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Opinion Request: Breville Mini Smart Oven

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I am thinking about getting a nice toaster oven. What do you all think of Breville toaster oven, particular the mini one:

http://www.amazon.com/Breville-RM-BOV...

If not, what is a good alternative? Thanks.

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  1. I have it and love it. I especially like the "a bit more" button which adds 30 seconds to a toast cycle. Their 3 is too light and 4 is just a tad bit too dark for me but a bit more than 3 is perfect. I also use it for small baking projects such a couple of freshly baked cookies with tea in the evening. The bagel setting is hotter on the top so if you put your bagel cut side up, the top will toast more than the already crusty bottom. I also like that the shelf can be adjusted to different heights depending upon what type of cooking you are doing.

    And just for the sake of full disclosure. I work at a retail store that sells all 3 Breville Smart ovens.

    Hope that helps. Is there anything else I can answer for you?

    Missy

    5 Replies
    1. re: missybean

      < I also use it for small baking projects such a couple of freshly baked cookies with tea in the evening>

      By the way, reading the spec, the Breville ovens seem to be even heating. Have you use them to bake like cookies and stuffs? How is the performance compare to regular big oven for baked goods?

      <Hope that helps. Is there anything else I can answer for you?>

      Which one do you have? I understand that the largest one has the most options and the biggest baking capacity. However, it also takes up the largest counter space. So I am trying to balance the counter space vs the daily usage need. Thanks for your input.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I have the biggest one. For baking, it makes wonderful corn bread muffins and breakfast biscuits. I no longer use my main oven for these items.

        http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BOV800...

        1. re: Sid Post

          Sid,

          Thanks for your response. Do you use your convection mode much? How do you like/dislike the convection mode. This function is only available for the larges one. Thanks.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I use convection modes all the time, seldomly selecting non-convection modes. Convection in my previous main oven or this "toaster" oven help things cook evenly because it reduces hot and cold "spots".

        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Yes I have used the oven to bake cookies. I'll make a batch of cookie dough and freeze it in individual portions. Then , when I want cookies, I bake just a couple for myself as needed (I have problems with portion control). The Breville works very well. I've also baked empanadas and mini muffins, roasted chicken breasts and I reheat leftovers all the time. The oven heats up quickly and for the baking I've done it works just fine.

          I have the mini/4 slice size and I've never done large scale baking in mine. I will say people who've bought the largest version with full convection often tell me that they never turn on their full size ovens any more.

          The largest is bigger than either the Compact or the Mini and other than full convection, I don't recall that it has many more features. It's really a matter of what you want yours to do for you. I would encourage you take a look at them and do an actual comparison of sizes. We usually have all 3 on display.

          Missy

      2. We love ours, but we probably don't use it to its full potential. We only use it for toast and bagels, etc.

        8 Replies
        1. re: missylrn

          Do you have the mini, compact or the standard? Although the large one is called "standard", it is actually big. It can accommodate 13 inch pizza.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I have the compact...I don't remember the mini being an option when I purchased it. The mini would have been fine for what we use it for.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Mine sees lots of "premium" frozen pizza. It's also great for steaks when all you have is an electric coil and microwave at an extended stay motel.

              1. re: Sid Post

                < It's also great for steaks when all you have is an electric coil and microwave at an extended stay motel.>

                You take your toast oven to your hotel? :) (to bake at your hotel room).

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  As a "road warrior" at times, eating out on the company expense account isn't all it is cracked up to be for extended periods.

                  Two hours give or take to drive somewhere and eat a decent meal takes a HUGE chunk of time out of my week. After a while it's hard to avoid the calorie and fat bombs at a drive thru. Using this toaster oven allows me to work or watch the news while I cook. I've spent 9 months straight (continuously) twice in a motel so, my road warrior travels can be a bit extreme.

                  1. re: Sid Post

                    I am nothing like, but I can totally imagine that traveling and eating out may not what is all cracked up to me. Yes, eating out can be nice, but it is only nice when -- it is your choosing. The way you were traveling, you were forced into the position and you also don't have time since you are working for the company.

                    I am just surprise that you travel with a really large toaster oven -- you have the biggest one.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      It's really worth it to me. Sure, lugging it around is a hassle but, so is dragging a 6 pound laptop power supply around in a shoulder bag ....

                      1. re: Sid Post

                        Yes, but lugging a 6 pound of laptop look sexy and important.

          2. Does the mini get hot like the large size? I was going to go for the large size, but then I read how hot it gets and the place where I would stick it doesn't have a lot of clearance for air to circulate.

            1 Reply
            1. re: omotosando

              It probably gets as hot as any toaster or toaster oven. The used manual for the mini says to leave 4 inches around the perimeter.

              Missy

            2. I've used the largest size and own the smallest size. I would have bought either the largest or middle size but don't have that much space in the kitchen.

