Average Customer Review:
The Breville BOV650XL Compact Smart Oven (Est. $180) is a mid-sized toaster oven that's a big performer, say experts and owners. It has 1,800 watts of power, and independent heating elements that adjust automatically for even, consistent cooking -- that's the "smart" in the toaster oven's name.
The BOV650XL can toast four slices of bread at the same time, cook a 3- to 4-pound chicken, or bake a 12-inch pizza. With eight preset functions -- toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies and reheat -- the BOV650XL is reported to be very simple to use and can even remember personal-preference settings. The oven calculates the correct time and temperature for each dish, displays that on an easy-to-read backlit LCD display, and then shuts the oven off automatically when cooking is done.
This Breville toaster oven features a pullout crumb tray and interior walls with a nonstick coating for easy cleaning. Some users wish the oven rack would automatically eject when the door is opened because they say it can be tricky to pull it out when it's hot. We also saw some durability complaints; owners who say it failed after just 2 or 3 years; too soon for a toaster oven that is at the upper range of prices compared to other ovens with the same capacity and features.
If you're pressed for space, and don't need to be able to cook larger cuts of meat, the Panasonic NB-G110P Flash Xpress Toaster Oven (Est. $120) gets reviews from experts and owners that are comparable to those that we see for the Breville BOV650XL. In fact, the only thing keeping the Panasonic out of our top spot is its lack of a broil function and its low-ceilinged cavity -- you can't roast a whole chicken, even a small one, or larger cuts of chicken or pork. That means it's better suited for standard reheating tasks rather than offering a substitute for a full-sized oven for making dinner (although it will accommodate four slices of toast). Still, most reviewers say that the compact Panasonic NB-G110P is plenty big enough for their typical needs, and its small footprint is a plus that we see many positive comments about.
Foods really do cook in a flash in the Panasonic Flash Xpress. It needs no preheating -- it instantly comes to the temperature you need. It then uses two infrared heat sources (quartz and ceramic) to cook food more quickly, as fast as an oven with convection technology, tests show, and it cooks both sides at once so you don't have to turn foods like chicken breasts or burgers.
The Panasonic Flash Xpress gets top marks for both performance and ease of use in the professional tests we saw, and many happy owners back those results up. It's among the highest-rated toaster ovens at Amazon and users say it excels at everything, but particularly at browning. It also gets raves for its futuristic appearance -- many call it "space age" or say they would expect to see it in a kitchen of the future.
If you really want a Breville, but don't have room on your counter for the BOV650XL, the Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven (Est. $140) is very much worth considering. It's a big performer with a relatively small footprint, reviewers say, although small may be relative -- it still can toast four slices of bread at once, accommodate an 11-inch pizza, or cook a couple of large chicken breasts. In one professional test it excels at all tasks, including baking, roasting, and broiling. Experts and owners also love its "A Bit More" button which allows you to add just a bit more time for slightly more doneness on toast or open-faced sandwiches.
Like its bigger Breville sibling, the BOV450XL features eight presets and a digital display. Users say it's extremely easy to use and clean, and that it works as well as their full-sized stove with a wide variety of recipes. Many say they were leery of paying this much for such a small oven, but that the Breville BOV450XL was definitely worth it.