If you keep up with culinary trends, you’ve probably noticed that air fryers are becoming more and more popular.
Air fryers get a lot of hype in general, but Breville’s air fryers seem to get even more praise.
We took a look at one of the brand’s most popular ovens, Breville Smart Oven Air to see what all the hype is about. Here’s a full breakdown.
What Is An Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a small convection oven. In contrast to a traditional fryer, an air fryer uses convection technology that circulates hot air around your food at high speeds. This cooking technique produces what is known as the Maillard reaction.
In simple terms, the Maillard reaction is the chemical reaction that is responsible for the distinctive taste and appearance of browned or fried food.
Air fryers replicate the taste and appearance of fried food without having to submerge your food in oil. Plus, they can roast, bake, or grill.
Why Pick An Air Fryer Over A Deep Fryer?
Despite the frequent comparison, air fryers and deep fryers are quite different. Deciding to buy an air fryer rather than a deep fryer comes down to what you’re looking for from your oven.
Deep fryers submerge your food in hot oil. The oil itself is the conductor of heat that cooks your food, which allows for even cooking and a delicious flavor.
Many people are wary of submerging their food in too much oil. An air fryer does not cook food in this way. It is far healthier than deep-frying and allows you to replicate the look and taste of fried food without the greasiness.
What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer?
Here’s the secret: you can cook almost anything in an air fryer.
As we’ve discovered, air fryers can cook everything from a full chicken dinner to a handful of french fries.
As mentioned, these ovens can fry, roast, grill, and bake. They’re an incredibly versatile method of cooking, and they come with fully adjustable temperature settings that allow you to safely and thoroughly cook whatever you desire.
Some favorite meals for the air fryer include french fries, mushrooms, green beans, brussels sprouts, hamburgers, chicken, pork, shrimp, salmon, and onion rings.
What To Look For When Buying An Air Fryer
If you’re in the market for an air fryer, it helps to know what to look for when you shop.
There are some factors worth considering when buying an air fryer. Like anything else, a lot comes down to personal preference and your cooking needs.
Take some time to think about your eating habits. How are you planning to use the air fryer? Are you likely to use it for single meals every day, or are you planning to store it away and pull it out for special occasions? Depending upon the frequency of use, you need different features on your fryer.
- Size: Size depends upon personal preference. Are you using the fryer because of its convenience for single meals? Or do you need to fit an entire family dinner inside?
- Temperature: Make sure that your air fryer has a temperature range that is sufficient to cook the foods you’re planning to make. Some air fryers intended for light use cap out at lower temperatures.
- Functions: Some people use their air fryers as a substitute for toaster ovens. Others use them to replace deep fryers. Take a look at what functions are available on each model before you buy. Can it cook everything you’d like? Does it have pre-set cooking options? What insert options are included?
- Controls: Look at the panel. Some fryers are entirely digital, and others use mechanical knobs. How is the air fryer controlled? Is it easy to use?
If you’re in the market for an air fryer, you’ve probably come across the name Breville. It is a well-respected and prolific company, and people rave about its air fryers. You might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, so were we, so we decided to take a look. Without further ado, here’s our review of the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer.
The Breville Smart Oven is a versatile piece of equipment. It is an air-fryer and dehydrator combination. As we’ve discovered, it’s the mother of all fryer-dehydrators.
- Height: 11”
- Length: 18.5”
- Width: 14.5”
- Weight: 8lbs
- Capacity: 0.8cu ft
- Material: Stainless steel
- Oven light
- 10 pre-set cooking features
- Nonstick internal coating
- 1800-watt power
- LCD display
- Slow cooker setting
- Smart Element iQ System
- Air fryer convection oven
- 13” pizza pan
- Baking pan
- Broil rack
- Slow cook
What Customers Report:
Reviews are positive for this oven. Most buyers find it easy to use, convenient, and reliable. There are stellar reviews from people who have used it to make everything from cornish game hens to cakes and loaves of bread. It is best for smaller meals and serving sizes but can also roast a chicken without issue.
We found customer feedback to be very encouraging. People who liked the oven loved it. For those who didn’t, we noticed that most seemed to have issues resulting from human error or misuse. That said, there are, of course, some negative reviews. Some customers report that they had to replace parts after purchase or make use of the warranty policy.
What We Liked:
We were very impressed with Breville’s oven. The extra features are what make this oven stand out above the rest.
The oven comes with a range of options, including a slow cooking mode and what Breville calls a Smart Element iQ System. The slow cooking mode is handy for long winter days. Just pop your dinner into the air fryer in the morning, and by the time you get off work, you have a hot roast at home waiting for you. The iQ System is an impressive feature. The heat transfer system uses five quartz elements to keep consistent and precise heat on targeted points in the oven. Because of this, you can retain full control over your cooking.
Breville’s oven also has ten pre-set options to help save time and effort on the most common dishes, from beef to chicken or pizza. Also, the air fryer oven features a warming mode that keeps heat retained at a low level for four to 10 hours or at high for two to eight hours. This warmer setting automatically comes on when your food finishes cooking. On top of that, the oven has an auto-eject rack, automatic shut off system, and a temperature conversion feature.
We also liked the size of the oven. It is compact and tidy in the kitchen but large enough to fit up to a 13-inch pizza, giving you the best of both worlds – you don’t have to sacrifice too much counter space in the kitchen; however, you can use it for proper cooking.
What We Didn’t Like:
There wasn’t much that we didn’t like about this oven. Some of the finer details could be of higher quality. After extensive use, the buttons lose some sensitivity, and the air fryer oven gets pretty hot after use. If kept in a confined space or close to outlets, this could be a safety issue later on.
Some customers have also reported that they need to replace parts after purchase, though this is not highly unusual. Other customers have noted that, unlike a traditional oven, this is not insulated and must have sufficient space around it to avoid overheating. As a result, similar heat issues would arise with any comparable air fryer.
Our Final Word:
Here’s what it comes down to, we love the Breville Smart Oven. We give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Its features are well-thought-out, and the implementation is just as good. It is a reliable and well-built oven.
Also, the Smart Oven is incredibly versatile. It can handle just about anything, from full meals to quick snacks. When you think of air fryers, you tend to think of quick and easy fried food. With this oven, that’s not the case.
This Smart Oven is a wonderful standalone product; however, it can also serve to replace many kitchen appliances due to its range of functions. It acts as a traditional oven, toaster, warmer, slow cooker, deep fryer, and more.
If you’re looking for an air fryer oven, we highly recommend checking out the Breville Smart Oven first.