CNET First Look
Breville Smart OvenBreville's popular toaster oven is a reliable cooking option for small kitchens.
Hi. I'm Katie Pilkington, associate editor for CNET.com. And I'm standing next to the Breville Smart Oven. With a price point of $249 standard retail, this is one of the more expensive toaster ovens on the market. But if you're in the market for a luxury toaster oven, this is definitely worth your money. One of the reasons the Breville offers you a lot of bang for your buck is its wealth of features. It has an optional convection, and it has nine preset functions that you can use to cook a variety of foods. This brings me to one of my favorite parts about the Breville Smart Oven, which is this user interface. It involves three dials and four buttons, all of which are very easy to use and understand. It's an incredibly intuitive machine. And even without reading the manual, the average consumer could probably figure it out on their own. A feature that is both a good and bad thing about the Breville Smart Oven is its top, which gets very, very hot during the cooking process. Breville designed it to double as a plate warmer, but if you are not warming plates, you should use caution, As with all of our toaster ovens, we put the Breville Smart Oven through some pretty rigorous testing, involving toast, pizza, chicken, cookies, and burgers. And with regards to the chicken, the Breville Smart Oven was the top performer. Compared to some of the other toaster ovens, the Breville does have some hot spots. You'll notice, when making toasts, that your toast towards the center of the rack gets more brown. And when you're making pizza, the part of the pizza that is closest to the door will be brown slightly more than the rest. But overall, these warmer spots were not enough to deter us in giving it a favorable rating. The Breville Smart Oven also boasts the largest interior oven space of any of the toaster ovens that we've tested, so far. So, if you're looking for a toaster oven that has extremely large oven capacity and can handle a six-pound chicken, or a roast, or a 12-inch pizza, the Breville Smart Oven is absolutely a good choice. If you're looking for a basic toaster oven that performs all of the functions that we tested and does them well, we recommend the Panasonic Flash Xpress, which retails at $149-- though you can find it on Amazon and other sites for as low as $90. But if you're looking for more of a luxury purchase with a toaster oven and the $249 price point doesn't put you off, then the Breville Smart Oven is absolutely a recommended buy. For CNET, I'm Katie Pilkington.