Customer Reviews: Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon December 23, 2008
Color: Silver|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Breville Smart Oven is a must-have kitchen appliance. In many/most cases it can serve as a replacement for it larger cousin the conventional oven/range. However, the Smart Oven is much more energy efficient (using roughly 50% less electricity) and can fit into the smallest of kitchens

Things that we enjoy

+ Depending on the setting (Broil/Bake/Toast) you have the ability to manage the temperature zones in the oven. This helps to ensure perfect cooking depending on you individual requirements.
+ The magnetic door helps to prevent any burns (see video)
+ Door seals nicely - reducing energy waste and the unneeded heating of your home.
+ 9 programmable settings - HOWEVER - you also have the ability to tailor the settings to your individual needs.
+ Nice Stainless steel finish will look nice in all kitchens.
+ Despite being stainless steel the surface of the oven does not show too many fingerprints.
+ Three pans included - Pizza - Baking - Broiling
+ Great operating manual
+ Not just a standard toaster oven - this is also a convection oven!

Areas to improve

- The cord is a little short (less than 3 feet) - while many people may appreciate a short cord it does mean that you have to have outlet near a space where you plan to use the oven.
- You may not be able to operate other appliances on your electrical circuit - At full heat the Smart Oven will pull between 15-20 amps - make sure that you have at least a 20amp breaker on the plug that you are using.

Final Verdict.... this is an easy 5 stars - purchase with confidence.
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VINE VOICEon December 19, 2008
Color: Silver|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am totally in love with this toaster oven! It is a heavy, quality appliance, with numerous handy, smart features. I just got it today, and I will update my review later if needed. I cooked some *perfect* cupcakes in it a little while ago, so I'm going on that experience.

1. The instruction book (with about 30 recipes & ideas) is very easy to understand and follow. We had it up and going in minutes, doing the initial heating for 15 minutes to rid the heating elements of a protective coating. There was some odor (no smoke) with this process, but not that bad, and I just opened a window slightly. After this, there was no smell at all when I cooked.

2. The oven door has magnetized areas that pull the oven rack about half way out when you open the door. It's a great concept, and guess what? -- it works! Makes it so handy to get your food out without reaching in and risking a burn.

3. The interior has .8 cubic feet of space. A 12" x 12" enamel baking pan, with broil rack, and a 13" non-stick pizza pan are included, and fit snugly inside -- a pan any bigger wouldn't fit. I made 12 cupcakes at a time on the pizza pan (using silicone muffin cups) and had plenty of room. (The pizza pan didn't buckle or warp, so it's obviously a sturdy piece.) My 1/4 sheet pan and several other pieces I have fit nicely inside, which I'm so pleased about. This thing fits 6 pieces of toast! (I want to mention that they don't advise using glass baking dishes in the oven. I'm scared of breakage that I've read about, so I don't use glass anymore anyway.)

3. The glass door has markings on it to tell you which position to put the rack in (bottom, middle or top), depending on what you're cooking.

4. The LCD display is very easy to read (esp for someone who needs reading glasses like me). The temperature, function, and time controls are knobs -- similar to stereo control knobs -- and I like that you don't have to keep incessantly punching a button to go up or down; you simply twist to get where you want, and you can go slowly or quickly. Also, there are a minimum of icons (there are 3 buttons for frozen food, convection, & temperature conversion) on the controls -- most functions are spelled out so that you don't have to use a "cheat sheet" to figure out what picture stands for what!

5. The convection feature is very quiet with this oven and you can barely hear it. Some settings such as "bake" are programmed to switch on the convection feature, which keeps down the need to fiddle with several controls to get what you want. I made cupcakes today on bake, and they were done a full 3-4 minutes quicker.

6. The large door handle is easy to grab and open, and stays cool to the touch.

7. The top of the oven gets hot during cooking, so you can keep food warm on a ceramic plate(s) on top while other food cooks. There is also a "cutting board and tray" that can be used on the top but I was unable to find it on Breville's website so I will call them later. (You can also get a pizza stone and pizza crisper.)

8. The crumb tray fits snugly into the front of the unit, and not in the back like other toaster ovens I've had, so removal and cleaning is easy.

The only suggestion that I would have is that a small interior light would be helpful.

As I have always liked about toaster ovens, you don't have to heat up your large oven to bake or cook a meal. And I don't think most of us have convection ranges, so having this feature on a toaster oven is great. I really do have to give this oven 5 stars because it is designed so incredibly well. I may never use my stove again -- except for a full-sized turkey!

