1. Breville Smart Oven PRO [BOV845BSS] – Editor’s Pick, Best Overall Toaster Oven
Dimensions (in): W-18.5 x D-15.8 x H-11 | Max Fit: 6 slices, 13” pizza, a whole chicken | Number of Presets: 10 | Power: 1800W | Features: Convection, Excellent Element IQ technology, Auto Shut-Off, Auto Eject, Non-Stick Interior Coating, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display
Exquisite design that screams PREMIUM and DURABLE
Gorgeous isn’t a word many would use to describe a standard toaster oven. It’d appear sarcastic at best, or downright inappropriate at worst.
If you’re going to pay top dollar for a top-of-the-line model of the best toaster oven series on the planet, it may as well add to the aesthetics of your kitchen not detract from it.
The Breville Smart Oven Pro is a beaut adorned with brushed stainless steel, giving it a refined, sharp, sleek look that passes a firm message to any casual observer—‘this was not cheaply built.’
And, boy, is that an accurate message!
The Breville BOV845BSS will serve you well, and for a long time; regardless of whether you use it occasionally or every other day.
Performance that blows you away
The Breville Smart Oven Pro is the benchmark of toaster oven performance.
For starters, it employs the proprietary Element IQ technology exclusive to the Smart Oven series. Aptly named, the technology involves the use of FIVE (5) quartz heating elements that are independent and controlled smartly to deliver optimum heat to the right spots at the right time for precision cooking.
The result is outstanding. Toasts are sufficiently, evenly brown on both sides without grate marks. Roasts are succulent and crispy. Cupcakes have an even yellow shade with perfectly rounded tops, and are delectably airy and moist; especially in convection mode.
Talking about convection mode, it is one of TEN (10) pre-set cooking functions, each of which has a unique time and temperature setting suggested by the oven. The convection mode speeds cooking time by up to 30%, with terrific results. And that’s in addition to the general ultra-low preheating time of the BOV845BSS, thanks to its 1800 watts power rating.
However, should you want to take things slow, the BOV845BSS has a slow-cook function to tenderize and develop complex flavors. The slow-cook function can run for up to TEN (10) hours.
Another preset that deserves special mention is the warm function, which can keep your food warm for up to TWO (2) hours.
The Breville Smart Oven Pro isn’t smart in name only. It actually remembers your selections for easy replication next time and it has temperature conversion functions.
And it has ample room to perform all of its functions exceptionally. You could
- bake a cake in it,
- broil a handful of steaks,
- stick a 13-inch pizza in it,
- fit in a 3.5-quart Dutch oven with a lid or a 5-quart Dutch oven with a foil; or
- roast a whole chicken with it
Oh, and the top is designed to function as a plate warmer.
Unparalleled functionalities in a complete package
The Breville Smart Oven Pro BOV845BSS muffles the competition with its complete range of vital features. It includes all the bells and whistles that you’d expect a premium toaster oven to have, and then some more.
- Its digital backlit LCD display presents characters that are legible to read and the soft blue or orange backlight is easy on the eyes. Providing an easy and intuitive way to select or set preferred functions or controls.
- Complementing the LCD display are clearly marked buttons, dials, and very importantly, a visual guide on the glass door indicating the optimal position to place the wire rack for each cooking function.
- The Smart Oven Pro has the best implementation of the convection add-on feature on a toaster oven, as you can turn the convection fan on or off at any time. Unlike other models that limit the use of convection to baking.
- After you finish with the settings, place your food in the oven, and it is operational; the replaceable internal halogen light illuminates your food for improved visibility through the glass door. This allows you to keep track of the cooking process without having to open the door, take the food out, and inspect closely repeatedly.
- Once cooking is complete, open the glass door and the rack would push out automatically thanks to the auto eject It is a practical feature that makes your food easily accessible and reduces the chance of accidental burns.
- Breville pushes the frontier of safety by also including an auto shut-off Safety is a big deal, as the consequences are dire. The auto shut-off feature is that extra layer of security that prevents avoidable accidents, especially for those who are forgetful or have the scary habit of leaving food unattended.
- Still, one of the most understated features of the Smart Oven Pro is its non-stick interior coating. Cleaning is hardly ever fun for most people, but the PFOA-free ceramic coating is safe and makes maintenance a breeze.
