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Breville Smart Oven Pro
What does the “Pro” model of our favorite toaster oven have to offer?
Published Mar. 17, 2020.
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What You Need To Know
Breville, the maker of our favorite toaster oven, recently told us that the company may discontinue our winning model—The Breville Smart Oven—in favor of its newer toaster oven, The Breville Smart Oven Pro. The Pro model is identical in size and shape to the Smart Oven model, but it features a slow-cook option and an interior light that the standard Smart Oven model doesn’t offer. At the time of this testing, both ovens were priced at about $270. We were curious to see how this model stacked up against our favorite toaster oven.
To test the Pro model, we made toast, broiled asparagus, roasted chicken, and baked cookies and compared the results to the same foods made in the regular Smart Oven. We also slow-cooked pork butt for pulled pork in the Pro model and compared it to slow-cooked pork that we made in our favorite multicooker. Finally, we used temperature tracking software to see whether the Pro model could consistently maintain a temperature 350 degrees Fahrenheit over 2 hours, a metric that we’ve learned produces evenly cooked food within recipe times.
Comparing the Food Results
The asparagus, chicken, and cookies that we made in the Pro oven were identical to the same foods we cooked in the regular Smart Oven model. When we set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the Pro model held an average temperature of 352 degrees—on par with the excellent accuracy we saw in the regular Smart Oven. Like the Smart Oven, the Pro model also comes with dark-colored baking pans that browned food thoroughly and cleaned up easily.
Curiously, making toast was a problem for the Pro. Despite having identical interior dimensions, the same number of heating elements, and the same toast settings as the original Smart Oven, the Pro model turned out consistently underbrowned, uneven toast on every setting. Even on the highest setting, the toast was not dark; instead, it emerged blond in the middle, while another slice from the same loaf toasted in the regular Smart Oven came out evenly browned all over. We carefully watched the five heating elements in each oven as we toasted to make sure that they were cycling on and off at the same time (they were). We also tried a backup copy of the Pro oven, which produced the same results. We were eventually able to produce a browner piece of toast in the Pro, but it was frustrating—it took almost two full cycles on a medium setting (about 8 minutes).
Slow Cooking in the Smart Oven Pro
The regular Smart Oven will allow you to set a cooking time for only 2 hours or less, so the Pro model introduced a slow-cooking mode that mimics the long cooking patterns of a slow cooker. However, slow cooking in ...
Everything We Tested
- Baking: 3 stars out of 3.
- Cleanup: 3 stars out of 3.
- Accuracy: 3 stars out of 3.
- Broiling: 3 stars out of 3.
- Roasting: 3 stars out of 3.
- Toasting: 1 stars out of 3.
- Slow Cooking: 3 stars out of 3.
- User-Friendliness: 3 stars out of 3.
This model is the same size and has the same interface and capacity as our favorite toaster oven, The Breville Smart Oven, with two additions: an interior oven light and a slow-cook function. It performed identically to the Smart Oven when broiling, baking, and roasting, but we found that it consistently underbrowned toast, even on the highest setting. While we were able to make thoroughly browned toast by running bread slices through two heating cycles, it was a frustrating extra step. We did like the slow-cook function, which turned out tender, juicy pulled pork. It’s worth noting that to slow-cook you need a covered casserole dish or a 3.5-quart (or smaller) Dutch oven with the lid knob removed (it is simple to unscrew). While we still prefer the Smart Oven, the Pro model is a good option if you aren’t too concerned about toast and you prepare a lot of meals in your toaster oven—especially if you’re interested in slow cooking but don’t have the room for an extra appliance.
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