regular oven to shame. Let's talk about a member of that third category.
Smart Oven Air Fryer Toaster Oven$380
The Breville Smart Oven Air is super-adept at all the duties of a regular toaster — and in addition, it's stellar at baking, roasting, and yes, even air-frying. I'm in love.
And you're in luck. Because right now, this beauty is on sale at Amazon right for a jaw-dropping $280, down from it's normal price of $350.
I was thrilled to discover that the Breville Smart Oven Air warms up much faster than my main oven; it takes around five minutes to come to temperature, while my regular range can sometimes take 20 minutes. Another plus: Heating up the toaster oven doesn't heat up the whole house, like my regular oven. That was a godsend in summer.
It's also made me want to entertain. It's so easy to cook for a crowd with two legitimate ovens. I make my main course (like a roast) in the Breville, and use the primary oven for sides. Total game changer!
And not to bury the lead, but this Breville is also an air fryer, which means I basically use it daily to make chicken, Brussels sprouts, fries — delicious, quick weeknight fare — with no effort at all. When football season starts, I'll be doing air-fried Buffalo wings on Sundays and hosting friends.
As you might expect, I'm not the only one who loves the Breville Smart Oven Air. The crowd is going wild for this baby. One reviewer, of nearly 5,000 five-star fans, said this Breville actually replaced his large oven for a lot of their cooking. “This is really a true oven that can cook anything that your main oven can,” he said. “Most interesting is the air-frying mode. Not only does this eliminate the need for a separate appliance, this is a great way to cook frozen snack foods like fries and onion rings, evenly browning and crisping perfectly.”
In super-convection mode this clever Breville circulates a greater volume of hot air than normal ovens. Able to detect (and eliminate) cold spots, it's a champ at cooking (or reheating) foods evenly.
Programming options are impressive. There's a “Phase Cook” feature that allows you to set two different cooking modes, one after another. “You can for example quickly crisp and brown the outside of a roast and automatically switch to a lower, slower cooking method for the remainder of the time,” this happy reviewer explains. “This is one of my favorite features, and makes it possible to achieve incredible results with little effort.”
Even pros love it: “I am a professional chef, and this product delivers! First and foremost it is a top-of-the-line toaster oven the size of a small oven.... It has no hot spots because of its 6 computer controlled heating elements and a turbo fan to seal the deal.... Incredibly simple to use and accurate at low or high temperatures. Yes you can dehydrate to make MSG-free beef jerky, yes you can caramelize meats with precision, yes you can even proof bread! The darn thing preheats in 2 to 4 mins!”
“My wife and I have found that the Breville is our go-to oven for most things,” raved another shopper. “It pre-heats faster than our large floor oven and it does not heat up the entire kitchen. I've found the controls to be both intuitive and useful. I especially like the temperature control selections for broiling which our large oven does not offer. I can choose "low broiling" on our Breville while our floor oven has one choice, "max heat." The "low broil" temp is way better at putting a crisp on left-over french fries without burning them.”
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.