- The icing on the cake is a trio of handy accessories— the baking, broiling, and pizza pans, which complement the standard wire rack to make for a truly comprehensive, premium purchase.
The best toaster oven in 2017: Not a contest
The Breville BOV845BSS is so terrific; it is in a class of its own. Rarely do you find a product that delivers equally and exceptionally on aesthetics, functionality, usability, and safety—the FOUR metrics that matter most for a toaster oven.
- The luxurious, remarkable build and craftsmanship will fit just as nicely as any high three-figure or four-figure appliance in any high-end kitchen.
- Its performance would make you forget to use your actual, conventional oven especially for routine baking, roasting, broiling, and reheating tasks.
- The functional, accessible, user-friendly design complete with a well-detailed, comprehensive instruction book/manual makes it a pleasure to use.
- And just as importantly, features such as auto shut-off and auto-eject are the little touches that really put it head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
The Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro is the best toaster oven for most people and there’s no contest.
When Money Is No Object
Breville Smart Oven AIR [BOV900BSS] – Best Ultra-Premium Toaster Oven
There Is Always Room For Improvement
The Breville Smart Oven Pro BOV845BSS may be in a class of its own, but the Breville Smart Oven Air BOV900BSS dismantles the class system by instead taking the enviable title of best ever toaster oven to roll off the production line.
It competes with itself only as Breville outdoes itself with a toaster oven so premium it makes the Smart Oven Pro look average.
And this is not an exaggeration.
The BOV900BSS offers at least 20 new improvements over the BOV845BSS spanning virtually every department, from design to functionality (check out a detailed comparison of the Breville Smart Oven AIR 80V900BSS and the Breville Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS).
This is because it is more than a toaster oven, and more than an oven even.
It replaces your toaster (obviously); makes your main oven near redundant, to be called upon only when you need all the space you can get (replaces a main oven in a small apartment cabin, or RV); has a proofer for rising dough; and possibly replaces your slow cooker, air fryer, and dehydrator.
In fact, the only con of the BOV900BSS is that it has more features (way versatile) than some people would need.
The BOV900BSS is unchallenged at the top of the totem pole.
Breville Smart Oven AIR versus Breville Smart Oven PRO: Which Should You Buy?
Read Comprehensive Individual Reviews And Comparison Here
Buy the Breville Smart Oven AIR BOV900BSS if:
- You want to upgrade your current toaster oven and you want the best toaster oven money can buy
- You have a shortage of counter space and/or you are adverse to buying multiple kitchen appliances that perform singular functions
- You want the best available countertop oven that can, to a large extent, replace a main oven
Buy the Breville Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS if:
- The 60% markup price of the AIR over the PRO is prohibitive
- You have separate appliances for most of the extra features baked in (and do not want duplication) and/or you do not need the large size of the AIR
Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven [NU-HX100S] – Latest Technology
Panasonic is no stranger to the premium segment of the portable oven market. Its Flash Xpress NB-G110PW toaster oven is our runner-up best toaster oven giving the Breville Smart Oven Pro a run for its money (literally, at almost half the price).
Where Panasonic sets itself apart is innovation. It took the microwave market by storm with its patented Inverter technology, which actually make its microwaves regulate energy unlike the basic on/off implementation used by virtually every other microwave.
For the toaster oven market, it threw the Double Infrared technology in the works that sought to cut cooking times by up to 40%.
Not resting on its laurels, Panasonic takes it further by creating a new niche in the compact oven market. It is a bold (and expensive) step involving the expert use of three leading technologies—its widely appreciated double infrared heating; the effective, increasingly popular induction cooking; and steaming.
The enticing result is an induction oven that should replace your main oven, toaster oven, and microwave. The Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven NU-HX100S gives you the excellent performance of a toaster oven (using its double infrared heating and steam jets) with the speed of a microwave oven (using induction). You can even grill with it.
Initial reviews are decent, with Consumer Reports giving it a clean bill of health in performance. But with a price that is around double the tag of our top pick, the Smart Oven Pro; the NU-HX100S is an enterprising investment for early adopters.
Other Compelling Options
Read Comprehensive Individual Reviews And Comparisons Here
The XL models are the original members of the Breville Smart Oven series (which presently include the BSS models, reviewed above). They differ primarily in design, size (capacity), price, and the presence (or absence) of select features.