UPDATE 12-27-2008: I received an email back from Breville, and they say the accessories for this oven (see#7 above) will be available April 2009. I have been using my Breville daily for a little over a week now, and I can see myself years from now doing the same. Still extremely impressed with this work horse!

UPDATE 3-29-09: According to the Breville website, a pizza stone and a pizza crisper for the Breville Smart Oven will be available for sale 5-9-09. The cutting board and tray that fit on top of the oven has a "TBA" availability date. And I am still considering this toaster oven one of the best I've ever come across!

UPDATE 6-08-09: *Another* delay from Breville for the cutting board/tray and the pizza stone -- those will be available at the BrevilleUSA website (and here at Amazon, I suppose) this month (June 2009), unless they change the date once again. A pizza crisper will be available in July 2009. I continue to use my SmartOven daily, and it has a prominent place in my kitchen.

UPDATE 12-21-09: Looks like all the accessories mentioned are now available at the Breville site. Hope they are soon available on Amazon and available with Prime shipping!

UPDATE: 5-23-10: I see that the accessories for this oven are now available on Amazon. I must say that the prices seem outrageous, and similar accessories at lower prices are made by other manufacturers, which I would explore if I needed/wanted them. I have the Petite Broil and Roast pan by Chicago Metallic (one of my favorite brands of bakeware) and it works wonderfully in this oven. C.M. also makes a whole toaster oven set, including a muffin tin.

It's 1 1/2 years later, and I still use my Breville almost every day -- still love it and not one hint of problems. Crumb tray in the front is SO very easy to pull out and to keep clean.

UPDATE: We are still going strong! Because it is a toaster and a baker and a roaster and more, I use it almost everyday. Don't know if Breville ever worked on the interior light thing, but if installed somewhere at eye level with good lighting (which I don't) , wouldn't be an issue.
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VINE VOICEon December 30, 2008
Color: Silver|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
I love this product - it is a pleasure to use, functions beautifully, and is beautifully designed.

The other reviewers have already said much of what I would have written. The 'Out of Box Experience' is superb. As another reviewer noted, the packaging is quite a bit like Apple's (see photos) - attractive graphics on an inner box protected in an outer, recyclable box. The oven itself, when compared to the Cuisinart TOB-165 that we have been using (or even the stainless steel TOB-195 model), is like comparing an Apple Mac to a Dell: visually more stylish and appealing, better engineered 'guts', and once operated, functionally very well thought out.

A few years ago, our old toaster oven died and we migrated to the Cuisinart which, like this Breville BOV800XL, is a convection oven / toaster / broiler. We liked it so much, that we gifted several more to friends and family. Ah, if only this Breville had ben available then...

The Breville is so vastly superior in every way - function, capacity, ease of use, and ease of cleaning. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The timer on the Breville turns the oven off at the end of any kind of cycle as you would expect - toast, bagel, bake, broil, pizza, etc.This is hugely wonderful compared to the Cuisinart unit which only turns itself off after toasting - you have to remember to turn it off when in any other mode. (The Cuisinart's timer is 'dumb' - just a beeper.) Also, each Breville cycle has smart default settings, and can remember your own settings for temperature and time, or slices (toast) and darkness, etc.

The BOV800XL accomodates a 13" pizza pan (included). We made two pizzas tonight to test the oven, one fresh (deli) the other frozen. I dialed the 'pizza' setting, dropped the default 450 temperature to 425, accepted convection mode, and accepted the default 12" size for the fresh pizza and pressed the on button. Once preheated, the oven beeped for the pizza to be inserted. At the end of the timed cycle, the oven turned off and beeped again: perfect pizza!

I then did a 9" frozen Amy's pizza. Similar procedure as above, but dialed the size knob down to 9" and pressed the 'frozen food' button. Again, perfect at the end of the cycle.

Toast setting works great - up to 6 pieces of toast, as does the bagel setting, which toasts the top at a higher temp then the bottom to make the top crispy and the bottom warm but still soft. Frozen waffles come out great - crunchy outside and moist inside, instead of all dried out.

For baking, a 13" x 9" baking pan easily fits inside as does, of course, the larger pan that comes with the unit, loaf pans and small muffin pans.

The glass door conveniently labels the three rack positions for broil, toast/cookie/bagel/pizza, and bake/roast/reheat/warm.

The crystalline-looking heating elements (three on top, two on the bottom) seem to heat faster, and more evenly, than the metallic elements in other counter-top ovens. Depending on the mode/cycle, the oven enables or disables certain elements, and changes the wattage of others.

