Breville’s premium oven is the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer, a smart, stainless steel, air frying, super convection oven (model number BOV900BSS) that is large enough to fit a 14-lb turkey. This is not your basic toaster oven. The Smart Oven Air is also the most expensive oven that Breville makes. This review will walk you through whether the Breville Smart Oven Air is worth the price.
If you just want to see the Breville Smart Oven Air on Amazon, you can see the current oven air fryer pro price and free shipping options, as well as shipping times here.
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Breville is an Australian company (based in Sydney) of small home appliances, including premium countertop ovens, non-premium ovens (like a traditional toaster oven), blenders (you can see our review of Breville’s premium Super Q blender here and see how it compares to other blenders here), microwaves, very high-end espresso machines (see our review of the Breville Barista Express here) and even makes coffee machines for Nespresso. The company was founded in 1932 and the brand Breville name was derived from the last names of the two founders: Bill O’Brien and Harry Norville.
The descendants of Bill O’Brien worked at Breville for the next three generations growing the business geographically and with new products. In the course of developing new products, Breville has been awarded over 100 patents and 40 design awards. Breville developed the toastie sandwich maker in 1974, an early version of a toaster oven and an instant success. Over 400,000 of those early toaster ovens were sold in Australia in the first year, putting Breville on the map in their home country followed by similar success in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The Breville brand was introduced to the United States in 2002 and has introduced juicers, pressure cookers, food processors, and blenders in recent years from its humble toaster oven. Sales for its juicers doubled in the U.S. in 2011 after a Breville juicer was featured in the Netflix documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’. The Breville Smart Oven is also one of Breville’s newest product releases and is a much more sophisticated product than Breville’s original toastie or even a toaster oven.
The stainless steel Breville Air Fryer has a lot of features that are similar to Breville’s other ovens, or even a toaster oven. But what sets the Breville premium ovens apart is the quality of the build, the oven size, and the multiple functions including an easy to use smart cooking system.
Many of these functions are what you would expect a countertop oven to have, like slow cook and baking functions, but the Smart Oven Air also has a few more like Air Fry (no cooking oil required-just hot oven air), Dehydrate and Super Convection. Air Fry mode uses the oven’s Element IQ smart system with Super Convection to better circulate air inside the oven for the best crisp. Air fryers are generally considered by health experts to be a healthier way to fry than conventional oil-based frying. Super Convection operates the built-in convection fan at an even higher speed than standard Convection cooking. The two-speed convection fan in this BOV900SS is one of the only two-speed fans on the small appliance market.
The Element IQ system works in every cooking function to optimize the independent quartz heating elements, convection fan, and time through a PID temperature control to create the best results for each function. You can use this automatic system for each mode or just use your oven manually. This smart oven air fryer oven also has a lot more interior space than the other Breville ovens.
Breville has a summary video of the Breville Air Fryer that you can see below if you’d like to see it in action.
By comparison, the lowest-priced Breville countertops don’t have convection fans and are much smaller in size. These lower-priced ovens are not convection ovens, while the Breville Smart Oven Pro (a lower cost, less capable Breville model) has a convection fan but not a two-speed convection fan.
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer has thirteen preset functions, that’s a lot. These functions are Bake, Roast, Broil, Toast, Bagel, Warm, Pizza, Proof, Air Fry, Reheat, Cookies, Slow Cook and Dehydrate.
Each of these preset functions works with the product’s Element IQ System and each of the six oven heating elements to automatically cook for best results. These elements are located on the top and bottom of the Smart Oven’s oven and each element is turned on or off at higher or lower power by this automatic “IQ” system, based on the function that you choose.
The Element IQ System described above uses the oven’s heating elements at higher or lower temperatures and turns some on or off to best cook for the mode you choose and each one is displayed in the LCD display on the front of the oven with an indicator to tell you which mode is selected. We detail these modes here so you know what kinds of things you can cook with your Breville Air Fryer.