              One of my closest friends owns the largest size. She bought it on the recommendation of another friend who really likes hers. My friend regularly and successfully bakes banana bread in this oven, on the regular setting. She also heats up pizza and chicken for her kids. Over thanksgiving, I used her oven to bake a dessert (some kind of fruit crumble tart thing). It worked great. Even baking, esp for the crumbly top.

              Because of my experience with her big Breville, I bought the smallest one for my parents as a xmas gift. My parents have had bad luck with their previous toaster ovens. They use their toaster oven on a daily basis - from morning toast (or chinese breads) to heating up various meats for dinner. They love this thing. When I visited them, I was so enamored with this small size, I bought one for us.

              I've roasted bone in chicken thighs many times with this smallest size. It cooks and browns evenly. I've also roasted tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables during the summer. I've also used it, with less success, in re-heating pizza and waffles. I can't get the temperature right so it always cooks too quickly or overcooks. That's more user error though.

              Anyway, I love my small oven. It holds more then you think it will.

              1. I have the mid-sized one and love it. I've baked a 9" square pan of corn bread in it and it came out beautifully. Better than the big oven, really. Makes great toast, too.

                1. I have another question. All my previous toaster ovens are inexpensive one, so they don't heat up evenly. More importantly, they don't have a preheating mode. In my regular large oven, I would set the temperature, and the oven wold take some time before getting to this temperatre. Once the termperature was researched, then it would indicate by changing the display and also beep.

                  Do these Breville Smart Ovens beep or something? ALl of my regular oven do, but none of my previous toaster ovens has this function. Thanks.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Hi Chem,

                    A couple things in response to this question and your prior questions:

                    I have the large Breville and have had it for more than two years. It's served me perfectly and while I haven't ever used the smaller versions, I highly recommend the large one if you have the space. Beyond the convection function, I just think the large one opens up a whole new set of possibilities beyond an incremental capacity increase, including replacing your main oven for many purposes that the smaller Brevilles likely couldn't handle at the same level (e.g., baking full-sized pizzas and casseroles).

                    The large Breville does pre-heat and beep (along with provide a visual message -- it also flashes when it's pre-heating) when it comes to temperature. But please note that I've measured +/- 25-50F variances between the reported temperature and the temperature as measured by my amateurish oven thermometer. Similar has been reported widely on Amazon reviews.

                    I'm not sure if the smaller Brevilles also provide audio and/or visual indications when the ovens have come to temperature - will let someone who has them comment on that. :-)

                    1. re: iyc_nyc

                      <But please note that I've measured +/- 25-50F variances>

                      I think that is probably true for most regular (full size) ovens too. Thanks for your inputs.

                      1. re: iyc_nyc

                        PS: The Breville replaces my full-sized oven for so many purposes, I can now use my full-sized oven for daily pots/pan storage. So I'm net ahead on the space. :-)

                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Chem,

                        I've got the largest, and can verify it's use for pizza. It holds a 13" round stone. It also holds a 9x13 pan without handles.

                        To your current queries, I'll answer that it does heat evenly, but weirdly, at least for toast. Toasting bread on the middle rack, the tops will brown evenly, but the bottom doesn't brown and barely dries out. I solve this by flipping the bread over mid-cycle or there-abouts. Since I'm normally tending eggs and bacon at the same time, this isn't a problem for me. It cooks other things evenly and quite well. Toast is just a bit bizarre. Maybe the smaller oven do better at it.

                        My Brevile does preheat. When the oven believes it's preheated, it beeps once and my timer starts to count down. The problem is that, like many other ovens, it's idea of pre-heating differs somewhat from mine. I think pre-heating implies that it will signal ready when it's reached the temp I've selected. This is not the case at all.

                        My Breville thinks it's reached 350º (on convection) when it's really at 240º. Another 5 minutes sees it to temp. Here's my work-around. I add 5 minutes to the timer on the Breville. When the Breville beeps, I set a 5-minute timer. When that timer goes off, I put the food in the oven. It will then cook for the correct time, at the correct temp.

                        I haven't got preheat timing figured out yet for all my needs, but I'm working on it. When I'm not certain, I stick my oven thermometer in it and don't worry about the timer. I allow plenty of preheat time, then set the correct cooking time when I add food to the hot oven.

                        Does that help?

                        1. re: DuffyH

                          <My Breville thinks it's reached 350º (on convection) when it's really at 240º. >

                          Interesting. I wonder if this is just because it is convection. Thanks. Pretty sure I want a Breville now. I just have to figure which one to get.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            My mini preheats as well and does beep when it is ready. I've never checked the actual temperature but would be happy to if you would like.

                            As far as toasting goes. Mine is also somewhat uneven. The bottom piece has lines as it rests on the shelf. The top doesn't as there is nothing between it and the heating element. But the bottom is well toasted.