The crumb tray in the front answer another of my big complaints about the Cuininart. No effort to pull the tray out at any time to brush off crumbs, or wash off accidental spills. (The Cuinsart's crumb tray slides out of the rear of that unit, requiring minor gymnastics - enough to put it off until it is really gross.)

The stainless finish and assembly is of high quality, and the oversized handle and control knobs give a feel of quality as well (and match current upper to high end major appliances).

No doubt I'll have more comments after we use the Breville BOV800XL for a few months, but for now, I can only sing its praises.


Boring details:

Dimension Comparison to Cuisinart TOB-165/195:

The Breville being slightly larger permits it to be used for items that otherwise would have to go into a regular oven. The interior of the Breville is 13 1/2" x 11 1/2" x 5" high (to clear the elements), with a curved recess in the back so that a nearly 13" pizza pan fits. The Cuisinart is 11 1/2" x 9 3/4" x 5" which cannot accommodate pizza, nor a 13 x 9 pan and toasts only 4 pieces of bread.

The small increase in interior space which results in so much greater versatility is at the expense of only an inch of counter space required. The Breville exterior is roughly 18 1/2" wide x 16" deep x 10 3/4" high compared to the Cuisinart 17 1/2" wide x 14" deep x 10" high.

Electrical Notes:

As others note, the oven uses a maximum of 1800 watts, which is basically all that a 15 amp circuit has to offer (most home kitchens will have either 15 or 20 amp circuits). So, you shouldn't use other power hungry appliances on the same circuit as the BOV800XL. As noted in the owner's manual, you must have a grounded 3-prong outlet, which any modern home will have. Even though my kitchen is 20 years old, I'm fortunate that the electrician had included three circuits for appliances so no problems here.

With regard to those concerned about the short cord: do note that electrical codes require that outlets on kitchen counters be serviced by a minimum of two separate circuits and be no more than 2 feet from one another (4 feet at a corner). Even under older codes that permit outlets up to 6' apart, the 3' cord is adequate.

Installation note:

This is a countertop oven. When operating, nothing should be within 4" of any side. Because some people are accustomed to GE/Black and Decker toaster ovens that mount under cabinets, do note that that is NOT an option here because of the high heat and clearances required. You really do need to have enough counter space to accommodate the unit.

UPDATE November 2014: the door spring broke today, so the door flops open. That mine lasted almost 6 years of daily use is remarkable as I read many reports of other people's springs breaking after 3 or 4 years of use. This is painful to so many screws have to be removed and contortions with the dangerously sharp metal case performed. Steps can be found online. Heading to a hardware store tomorrow to find a close match to the spring. My old spring broke on BOTH ends. Given that I got 6 years out of the oven, I won't reduce my 5 star review, although I feel that an item this expensive should be easier to repair.
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on May 29, 2014
Purchased in 2010 and it was in use daily, but today the side melted and caught on fire where one of the bottom heating elements meets the side. If my son hadn't been home and near the kitchen to smell the smoke, we might be homeless... but otherwise it was a nifty little oven. Door hinges broke a year before, so had to make sure it didn't fall down during operation. The lighted panel won't light up about 2 years ago. Would I buy again, NO
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on December 15, 2012
After reading many toaster oven reviews I decided to try the Breville. It arrived yesterday in great shape and I've already experimented with a few dishes. All went well but there will be a short learning curve with getting used to our first toaster oven in several years. Our home is all electric and I grew tired of seeing so much electricity wasted with the large oven; our daughter using it for a few slices of garlic bread, for example.

Some of the reviews here raised questions about temperature accuracy so I decided to test it so there would be no doubts. I used a new Norpro oven thermometer sold here on Amazon and rated 5 stars. All temps were done on the Bake setting and started at 350 with the Norpro sitting at the center of the rack in the middle position. Here are the results:

Set at 350 degrees, temperatures by the minutes:

4 minutes: 250 and the chime sounded to indicate pre-heat was complete. Temp was still steadily rising.
5 minutes: 300 degrees
6 minutes: 330 degrees
7 minutes: 340 degrees
8 minutes: 350 degrees
9 minutes: 355 degrees
10 minutes: 360, then held steady.

So, it's true, the pre-heat chime does sound early, but with the temperature steadily climbing the oven will be near ready by the time you respond to the chime and get the dish in the oven. Not an issue for me if it takes an extra minute or two to reach temp setting.

Then I turned on the Convection fan and noted the temp dropped 10 degrees over the next couple of minutes, then remained steady. This works well with the oven's actual temps being slightly warmer. The convection fan provides a sufficient breeze to circulate the air well.