Roast mode is designed to cook thick cuts of meat or poultry in the Breville Air Fryer. Ideally, roasting adds a crisp exterior to what you’re cooking while leaving the insides moist and tender. Note that when you’re using Roast, use rack position 6 in the oven (the rack positions are indicated on the oven’s window to help you know where position 6 is located).
Bake mode in the Breville Smart Oven Air is designed to use heat evenly in the top and bottom of your oven for cooking cakes, muffins, and similar food. Baking also works well with dense savory frozen dishes like lasagna or pot pies in your included baking pan or on the wire rack. Like in Roast mode, use oven rack position 6 when using Bake mode, and use the rack position indicator on the oven window to tell where position 6 is located.
Broiling is about searing the top side of your food at high temperatures. Broil mode in the Breville Smart Oven Air uses the heating elements at the top of the oven at their highest power to crisp open-faced sandwiches, thinly sliced meat, fish, sausages, and vegetables.
Toast is what you might expect in this air fryer, the same as in a toaster oven but with a lot more control. Toast mode basically cooks the top layer of bread while keeping the inside soft and moist. Use Toast mode in the Breville Air to also heat and crisp English muffins and frozen waffles. Use oven position 4 in Toast mode (see the rack position indicator on the window). The oven is designed to fit up to 9 slices of bread. Use the “Time” dial on the oven’s control panel to select the number of slices that you’re toasting.
Bagel mode in the Breville Air Fryer is designed to cook the inside of a bagel, crumpet, or specialty thick bread and only lightly toast the outside. Use rack position 4 in Bagel mode (see the positions indicated on the window). The oven is designed to fit up to 10 bagel slices.
Warm mode keeps your food warm after you cook it in the Air Fryer. You can choose anywhere from 120 to 480 degrees Fahrenheit (50 to 250 degrees Celsius) in Warm mode for up to 72 hours.
Make pizza with pizza mode in the Air Fryer. The heating elements in Pizza mode are set to melt cheese and crisp toppings while also adding crispness to the crust. Use the 13-inch pizza pan that comes with your Breville for cooking pizza and put it inside your oven when it’s preheating. The pizza pan should be used in rack position 7 (see the window for rack position indicators).
Proof mode uses a controlled heat setting to raise “yeasty” bread or other dough inside your Breville product. You can choose the heat setting in Proof mode anywhere from 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 38 degrees Celsius). Up to 2 hours of cooking time can be selected in Proof mode.
You may want to know whether this air fryer oven makes crispy french fries?
Ary Fry is meant to mimic a traditional oil-based deep fryer to crisp your food, but without the oil. Most doctors would recommend that you do not make a habit out of eating foods cooked in a traditional oil-based deep fryer because of the saturated fats that are absorbed into the food while cooking them. Air frying mode doesn’t use cooking oil, just heated oven air to air fry your food so you’re doctor should be much happier about that.
Super Convection is used in air frying to crisp your food. This high-speed convection mode uses the convection fan at high speed to move heated air around your food while it’s cooking, that’s what gives it the crisp. This faster convection mode also cooks your food faster than standard Convection mode, which is even better. Use the air/fry/dehydrate basket or tray included with your Breville product when air frying. You can still make crispy french fries with this air fryer but without the oil.
Reheat mode in the Breville Air Fryer is designed to reheat refrigerated or frozen food without drying it out or overcooking it. The default temperature for Reheat is 325 degrees Fahrenheit. The default Reheat cooking time is 15 minutes.
Slow Cook mode uses low cooking temperatures and long cooking times to cook meat “slowly” in your smart oven. Slow cooking is usually applied to ribs, brisket, and many other foods too like turkey, soups, and stews. Use rack position 8, the lowest rack position, in this mode. Choose either “HIGH” or “LOW” heat settings in the Slow Cook mode, no other heat settings are allowed in Slow Cook, and choose up to 72 hours of cooking time.