However, they are alike in having quality build, incorporating the famed Element IQ technology, and in performance.
The BOV800XL was the first member of the Smart Oven series (reason why its name is simply the Smart Oven) and it hit the market with a bang. Its success practically led to the development and subsequent release of other XL models for customers with tad more basic needs.
Breville Smart Oven versus Breville Smart Oven PRO: A Fairly Easy Choice
The BOV800XL and the BOV845BSS are alike in dimensions and performance; and share nearly the same feature set.
However, the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS is a newer release with FOUR key improvements over the Smart Oven BOV800XL.
- A slightly improved (not easy to tell, unless you look closely) design with complete brushed stainless steel appearance; the BOV800XL has a stainless steel housing but with certain areas having a silver coating/appearance
- The inclusion of an interior light that is replaceable and you can toggle on and off; the BOV800XL doesn’t have this light
- The inclusion of a new slow cook preset function, with a default “keep warm” feature available for 2 hours; the BOV800XL doesn’t have either
- It supports cooking times of up to 10 hours; the BOV800XL supports maximum cooking time of 2 hours
The Smart Oven BOV800XL does have two things going for it though:
- It has an exclusive CRANBERRY color option; not available on any other XL or BSS model
- It is a couple of dollars cheaper than the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS
My recommendation: Get the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS. The replaceable, operable interior light alone is worth the slightly higher price tag, not to mention the three other upgrades.
Breville Compact Smart Oven versus Breville Mini Smart Oven: Battle of the Ultra-Portables
If you want the best premium toaster oven available but find the footprint of the BOV900BSS, BOV845BSS, and BOV800XL to be rather too big for your available counter space; then you’d want to turn your attention to the ultra-portable Smart Oven models.
The Compact Smart Oven BOV650XL and the Mini Smart Oven BOV450XL ultra-portable duo are a lot like the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS and the Smart Oven BOV800XL duo; in that the Compact and Mini share many of the same features and have a small price difference (with the Compact being the more expensive of the two).
The duo share several of the key features we’ve come to admire about the Smart Oven series with even the most expensive models, such as:
- durable stainless steel build
- the Element IQ technology
- same immense 1800-watt power rating
- committing customized settings to memory for seamless subsequent replication
- pull-out drip/crumb tray and non-stick interior cavity coating for easy cleaning and maintenance as well as auto-shut off for safety reasons
Furthermore, they perform just as well and use their smaller size as an advantage to reduce preheating time.
That said, partly owing to the lower price they command, you’d be looking to forego some of the more premium features in the top, larger models. The Compact and Mini:
- do not have the convection feature
- do not have the ‘warm’ preset function (available in the BOV845BSS and BOV800XL) and ‘slow cook’ preset function (available in the BOV845BSS)
- do not have an interior light
- do not have separate dials for temperature/toast shade and time/number of slices
- do not have a pizza pan accessory
- have FOUR (4) elements (the BOV845BSS and BOV800XL have 5, while the BOV900BSS has 6), although they probably do not need the extra elements because of their smaller capacity
If these trade-offs are not deal breakers to you, then you’ll find either of the duo models to be a perfect.
Making a choice
The primary factor to guide your decision is how much counter space you can afford to give up, so get your tape measure out, and head to your counter.
If you have the space to fit either models, then you should get the Compact obviously. However, if available space can only fit the Mini, the only features you’d be missing are:
- design that’s a lot like that on the higher-priced models; although the design on the Mini is unique for the Smart Oven line with a powder-coated housing, and it is built with same brushed stainless steel as all higher-priced models
- the “temperature/toast shade + time/number of slices” selection dial; the Mini has buttons instead
- a 0.6 cubic feet capacity that can fit a 12” pizza; the Mini has a 0.45 cu. ft. capacity that can fit an 11” pizza
- a broil rack accessory
Still, you do not have to brood over your choice if you go for the Mini, as Breville throws in a nifty “A BIT MORE” button to marginally make up for the missing features. The button adds 30 seconds to your cooking time, which is great for those times when you need a little bit more time to get a “perfect” cooking result.
And yes, the button is unique to the Mini model. How about that?!