on January 1, 2015
We have had this for about 9 months now and have been very happy with it! We've had no issues, clean up is a breeze and it's simple enough that my two daughters (8 and 11) can both use it with no issues. The pan that came with it is fine but I bought a set of pans separately that I like much better that included a sheet tray, rack, muffin pan, pizza stone, and roasting pan. We have toasted, baked, reheated, broiled and roasted all with great success. I love not having to run the "big oven" for small things and what a help at Thanksgiving!
I personally do not find the beep overly annoying or too loud as other reviewers have stated and I am actually sensitive to loud or high pitched noises (I have retracted eardrums making some sounds painful). In my opinion it's better to be loud than too quiet for this application anyway. Maybe it's because I have two young girls or a barky chihuahua...but it's better to hear it than not...and really, it's not like it beeps for a long time...a second or two and it's over...not worth complaining about it in my opinion.
I also don't have an issue with the handle sticking out too far. It certainly doesn't stick out past the edge of the counter or get snagged on anything and I'd rather there be room enough that my children (or me) don't accidentally hit the door with our fingers and get burned. There is room enough that that is not a concern.
The rack not coming out automatically when you open the door is actually a feature I prefer. I am not incapable or lazy enough that I can't slide the rack out on my own when necessary and it only takes a second to accomplish. I find it annoying when you just want to pop the oven open to check what you are cooking that the whole thing slides out...and in my experience in the past it would sometimes catch and the door wouldn't close nicely when you wanted to close it back up...esp with a pan of food on it. You'd have to wiggle and jiggle it to get the process started....granted that was a long time ago, maybe they make em differently now, but either way I prefer my rack to stay in place until I pull it out. I actually bought a little red silicone tool made to push and pull the hot oven rack in and out with and I store it in a small metal magnetic basket that is stuck to the side of the oven. Handy and ready whenever I need it.
The only thing I would want to make this better would be that Breville made one of their bamboo boards that fit the top of this oven. Since they don't I found my own solution. I bought a board that fits PERFECTLY on top of this little oven...the Architec Gripperwood Gourmet Sheesham Cutting Board, 10 by 15-Inch (http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007ZGN8Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and a set of 2 Silicone Baking Sheet Mat Liners 8½" X 11" (http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F2LRL3Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) that I placed underneath the board for heat protection. Works WONDERFULLY....adds counter space, looks great, and it prevents the problems involved with my children turning the oven on when they've left something on the top of the oven...like the book my oldest was reading while making herself some toast a while back!
Overall, I am happy we chose this unit. We are a family of four and it's a great size for us! I do wish the price were lower but I wish that about lots of things, LOL.
on February 2, 2012
When our trusty, cheap, Black and Decker toaster oven started spewing smoke out of its side, we began a quest for something that would fit on our cramped counter. There were few choices garnering any consistently high reviews so we opted for a new Breville product hoping that the price would somehow be justified. And it IS!
We've never had an oven that cooks so perfectly. My husband loves it and now makes all his own toasted and baked items; that alone is worth five stars.
I have only two complaints. First, I think the handle is a Breville design signature with the intention of giving the oven aesthetic substance. However, it's just too big and sticks out too far. I think it's the same handle they use on much larger ovens. It eats up needless space and when inches count, it matters.
Second, and this bothers me so much I knocked off one-plus stars, the buzzer that alerts you when the oven comes to temperature, when the oven time has finished, and seemingly whenever it has any excuse whatsoever to go off, sounds like a five-ton truck backing up right in your kitchen. I swear, every time it goes off, it nearly gives me a heart attack. One would think that a very small oven would be designed for a very small room and not need an alarm that could wake the dead.
on April 12, 2014
I was a bit disappointed when I opened the box, pulled out the oven, and saw a black mark on the left side of the oven. I suspect it was a spot where the power cord rubbed against the side during shipping. I was able to wash much of the darkness off, but a faint line remains. Check out the photo I posted and look for the dark perpendicular line in the middle. I'm already over it but wanted to warn you just in case it's a deal breaker for you. Ignore the other colors in the photo. Those are just reflections.
Now to the cooking: First thing I did after following all the directions to prepare the oven for first use, was broil a 1.5" thick filet mignon. That thickness put it very close to the quartz cooking rods and I was a little nervous about how that would work out. As it turned out, it worked fine. The toaster oven's broiling setting out-performed my stove's broiler by far. I went by Omaha Steaks' cooking chart to determine the time and got a perfect result. Unlike my stove's oven, the door should be all the way closed when using the Breville's broiler. There was flaming a couple of times, but that had no adverse effect. Next time I'll remember to add some water to the broiler pan.
After cooking the filet, I wiped the inside of the oven and the glass door to remove grease. It came right off with just a warm, damp cloth. I also wiped off the oven's rack and pulled out the crumb tray to see if it had any grease on it. I didn't expect to find any, but there was a strip of it along the outer lip. That, too, just wiped right off. I think that little bit of maintenance is all that's needed and it takes just about a minute or minute and a half.