Dehydrate uses the convection fan on Super (not standard) Convection with very low heat to help evaporate water out of vegetables, fruits, and even other foods with a lot of water. With Dehydrate, you add a whole range of things you can do with your Breville smart oven. If you use the Dehydrate mode regularly you’ll be able to find a lot of different foods that you can dehydrate regularly to build up a large food pantry for emergency storage or just because you want to dehydrate food because you prefer the taste.
Phase Cook – The Phase Cook button is located on the smart oven’s front control panel below the big Temperature dial, and reads “Phase Cook”. Use it to combine 2 functions. So, for example, use this to Broil for 10 minutes and then Bake for 1 hour. Phase Cook is only available in only Broil, Bake, Roast, Warm, and Pizza modes.
Frozen Foods – Just below the Phase Cook button is the Frozen Foods button, indicated by a snowflake icon. Use this button to evenly thaw and cook frozen foods. It works in Pizza, Air Fry, Toast, Bagel, Reheat, and Cookies modes.
Rotate Remind – Use this button (labeled “SELECT/CONFIRM”) to sound an alert when you’re cooking in different rack positions and need to switch positions. Rotate Remind only works in Roast, Bake, Warm, Pizza, Air Fry, Reheat, Pizza, Cookies, and Dehydrate modes.
Magnetic Auto-Eject Rack – Use this function in rack position 3 or 4 (see the rack position indicator on the oven window to make sure). When you open the oven door, any rack in those rack positions will automatically eject itself partially out of the oven for easy access when you’re trying to get that hot baking pan out of your oven.
Light Button – The Light Button is indicated by a lightbulb icon below the START/STOP button. Use it to turn the oven interior light on or off.
Temperature Conversion Button – The Temperature Conversion button is located on the lower right side of the control panel, indicated by a “°C/°F” icon. Use it to convert temperatures between Fahrenheit and Celsius by pressing it when Fahrenheit or Celsius is selected. It is also the button used to change the oven alert volume when you are changing the oven settings.
Crumb Tray – The crumb tray slides out under the oven door. The crumb tray collects crumbs and food debris at the bottom of the oven and slides out so you can periodically empty the tray of crumbs and debris that you would otherwise have no way of easily removing.
The stainless steel Breville Air Fryer weighs 39 pounds. This is almost twice as heavy as the Breville Smart Oven Pro (the closest model to the Smart Air), which weighs only 22 pounds. Weight isn’t always a mark of quality or lack of it, but a lot of heavier ovens are higher quality since stainless steel and additional components, and even larger ones simply weigh more than plastic or lower quality metal.
The Breville Air comes with a 2-year warranty from Breville. This warranty is a lot better than their 1-year warranty on lower-priced Breville Smart countertops but it is still too short in our opinion. The Wolf Gourmet countertop has an outstanding 5-year warranty by comparison (you can see our review of the Wolf Gourmet Countertop here). So, we recommend that you buy an extended warranty with any purchase of the Breville Air Fryer. Most extended warranty options are fairly inexpensive and usually easy to enforce. See warranty options and pricing options on Amazon here.
Breville Air Interior, Credit: newkitchenlife.com
The inside of the Breville Air Fryer oven, the “box” is about 1 cubic foot. When you subtract the space taken up by racks and heating elements or cookware like a baking pan, the “useable’ space is about 0.78 cubic feet. The dimensions for the useable space are about 16 inches wide, 7 inches high, and about 12 inches deep. In terms of what you can fit inside the oven, it will fit a 14-lb turkey, a 5-quart Dutch oven, most 9 x 13 inch pans, or a 12 cup muffin tray.
By comparison, the useable space in the Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven is about 0.72 cubic feet, even though the Wolf Gourmet Countertop “box” is 1.1 cubic feet, slightly larger than the same measure for the Smart Air. By another comparison, the Breville oven that is below the Breville Air Fryer in terms of price and features, the Smart Oven Pro, has a useable oven area of only 0.45 cubic feet. See more on the differences between these two Breville ovens in the next section below.