I then tested other temps for accuracy. For these tests I lowered the rack to the bottom position because it placed the thermometer's center/sensing coil at mid-height in the oven. Here are settings followed by actual temperatures:

250 250-255
300 300-305
400 405-410
450 455

I did not test any higher or lower temperatures.

I have to say, I'm impressed so far with everything about the Breville oven including the temperature accuracy. Being a few degrees warmer is good in my opinion.

The power cord is 3 feet long and originates 2 inches from the right rear of the oven.

I also checked the outer surface temps by hand. With oven at 450 I could hold my hand against the right side surface easily. Left side for about 3 seconds. Top...just long enough to know you don't want to touch it there. There are vents near the top of each side and using an infra-red thermometer measured venting air around 150 degrees.

I'll update this post if any issues come up but for now I'm quite pleased with the purchase. Speaking of which, the price just dropped from $249 to $192 today on Amazon, so buy one quick. See my photos, too.
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on April 20, 2011
The product itself worked fine right up until the 3rd month, when it completely died. Breville approved replacement right away, which was great, but once they received the broken unit they suddenly found it could not be replaced right away. The story is that since the do not distribute refurbished units as replacements, they had to wait for a new unit to come from the factory. 2 months later they still have no replacement units available. Strangely enough, there are plenty of new ovens showing up in stores in my area, but these guys can't find one units to send customers whose ovens were defective.

Avoid buying any Breville products unless they improve their customer support system!!!
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on March 2, 2010
After a few weeks of use I determined that the unit was defective. The unit signals you when it reaches the temperature that you select but I discovered that everything was undercooked. I used an oven thermometer and found that an expected 350 temperature signal rang when the actual oven temperature was 225. I tested this in various oven settings and it was always the same. Tech support was terrible. They first blamed it on my oven thermometer (a new Taylor) and said they would test it with the same thermometer. They promised a call in a two days. No call. I called again and was promised another call back. They did not keep their word. Each time they seemed to deny there was a problem. I called today and after giving my case number was on hold for 20 minutes. I was asked for the third time the same questions. FINALLY they agreed to send another unit. We shall see.

This may be a good unit if it works out of the box but if you have to deal with Breville customer service - good luck!


After many go-rounds with customer service, they exchanged the unit. The same problem persisted. I went through another round of unhelpful people at customer support and finally spoke to someone who claimed to be an expert. He told me the manual is wrong when it states "Once the oven has reached the set temperature, the temperature alert will sound." He claimed that things will cook properly even though the oven temperature is not what you set it at. We agreed I would try it his way as a test. I baked a Trader Joe's Eggplant Parmesan. The instructions stated to bake it for 45-50 minutes at 400 degrees. I set the oven for 400 and put it in when the bell rang. (Actual oven temperature was 275.) After 50 minutes the food was lukewarm in the center and needed 10 more minutes. Remember convection ovens are supposed to cut baking time - not increase it.

Breville offered to send me another oven but I had had it. After telling my story to Amazon (which included me calling them in Australia), they agreed that I could get a full refund even though I was beyond the exchange period. THANK YOU AMAZON!

I was so unhappy that I wrote the President of Breville. He sent me a note of apology and thought that perhaps I was the victim of a manufacturing error. He did not seem happy about the poor customer service.

I now have a Cusinart. It is smaller than the Breville and not as well engineered but it cooks things at the proper temperature.
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on May 3, 2009
Before I go into details, first let me say that this has become one of my very favorite kitchen small appliances! I do have some that I feel are equal to it (my KitchenAid stand mixer, my Breville one-cup coffee brewer, and my Zojirushi bread machine) but I don't think any surpass this quality oven. I believe that when I make the decision to purchase a small appliance, I should buy the one I feel to be the best so I don't regret it later on. So, yes, I have spent more money than I had to but, at the same time, I have been not been disappointed with these outstanding appliances.

So far, everything I have made with this toaster/convection oven has turned out perfectly. I find it hard to think of this as a toaster oven, as it is so much more. I know I can prepare family size roasts in it with no problem. The function settings are Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, and Warm. I don't think it's possible that there is even one that I won't use. I have had this wonderful oven for only 4 days and I have used Toast and Bake several times and Broil, Pizza, Cookies and Warm at least once.

I really appreciate the fact that the timer can be set up to 2 hours (some toaster ovens can be set for only 30 minutes) and that at the end of the timed cycle, it automatically shuts off. I know that I can sometimes become very distracted when preparing dinner and could easily forget to shut the oven off as soon as I should.