Speaking of the crumb tray, some here have mentioned how hard it is to get the tray into the oven. It's really not hard once you know the trick: make sure the handle on the tray is positioned with the wide part of the black handle on the bottom. It may feel counter-intuitive, but it's the right way. Then do not do what I did (I kept trying to find a groove to slide it into under the door). I was trying in the wrong spot. It's not easy to see, but right under the glass door (in the closed position) there's a narrow slit where the tray slides in -- and I mean RIGHT below the glass door, almost touching it. Not lower, which to me felt like a more intuitive place for it.
The second thing I made in the oven was thick-sliced sourdough toast. I set the oven for #5 darkness and one slice. It came out perfect, though visually it could fool you. The toasting can look a little spotty and the underside is not as dark as the top side, but the proof is in the eating. If I'd closed my eyes and eaten the toast, I would not have noticed the spotty look or the paler underside. The toast was delicious (Panera Bread) and here's the thing that surprised me: the toast held its warmth even after I applied very cold butter. That is a huge plus for me because toast so often turns cold after the butter is put on it.
I haven't baked anything yet. If I have less than stellar results when I do, I'll update this review to reflect that.
Some have mentioned their fear that the heat of the oven will harm the power cord. I do not share that fear. There are protrusions on the back of the oven to keep you from pushing too close to your back splash, and I pulled it out even a little bit more than those spacers allowed. The cord is not near the oven's surfaces. Another thing about the cord is its design: it's kind of hard to describe, but it's made so you can put your finger through a loop to pull the plug from the wall. My Breville toaster's plug was made the same way and, though it seems like a minor feature, I appreciated it a lot because I was often unplugging the toaster to plug in my bread machine. I've posted a photo of the plug on the product page.
Someone also mentioned the open areas around the door as if that meant there was a poor fit. Those open areas (tiny though they be) are necessary during broiling because they let smoke escape. They are not a flaw; they're a benefit.They also allow steam to escape when moist foods are prepared.
Those who mentioned the loud beeping alerts must have ovens different from mine. Yes, I hear the beeps even a room or two away, but I wouldn't call them loud. I like being able to do other things while waiting for pre-heating or while waiting for cooking to finish, so I appreciate being able to hear a beep without staying in the kitchen. The sound is no louder than the beeping from my microwave oven.
The odor someone mentioned is to be expected. It's a burn-off you're told to expect when prepping the oven for first time use (the oven is supposed to bake -- while empty -- at 425-degrees for 16 or 17 minutes before you use the oven for food preparation).
As for those who worry about burns, I see the threat as no different than experienced with an ordinary stove. I wouldn't put my hand on the stove top or door when baking or broiling something. Use some common sense, and use a pot holder. Let the oven cool before touching it with your bare hand. Cool-down does not take long.
Be aware that the rack will pull all the way out if you tug it long enough because the oven has no built-in stops like ordinary ovens do. My former toaster ovens were made the same way. It takes very little time to get used to that and act accordingly when removing food from the oven.
After toasting, don't worry about the darkness and number of slices section remaining lighted after the toasting is finished. It will eventually shut off. It appears to be in standby for a while in case you want to toast or cook "a bit more". The light stays on for a few minutes with the other settings, too.
I was disappointed that Amazon does not offer the broiling pan and rack for this model (the oven comes with a baking pan, but that's all in the way of cookware. I had to go to Breville's website to order the broiler pan and rack (I wasn't pleased that the shipping costs more than the item). Since I didn't have it yet when I broiled the filet, I used Nordic Ware's broiling set designed for toaster ovens (sold here on Amazon). The Nordic Ware product turned out to be pure junk and I'm returning it. On that product's page, I've posted a photo of the unfixable mess I had after one use.
I have no children in my house, but if I did, I wouldn't let them use the oven until they're mature and have been carefully taught the rules to follow to avoid burns. Before they reach that maturity, I would make sure they understand they're to stay away from the oven when it's in use -- just as you would keep them away from regular ovens when they're in use.
Finally, read the manual. Really. Some complaints I've seen in a few reviews indicate the customer did not read the instructions before firing up the oven. There are warnings and tips throughout the few pages of the manual that should be checked before using the oven. There are also some troubleshooting tips, plus a few recipes (none of which tempted me to make them).
UPDATE: I just baked some chocolate chip cookies and they came out perfectly. Didn't stick to the bake pan (I used the pan that came with the oven; there was room for nine cookies).
There's an item I recommend you buy along with the oven: Winco 3-Prong Star Ice Tong, Stainless Steel. Amazon sells it. The reason I recommend it is because it's awkward to pull out the rack using a pot holder, so I use the tongs to grasp and pull the rack. Works great and I think you'll be thankful you have it.