                            Missy

                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Hi Chem,

                          I have this exact oven (called the Mini Smart Toaster Oven at Williams-Sonoma, where I bought it). It's great for toasting as well as baking. Regarding the pre-heating, it only takes a few minutes to get to temperature. Perhaps 5 minutes (or less) to get to 350 degrees, unlike my full-size oven which takes almost 30 minutes. And yes, it does beep when it gets to temp, and immediately starts counting down.

                          This toaster oven is perfect for our 2-person household. It toasts very well, although not as well as a regular toaster (the bottom doesn't get as brown). It warms large dishes up very well - for instance, we warmed up a good-size baking dish of artichoke dip just this past weekend.

                          I've always been a fan of toaster ovens. This one is the best I've ever had - in terms of toasting, baking options, and even cleaning. And of course, it looks good! :-)

                          1. re: goodeatsgal

                            <Perhaps 5 minutes (or less) to get to 350 degrees, unlike my full-size oven which takes almost 30 minutes.>

                            While it is understandable, it is still nice to know this. Thanks.

                            I have one last question. Since you bought the mini, it will be a perfect question. In the back of your mind, do you regret that you didn't get a large one. I am pretty set on getting a Breville and I am pretty sure that 99% of the time the Mini is sufficient for me. However, there is always that 1% of the time that I may say "Well, if only I bought the large one then I can put this pizza in" or something along that line.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              I don't regret buying the smallest one. In fact, when I was researching to buy a new range, I decided I didn't need a double oven because my Breville does such a great job. BUT, I wouldn't put a whole pizza in the small oven since I'm not a big pizza eater. Although, re-heating roasted chickens is sometimes a tight fit. I just move the rack down one slot to accommodate the bird.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                About 3 or 4 times a year I regret not having the larger, full convection version of the oven. But for the other 360 days or so, the mini is perfect. Counter space is more important to me on an everyday basis.

                                Missy

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  We've had the Mini for almost 2 years, and I've never once regretted not buying a larger size. If something is too big for the Mini, I just use the regular oven. Granted, the regular oven takes longer to preheat, but if I have something that large, I'll usually know ahead of time.

                                  I use the Mini for toast, cheese toast, roasted vegetables, crisping foods (sometimes after microwaving for a minute), tofu, and the list goes on. The only thing I can think of that I haven't used it for is meat and poultry. But that's because if I bake meat and poultry, I like to make large quantities so I can have leftovers.

                                  I really find the Mini size perfect for us. :-) (And a side benefit is that it doesn't take up as much room on the counter.)

                                  1. re: goodeatsgal

                                    Thanks beetlebug, missybean and goodeatgal.

                                    <About 3 or 4 times a year I regret not having the larger, full convection version of the oven. But for the other 360 days or so, the mini is perfect.>
                                    < If something is too big for the Mini, I just use the regular oven>

                                    Yes, I think I will be in that position too. In fact, I am pretty sure the Mini is actually larger than my previous toaster oven, so I personally will only experience an increase size of usage. Thanks.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      If counter space is an issue for you, you might want to make cardboard cutouts of the footprints of the models you're considering and see if you have room for the biggest one. I have the medium sized one and it's pretty big. I don't think I would have had room for the biggest.

                            2. Hi Chem,

                              Would you take a look at this thread and share with me any wisdom you've got? I'm specifically bumfuzzled by the relationship between my zinc anode and my DW detergents.

                              Thanks!

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/909015

                              1. I'm a bit late to the discussion but absolutely recommend the Breville mini smart oven. I have this exact one and it's been a lifesaver in summer when my apartment has been too hot to turn on my larger oven.

                                I've made roasted chicken, baked muffins and quick breads, smaller pies, baked custards, re-crisped deep fried foods, toasted bread, heated up baked goods, and other things.

                                I love the small size as it's perfect for cooking/heating/baking for one or two people. I haven't baked pizza in it, except to reheat as I have a stone that fits into my larger oven. I like that it's small and it doesn't clutter my countertop too much.

                                One of my small complaints is that the beep that alerts you that it's preheated and time is done, is a bit loud. You can hear it from clear across the room.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: daeira

                                  The beep hasn't bothered me at all. Just to give another perspective. :-)

                                  1. re: goodeatsgal

                                    +1. It's not loud, and as noted earlier, I depend on the beep for my timing. If it didn't beep, how would one know when to add food?

                                2. Chem,

                                  If you haven't bought one yet, there's a used one on Amazon for $102.

                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listin...

                                  1. Small update. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond with the intention of getting my Mini Smart Oven. Alas, it has the regular and the compact, but it has sold out the Mini. I will wait for a week or two to try again. :) Looking forward.

                                    I was so close of getting the compact instead.

                                    1. Just got my Breville Oven. Apparently, it took me this long to decide. I always knew I want one. I just couldn't decide the "size". Finally, I got the Mini (smallest) one. It is still plenty large compared to all the other toaster ovens I have had in the past.

                                      So far so good. It really heats up evenly and quickly too.

                                      Thanks.