As far as not being able to use aluminum foil and glass pans, I contacted the company and they said both were allowable with some precautions. Aluminum foil must never touch the quartz heating elements plus using too much foil in the oven can cause overheating and glass pans must not be used if you plan on cooking with unusually high temperatures, such as when broiling. I plan on being very careful with both but I don't view this as a problem. As far as I know, these are actually restrictions on most or all toaster ovens due to the smaller size and higher heat concentrations, but rarely mentioned.

The controls are intuitive and I think, in most cases, this oven can be used without referring to the manual. It is really a "no-brainer". I have read other reviewers mentioning that the knobs are not as substantial as they would like but to me, this is not an issue. I really don't know how weighty they are (or aren't) but they function well and look good, so that's really all I care about.

This oven is easy to clean, especially since you can use spray cleaners. You have to spray your cleaning cloth or sponge and not spray directly into the oven but that works just fine. I love the fact that the crumb tray, which conveniently pulls out from the front of the oven, is the entire bottom of the oven.

The electrical plug, of all things, is also a bonus! It has a large hole in the middle in which to insert your finger to help remove it from the outlet. This seems minor but is much better than having to "wiggle" a tight-fitting 3-prong grounded plug to remove it from the wall. This is really attention to detail! The cord is short (for safety reasons) but works fine for me. However, if your outlet is not conveniently located, I have found in the hardware store extension cords that have 3-prong grounded outlets and are rated for major appliances.

The one minor problem I had was when I broiled some steaks, the kitchen filled with smoke. But I'm sure that was my error and the next time, I will put the rack one notch further from the heating elements. It probably would have been okay if they were 1" thick or less but these were rather thick steaks and barely fit under the elements. But, despite the smoke, the steaks were juicy and delicious and the oven was an easy clean-up.

The ONLY complaint I can think of (and this is REALLY minor) is that there is no interior light. I was aware of this when I purchased it and I now keep a small flashlight alongside of the oven. This isn't really necessary but I love to be able to take a peek at what I'm cooking.

I made a frozen pizza and my husband actually LOVED it (he usually HATES frozen pizza) since it came out tender and crispy, yet the cheese was not burned.

I made toast and it was evenly browned on both sides (with, of course, unavoidable grid marks on the bottom) with a wonderful crispy texture and great taste.

I also made baked potatoes which were plump and beautifully cooked on the inside with a nice crisp skin on the outside, unlike some I have prepared in my regular oven that became shrunken and hard.

I also made a frozen dinner (not a great accomplishment, I know) but I used the convection feature and lowered the recommended temperature by 25 degrees and did not bake it any longer than instructed and it came out fully cooked with the gravy for the Salisbury steak bubbling. So the convection feature really does work--and very nicely, I would say--it is so quiet!

And the last thing I made was a batch of cookies. They were super large and I upped the preset time by two minutes and they came out PERFECT!

In conclusion, I am very happy with this purchase and if I had it to do over, I would buy it again without hesitation. This was very well thought out, both technically and cosmetically, and is sure to be an asset to any kitchen. So don't hesitate, GET IT!!!

Update 11/4/09--I am still lovin' this oven! Seriously, I find I use it much more than I thought I would, as it is so-o-o convenient. Besides functioning perfectly, it is at countertop level, which I find very helpful. If something needs to go in an oven, the only thing that makes me use my full size oven is if the item doesn't fit in this one. But most everything fits and cooks to perfection. If something happened to this one, I have become so dependent on it that I would buy another one without hesitation! I have even put my toaster away and I am tempted to sell it at my next garage sale.
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on March 1, 2014
I just purchased my third Breville BOV800XL. I have been using the other two for years in vacation homes with no issues.

In considering a third for my primary residence, I read some of the reviews and noted the the low temperature issues raised by some.

So, I used an iGrill mini to monitor the temperature over time. Here is what I found.

Set to 350, non-convection, the oven heated quickly and reached 358 in 8 minutes (it was at 285 when it beeped). Within 4 minutes it settled to 349-350 and held this temperature for 45 minutes. I then pushed the convection button and within 4 minutes, the temperature had dropped to 335-337. I have uploaded a graph as a customer submitted image.

About a year ago I took a class on convection oven cooking. I learned that there are two ways to take advantage of the faster cooking of a convection oven: a) keep the temperature the same and shorten the time; b) keep the time the same and lower the temperature by 15-20 degrees. The latter was recommended.
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on July 16, 2010
Breville products are amazing.... Until they break. Once they break, you're pretty much hosed. I recently spent over TWO HOURS waiting for support. If this doesn't exactly sound like fun to you, buy from a different company, one that actually values their customers.
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