The exterior of the Breville Air measures 18.5 x 26 x 17 inches (D x W x H) and is wrapped in brushed stainless steel.
The biggest difference between these two Breville ovens is size. The interior size of the Pro is 0.8 cubic feet compared to the 1.0 cubic foot interior of the Breville Air Fryer. But even more of a difference is the “usable” space. After subtracting the space used by racks and other interior elements, the Pro’s usable space is only about 0.45 cubic feet compared with the Breville Air’s usable space of about 0.72 cubic feet. So, if you’re trying to make a decision to buy either one of these Breville ovens, you should consider this big difference in interior size when you’re making your decision.
The Breville Air exterior measures 18.5 inches deep, 26 inches wide, and 17 inches high, while the Pro exterior is 14.5 inches deep, 18.5 inches wide, and 11 inches high, also a big difference in size and good to know if you’re trying to make your countertop oven in a tight space.
There are also three more cooking functions in the Breville Air than in the Pro. The Breville Air obviously has an Air Fry cooking function but the Pro does not. The Smart Air also has Dehydrate and Proof cooking functions but neither one of those is included in the Pro.
Also, a very significant difference between the two is their warranty periods. The Breville Air Fryer has a 2-year warranty while the Pro has only a 1-year warranty. Both of these warranties are too short (see the section above titled What About The Breville Air Fryer Warranty?) and you should definitely buy an extended warranty if buying either one of them, but a 2-year warranty is still much better than a 1-year warranty.
For more information about the Pro, you can see our review of Breville’s Smart Oven Pro here, the Breville oven with many of the same features as the Breville Air, but smaller and less expensive.
If you don’t think you need a larger, more expensive product, and don’t need air frying, or all of the Breville Smart functions, take a look at some of the lower-priced Breville ovens that are closer to a traditional toaster oven like the Compact Smart Oven, which is reviewed here and is more comparable to a traditional toaster oven. Or you can see other smaller countertop ovens here in this review of the best countertop ovens. But in fairness, none of them is really a “toaster oven” in the traditional sense.
Breville includes a lot of accessories. These are:
The Breville Air Fryer has a lot of functions and is a lot bigger than the rest of the Breville ovens and most other countertop ovens as well. It is also the most expensive Breville oven. So is the Smart Air worth it? In our opinion, it all depends on whether you will actually use it. Breville packs a lot of features into their ovens and healthier cooking with Air Fry is a great addition to them. So is the Super Convection function, and the Slow Cook, Proof, Pizza, and even Dehydrate functions in addition to each of the more conventional ones as long as you use them.
The Breville Air’s larger size is also a great benefit to those who have the room for it on their counters and have been stymied trying to cook a decent-sized roast or other foods they regularly cook in their ovens in a traditional sized countertop or toaster oven.
In fact, many people have commented that they like the larger-sized Breville Air compared to older, smaller model toaster ovens and also appreciate all of the functions. The larger-sized oven gives them more reason to use it instead of their conventional oven for a lot more cooking than they cook do in a smaller countertop oven.
The biggest issue about the Breville Air that some have experienced is a failing or failed operating system experienced in the first year or two of using it. Small appliances are prone to having defects, a small percentage of small appliances will fail in the first year. To protect yourself against these defects, we recommend buying an extended warranty that will last beyond 2 years since the Breville Air only comes with a 2-year warranty.
The Breville Air is one of the biggest countertop ovens and has a lot of functions while at the same time is one of the most expensive countertop ovens on the market.
If you are going to use the Smart Oven Air regularly and take advantage of the different functions, or use some of them like Air Fry a lot, then the Breville Air Fryer is well worth the price in our opinion. This is especially true if you’re able to use the Breville Air Fryer in place of your standard-sized oven. For all of these reasons, we consider the Breville Air to be Breville’s best.
See the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer now on Amazon with current price and free shipping options here.
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