ANOTHER UPDATE: It took me a month to notice that the door handle on my oven was a tad crooked. Up close to it, I didn't notice it, but one day I glanced at the oven from across the room and it jumped out that the handle wasn't straight. There was no way for me to adjust it and it wasn't a big deal, but I did email Breville to tell them they had a quality control issue. I didn't ask for anything when I sent that email off late one night. The next day a Breville rep called and told me they were sending me a new oven. They wanted the old one back to study the problem so they sent me a label for return postage. I consider that excellent customer service.
on February 23, 2013
A bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. This is a great looking toaster oven with a lot of functions. People immediately notice that this is not just any toaster. The clean finish and simple interface, coupled with perfectly toasted bagels, gets this product 5 stars. HOWEVER, unlike most cheaper toaster ovens I've owned, the Mini's rack does NOT slide out when you open the door. So be careful removing hot food from the oven, or have a pot handle close by. In my book, this subtracts a star.
I debated between the Compact and the Mini. I wanted a toaster that I could place on my microwave. I was a bit concerned that the depth of the Mini might be too much. It didn't help that the product summary states the dimensions of the Mini as BOTH 16x13x9 inches and 15.5x14x8.8 inches? The Mini actually is smaller than expected, because the door handle added ~2 inches. With that in mind, the actually footprint is closer to 15.5x10.75 inches(Height 8.5 inches).
on April 23, 2013
After using it for a month, here are my thoughts and my families ideas about the oven:
Pros:: Sides don't heat up
Has a darkness feature.
Preheats frozen food.
3 pronged plug so that you won't get zapped when you touch it.
Great for aestetics value
Cons:: The handle is a little big and sticks out far(and wastes space)
Extremly loud sound that is quite annoying (when it buzzes)
A little bit pricier than other ovens.
The rack doesn't slide out when you open the oven.
The red light that says when it's hot doesn't light reliably(sometimes).
Scratches easily on the top and sides (so don't put stuff on it when it's hot)
CAUTIONS FOR BUYERS: It's a little bit smaller then it's labeled.(the handle adds 2 inches)
The dimensions are really 15.5'' x 10.75'' x 8.5''
It can't really hold a whole pizza.
The red light that says when it's hot doesn't light reliably(sometimes).
on March 14, 2013
I should have bought the Breville years ago instead of wasting money on those cheap toaster ovens that you replace over and over. It toasts, bakes, broils, does everything great. Plus it looks great in my kitchen. The mini smart oven does not take up too much counter space (I used to have a toaster oven and a toaster, now one great appliance does it all) even though I have a galley NYC kitchen. I bought a second wire rack so I can use two levels at once. I love the "a bit more" button if you just want something toasted or heated a little more. It knows just how long to do it depending on if it's toasting, baking, etc. The settings are easy to manage and work great. I don't find the beeping noise that sounds when the oven is done preheating and when it is done cooking too loud or annoying at all as some reviewers have written. I never write reviews, but this is hands down better than any toaster oven I have ever owned. It's worth the investment.
on May 5, 2013
I bought one of these for my ex-wife and then decided that I was so impressed with the reviews I had read that I would buy one for myself. First, the manual is quite clear. Some reviewers complained of the loudness of the signal when the oven finishes, but I found it to be just loud enough. I am impressed by the oven's quick preheat. One must, however, be ready to insert the item to be cooked, because, when the preheat phase is done, the oven immediately starts the countdown of the cooking cycle. It does a great job on frozen bagels. I have successfully baked a potato, a chicken breast, and a pork chop. I have also broiled a hamburger patty and a fish filet. I have even set the temperature low and warmed a plate to accommodate a meal I was cooking on my stove. Having the digital display for time and temperature makes for good control in cooking.
on February 2, 2015
Ahhh, the toaster looks great, but it does not toast bread evenly. I'm adding to photo to show how the top and bottom toasts differently. I tried calling the company, but spent 27 minutes on hold, never was able to reach a human. I tried a second toaster at a retail store, and the results were the same. Arrrgh.
on May 25, 2013
Lets see, we tried about 5 from target and a few more from wally world. Every one went back from serious issues from very hot handles and sides, to terrible toasting performance and build quality.
Got this based on AVG review and I'll tell you what. It now gets more use than our Microwave and normal oven. It is small, but deep enough to use it for a lot of things. The whole thing about intelligent heating elements may have some merit. I'll be darned, but it cooks and toasts perfectly even!
We love this appliance, and to love an appliance is saying something, isn't it?
on May 2, 2013
I call it a toast over rather than a mini oven, but if I were alone or didn't bake much, I can actually see using it for my main oven. We really like this Breville - it's well-constructed, a great size, and the crumb tray is well-designed to easily come out and back in without spraying crumbs everywhere. You can put a lot in it - definitely 4 pieces of toast, and could probably squeeze more in, too. We first set the toast setting at 6 - and that worked for a few times, then it began to burn the toast, so we adjusted it to 5, and that works fine. I don't know why things changed, but maybe new appliances have to settle in. One thing I'd change is that I'd like the rack to slide out automatically - though I surely wouldn't want that feature to spoil the design of the oven. Right now I keep a chopstick next to the oven to pull the rack out. Anyway, it's a fantastic little oven, and I'd buy it again.